Podcast Series - Walking With Water

Episode 8: Deep Implicancy

Denise Ferreira da Silva

In this podcast, Brazilian artist, philosopher, Professor and Director of the Institute for Social Justice at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Denise Ferreira da Silva, speaks about how she perceives the notions of timelessness and deep implicancy.

Her book Unpayable Debt (2022), refers to a continuous temporality born from chaos and resisting figuration and dating. According to her, "past" and "history" are only different stages, transmutations and cosmological interconnections of the present. At the same time, she describes a reimagined pre-life cosmos of gathered and imagined knowledge as deep implicancy. This phenomenon corresponds to our time by encompassing "the movement of people, clouds, ideas, the earth, and the migration of matter, at the quantum level, from one state to another."

During the Public Program in Noví Sad, we watched the film 4 Waters: Deep Implicancy, directed in collaboration with the filmmaker Arjuna Neuman. In this, da Silva's philosophical theory takes shape in what she calls "elemental cinema", a meditation on materiality and quantum parts based on geometric forms and mathematics. It concerns an immersive and pre-cosmic vision of the world, which explores experiences of entanglement and ways of "thinking the planet" based on fundamental relationships.

The film makes connections between the extraction of land and people -mining and slavery- with today's police violence. The visual and conceptual elements of the film create a collage with pictures of nature and images of real situations from YouTube or drones, which serve as military tools for control. The global crisis appears as a result of extractive thinking and endless racial and natural violence cycles.

Another fundamental element of the film is the sound and its haptic capacity. Inspired by peri-acoustics, Ferreira da Silva comments: "Sound is vibration. It propagates through everything. So I can hear with my hands. This more evident haptic aspect of sound is a reminder of how vision is haptic. Our eyes refract light (electromagnetic waves) emitted by things around us, which the brain translates into images. These waves are 'sensed' by the cornea and the retina, but they emit radiation that 'touches' us. I guess what I am trying to say is that the haptic applies also to vision.

On all these ideas, she further elaborated during her lecture, which followed the film's projection. Here we present some extracts of her thoughts regarding the essential need for a radical philosophical reorientation which honours the interconnection between all species, planetary events and natural facts, or what can offer an alternative to the violent, segregated world we have inherited.