Friday, November 26, 2010

caring, for bodies, senses, feelings, ecologies

Tuesday, 30 November – caring, for bodies, senses, feelings, ecologies
• Despret, “Body” (emailed)
• Kier, manuscript (emailed)
• Hayward, “FingeryEyes” (emailed)

• (optional): read Haraway, Companion Species Manifesto 
• (optional): investigate Bruno Latour's website. I recommend Article 77: How to talk about the body  

• links for fun of various sorts:
= from Bryan: Cross-Species Dining from Edible Geography
= Polypolis 
=Intro to Debates in Transgender, Queer and Feminist Theory at publisher website   

Hayward now published at (with UMD login):  

Hayward 2010: 582: 
"To see, to feel, to sense, and to touch—“fingeryeyes”—slide into each other,
making new prepositions of observation: seeing with tact; touching by eye; feeling
from vision.6 Fingeryeyes synaesthetically blur distinctions that Jennifer Fisher
(1997), a scholar of hapticity, describes: “The haptic sense, comprising the tactile,
kinæsthetic and proprioceptive senses, describes aspects of engagement that are
qualitatively distinct from the capabilities of the visual sense . . . where the visual
sense permits a transcendent, distant and arguably disconnected, point-of-view,
the haptic sense functions by contiguity, contact and resonance.” Fingers register
the optic, hovering not only between touch and sight but also between animal and
human, incorporating these alterations into morphology and behavior. Sensing, as
the coral teach me, is not so neat. 

"Fingers are of course not the only arbiters of the verb to touch; that is to
say, our eyes are contiguous with—not divisible from—the body’s sensorium.
Embodied vision is necessarily accreted by the other senses and their amplification.
In this way, sight is of the body, not just in the body, and this effects a distributed
sensuousness. The kind of digit-sight vivification described here attempts to answer
questions posed by Natasha Myers: “Can our visualization technologies be used to
implicate our bodies, rather than alienate them? Can our bodies’ tacit knowledge
be brought into play to add depth to biological strategies?” (2005:262). Crossing
the animating impact of nerve organs, fingeryeyes diffract seeing through touching;
optical groping, or tactful eyes, haptically and visually orient the sensual body
across mediums." 

584: "By materiality, I mean as Marshall McLuhan put it, that “the medium
is the message,” such that matter is not only a dynamic becoming (Barad 2003)
but is also a transmedium mediation—a mediation through which surfaces are
not produced as refrains, but as lenses. Passing through creates remainders of
filterings that result in texture. Boundaries remain refracted interfaces of passage,
prepositional orientations. Texture is the unmetabolizable more of animate forces
moving across bodies and objects."

Hayward refers to Stefan Helmreich's work on reefs: one such essay is now located here: 


Kier 2010:
"I contend that everybody on the planet is now encompassed within the category of transgender. I illustrate this proposition tracing some of the not-so-visible links of how this shared rearrangement of sex and re/production is unfolding. I also explain how we might be better off responding to this rearrangement not through fear of the eco-catastrophic assumptions transsex invokes, but through embracing our shared interdependent transsex, a term that I will define in detail later in the essay. For now, shared interdependent transsex is about queering ideas of re/production referring to dynamic ecosystemic relations of multiple “bodies,” energies, and things—animals, humans, lakes, plants, uranium, etc—which compose broader economic re/productive relations and energies of the bioscape.[i]  Shared interdependent transsex refers to “bodies” as constant process, relations, adaptations, and metabolisms, engaged in varying degrees of re/productive and economic relations with multiple other “bodies,” substances, and things, in which no normal concept of re/production based on our common categories of sex, gender, and sexuality exists. It is a phrase questioning human-centered understandings of re/production, family, species and kind that align with developments of agriculture, capitalism and the rise of the corporate (trans)national state as a governing apparatus that increasingly manages the basic elements necessary for human and animal life; e.g., water, food, shelter, meaningful work, pleasure, and a re/productive landscape and/or waterscape The perpetual transformations and adaptations that transsex constantly engages in order to re/produce is what “bodies” have in common. Commonality does not mean sameness and crosses populations, species, and things of incalculable differences.

"[i] I use the term bioscape instead of biosphere for a few different reasons. The term biosphere conjures assumptions of life contained within a round objectified planet earth.  Bioscape here refers to both life and energies in relation to an imperfect spherical earth, but also its relations to multiple other possible planes, elements, assemblages, and processes. These various scapes may or may not be considered “alive” by conventional human standards, but all contain energy in some form and/or relation and from or for some time. Commercial and military jetscapes, oilscapes, foodscapes, microwavescapes, surveillancescapes, mountainscapes, sunscapes, and waterscapes, are a few examples of various systemic energy infrastructures. Bioscapes is a terminology tactic to unpack various processes, components, and “bodies” within, among and beyond the biosphere."

Despret 2004: 130-131:
"...when Lorenz talks about goose's love as very similar to humans love, we are not going to claim that his goose is anthropomorphous, nor that humans are 'goosomorphous.' In some sense, Lorenz, producing a goose body, may be said to be 'goosomorphous.' It is because he could love in a goose's world, because he could produce an affected body... that he could compare its love to our own (which allows him to suggest that it is precisely in their manner of falling love that many birds and mammals behave like humans). Of course, in some sense we could say that Lorenz talking about goose's love is anthropomorphic. He uses human words, but this anthropomorphism is something more than a simple attribution: as long as his body is producing and being produced by a new identity, this experience is a new way of being human, which adds new identities. Therefore, being anthropomorphic means here to add new definitions to what it is to be a human being. Lorenz adds new meanings to love, and new identities that provide these new meanings. This practice of domestication is, once more, an anthropo-zoo-genetic practice. //

"This is a new articulation of 'withness,' an underdetermined articulation of 'being with' that makes us suggest that, finally, when Lorenz talks of love, he does not articular human words. The opposite: Lorenz is articulated by the setting he created. The setting is articulating new ways of talking, new ways of being human with non-human, human with goose, goose with human....

"Lorenz not only arouses a subject from the point of view his body is constructing, but he is himself activated by the one he gave existence to. He is activated as a subject both creating and created by passions. What passion means.... It means to care....

"To 'de-passion' knowledge does not give us a more objective world, it just gives us a world 'without us'; and therefore, without 'them' -- long as this world appears as a world 'we don't care for,' it also becomes an impoverished world, a world of minds without bodies, of bodies without minds, bodies without hearts, expectations, interests, a world of enthusiastic automata observing strange and mute creatures; in other words, a poorly articulated (and poorly articulating) world." 


Long Marine Lab pictures from Anya:

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