In the video below preeminent anthropologist and Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen Tim Ingold tries to bring the “4 A’s” [anthropology, architecture, archaeology, and art] together, looking at the ways in which environments are perceived, shaped, and understood.
Tim Ingold’s prodigious academic work includes the book The Perception of the Environment: Essays in Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill (2000), which had a massive influence on me as a developing anthropologist and researcher of all things human. In the book Ingold offers a persuasive approach to understanding how human beings perceive their surroundings. He argues that what we are used to calling cultural variation consists, in the first place, of variations in skill. Neither innate nor acquired, skills are grown, incorporated into the human organism through practice and training in an environment. They are thus as much biological as cultural. The twenty-three essays comprising this book focus in turn on the procurement of livelihood, on what it means to ‘dwell’, and on the nature of skill, weaving together approaches from social anthropology, ecological psychology, developmental biology and phenomenology in a way that has never been attempted before. The book will change the way we think about what is ‘biological’ and ‘cultural’ in humans, about evolution and history, and indeed about what it means for human beings – at once organisms and persons – to inhabit an environment.
His latest is Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description (2011).
- Media anthropology and the anthropology of mediation (johnpostill.com)