Whereas the Sun

Elizabeth Shores

Project Description:
“My name is Elizabeth Shores and I am the sole proprietor of the Legal Liability Corporation known as My Presence is Productive (MPIP). I created MPIP in 2015 as a conceptual strategy to eliminate the legal distinction between my research and myself. The goal of MPIP is to effectuate alternative methodological strategies to portray objective data with regards to the monetization of land.

When Kristen Neville Taylor and Ricky Yanas reached out to invite me to join you today, I spent some time considering their request for me to develop a tool or strategy to reimagine how solar energy could function in the future. It got me thinking about what it might feel like to be the sun and how we can try to preemptively protect it. The sun has been providing the human and more-than-human world with a free ‘resource’ for so many billions of years. We talk about exploiting it, and we literally use that word exploiting as if it were free. But when we look at anything that we exploit there is always long term harm from it whether it’s people, natural resources, the more-than-human-world, etc.

And so, in order to encourage the ethical management of solar resources we are moving to legally grant the sun personhood in the same way that other natural resources have been granted personhood. Today, I have asked my attorney, Vikram Patel, to join us and read My Presence is Productive’s formal recognition of the Sun’s environmental personhood into the public record.”

Image description:
Attorney Vikram Patel’s personal notations written upon My Presence is Productive’s formal recognition of the Sun’s environmental personhood that was read into the public record during the Solar Imaginaries event on March 4, 2021.

Further Reading:
Gordon, G. J. (2019). Environmental Personhood. Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, 43(1).
Soldier, L. L. (2017). WHEREAS: Poems. United States: Graywolf Press.