re:)Fermenting culture: a return to insight through gut logic

Sunday, November 12, 2017

While my main work resides with Artist as Family, performing our day to day neopeasant home-economy radicalism or continuing to facilitate the network of community gardens in our home town, I have my own side projects always brewing away. Each day I research and/or write for two hours. Anymore than this and I feel myself becoming just another privileged Western thinker relying on my resources to be brought to me in the most earth-damaging intransigent way. I rail against such reliance to fuel my thought, and as a result (and being so odd within my culture) I'm writing work that doesn't yet have a wide readership, let alone a publisher in the conventional sense. This enables a wonderful freedom to experiment and be bold. Such obscurity is indeed a liberty, and paid for in the vegetables I grow myself with friends and family. 

This year, after the compromises I felt co-writing The Art of Free Travel (compromises not with my awesome co-writer, but with the monetary demands placed on the book and how that eroded the spirit of it), I have returned to the fertile place of home and community publishing. My many editors have been my considerable brain trust – friends, family and the community of authors who I rate so highly. The result is this book, beautifully and sensitively designed by Adele Del Signore. 
The writing of re:)Fermenting culture has been an experiment which placed equal responsibility on the gut to inform the book's trajectory as another significant centre for logic and knowing. The mind in Western thought dominates everything, constructing a Cartesian blindness that is inherently masculine and thus, I argue, has constructed a gender-lopsidedness that has contributed significantly to climate, species, societal and ecological ruinations. To uncover this assertion I've gone right back, well before Descartes (he is just part of the succession of such lopsidedness), back to early Greece, to the Pandora myth and to the related myth of Prometheus and Epimetheus – the West's yin and yang story – a precautionary tale of twinned opposites concerning technology and memory that has long been forgotten.

My book is also an experiment in radical distribution. I'm going to steal it into bookshops and leave it in many more places besides. It's Free to take: pay later model is as original in Australian publishing as the content, and this ethico-politic, modelled on the honesty system of the ubiquitous Aussie farmgate stall, is another conceptual unsettling of bourgeois urban publishing. My only financial aim is to recuperate the modest expenses to pay for its production. The book is light and therefore cheap to send and distribute on foot, or via bicycle and public transport, but weighty in its cultural scope. A culture only of mind, of gender-lopsidedness, I argue, has become a culture of sterility, extraction and imperialism. This culture attacks our gut's logic. The gut is the Pandoran hub of human health, an underworld where 90% of serotonin and 50% of dopamine is produced, that is if the gut is given to kindly. I argue in re:)Fermenting culture the trouble that springs from gut reductionism (refined sugars, antibiotics, pesticides, acidic and non-fibre foods) is not to be underestimated.

So, this has been a snapshot into my cerebral contribution to the flowering earth this year. If you'd like an ebook version of it I will send it through for free. Just send me an email. But if you're like me and prefer to read off-screen it will cost you $10 plus postage. You can also barter me for a hardcopy. Please feel comfortable to get in touch.


Here's the media release for those wishing it,

and here is the invitation to come to the book warming in our garden on the 26 November.

Happy gut reading wildly folk!

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