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Zoogenesis - Richard Iveson

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Zoogenesis - Thinking Encounter with Animals
Richard Iveson
Paperback / softback
Pavement Books
UK Publication Date

Zoogenesis: Thinking Encounter with Animals offers radical new possibilities for encountering and thinking with other animals, and thus for the politics of animal liberation. Examining the machinations of power that legitimize the killing of nonhuman animals, Zoogenesis shows too how thoroughly entangled they are with the 'noncriminal' putting to death of human animals. Such legitimation consists in a theatrics of displacement that transforms singular, nonsubstitutable living beings into mute, subjugated bodies that may be slaughtered but never murdered. Nothing less than the economy of genocide, Iveson thereafter explores the possibility of interventions that function in the opposite direction to this 'animalizing' displacement - interventions that potentially make it unthinkable that living beings can be 'legitimately' slaughtered. Along the way, Zoogenesis tracks just such 'animal encounters' across various disciplinary boundaries - stumbling across their traces in a short story by Franz Kafka, in the bathroom of Jacques Derrida, in a politically galvanising slogan, in the deaths of centipedes both actual and fictional, in the newfound plasticity of the gene, and in the sharing of an inhuman knowledge that saves novelist William S. Burroughs from a life of deadly ignorance. Such encounters, argues Iveson, are zoo-genetic, with zoogenesis naming the emergence of a new living being that interrupts habitual instrumentalisation and exploitation. With this creative event, a new conception of the political emerges which, as the necessary supplement of an ethical demand, offers potentially radical new ways of being with other animals.

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