Federica showed up for her appointment with the person who had agreed to purchase her soul. Thus begins Franco “Bifo” Berardi and Massimiliano Geraci’s novel Morte ai Vecchi (Death to the old), in which a device called KapSoul delivers “waves of empathic excitement” to young people before they descend into orgiastic violence against the elderly. The first serial installment of the translated novel is published in this issue of e-flux journal, with further installments coming in the near future.
Also in this issue, Jonas Staal illuminates the Martian designs of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, with their unabashedly extractive colonial ambitions. But Staal also reminds us of radical visions, sketched by authors like Alexander Bogdanov and Octavia Butler, of deep nonhuman comradeship on the red planet.
Against the backdrop of the fires engulfing the Amazon rainforest, Teresa Castro outlines the importance of queer kinship with vegetal and other forms of life, which have much to teach us. Warning against anthropomorphizing the rainforest as “the lungs of the earth,” Castro reminds us that this is ultimately part of a colonizing view that frames “nature” as something we own—as something that works for us. Castro also traces the history of plants on film; this history reveals our limited imagination when it comes to vegetal life, but also includes magical moments of other-than-human autonomy and subjectivity.