An Ethics of Diversity: Art, Ayahuasca and Microbial life

This is a talk that I gave on Friday 1 April 2016 as part of the seminar series at the Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University.

It matters what matters we use to think other matters with; it matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with; it matters what knots knot knots, what thoughts think thoughts, what ties tie ties.

Donna Haraway

Donna Haraway’s statement of what matters – which she in turn attributes to social anthropologist Marilyn Strathern –  serves as a point of departure for thinking about the relationship between the matter of art, ayahuasca and Lyn Margulis’ account of microbial evolution. The premise is that the matter of each of these realms might help us to think the thoughts of the others. I suggest that each of these realms has analogous sets of productive problems and that material thinking between these realms of art, microbes and the psychedelic experience might help us to articulate an ethics of cultural and biological diversity.

Part 1 of this talk

Part 2 with the Q & A