Accepted Paper:

Energy, nature and rhythm: social, corporeal and cosmological entanglements  

Author:

Gordon Walker (Lancaster University)

Paper short abstract:

All rhythms are expenditures of energy. Time, space and energy are the ‘essential triadic’, Lefebvre (2004) argues, with intertwining rhythms of social, corporeal and cosmological forms. In this paper I bring multiple rhythmic entanglements into the ontology of energy and into the making of energy demand

Paper long abstract:

All rhythms, from the movement of the planets to the pulsing of data and the beating of the heart involve expenditures of energy, 'without energy there is no rhythm' (Lefebvre 2004). Time, space and energy are the 'essential triadic', Lefebvre argues, animating experience through intertwining rhythms of social, corporeal and cosmological forms. One way that 'nature' has agency, then, is through its many rhythmic qualities, interweaving with socially made beats, cycles and pulses to constitute the polyrhythmic patterning of everyday life. In this paper I consider how this conceptualisation brings multiple interacting rhythmic entanglements centrally into both our understanding of the ontology of energy and into the making of energy demand, its changing profile over time as well as its repetitive peaks, troughs and variations. These rhythmic entanglements and dynamic relations between socially produced and natural energy flows, are constitutive of the shifting temporalities of energy demand, as well as increasingly embedded within both forms of energy flow automation and the anticipated possibilities of smarter energy infrastructures.

Panel T124
Energy Beyond Crisis: Energetic Bodies, Ecologies, and Economies