'Atmospheric negations: Weaponising breathing, attuning irreducible bodies' by Mikko Joronen published in Environment and Planning D

Atmospheric negations: Weaponising breathing, attuning irreducible bodies

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Abstract: This paper elaborates various ways in which atmospheric negations operate by weaponising bodily vulnerability to air. It shows, firstly, how bodies remain exposed to colonial proximities of respiratory, olfactory, and sonic violence with ways that are constituted through negating site- and body-spheres. It highlights these spheric materialities by discussing the use of tear gas and skunk water, bombing of chemical warehouses, and the sonic settler aggression in Palestine, further arguing that we need to pay more attention to the irreducibility of the body to such violent orchestrations of atmospheric. Here the irreducibility of the body and the incapacity of the spheric become key matters related to what is called, secondly, the reciprocal sphereological vulnerability between the corporeal and the spheric. By paying particular attention to difference between breathing and attunement, the paper shows how a negative limit condition resides at the heart of what constitutes sphere-dwelling. Here an ontological shift in thinking atmospheric is suggested, one that starts, not from current framings aligned around the notions of vitality, affirmation, and relationality, but from the weaponisation of the fundamental incapacity of the body to overcome its own vulnerability to the air it breathes.