Dark Mountain: Issue 8

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We are at a strange moment in human history. Things that once belonged to the outlandish fantasies of science fiction – from killer robots to nanomachines – are becoming reality. At the same time, ecological and social costs of this technological revolution are becoming clearer each day.

The eighth Dark Mountain book is a special issue on the theme of ‘Technê’. Through essays, artwork and how-to guides, this issue confronts the difficult questions of our time: Where are these tools and technologies leading us? What does it mean for the natural world and our own humanity? And how do we live through this?

Familiar names – Paul Kingsnorth picking apart the devotional underpinnings of transhumanism, or Charles Foster ruminating on the materiality of writing – and established figures like David Graeber and Bill McKibben rub shoulders here with new contributors and fresh perspectives: Sarah Perry considering the role of ritual in an automated world, James Bridle wayfaring around our ever-suffocating electromagnetic blanket, or Catrina Davies writing on the technosphere of her live-in shed. At the same time, we look back at the thinkers of the past who tried to warn us of the perilous path we were travelling – Chellis Glendinning recalls the neo-Luddites of yesteryear, while Jan van Boeckel writes of the documentary he made on 20th century techno-sage Jacques Ellul.

Three tasters from the book: