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Accepted Paper:

Thresholds of becoming-river – limits of vitality and extinction  

Author:

Nicole Manley (Arts, Social Sciences and Management)

Paper short abstract:

Life, experience and the limit of becoming river from the senses and physicality of the human. Through art-based research I hope to transmit and discuss the vital current of life within rivers and the human, to become-river and re-configure the limits of vitality and extinction.

Paper long abstract:

Despite the massive rates of extinction of species today, the only extinction that seems to matter to the human species is its own. Hence our disregard for the life and death of the natural surroundings, the non-human. The human is largely made of water (45-75%). so, what is our relationship to nature’s carriers of water, the rivers and lakes that sustain us? In the UK, a common term used by local authorities to describe a river as an ‘ecosystem service’ hints at the limitations of an imagination that objectifies the river as a resource or service for humans. This presentation explores an art-based research case study of the Dee River and the local people who live near its banks in Aberdeenshire. The study will follow the river’s journey through moving image and poetry to explore the qualities of the Dee, and the deeper consciousness of the human ‘becoming-river’, and the limits of the human as river. In this way I hope to transmit the vital current of life within the river and the people who experience the river. Is it possible to move a human relationship of the river that is deemed at the national level as being an ‘ecosystem service’ to something that is part of our inner existence of being human? It is through creative imagination that the limit of our own extinction can be broken, the non-human given ‘life’ and paradoxically life returned to the human.

Panel Exti02b
For an anthropology of the limit II