Becoming Planetary

In a time of catastrophic climate change, the “planetary” often refers to a universal figure, scale and approach to earthly troubles. Yet how are the planetary and planetary subjects not self-evident entities, but rather forms of collective responsibility in the making? By engaging with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s analysis of the planetary, and Sylvia Wynter’s reconsideration of the human as praxis, this article proposes a project of being planetary as praxis. Such a project works toward pluralistic articulations of the planetary, which would engage with difference and justice.

This text is a theoretical exploration that informs the Planetary Praxis research group. It also aligns with the ethos of the Planetarities series, which I co-edit with Ros Gray and Shela Sheikh through Goldsmiths Press.

Originally published in e-flux Architecture (October 2018) as part of the “Accumulation” collection edited by Daniel Barber. Future abbreviated and reprinted versions of “Becoming Planetary” are forthcoming in a special issue on the Planetary from Multitudes; in an exhibition catalog with Arts Catalyst; and in the collection Accumulation, edited by Daniel Barber with the University of Minnesota Press.