Animate Planet: Making Visceral Sense of Living in a High-Tech Ecologically Damaged World
Kath Weston is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Virginia. A Guggenheim Fellow and two-time winner of the Ruth Benedict Prize, Weston is the author of several books, including Traveling Light: On the Road with America's Poor; Gender in Real Time: Power and Transience in a Visual Age; and Families We Choose: Lesbians, Gays, Kinship.
Not all forms of intimate bodily encounters with ecological “resources” are desirable, or desired. After the 2011 Great Tōhoku earthquake/tsunami led to meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, many Japanese residents who found official data unreliable decided to take their own radiation measurements. Because the body’s senses cannot detect radiation directly, they had to seize the means of perception by acquiring equipment such as Geiger counters. In order to make meaningful use of this equipment, they then began to familiarize themselves with aspects of nuclear science. Some used crowdsourced maps of radioactive hotspots and other digital technologies to disseminate...