On Transversality in Practice and Research

I’m pleased to be included along with an exciting line-up of speakers for a three-day conference on Transversality in Practice and Research organised by Techne DTP. Registration link and further details can be found below the presentation abstract.

Photograph of a drawing combining the silhouette of a Eurasian crane in flight with a fragment of a family photograph, drawn using peat soils

Drawing Transversal Ecologies: Field encounters with gender, species, and nation

This presentation reviews encounters with humans and common cranes (Grus grus) in the Huleh Valley in Northern Israel-Palestine. A practice-led project, the research explores the possibilities of drawing as a method for becoming-vulnerable: opening up spaces of encounter with ecologies of human and nonhuman bodies and ideas (Sharp, 2011). In this talk, I focus specifically on the experience of beginning a process of gender transition in the field, and what sensibilities that experience brought to my fieldwork. The project seeks to address the affective and relational capacity of imagery, while resisting ubiquitous logics of capture and representation (Dewsbury 2015). It asks what ontological formulations of identity (gender, species, nation) and relation (connection, displacement, belonging) are generated, sustained, and unsettled through the lives of images, and how images participate in the co-production of landscape as assemblage. The short presentation develops the proposal that owning and mobilising our constitutive vulnerability engenders the possibility of different kinds of relation with other bodies and ideas when it enables us to unsettle the unexamined ontological premises of our encounters, disrupting given orders of structuration of power and knowledge. It also examines the limitations of this proposal – as when vulnerability is expressed as anxiety or exhaustion, precipitating a narrowing of possibilities to conform with ontological demarcations of the individual as a discrete and unitary subject. Time permitting, this proposition could be further elaborated through screening a short experimental animation, exploring what happens when the image begins to break down and recompose.

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