Queering Ecology: Erotic Transformation & Identity
This is part of advaya’s course: Ecology of Love with Dr Andreas Weber.
Eros as life is an ardent desire for change and self-transformation. This is what it means to relate. Identity, therefore, is only brought about by relating. Identity is a process, a continuous unfolding and enfolding, not a substance. Erotic ecology shows us that life is about creating identities and unmaking them at the same time.
Every body, every cell, recreates itself from other bodies, other cells. It is self-as-other. Every self is made of many others: a body is made up of symbionts which, only in their togetherness, allow it to flourish. We also consist of several human identities: maternal cells live in the bodies of children deep into their adult lives and embryonic cells can thrive within their mother for decades after birth.
So where is the identity of the self? Instead of binaries, the Eros of ecology favours transformation, plurality, and the queering of identities. The self is an ecosystem, and the participants of that ecosystem act according to an overarching common need. Many organisms change sex during their life cycles depending on external cues. There are species who develop through budding only, and others, like aphids, who are parthenogenetic: they only give birth to females, without fertilisation. Sex is not determined by a single chromosomal switch, as was long believed, but by the intricate interaction of several different developmental networks which can be stimulated by external influences like culture.
From the perspective of an erotic ecology, life does not mean clinging to the chimera of a fixed identity, but instead means becoming productive through relating and through an ever blossoming identity.
Ecology of Love with Dr Andreas Weber: An Online Course
Andreas Weber #
Andreas is a Berlin based author & independent scholar. He has degrees in Marine Biology & Cultural Studies, having collaborated with theoretical biologist Francisco Varela in Paris. Andreas’ work is focusing on a re-evaluation of our understanding of the living. He is proposing to understand organisms as subjects & hence the biosphere as a meaning-creating & poetic reality. Andreas is the author of Enlivenment. Toward a Poetics for the Anthropocene, & Sharing Life: The Ecopolitics of Reciprocity.