Ways of Being: Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for a Planetary Intelligence (Hardcover)

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Ways of Being: Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for a Planetary Intelligence (Hardcover)


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Artist, technologist, and philosopher James Bridle’s Ways of Being is a brilliant, searching exploration of different kinds of intelligence—plant, animal, human, artificial—and how they transform our understanding of humans’ place in the cosmos.

What does it mean to be intelligent? Is it something unique to humans, or shared with other beings—beings of flesh, wood, stone, and silicon? The last few years have seen rapid advances in “artificial” intelligence. But as it approaches, it also gets weirder: rather than a friend or helpmate, AI increasingly appears as something stranger than we ever imagined, an alien invention that threatens to decenter and supplant us.

At the same time, we’re only just becoming aware of the other intelligences which have been with us all along, even if we’ve failed to recognize or acknowledge them. These others—the animals, plants, and natural systems that surround us are slowly revealing their complexity, agency, and knowledge, just as the technologies we’ve built to sustain ourselves are threatening to cause their extinction, and ours. What can we learn from them, and how can we change ourselves, our technologies, our societies, and our politics, to live better and more equitably with one another and the non-human world?

Artist and maverick thinker James Bridle drawn on biology and physics, computation, literature, art, and philosophy, to answer these unsettling questions. Startling and bold, Ways of Being explores the fascinating, strange and multitudinous forms of knowing, doing, and being which are becoming evident in the present, and which are essential for our survival.

Includes illustrations

James Bridle is a writer and artist. His writing on art, politics, culture and technology has appeared in magazines and newspapers including the Guardian and the Observer, Wired, the Atlantic, the New Statesman, Frieze, Domus, and ICON. New Dark Age, his book about technology, knowledge, and the end of the future, was published by Verso in 2018, and is being translated into a dozen languages. In 2019, he wrote and presented New Ways of Seeing, a four-part series for BBC Radio 4. His artworks have been commissioned by galleries and institutions, including the V&A, Whitechapel, Barbican, Hayward, and Serpentine, and exhibited worldwide and on the internet.
Product Details ISBN: 9780374601119
ISBN-10: 0374601119
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: June 21st, 2022
Pages: 384
Language: English