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Book Title: Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description|
The author of the book: Tim Ingold
Date of issue: June 30th 2011
ISBN 13: 9780415576833
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 677 KB
Read full description of the books Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description:Ingold is a meticulous and systematic writer, even a little, dare I say it, analytical, which is rather surprising given that he’s very much in the school of flow pulsing from Lucretius to Bergson to Guattari and Deleuze. His project though is multifaceted here, aiming to give anthropology a new lease on life by pointing it in the direction of philosophy in a space where ethnography has come to dominate. But it’s more by far than this, taking many lines into ways of being and knowing from earth and weather, to wayfaring, naming and storying, to stitching, drawing and writing.
He begins in materials and follows the lines of materiality to force and flow rather than objects and things. For someone who is carrying forward a distinctly non-western ontology, he however finds himself in many dichotomies, such as the one above. Flow vs thing, line vs representation, drawing vs painting, line vs point, textility vs taxonomy and prior design, inner vs outer. This is not to say that the project is unsuccessful, for we enter into these combustibilities quite completely and can often in fact find how things are in fact lines, or how innerness is what we don’t know rather than what drives life, how life is not an “inner generative force” so much as a special example of material processes.
He argues we don’t move across an already laid out world "but through a world in perpetual formation”. In which every name is a condensed story. And I would add, every thing a name and each name a thing extending its line outward. There is in fact much here for writers, from the moment of kairos to the importance of learning as wayfaring and hence to “mind-faring”. He sets wayfaring over against both transport and transmission since the latter two are focused on points of arrival or predetermined content. Rather things happen as we move. So we should be "following the materials” not a taxonomy which is the colonial project par excellence. Nor even a network which for him is focused too closely on the points or persons lines connect. Rather “meshwork”.
In his chapter Drawing Making Writing he invites us to the threshold of concrete poetry, but which it seems he hasn’t yet discovered. He should. I’d like to see what he makes of it.
Read information about the authorTim Ingold (born 1948) is a British social anthropologist, currently Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. He was educated at Leighton Park School and Cambridge University. He is a fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His bibliography includes The Perception of the Environment: Essays in Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill, Routledge, 2000, which is a collection of essays, some of which had been published earlier.
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