THE
ANTI-ANTHROPOCENTRIC VENDING MACHINE

A CURE FOR ANTHROPOCENTRISM

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A vending machine (allegedly) sells “cures for anthropocentrism”. A strangely familiar entity in an uncivilized context. To obtain the cure you must sacrifice the shiny capsule you just received, breaking it open to reveal a stone that you (allegedly) can eat. The stone is accompanied by a short message, claiming that when you eat this stone, you will (allegedly) never look at stones the same way again. Claiming that stones are not dead, and that you should think about what they want. Thinking about the world differently changes the world. Eating the stone, you become the stone - existence/consciousness is not something exceptionally human.

I found this vending machine in a circle of stones. It gave me a message and a stone to eat. Finding the machine initiated a shift in my metaphysical world: How do stones exist? Eating the stone made me view stones differently: as if they are alive.

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Underneath the problems of the Anthropocene is a view that humankind has the right to manipulate (create, destroy, alter) other species and our surroundings. This view is called Anthropocentrism - placing the human in the center and on top, the idea that humans have a unique, significant, and exceptional position on the planet. It is the idea that humans are more real than non-humans, because we can think. But thinking is not the only access mode into the world, and it is not necessarily the best access mode either.

It is impossible to show that humans are acting and non-humans are just behaving. This means that they might be just as rich in worlds. Which non-humans do we grant worlds? Can we even include stones?

A move away from human exceptionalism to establish a space of awareness, meaning and solidarity with the non-human. Radically redefining what we allow to exist.

Stones are not not alive.

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Part of Turn To Stone research project.