Mark von Schlegell

A book of theory, essays, stories, and poems released in association with the exhibition Hyperobjects at Ballroom Marfa, which explores the overwhelming scale of today’s ecological crisis.

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PublisherJan Kaps2018
Science fiction auteur, paperback revolutionary, agile co-occupant of literary and art worlds, admirably independent mind Mark von Schlegell is an ideal curator-guide for the bizzarro world of nineteenth century American literature. The rift in history made in the writing of Poe, Emerson, Douglass, Dickinson, Melville, Hawthorne, Henry James et al, Schlegell identifies as a fictional machine through which literary worlds become possible words, then makes a Carrollian flip into the mirror, a splash into the glass, as Cocteau showed us in Orphée. Burroughs called it the “pre-recordings”—the deep code out of which reality is projected. Schlegell calls it the Realometer…

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… unfolds an itinerant encounter with nineteenth-century European naturalists in the Malay world, where the theory of evolution by natural selection emerged alongside less celebrated concerns about mass extinction and climate change; by re-considering the reverse hallucinatory condition of colonial science in the tropics—how scientists learned to not see what was manifestly present—the reader-as-exhibition-viewer may exhume from the remains of this will to knowledge an ethical conviction of particular relevance for confronting forms of neocolonization in the Anthropocene.

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