Carlos Martinez del Rio

Me and my love

THEMES: Technology, Personal Practice  |  WORKSHOP: Synthesis

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Biography

Carlos Martinez del Rio

Carlos Martinez del Rio grew up surrounded by cow dung and books. In the morning he chased cattle and at night he read. He discovered natural history through W. H. Hudson, Dersu Uzala, Gilbert White and Horacio Quiroga. He learned about nature on horseback and through the stories of old vaqueros. After the family ranch was sold he became a beach/mountain bum but found the bumming life incomplete. A Ph.D. allowed him to make a living as a naturalist that teaches science. He has a disorganized and catholic love for wild creatures. He has explored how phainopeplas disperse mistletoes, why hummingbirds can digest table sugar but robins cannot, and why temperature makes hawkmoths uncertain pollinators. Most recently, he learned how to count neutrons with a variety of big and rather ugly machines to find out how much white-winged doves depend on saguaros and why there are so few marine songbirds. By accident rather than by inclination, he has become a cyborg naturalist that expands his very limited human umwelt with a variety of cutting-edge technologies. However, his technophilia is tempered by the conviction that it is only by being outside (cold and hot, dirty and exhausted), in proximity and relationship with wild, feral, and domestic fellow creatures that he can become wiser and be happy. The isotopic composition of his body is that of the land where the mountains meet the prairie. He lives in Wyoming.

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Transcript

I fear, and I must confess it, it's a fear of technology. I fear that there are tradeoffs in time, and the more time I spend on the computer, the less time I will spend in direct physical contact with nature. This may be just a reflection of my age. I feel that I have 15 to 20 years of physical life, and I want to touch nature with all my senses. I want to be immersed in nature, and I don't want no damn instrument to get between me and my love.

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