Tim Ingold – Towards an Ecology of Materials

Ingold makes my brain hum…

ANTHEM

Tim Ingold – Towards an Ecology of Materials

About the lecture: Both material culture studies and ecological anthropology are concerned with the material conditions of social and cultural life. Yet despite advances in each of these fields which have eroded traditional divisions between humanistic and science-based approaches, their respective practitioners continue to talk past one another in largely incommensurate theoretical languages. Through a review of recent trends in the study of material culture, the reasons for this are found to lie in: (1) a conception of the material world and the nonhuman that leaves no space for living organisms; (2) an emphasis on materiality that prioritizes finished artefacts over the properties of materials, and (3) a conflation of things with objects that stops up the flows of energy and circulations of materials on which life depends. To overcome these limitations, an ecology of materials is proposed that focuses on their…

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