Curve Monologues ep. 1: Sir, I have read your textbooks
On bringing our curvaceous ways of knowing back into science: Once upon a time, science was still connected to sentience - the ability feel, perceive and experience subjective nonlinear embodied knowledge, and to engage this knowing as a way of informing our rational linear thinking. We broke from this knowing during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, when thinkers such as Rene Descartes and Sir Isaac Newton separated mind from body and mechanized the cosmos. It is time to return to a more holistic science. It is time to bring the curves of sentience back together with the lines of science. It is time to awaken our nonlinear ways of knowing.
Curve Dialogues ep.1: Atomic Dances
The European Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries saw the linear perspective take form in art, and the scientific method take hold in science. Art and science also began their split into separate selves. Over the years, however, many Eurocentric artists and scientists have worked to heal these lines and divides. Physicist Richard Feynman was known to bridge nature and culture, science and art. He spoke of the dance of atoms in the brain: "The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out - there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday." From the level of atoms and upwards to genes, to cell signalling pathways, to our entire being, we are composed of dances: patterns of organization and relation, rhythms of vibration and beats. Biology is poetry. Is art. Is dance.
Curve Monologues ep.2: White Man's School
On my experience of going through the White Man's school. I echo the voices of my ancestors who were stripped of their ways of knowing, conformed to the linear colonial knowledge systems of dominant Eurocentric education. In science, in particular, the dogma of Descartes and Newton taught us to bury our senses, our hearts, our poetry - to separate ourselves from nature - for the only reality is the thinking mind and the quantifiable line. We lost our ability to see what really is, to know who we really are. We became divided. Indigenous West African Shaman, Malidoma Somé, takes note: “Whatever he learned in the school of the white man must be hurting his ability to push through the veil. Something they did to him is telling him not to see this tree. But why would they do that?...Can it be that the white man’s power can be experienced only if he first buries the truth? How can a person have knowledge if he can’t see?” (Of Water and The Spirit, p. 209). It is time to remember our knowledge - to see into our memory, what we are made of.
Curve Dialogue ep. 2: How do we Make Community?
This video features Angela Davis, political activist, academic and author, on what she has seen change over a lifetime of activism. And what still needs to happen. And how. How do we make Community?
Dominant Eurocentric systems of organization are individualistic, linear and top-down in nature and this is a problem for this is not the nature of Community. What is natural in life, from systems of cells to organisms to ecosystems, is a kind of organization that emerges from within the community, from the nonlinear and decentralized dynamics of relationship and reciprocity, from the inter-generational embedded knowledge systems carried in soil and bone, woven in the textiles and textures of meaning-making that become Community. How do we care for community? How does care for the self and care for the community become the same system of organization? By (re)membering what we are made of. We are not made of linear systems of organization. We are made in the language of Curvature. We are made of Community.
Curve Monologues ep.3: Remember the Curve
There are no straight lines in nature and yet we have imposed linear mathematics onto nature in attempts to understand her. We have forgotten how to know her.....Euclidean geometry taught us how to reduce the nonlinearity of nature into the straight-lined approximations of squares and triangles. Calculus taught us how to reduce the curves of motion into the straight-lined approximations of tangents. Newton taught us how to take “the Newtonian limit” – how to leave curvature out of our equations.... “But child,” said Nana Buruku, “this is not what I taught you. I never taught you to reach only as far as the limits of Newton. I taught you Curvature and how to know your curve in its entirety. I never taught you to leave curvature out of your equations.”