Underground Fetishism

Godofredo Pereira

If we conceive of planetary politics as a dynamic system, we might say that its most powerful vector of attraction is the underground. As in Jules Verne’s description in Voyage to the Centre of the Earth, the underground today is still a mysterious domain, peopled by skulls, riches, and strange creatures. But this mystery has only reinforced its power of attraction, and contrary to the sixties’ claim that the space was the final frontier, what the last decades have shown is a relentless rediscovery of the underground. In fact the underground should be conceived, not as one homogenous entity, but as a zone where new unforeseen attractors are constantly emerging. But since it is as much a resource for economic, military, and scientific claims––as it is for sacred, religious and political ones––the attempts at prediction and surveillance regarding it participate in its constitution as a fetish, emerging at the encounter of incommensurable epistemic, technological and political projects. If humanity placed satellites in the sky, it was so that today they could survey the earth’s surface, attempting to decipher its inner behaviors.

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