Slime Dynamics

Slime Dynamics
by Ben Woodard
Zero Books, September 2012
84 pages / $14.95  Buy from Amazon








Ben Woodard’s SLIME DYNAMICS, recently released by Zero Books, offers a continuing exploration of subjects and modes of thinking developed over the last few years within the realm of philosophy that has donned the title of “speculative realism.” Woodard concerns himself primarily, both in this book and in his academic engagements, with the ideas of Dark Vitalism, which, as the book posits is

…the sickening realization of an inhospitable universe, stating that the production of life as an accidental event in time which is then contorted and bent by the banality of space, of our particular (and just as accidental) universal geometry and then further ravaged by accident, context, feedback and the degradation of wear and age.

Taking Dark Vitalism as its launching point Woodard continues to trace the idea of slime as “a viable physical and metaphysical object necessary to produce a eralist bio-philosophy void of anthrocentricity.” A turn away from anthromorphism, away from humanism perhaps, is another trade mark of developing thought, as it recenters the organicism of the world, the infinitude (outside of the phenomenological existence of human-beings–aka what came before Beings, what can come after, what this means). These continuing strands are carried throughout the short study in true continental style, vis a vis literary horror fiction, horror movies, video games and comics. This presents a fun context, at least for someone as genre obsessed as I am, to explore larger concepts.

While ultimately not utterly convincing in its case-studies, Woodard’s book does prove to be a fully engaging read and an interesting footnote on the development of speculative realism, specifically that of dark vitalism and the uncanny terror of the world carrying on without us.

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  1. jose Alvarado

      Sounds like Lovecraft.

  2. Cassandra Troyan

      !!!, after In The Dust of This Planet, this is a much appreciate extension of sorts. I see this turn from anthromorphism not as an issue of turning away from humanism, but opening up towards the belief that even matter itself has a desire to return to an innate level of activity. The death-drive leading to the life of organic sub-matter, or potentially Freud’s “oceanic feeling” pulling the existential thread of desire itself through “Beings” rather than as an A priori assumption.

  3. Jeff Nagy

      “The universe is a million billion light-years
      wide, and every inch of it would kill you if you went there. This is the
      position of the universe with regards to human life.” – Martin Amis, speculative realist

  4. alan

      Philosophy or pseudo-academic prose poetry? I admire the imagery here, but the pretense of presenting critical thinking strikes me as verging on charlatanism. Why not be honest about it and switch genres?