Arie Altena


Sonic Acts & Radio Web MACBA Podcast special on Dark Ecology


Just before I left for the Dark Ecology Journey in November 2015, I contributed to Radio Web MACBA’s fourth episode in the OBJECTHOOD podcast series. SItting behind my laptop I talked almost on an hour about the Kola Superdeep to Roc Jiménez de Cisneros, who edited my rambling talk and used it in the podcast. OBJECTHOOD #4 is about objects, but more importantly, it is about some of the recent theories that offer new conceptualisations of objects in contemporary philosophy and art. This episode, goes underground, but also under water, where development clashes with strange hyperobjects such as poison, where geology meets politics, where horror meets daily life.

Curated by Roc Jiménez de Cisneros for Radio Web MACBA. Produced in collaboration with Sonic Acts/Dark Ecology.

OBJECTHOOD #4 explores the slippery materiality of untraceable objects: from the arsenic poisoning the wells of Bangladesh as told by Nabil Ahmed, to Arie Altena's account of the superstition surrounding the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia, or the bizarre biology of the vampire squid from hell in a passage of Vilém Flusser’s ‘Vampyroteuthis Infernalis’ read by AGF.

00:16 Introduction
08:48 Nabil Ahmed: Arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh
15:32 Forensic Architecture
17:13 Arsenic in the history of toxicology
23:36 The devil in the water
24:55 How arsenic poisoned the water
26:31 Perspectivism
29:42 A pharmakon par excellence
35:17 Arie Altena: The Kola Superdeep Borehole
39:07 Yuri Smirnov and the legacy of the Kola Superdeep
40:57 The well to hell myth
47:37 Excerpt of Vilém Flusser’s 'Vampyroteuthis Infernalis', read by AGF (Antye Greie-Ripatti)

Production, interviews and documentation: Roc Jiménez de Cisneros.
Reading of Vilém Flusser’s Vampyroteuthis infernalis excerpt by Antye Greie

Originally at
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Arie Altena