Accepted paper:

More-than-human hypermobilities: unravelling the entanglements and resonances of air travel in the Anthropocene


Kaya Barry (Griffith University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores experiences of 'hypermobilities', in particular air travel, as sensations that are more-than-human. A creative artwork that merges audio-visual media and ethnographic documentation will be used to highlight affective resonances and dissonances in such situations.

Paper long abstract:

Air travel has become almost ubiquitous to contemporary hypermobile global society. Yet how we sense and experience such 'hypermobilities' is dependent on a range of interactions with humans and nonhumans. Mobilities and STS scholars have recognised airports and flight routes as global hubs where material and immaterial actors are entangled: passengers, workers, material resources, cargo, ideas, cultures and many others. However, few studies have employed creative and experimental techniques that might further unravel the multi-sensory complexities of how we experience the more-than-human entanglements that hypermobilities bring to the foreground.

In this paper I examine air travel as a situation where interactions with the more-than-human realm become pronounced. This may come to attention when we adjust to different times, locations or climates; or notice the extensive transport infrastructures and security networks involved; or the lingering sensations of turbulence while feeling our circadian rhythm synchronise to a different hemisphere and environment. Drawing from a creative artwork that merges audio-visual media, ethnographic observations, alongside empirical data, I explore the affects, resonances, and at times, moments of disjuncture and dissonance that constitute sensations of air travel. I suggest that positioning nonhumans at the foreground of air travel experiences draws attention to our individual perceptions, expectations, and impacts of consuming such hypermobilities. Using creative documentation, from both on-the-ground and in-the-air, I investigate how the practices, demands, consumption patterns, and challenges surrounding increasing high-speed global mobilities might be re-thought in terms of more-than-human entanglements.

panel A26
More-than-human mobilities