sábado, 18 de agosto de 2012

Bringing Things to life - Ingold

"Bringing things to life, then, is a matter not of adding to them a sprinkling of agency but of restoring them to the generative fluxes of the world of materials in which they came into being and continue to subsist. This view, that things are in life rather than life in things, is diametrically opposed to the conventional anthropological understanding of animism, invoked by Pels (...). Things are alive and active not because they are possessed of spirit - whether in or of matter - but because the substances of which they are comprised continue to be swept up in circulations of the surroundings media that alternately portend their dissolution or - characteristically with animate beings -ensure their regeneration. Spirit is the generative power of these circulatory flows which, in living organisms, are bound into tightly woven bundles or tissues of extraordinary complexity.

Considered as a constituent of the material world, a stone is indeed both a lump of matter that can be analysed for its physical properties and an object whose significance is drawn from its incorporation into the context of human affairs. The concept of materiality, as we have seen, reproduces this duality, rather than challenging. But in the world of materials, humans figures as much within the context for stones as do stones within the context for humans. And these contexts, far from lying on disparate levels of being, respectively social and natural, are established as overlapping regions of the same world. It is not as though this world were one of brute physicality, of mere matter, until people appeared on the scene to give it form and meaning. Stones, too, have histories, forged in ongoing relations with surroundings that may or may not include human beings and much else besides".

Referência: Tim Ingold - Being alive: essays on movement, knowledge and description ("Materials against materiality").

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