xtro realm / Climate Imaginary Reader
Space exploration is often heralded as the greatest scientific and technological achievement of humankind. Since inhabiting the International Space Station in late 2000, astronauts on board have been working, sleeping, eating, and living in microgravity, 400 km above the surface of the Earth. The astronauts spend most of their days working in their laboratories, floating from one node of the station to another, researching a variety of areas, including the impact of microgravity on growing plants and the behaviour of other materials, as well as learning more about the risks of spaceflight to human health. To do this research, however, they need vital material support. The health and wellbeing of the astronauts is supported through the dehydrated food in the kitchen and the care that the life support system provides. It is not only the astronauts themselves that require upkeep. The food in the kitchen has to be replenished, and the life support system itself has to be continuously monitored and maintained. These resources are themselves part of a larger ecosystem: spacecraft carry supplies to the station, collect waste from on board, and upon completion of these tasks, eventually burn up upon re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. The isolation of outer space is, in fact, far from untethered.
For the scientists and entrepreneurs who, among the global dangers of ecological collapse, nuclear disasters, and looming pandemics, view planetary catastrophes as inevitable and life on Earth unsalvageable, a fantasy of refuge has emerged: that of escaping from this purportedly broken Earth, leaving it entirely behind in favor of engineering a more luxurious, efficient, and controlled future in outer space.1 Among the proponents of this colonization fantasy are some of the richest capitalists on the planet, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As of last year, even the Hungarian government is planning on establishing its own space program.2
That said, escape rears its head as a cultural practice in other areas as well, as the spread of COVID-19 is sending the ultra-rich fleeing to emergency bunkers3 while social media influencers are taking refuge in smaller towns and states.4 The pandemic even led a frightened white Canadian couple to seek shelter in a far-off Indigenous community.5 Meanwhile, the rest of us are physically isolating ourselves in the hope that the spaceships of our homes will lead us safely through this crisis. In fact, our isolation during COVID-19 is similar enough to the confinement on board spaceships that astronauts have been sharing advice on surviving self-isolation, based on their experiences in outer space.6 All of these isolation practices are based on the idea that, if only one can get far enough from social and environmental entanglements, one becomes a safe, untouchable isolate. Yet amidst the unfolding parallel crises of climate change and the global pandemic, to exit is also to refuse to acknowledge our global interdependence and partake in the activities required to reassemble the world. All the while, what is left of the desired stability of the world is held together by the labor of cleaners, carers, grocery store clerks, drivers, etc. As media theorist Sarah Sharma points out, “exit is an exercise of patriarchal power, a privilege that occurs at the expense of cultivating and sustaining conditions of collective autonomy. It stands in direct contradistinction to care. Care is an opposing political force to exit. Care is that which responds to the uncompromisingly tethered nature of human dependency and the contingency of life, the mutual precariousness of the human condition.”7 Care is historically associated with reproductive and maintenance work.8 The difference between this work and other types of work is not merely financial, but exists also in the social connotations between paid maintenance work (for instance, gas installation, car installation, gardening) and unpaid care work (for instance, parenting, raising children), pointing to the urgency of gender-focused analyses of capitalist structures. Maintenance and care work, although similar in function, have historically been segregated on the basis of gender. Following Sharma’s analysis, in order to understand contemporary outer space colonial imaginaires, we must employ a feminist philosophy of technology that analyzes care and maintenance in its opposition to a techno-utopian escape.
The possibility of running from one’s troubles is gendered: women, who have historically been systematically relegated to reproductive and care work, often do not have the opportunity to escape this “tethered nature of human dependency.”9 Not to mention, the dream of abandoning nature for technologically re-created environments such as bunkers or space cabins rests on notions of natural insufficiency and machine invulnerability, which further highlights the gendered character of these narratives. In imperialist-colonial epistemologies, nature has historically been conceptualized and personified as female, passive, and organic, and contrasted with techné – meaning craftsmanship or art – which has been thought of as active, and resting within the domain of masculinity.10 Numerous scholars have demonstrated that this distinction is based on a sexist bias: traditional analyses of the history of technology have systematically ignored tools used for housework.11 Vases and kitchen utensils were first interpreted as technology in the 20th century,12 but by then, in patriarchal cultures, the association of technology with masculinity had already been established.13 Building on this scaffolding, the Scientific Revolution solidified the understanding of nature as something disorderly and in need of controlling,14 while the Industrial Revolution brought forth a techno-utopian narrative of mechanized stability: the technological innovations of engineers allow man to bend nature to his will.15 In these dominant narratives, technology emancipates humans from a dependence on nature, allowing humanity to frame itself as standing in front of a neatly separate natural background.16 Nature exists only to be exploited in more and more inventive ways to further capitalist progress. Man stands alone with his machines: untouchable, triumphant.
As much as dominant cultural narratives encourage us to entertain the idea that humans stand separate from and above their environments, the planetary crises of climate change and COVID-19 are painful reminders of the ways in which human and nonhuman ecologies are perpetually entangled. It is well-known that industrialized human-nonhuman relations, based on the capitalist extraction of what are considered natural resources, stand at the root of numerous environmental problems that are contributing to climate change. Animal industries – specifically the livestock industry – are one of the largest contributors to deforestation, greenhouse gas emission, and species extinctions.17 COVID-19’s believed origins in the Huanan wild animal markets and its eventual spread to humans is further testament to the ways in which our ecologies are always inseparable, with their intertwined nature here manifesting violently towards humans. Moreover, the spread of the coronavirus lays bare how local exploitation of nature can have global repercussions: the wildlife industry in China exists to this day because wildlife is considered a natural resource owned by the state, and the breeding, domestication, and trading of wildlife is encouraged by law.18
What must be made clear to those who are entertaining the idea that space habitats could provide a solution to such crises is that leaving Earth does not render these entanglements null and void. As much as spacecraft have been positioned as examples of subordinating the rules of nature to human control, their material reality only further consolidates the reciprocity of human and nonhuman, including human-machine, relations. 19 Our dependence on our surroundings intensifies in outer space. The inhospitality of space makes even the most physically fit astronauts dependent on numerous life support systems: oxygen and food supplies, waste management, and humidity control are all technologically operated but require continuous maintenance by humans. As such, ensuring the normal operation of a spacecraft is a relevant analogy for how a relationship of care with the diverse life support systems on Earth could be established.20
However, governments and private companies have been selling people the dream of human spaceflight ever since the Cold War, and the origins of this project in a military enterprise have made a significant mark on its implications for care work. The world of the 1960-70s astronauts was extremely segregated: the popular narrative was that of the hypermasculine astronaut, able to cope with danger and pain without complaint, with a brave wife at home waiting for his return.21 This segregation has had a remarkable impact on the types of work which have been considered “worthy” of these hypermasculine astronauts. In fact, the first American to travel to space, Alan Shepard, explicitly objected to having to learn maintenance techniques. As historian David Mindell put it, “the hottest test pilots didn’t want to be repairmen in space.”22 Similarly, data collected from NASA’s Skylab and the International Space Station’s 4-8 expeditions reveal that the time needed to complete maintenance activities on the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems was vastly underestimated, and in some cases even completely left out of operations plans.23 Even as late as the 2000s, the gendered view of care activities aboard spacecraft persisted: regarding the first female commander of a Space Shuttle, Eileen Collins, NASA made sure that her public persona was level-headed but also “pleasing.” She was referred to as “nice.” She took care of her fellow astronauts on board, taking on emotional labor by “providing support in ways that ease[d] the long hours and tension of training.” Her Air Force nickname was Mom.24
When this article calls for a feminist critique of outer space colonization, the argument is not that banishing technology and returning to a “pristine” nature or some other type of utopian primitivism is going to solve our planetary crises. Nor is it the point that more women need to be hired. What is being critiqued here is what Debbie Chachra has pointed out as a masculinist-capitalist obsession with progress and technological innovation that casts all maintenance, repair, and care work as inferior to creation.25 Much as our current experience of physical isolation during COVID-19 has exhibited, only during breakdowns are such taken-for-granted services made visible anew.26 The privileging of production obscures the societal understanding of the very real relationality of living, and the ongoing care and maintenance work required to keep human life running smoothly both on Earth and in outer space.
Therefore, the problem with extraplanetary colonization is not solely that this escape reinforces an enduring gendered opposition between exit and care, privileging the former over the latter, but also that machines only give the illusion of providing humans with independence from care work. Orsolya Ferencz, the Hungarian Secretary of Space Affairs, claims that Hungarian machines in outer space do not break down27 but the truth is that machines, just like our “natural” environments, do repeatedly break down. They require maintenance. Humans whose lives are intimately intertwined with technology are all too aware of this. Social scientist Laura Forlano writes about her experience as a diabetic who uses various technologies to monitor and maintain her blood glucose levels: “With respect to my insulin pump and glucose monitor, often, I am not really sure whether I am taking care of them, or they are taking care of me.”28 This interdependence additionally applies to the care for “natural” environments which can be regularly observed, for example, in the relationship of Indigenous communities to the environment. In the Hā’ena community in Hawaii, for instance, not only do they always return some of the fish caught to the water as a way of thanking the ocean, but they also managed to impose a ten-year fishing moratorium around their island in 2019, which will both help the renewal of the ecosystem and the recovery of the immediate environment, allowing future generations to fish sustainably.29 With this moratorium, the Hā’ena are providing care-based, restorative justice: the ocean ecosystem has fallen victim to injustice (overfishing), and remedying this ought to help heal the party wounded by the injustice, which is in this case the ocean.30
The extractive industry practices deeply embedded within Western social systems clearly propel us toward unsustainable development. Escaping Earth will not solve these problems. Rather, the solution requires a fundamental onto-epistemological shift, one that will enable us to move away from the exploitative Western-colonialist worldview and towards one that prioritizes care and sustainability. The works of feminist and Indigenous thinkers can inspire us to imagine and understand such a worldview. Numerous pre-colonial Indigenous cultures were sustainability-centric: the acceptance of the reciprocity between humans and their environment and the enforcing of the ethics of care in all areas of life were essential parts of several nations’ worldviews. Indigenous epistemologies see humans and nature as members of an ecological family in which humans, the nonhuman beings around them (for example, badgers, antelopes) and materials (for example, water, clay) all form part of their kinship structures.31 In Indigenous cultures that have survived colonization, such teachings and ethical approaches are passed down to this day.32 Research by Potawatomi scholar Kyle P. Whyte and Chris Cuomo demonstrate that Indigenous conceptions of care emphasize the importance of recognizing that humans, nonhumans (animals) and collectives (e.g. forests) exist in networks of interdependence. Indigenous care ethics manifest also in the fact that mutual responsibility is seen as the moral basis of relationships.33 An important part of this mutual responsibility is that care-based justice is not punishment-centered but recovery-centered: as in the example of the fishing moratorium of the Hā’ena, it seeks to promote restorative justice for those wounded by injustice. This restoration is aimed not only at people and communities, but also at nature.34 Similarly, an ethics of care in feminist philosophy treats the state of interdependence of human and nonhuman beings as a moral foundation.35
Since all infrastructures break, they require continuous maintenance. Information scientist Steven Jackson therefore proposes that the starting point to our thinking on the human relationship to technology has to be a contemplation of “erosion, breakdown, and decay, rather than novelty, growth, and progress.”36 If we accept that our world is “always-almost-falling-apart,”37 then instead of simply focusing on technological innovation as the vessel of our salvation,38 we need to look at the ways in which the world is constantly fixed, cared for, and maintained. This, of course, does not only translate to humans’ relationship to machines, but also to our relationship to our environment –in fact, feminist scholars have already made this point about dealing with our environmental problems: historian of science Donna Haraway’s concept of “staying with the trouble”39 explicitly pleads for the foregrounding of the inherent interconnectedness and interdependence of living, and for working on restoring our broken systems. What we are looking at here is a promising paradigm shift in human-machine and human-nature relations that promotes the recognition that the processes of care and maintenance are foundational to the way humanity relates to our biotic and abiotic environments.40
Both life during the social isolation of COVID-19 and life in the space cabin highlight our perpetual interdependence with our environments. Our life support systems are in a state of continuous decay, but the solution to this is not building more and more invasive risk-mitigation machines based on individualization, isolation and an imperative of absolute, one-directional control. Instead, a better, safer, more sustainable future starts with acknowledging one’s place in a web of interdependent relationships.41 Among other steps, this means that instead of acting as though our biotic and abiotic infrastructures can endlessly care for us, we need to care for them in return. This entails not only planting new forests and cleaning up shorelines, but also policy decisions such as the fishing moratorium mentioned above. As anthropologist Gökçe Günel indicates, even the technologies used for the harvesting of renewable energies require maintenance: solar panels, for example, need to be wiped clean of dust and sand regularly.42 Thinking through the lens of maintenance and care also means providing infrastructures for effectively repairing machines as opposed to producing e-waste and continuously buying new ones which are thrown away once a smarter version is released. Additionally, it means respecting and paying theworkers who are cleaning our hospitals, nursing our sick and harvesting food – most of them immigrants, predominantly women43 – better, as they are the reason we have clean hospitals, transport, and food on our tables, even during a global pandemic.44
As on Earth, so too in outer space can sustainable societies only be created if the importance of reciprocal care and maintenance is recognized and accepted. A starting point for this could be the reinterpretation of humanity’s role in caring for the environment, machines, and each other, and choosing to actively reciprocate the care that these structures continuously extend towards us. All of this has to be done by no longer simply exploiting our ecosystems, but rather rebuilding them.
Réka Gál is PhD student at the Faculty of Information at University of Toronto and a Fellow at the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology. Her work unites feminist media theory and postcolonial studies with the history of science and environmental studies and explores how technological tools and scientific methods are employed to purportedly solve socio-political problems. In her dissertation, she examines the implications of human-machine interdependence in outer space for issues of sustainability and environmental justice on Earth.
The Climate Imaginary Reader is edited by the members of xtro realm artist group, Rita Süveges and Anna Zilahi, editor of visual material is Gideon Horváth.
Climate Imaginary Reader
● Introduction to Issue 9 – by Anna Zilahi
● The World as Contingent Space – by Anna Zilahi
● The Politics of Susceptibility – by Héla Hecker
● Climate Change, COVID-19, and the Space Cabin: A Politics of Care in the Shadow of Space Colonization – by Réka Patrícia Gál
● Between Two Giants: Materialism and the Social Imaginary in the Energy (Transitions) of Hungary – by John Szabo
● Beyond the Postcard: an Ecocritical Inquiry on Images of Nature – by Rita Süveges
● The Long March through Social Imagination – by Márk Losoncz
Aronowsky, Leah V. “Of Astronauts and Algae: NASA and the Dream of Multispecies Spaceflight.” Environmental Humanities 9, no. 2 (November 1, 2017): 359–77. https://doi.org/10.1215/22011919-4215343.
Blatchford, Andy. “Couple Flees to North of the Arctic Circle in Bid to Escape Covid-19.” POLITICO, March 30, 2020. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/30/couple-flees-north-arctic-circle-coronavirus-155878.
Bowker, Geoffrey C., and Susan Leigh Star. Sorting Things out: Classification and Its Consequences. First paperback edition. Inside Technology. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: The MIT Press, 2000.
Chachra, Debbie. “Why I Am Not a Maker.” The Atlantic, January 23, 2015. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/why-i-am-not-a-maker/384767/.
Czinkóczi, Sándor. “Nyugaton Most Jöttek Rá, Mennyire Rá Vannak Utalva a Kelet-Európai Ápolókra.” 444.Hu, April 4, 2020. https://444.hu/2020/04/04/nyugaton-most-jottek-ra-mennyire-ra-vannak-utalva-a-kelet-europai-apolokra.
Daczi Dóra. “’Oda akarunk visszatérni, ahol egyszer már voltunk’ – magyar űrhajóst remél az űrbiztos?” hvg.hu, November 5, 2018. https://hvg.hu/gazdasag/20181105_miniszteri_biztos_urkutatas_penz_urhajos_fejlesztes_haszon.
Diver, Sibyl, Mehana Vaughan, Merrill Baker-Médard, and Heather Lukacs. “Recognizing ‘Reciprocal Relations’ to Restore Community Access to Land and Water.” International Journal of the Commons 13, no. 1 (April 17, 2019): 400–429. https://doi.org/10.18352/ijc.881.Duffy, Brook Erin, and Jeremy Packer. (Forthcoming.) “Tupperware: Medium and Strategy of Containment.” In Ms. Understanding Media, ed. Sarah Sharma and Rianka Singh. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Federici, Silvia. Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle. PM Press, 2012.
Ferencz Orsolya. “Az ember jellemhibáit nem tűri tovább a Föld.” Interview by Teodóra Nagy. Hetek.hu, September 12, 2019. http://www.hetek.hu/belfold/201909/az_ember_jellemhibait_nem_turi_tovabb_a_fold.
Ferreira, Jennifer. “Canadian Astronauts Share Advice on Self-Isolating during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” CTV News, March 24, 2020. https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canadian-astronauts-share-advice-on-self-isolating-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-1.4866668.
Forlano, Laura. “Maintaining, Repairing and Caring for the Multiple Subject.” Continent. 6, no. 1 (March 22, 2017): 30–35.
Fuller, Richard Buckminster. Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, ed. Jaime Snyder. New edition. Baden: Müller, 2013.
Günel, Gökçe. Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate Change, and Urban Design in Abu Dhabi. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.
Haraway, Donna J. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.
Hersch, Matthew H. “Return of the Lost Spaceman: America’s Astronauts in Popular Culture, 1959–2006.” The Journal of Popular Culture 44, no. 1(2011): 73–92. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5931.2010.00820.x.
Horowitz, Maryanne Cline. “Aristotle and Woman.” Journal of the History of Biology 9, no. 2(1976): 183–213.
Jackson, Steven. “Rethinking Repair.” In Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society, ed. Tarleton Gillespie, Pablo J. Boczkowski, and Kirsten A. Foot. The MIT Press, 2014.
Kirjner, Daniel. “Painfully, from the First-Person Singular to First-Person Plural: The Role of Feminism in the Study of the Anthropocene.” In Animals in the Anthropocene: Critical Perspectives on Non-Human Futures., ed. The Human Animal Research, 4 (2015): 135–50. Sydney: Sydney University Press. https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1bh4b7h.10.
Latour, Bruno. We Have Never Been Modern. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.
Le Guin, Ursula K. The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction. Ignota Books, 2020.
Lorenz, Taylor. “Flight of the Influencers.” The New York Times, April 2, 2020, sec. Style. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/style/influencers-leave-new-york-coronavirus.html.
Marx, Karl and David McLellan. Capital: An Abridged Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Mattern, Shannon. “Maintenance and Care.” Places Journal, no. 2018 (November 20, 2018). https://doi.org/10.22269/181120.
Merchant, Carolyn. The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution. New York: Harper & Row,1989.
Mindell, David A. Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight. The MIT Press, 2011.
MTI. 2019. “Magyarország 2024-ben űrhajóst akar küldeni az űrbe.” Origo.hu, November 27, 2019. https://www.origo.hu/itthon/20191127-magyarorszag-2024ben-urhajost-kuldene-az-urbe.html.
Mumford, Lewis. Technics and Civilization. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.
“People’s Agreement of Cochabamba”. Agreement created at World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. Cochabamba, Bolivia, April 22, 2010. https://pwccc.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/peoples-agreement/.
Roberts, Sarah T., and Mél Hogan. “Left Behind: Futurist Fetishists, Prepping and the Abandonment of Earth.” B2o: An Online Journal 4, no. 2 (April 1, 2019). https://escholarship.org/uc/item/8sr8n99w#main.
Russell, James F., and David M. Klaus. “Maintenance, Reliability and Policies for Orbital Space Station Life Support Systems.” Reliability Engineering & System Safety 92, no. 6 (June 1, 2007): 808–20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ress.2006.04.020.
Salmón, Enrique. 2000. “Kincentric Ecology: Indigenous Perceptions of the Human-Nature Relationship.” Ecological Applications 10, no. 5: 1327–32. https://doi.org/10.2307/2641288.
Schwartz, John.. “To Revive Shuttle, NASA Calls on a Cool Leader.” The New York Times, April 17, 2005, sec. U.S. https://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/17/science/space/to-revive-shuttle-nasa-calls-on-a-cool-leader.html.
Sharma, Sarah. “Exit and the Extensions of Man.” transmediale, (May 8, 2017). https://transmediale.de/content/exit-and-the-extensions-of-man.
Smithers, Gregory D. 2015. “Beyond the ‘Ecological Indian’: Environmental Politics and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Modern North America.” Environmental History 20, no. 1 (January 1, 2015): 83–111. https://doi.org/10.1093/envhis/emu125.
Sofia, Zoë. “Container Technologies.” Hypatia 15, no. 2 (2000): 181–201. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1527-2001.2000.tb00322.x.
Tichi, Cecelia. Shifting Gears: Technology, Literature, Culture in Modernist America. UNC Press Books, 1987.
Vox. 2020. “How Wildlife Trade Is Linked to Coronavirus”. Uploaded on March 6, 2020. YouTube video, 8:38 min. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPpoJGYlW54.
Wajcman, Judy. TechnoFeminism. John Wiley & Sons. 2013
Weitering, Hanneke. 2020. “Stephen Colbert Calls Space Station Astronaut for Social Isolation Tips.” Space.com, (April 15, 2020). https://www.space.com/stephen-colbert-calls-space-station-astronaut-jessica-meir.html.
Whyte, Kyle Powys, and Chris Cuomo. 2016. Ethics of Caring in Environmental Ethics. Ed. Stephen M. Gardiner and Allen Thompson. Vol. 1. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199941339.013.22.
Williams, Alex, and Jonah Engel Bromwich. 2020. “The Rich Are Preparing for Coronavirus Differently.” The New York Times, (March 5, 2020), sec. Style. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/05/style/the-rich-are-preparing-for-coronavirus-differently.html.
1Sarah T. Roberts and Mél Hogan, “Left Behind: Futurist Fetishists, Prepping and the Abandonment of Earth.” B2o: An Online Journal 4, no. 2 (April 1, 2019), https://escholarship.org/uc/item/8sr8n99w
2MTI, “Magyarország 2024-ben űrhajóst akar küldeni az űrbe,” Origo.hu, November 27, 2019, https://www.origo.hu/itthon/20191127-magyarorszag-2024ben-urhajost-kuldene-az-urbe.html.
3Alex Williams and Jonah Engel Bromwich, “The Rich Are Preparing for Coronavirus Differently,” The New York Times, (March 5, 2020), sec. Style, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/05/style/the-rich-are-preparing-for-coronavirus-differently.html
4Taylor Lorenz, “Flight of the Influencers,” The New York Times, (April 2, 2020), sec. Style, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/style/influencers-leave-new-york-coronavirus.html
5Andy Blatchford, “Couple Flees to North of the Arctic Circle in Bid to Escape Covid-19,”. POLITICO, (March 30, 2020), https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/30/couple-flees-north-arctic-circle-coronavirus-155878
6Jennifer Ferreira, “Canadian Astronauts Share Advice on Self-Isolating during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” CTV News, (March 24, 2020), https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canadian-astronauts-share-advice-on-self-isolating-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-1.4866668
Also: Hanneke Weitering, 2020, “Stephen Colbert Calls Space Station Astronaut for Social Isolation Tips.” Space.com, (April 15, 2020), https://www.space.com/stephen-colbert-calls-space-station-astronaut-jessica-meir.html
7Sarah Sharma, “Exit and the Extensions of Man,” transmediale, (May 8, 2017), https://transmediale.de/content/exit-and-the-extensions-of-man.
8As Karl Marx argued, capitalist progress would have been impossible without the continuous growth of the working class: “The maintenance and reproduction of the working class is, and must ever be, a necessary condition to the reproduction of capital.” Karl Marx and David McLellan.1999. Capital: An Abridged Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 322. Subsequent feminist thinkers such as Silvia Federici have pointed out that the vast majority of this reproductive labor has been performed by women throughout history, and that this unpaid or lowly paid domestic labor has not only served as the foundation for capitalist production, but has been “the main mechanisms by which capitalism has maintained its power and kept the working class divided.” In a capitalist economic system, only paid work is understood as labor and reproductive work has historically been largely invisible, which made it possible to put women into a situation of economic dependency. Reproductive labor is not only connected to concretely reproductive and childcare-related labor, but also entails cleaning the house, cooking, and other activities related to the upkeep of a household.
Silvia Federici, Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle. (PM Press, 2012), 7.
10This passive-active distinction can be traced back all the way to the teachings of Aristotle, who argued, among other things, that women are only “mutilated men”. He believed that women are naturally passive, receptive, and need domination, and that the uterus provides only passive food for the child, while sperm provide the strength from which the embryo grows. During the medieval and early modern rediscovery of his works, Aristotle’s teachings on natural philosophy came to be accepted as universal truths. See Maryanne Cline Horowitz, “Aristotle and Woman,” Journal of the History of Biology 9, no. 2 (1976): 183.
11Zoë Sofia, “Container Technologies,” Hypatia 15, no. 2 (2000): 181–201, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1527-2001.2000.tb00322.x
also Ursula K. Le Guin, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction (Ignota Books, 2020).
As Brook Erin Duffy and Jeremy Packer demonstrate, household Tupperware not only functions as technology but is specifically media as it performs the fundamental medial functions of selecting, gathering, storing, and processing. See Brook Erin Duffy and Jeremy Packer. “Tupperware: Medium and Strategy of Containment.” In Ms. Understanding Media, ed. Sarah Sharma and Rianka Singh (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, forthcoming).
12Lewis Mumford, Technics and Civilization (University of Chicago Press, 2010).
13Judy Wajcman, TechnoFeminism. (John Wiley & Sons, 2013)
14Carolyn Merchant, The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution (New York: Harper & Row, 1989).
15 Cecelia Tichi, Shifting Gears: Technology, Literature, Culture in Modernist America. (UNC Press Books, 1987).
16Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012).
17Daniel Kirjner, “Painfully, from the First-Person Singular to First-Person Plural: The Role of Feminism in the Study of the Anthropocene,” in Animals in the Anthropocene, ed. the Human Animal Research, vol. 4, Critical Perspectives on Non-Human Futures (Sydney University Press, 2015), 135–50, https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1bh4b7h.10.
18Vox, “How Wildlife Trade Is Linked to Coronavirus”. Uploaded on March 6, 2020. YouTube video, 8:38 min. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPpoJGYlW54
19Leah V. Aronowsky, “Of Astronauts and Algae: NASA and the Dream of Multispecies Spaceflight,” Environmental Humanities 9, no. 2 (November 1, 2017), 359–77. https://doi.org/10.1215/22011919-4215343.
20While Buckminster Fuller’s renowned monograph Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969) also draws parallels between spacecraft and the Earth’s systems, Fuller’s solution to our planetary problems is based on the very kind of innovation-focused “technofix” which is the focus of this article’s criticism. See Richard Buckminster Fuller, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, ed. Jaime Snyder, New edition (Baden: Müller, 2013)
21Matthew H. Hersch, “Return of the Lost Spaceman: America’s Astronauts in Popular Culture, 1959–2006,” The Journal of Popular Culture 44, no. 1 (2011): 73–92. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5931.2010.00820.x.
22David A. Mindell, Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight. (MIT Press, 2011), 136.
23James F. Russell and David M. Klaus, “Maintenance, Reliability and Policies for Orbital Space Station Life Support Systems,” Reliability Engineering & System Safety 92, no. 6 (June 1, 2007): 808–20, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ress.2006.04.020.
24John Schwartz, “To Revive Shuttle, NASA Calls on a Cool Leader,” The New York Times, April 17, 2005, sec. U.S., https://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/17/science/space/to-revive-shuttle-nasa-calls-on-a-cool-leader.html.
25Debbie Chachra, “Why I Am Not a Maker,” The Atlantic, January 23, 2015,. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/why-i-am-not-a-maker/384767/.
26Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, Sorting Things out: Classification and Its Consequences, First paperback edition, Inside Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts London, England: The MIT Press, 2000), as pointed out in Steven Jackson, “Rethinking Repair,” in Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Materiality, and Society, ed. Tarleton Gillespie, Pablo J. Boczkowski, and Kirsten A. Foot (MIT Press, 2014), 230.
27Daczi Dóra, “Oda akarunk visszatérni, ahol egyszer már voltunk” – magyar űrhajóst remél az űrbiztos?,” hvg.hu, (November 5, 2018), https://hvg.hu/gazdasag/20181105_miniszteri_biztos_urkutatas_penz_urhajos_fejlesztes_haszon
28Laura Forlano, “Maintaining, Repairing and Caring for the Multiple Subject,”. Continent. 6, no. 1 (March 22, 2017): 30–35.
29Sibyl Diver et al., “Recognizing ‘Reciprocal Relations’ to Restore Community Access to Land and Water,” International Journal of the Commons 13, no. 1 (April 17, 2019): 400–429, https://doi.org/10.18352/ijc.881
30Potawatomi scholars Kyle P. Whyte and Chris Cuomo cite Anishnaabe scholar Deb McGregor, who writes: “We must look at the life that water supports (plants/medicines, animals, people, birds, etc.) and the life that supports water (e.g. the earth, the rain, the fish). Water has a role and a responsibility to fulfill, just as people do. We do not have the right to interfere with water’s duties to the rest of Creation. Indigenous knowledge tells us that water is the blood of Mother Earth and that water itself is considered a living entity with just as much right to live as we have”. See Kyle Powys Whyte and Chris Cuomo, Ethics of Caring in Environmental Ethics, ed. Stephen M. Gardiner and Allen Thompson, vol. 1 (Oxford University Press, 2016), 12, https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199941339.013.22
31Enrique Salmón, “Kincentric Ecology: Indigenous Perceptions of the Human-Nature Relationship,” Ecological Applications 10, no. 5 (2000): 1327–32, https://doi.org/10.2307/2641288
32Gregory D. Smithers, “Beyond the ‘Ecological Indian’: Environmental Politics and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Modern North America,” Environmental History 20, no. 1 (January 1, 2015): 83–111, https://doi.org/10.1093/envhis/emu125
33Whyte and Cuomo, Ethics of Caring
34“People’s Agreement of Cochabamba,” Agreement created at The World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, Cochabamba, Bolivia, (April 22, 2010), https://pwccc.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/peoples-agreement/
35Whyte and Cuomo. Ethics of Caring.16.
36Jackson. Rethinking Repair. 221.
38Orsolya Ferencz, 2019. “Az ember jellemhibáit nem tűri tovább a Föld.” Interview by Teodóra Nagy. Hetek.hu, (September 12, 2019), http://www.hetek.hu/belfold/201909/az_ember_jellemhibait_nem_turi_tovabb_a_fold
39Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Experimental Futures: Technological Lives, Scientific Arts, Anthropological Voices (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016).
40Shannon Mattern, “Maintenance and Care,” Places Journal, no. 2018 (November 20, 2018), https://doi.org/10.22269/181120
41Whyte and Cuomo. Ethics of Caring.
42Gökçe Günel, Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate Change, and Urban Design in Abu Dhabi. (Duke University Press, 2019), 59.
43Referred to by Ariel Salleh as “metaindustrial class,” see Rita Süveges “Beyond the Postcard – an Ecocritical Inquiry on Images of Nature”, In.: Climate Imaginary reader, Mezosfera, Issue 9, (2020)
44Sándor Czinkóczi, “Nyugaton Most Jöttek Rá, Mennyire Rá Vannak Utalva a Kelet-Európai Ápolókra,” 444.hu, (April 4, 2020), https://444.hu/2020/04/04/nyugaton-most-jottek-ra-mennyire-ra-vannak-utalva-a-kelet-europai-apolokra