Learning to be affected by more-than-human mobilities: Cultivating arts of attentiveness and attunement with wearable video methods

Authors: Katrina Brown*, James Hutton Institute, Petra Lackova, James Hutton Institute
Topics: Animal Geographies, Human-Environment Geography, Field Methods
Keywords: Video, encounter, mobilities, animal geographies, haptic visuality
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 12
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This paper addresses the need for geographical practices of noticing and translation to take seriously how more-than-human encounters are constituted and choreographed through particular mobilities, and how the arts of attentiveness matter for the possibilities and frictions of human and nonhuman movement (after Braverman, 2013; Brown et al. 2019; Hodgetts & Lorimer, 2020). It draws upon a multispecies ethnography situated in a forest important both for dogwalking and as habitat for endangered ground-nesting birds, which explored the use of wearable video technology to trace and evoke animal-human mobile co-becomings and related affective relations. First, it examines how greater attention to the affective experience of movement and mobility – particularly as a mutual affecting and being affected across species boundaries (after Despret 2004) - might deepen our understanding of the often-complex, always situated co-constitutions of human and nonhuman mobilities, and how the regulatory bounding of moving bodies is achieved or exceeded. Approaching more-than-human encounters this way raises questions about absence and presence, distance and proximity, and what it takes to achieve the ongoing conjunctures of affecting and being affected by (or not) the mobilities of others that enable multiple species to co-exist. This includes how humans can learn to be affected by animals’ mobilities – and therefore be better able to respond to them (Haraway, 2008) in their own mobile practices - without necessitating proximal encounter. Second, and relatedly, the paper considers how the co-agencies of more-than-human bodies, movement and video shapes nonhuman capacities to articulate and be ‘heard’ (Gibbs, 20019).

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