Karen Barad. Interspecies listening.

“...The point here is not merely to use non/humans as tools to think with, but in thinking with them to face our ethical obligations to them, for they are not merely tools for our use but real living beings (and I include in this category “inanimate”as well as “animate” beings). A related point is to avoid the pitfall of positioning everything in relation to the human and to embrace a commitment to being attentive to the activity of each critter in its ongoing intra-active engagement with and as part of the world it participates in materializing.”

I’ve been thinking about whether to go the step or giving the sonified objects a human voice or just signifying in a more abstract thinglike way. Still not sure which way to go but it’s reassuring that she finds it a useful tool and not over the top. She sees it as an “intervention for shaking loose the ...toxic scales of anthropocentrism.”

The creative decision for me in this project is the degree of agency and aliveness that an object exhibits. 

just like Barad I don’t believe anthropomorphizing with that specific intention but if doing so a little bit can delete the perceived hard line between human and nonhuman is helpful then it could be worth making the step. She suggests opening up a conversation with nature thigh not about nature to other humans. How to open up possibilities of agency to plants? I plan to put sensors on plants to see or I can at least conjure a semblance of agency that could very well be there in the first place. It’s a small exercise but it will get people to think how else we can open up to door to inter species listening  

 Of course she is suggesting open up the conversation with nonhumans on an other level - of really giving them a chance, of “doing the work of it takes to truly enable a response...removing (some of) the weight of human impossibilities.”



As an aside, I find the social amoeba and communist comparison interesting

There is certainly ways in which these blobs exhibit strength of collaboration and challenge the highly individualistic self perceptions- that are both really valuable but also get us into anthropocene troubles -  we have in western countries especially.