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To imitate nature in order to master it

Mastery of Non-mastery in the Age of Meltdown
Forfatter: Michael Taussig
Forlag: Chicago University press (USA)

THE MIMETIC POWER: Imitating another is also a way to gain a power over the one portrayed. And how often do we see an imitation of the cosmos at a bar in a dark side street?

At all times man has tried to imitate nature in order to master it. But the art of imitation is also, according to anthropologist Michael Taussig in Mastery of Non-mastery in the Age of Meltdown a bearer of an ethical attitude to nature – where we open ourselves to what we do not control. Taussig sees both play, film art, involuntary memory and Native American shamanism as contemporary examples of mimesis (imitation) – reviving the former animism and magic that gave man contact with a connecting and living reality. With the melting of the climate and its existential threat, the hour has come, the magical hour that once again opens us to the mimetic power.

The ability to imitate

Never have we had so much access to images, signs, information and language, and yet we have an experience that reality remains abstract, distant and incomprehensible. Also nature and the climate crisis. We have become accustomed to the fact that the world and reality are something we construct ourselves, while at the same time we have lost the necessary distance to what we construct ourselves.
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Alexander Carnera
Carnera is a freelance writer living in Copenhagen.

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