Accepted paper:

Porous skin: breathing through the prism of the holey body

Authors:

Marijn Nieuwenhuis

Paper short abstract:

The skin is a body's largest organ, both metaphor and materiality. It constitutes a person's exteriority on which meaning is inscribed. My contribution challenges the modern idea of the skin's imagined solidity by returning to an older set of ideas that approach the body as porous and atmospheric

Paper long abstract:

The skin is a body's largest organ, both a metaphor and a materiality. It constitutes a person's exteriority on which meaning is inscribed. My contribution challenges the modern idea of the skin's imagined solidity by returning to an older set of ideas that approach the body as porous and atmospheric. I offer an understanding of the body that is based on its glands, crevices, pores and holes that blur dichotomies of inside and outside. In other words, a breathable skin that channels air and makes emotion and affects contingent on the body's relationship to air. Individuated bodies tremble upon realisation that they are open, holey from both the inside and the outside, atmospheric, regardless of culturally constructed myths of groundedness and boundedness. As borders of self and world start to blur and permeation becomes a possibility, upon "mingling" (Connor 2004) with scent, air, wind, forms corrupt and emotions turn weird and eerie. "We" become anxious as historical delimitations of the physical world affectively and materially 'unground' familiar feelings and expectations of order, sense and stability. When the body is holed it surrenders to and is possessed by affect and atmosphere. Holes, however, never constitute a finite loss, but instead are the openings for the arrival of new meanings, forms and relations.

panel B13
Adding to the Air