Michael Leung / ON LAND 04: Intergalactic Thinking 「在地」四:系際思維

Michael Leung / ON LAND 04: Intergalactic Thinking 「在地」四:系際思維

Michael Leung 梁志剛

Michael Leung 梁志剛

發表於: 29 May 2020

Michael Leung shuttles between empirical planes, intellectual horizons and concrete dwellings of diverged spatio-temporal orderings… to assert a research paradigm that is multi-species, and art that is energy running through all realms of living. 「萬物」在梁志剛的漂流路上漸成一張網,少數邊緣的、系統與系統之間的、跨族類的都可以平放或結連。思路無邊,在無政府主義狀態到專制主義運作之間,香港的形影浮現。學術研究如何實踐系際思維,超越時空?


2020.02.25 Intergalactic-Thinking 

We will not lose ourselves in the elaboration of theories or ideologies.
Our words will be elemental. We write with dirt under our fingernails.
7. The Eight Principles of Uncivilisation, Uncivilisation: The Dark Mountain Manifesto

Due to the time difference and patchy internet, it has been difficult to join our Wanwu Practice Group meetings in Hong Kong. Wanwu 萬物 is our art and ecology PhD research group composed of PhD students, researchers and Zheng Bo, our supervisor. In Marseille with a fully charged smartphone and laptop I visited three libraries: a university library, a public library and a music library. All three were closed, the former not accessible to non-students. Outside Aix-Marseille Université there was some graffiti relating to a climate change rally and an insurrectional text, written in the elegant cursive writing one can see all over France.

Sitting in the common space and entrance area of a social centre, I sat down and read the introduction to Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life by Michael Marder that was later presented in great detail by my classmate Sarah in our online meeting. The philosophical text made me think about the minoritarians mentioned in Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus, Capitalism and Schizophrenia and contagion, coincidently. It seemed that the news channels broadcasting in various Algerian cafes that I visited stuck with me (are people still doing the Lunch with You protests in Hong Kong?). [1]

The contagion that D&G refer to is one about multispecies encounters, such as the wasp and orchid, through pollination. I think of a public statue that I saw recently that reminded me of the Capitoline Wolf and the time our transparent compost box at Spring Workshop was inaugurated with menstrual blood in 2014. Later, all our DNA re-entered the plants. Horizontal and rhizomatic, like the yellow ginger at Wang Chau Village, is this and the left-growing kinship that came from our Almanac (which I will share at INLAND and we will gift to Le Taslu library at the ZAD Notre-Dame-des-Landes) the contagion that D&G wrote of? Or is this printed matter, gestures and inclusion of plants, such as the jackfruit, merely a fetishisation as opposed to the nascent vegetal ontology Marder wrote of?

Attempting an insect ontology I wrote a fictional story that imagines a worker bee returning to a beehive that had already left in November 2019 due to the relentless tear gas fired by the Hong Kong Police Force along Nathan Road — a three-kilometre stretch of toxicity, residue from tear gas and irritant blue water from the water cannons. The story was shared in an art zine in Mainland China where the Anti-Extradition Bill movement is distorted into a riot fighting for independence, amongst other things. The Purge trailer détournement mentions the word ‘anarchy’ in bold uppercase letters. Decentralised with moments of mutual aid and the determination of those always active, there are elements of true anarchy in the movement, but as always the spectacle fails to share this to the general public.

Towards the end of our Wanwu call, Bo shared Beyond the End of the World website and encouraged us to situate our research in the current epoch of climate change, climate anxiety and social justice. Despite my (PhD) writer’s anxiety, fuelled by my low Academia “score,” it feels like I’m on the right path and I briefly shared my initial thoughts on the radicality of collectives I have met in Europe in reference to co-purchasing land and liberating territory (see The Collective). We ended the call by saying good night to each other and as planned, I made my way to CIRA, the Centre International de Recherches sure l’Anarchisme (in English, the International Centre of Anarchist Research).

As expected at CIRA, the multi-cultural volunteers were welcoming and shared with me Hong Kong anarchist printed matter published before I was born. It was moving to trace friends’ past footsteps, and with organisers of last year’s Black Book Assembly in Hong Kong support the cataloging of materials placed in a folder labelled ‘Chinois’ (Chinese, in French). I donated six Hong Kong land resistance zines with “anarchist flavour” and a Bulgarian anarchist book published in 2019 that regrettably kept its “man-archist” pronouns with words such as “brotherhood.” Perhaps I should’ve made a note of some kind…

Departing from CIRA and Marseille I think about archiving in the epoch of contagion and what I have donated to Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong (the six aforementioned zines). The above encounters, both over the internet and in person, and especially with J. the gender studies professor with whom I shared files with after dinner, prompt me to plough on, keep writing, sharing and to think from a multi-species perspective—be it plants, bees, the black cat, worms, beech trees, or the bocage at the ZAD that was once used by the state to divide and enclose common lands, but was ironically later furiously defended by farmers and ZADistes, some of whom are anarchists, anti-speciesists, primitivists and true communists—not the Chinese Community Party kind!

My art is grounded in the belief of one universal energy which runs through everything:
from insect to man, from man to spectre, from spectre to plant from plant to galaxy.
Ana Mendieta, A Selection of Statements and Notes

25th February 2020, train leaving Marseille





[1] https://t.me/guardiansofhongkong/19799 

Related Readings:

Michael Leung’s <ON LAND> series

Le Collectif
Floating Projects Collective 2023