ANA TEIXEIRA PINTOAlien Economies
When it first emerged, “nostalgia” was described as a medical condition. The term was coined in 1688 by the Swiss physician Johannes Hofer, who tended to soldiers suffering from a mysterious ailment: a virulent homesickness, whose symptoms included high fever, stomach ache, and fainting spells. The condition later spread to proletarianised peasants who, forced into factory work, pined for their ancestral lifestyles. In 2003, Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht, identified another form of displacement-related psychic distress, and named it “solastalgia.” Much like nostalgia, solastalgia hinges on a sense of alienation from one’s own environment. But whereas nostalgia relates to the uprooting of an individual, sufferers of solastalgia typically stay put – it’s their environment that gradually disappears.
Ana Teixeira Pinto is writer and cultural theorist. She is a lecturer at Universität der Künste, Berlin, and a research fellow at Leuphana University, Lüneburg. Her writings have appeared in publications such as e-flux journal, art-agenda, Mousse, Frieze/de, Domus, Inaethetics, Manifesta Journal, or Texte zur Kunst. She is the editor of The Reluctant Narrator (2014) and has recently contributed to Alleys of Your Mind: Augmented Intelligence and its Traumas (ed. Matteo Pasquinelli, 2015) and Nervöse Systeme (ed. Anselm Franke, Stephanie Hankey and Marek Tuszynski, 2016).