Exploring tactile topologies of the Anthropocene

Authors: Bryan Joel Mariano*, Department of Geography, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philippines Diliman
Topics: Cultural Geography, Anthropocene
Keywords: museum, touch, tactility, Anthropocene, embodied practice, autoethnography
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The National Museum of Natural History showcases the biodiversity and different ecosystems that can be found in the Philippines. It serves as a site and living archive of the country’s geohistory and represents materialities of the external environment – from different forest formation dioramas, to taxidermy of its associated flora and fauna, and digital devices that gamify learning. The Museum as both material and imagined worlds symbolizes the past, present, and future in the Anthropocene. First opened to the public in May 2018, the Museum also offers hands-on activities on drawing tables, as well as devices with haptic interface which resonates Howes’ (2014) observation of museums’ “progressive technologization of the sensorium” (p. 263). This research presents an autoethnography of affective encounters and observation of traces of tactility among museum visitors. Attention to such embodied practice was depicted through photos and reflection on temporal pauses, friction, and patterns and textures of the objects of touch.

Reference: Howes, D. (2014). Introduction to sensory museology, The Senses and Society, 9(3): 259-267 pp.

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