thinking with things

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Mai, part of the Baba and Mai statue honouring the British Indian indentured labourers who arrived in Suriname between 1873 and 1916. Photo: Sonja Boon

Thinking about intra-action, entanglement, actor networks, agency, and trans-corporeailty….trying to work through the relationships between bodies and landscapes and histories and memories.

A few quotes from two different readings:

From Astrida Neimanis and Rachel Loewen Walker’s “Weathering: Climate Change and the “Thick Time” of Transcorporeality”

 “Weathering, then, is a logic, a way of being/becoming, or a mode of affecting and differentiating that brings humans into relation with more-than-human weather. We can grasp the transcorporeality of weathering as a spatial overlap of human bodies and weathery nature. Rain might extend into our arthritic joints, sun might literally color our skin, and the chill of the wind might echo through the hidden hallways of our eardrums. But not coincidentally, the idea of weathering also invokes a certain perdurance—a getting on with, a getting by, a getting through.” (560)

From Jane Bennett’s 2010 book, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things

 “How would political responses to public problems change were we to take seriously the vitality of (nonhuman) bodies? By ‘vitality’ I mea the capacity of things – edibles, commodities, storms, metals – not only to impede or block the will and designs of humans but also to act as quasi agents or forces with trajectories, propensities, or tendencies of their own.” (viii)

“If we do not know just how it is that human agency operates, how can we be so sure that the processes through which nonhumans make their mark are qualitatively different?” (14)

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The Fisher’s Wife statue, Vlissingen, The Netherlands. Photo: Sonja Boon

References:

Bennett, Jane. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke UP, 2010.

Neimanis, Astrida and Rachel Loewen Walker. “Weathering: Climate Change and the ‘Thick Time’ of Transcorporeality.” Hypatia 29.3 (2014): 558-575.

 

(c) Sonja Boon (sboon @ mun.ca), 2016.

 

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