Walking with the more-than-human

posted in: Residencies | 0
Walking with the more-than-human
Walking with the more-than-human

IMG_3574 IMG_3570 IMG_3545 IMG_3529 IMG_3510 IMG_3509 IMG_3542Just testing things out and playing around in order to get ready for my new walking residency with WalkingLab.

What am I going to do?

Inspired by Donna Haraway, I’ve been curious about the figure of the dog and thinking with significant otherness. I spent 3 1/2 years ‘loitering’ in Hong Kong dog parks and have been writing about the disjuncture between the need for research that decentres the human in theoretically coherent and compelling ways and fully realising it in practice. This proposed walking residency attends to this disjuncture by paying attention to the more-than-human logic that is necessary for shifting the focus away from the human researcher (or child) as the central becoming-knowing subject about animals and refocusing on complex, entangled, mutually affecting, and co-shaping human-animal relations.

 

Moving beyond anthropocentric descriptions of animal behaviours requires continually reorienting from individual human to collective more-than-human subjectivities and agencies. Such a move involves relearning how to do research ‘without the tools of human exceptionalism’ (Haraway, quoted in van Dooren, 2014, back cover). The proposed walking residency with the more-than-human sets out to create and experiment with such tools. Specifically, the walking residency will entail following-with Lobito, a 1.5 year-old boy Chihuahua dog through the inner-city streets and laneways of Melbourne, Australia.

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Mindy Blaise is a Professor in Early Childhood Education, College of Education, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.