This panel explores theoretical arguments from new materialisms and the ontological turn from the point of view of anthropology. Encountering diverse materials and materialities, from the human heart, to light, and soil, these can also be considered as experiments in anthropology.
This panel, like it's sister panel 44, is concerned with exploring and problematising the theoretical arguments and debates opened by new materialisms and the ontological turn, and the consequences of these from the point of view of anthropology. The papers (and film) in this panel each in a unique way is thinking or 'creating with and alongside' (McLean, 2016) the art works, events and objects that they consider; as such, these engagements with material and making can also be considered as experiments in anthropology. Drawing from diverse but related fields, such as feminist theory, phenomenology, vital materialism and object -oriented ontology, the authors consider affective engagements with diverse 'materials', from the human heart, to light, and soil. Their papers examine a range of techno-scientific and aesthetic interventions across a variety of encounters with materials and material processes. These include more 'traditional' examples of material 'objects' such as works of art, architectural monuments, and rocks, as well as open-heart surgery, symbolic borders, and ontological miracles. By bringing to bear new materialist theories in relation to particular encounters and diverse material creations, places, events and processes, this panel opens up wider issues and debates about 'nature' and the non-human, as well as definitions and debates about art and aesthetics, questioning how such theoretical moves might contribute to anthropological discussions on objects and (or) things, their qualities and modes of existence, from the perspective of Anthropology.