Invocations, An Asygnifying Fieldwork Guide

Fontoura, Catarina (2019) Invocations, An Asygnifying Fieldwork Guide. In: Art in the Anthropocene, 6-9 June 2019, Trinity College Dublin. (Unpublished)

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Abstract / Summary

Taking my cue from the photographic project ‘Invocations’ (2013 - ), in this paper I consider the ways in which animals and insects encounter each other in the night.
Drawing from animal studies and post humanist literature and thinkers like Cary Wolf, Anat Pick, Thomas Nagel, Jean- Francois Lyotard, Guattari, amongst others, I rethink and examine the way in which science and naturalist culture approaches insects in the context of contemporary Britain, following moth trapping groups participating in the National Moth Recording Scheme. The Scheme presents moth trapping as a valuable activity to monitor the environment, moths being an indicator species. Through artistic fieldwork practice, other elements of the human-animal encounter are revealed and
Invocations focuses both on the experience of animal encounters, primary with nocturnal insects and by extension bats, but also on looking at the culture of science with an anthropological lens, positioning the artist as a non-scientist fieldworker or a reflective
outsider. This paper explores notions of animal visibility, imagination, empathy and subjective experiences of animals in the Anthropocene, to argue how outcomes of artistic fieldwork can assist us in the creation of a new space which sits between a romanticized approach to animal encounters and seeing animals as biological systems. This alternative
way of relating and communicating approaches animals primarily by ‘mapping the different modalities of expression of animal bodies that point toward asignifying semiotics’1, which in Guattari’s perspective is not a separate non-meaning world, but the basis for our world of meaning, by transcending it.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Philosophy & Psychology
Arts > Photography
Courses by Department: The Institute of Photography > Photography
Depositing User: Catarina Fontoura
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 14:31
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:26


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