Surface Encounters: Thinking with Animals and Art

Overview

What it is like to be an animal? Ron Broglio wants to know from the inside, from underneath the fur and feathers. In examining this question, he bypasses the perspectives of biology or natural history to explore how one can construct an animal phenomenology, to think and feel as an animal other—or any other.

Until now phenomenology has grappled with how humans are embedded in their world. According to philosophical tradition, animals do not practice the self-reflexive thought ...

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Overview

What it is like to be an animal? Ron Broglio wants to know from the inside, from underneath the fur and feathers. In examining this question, he bypasses the perspectives of biology or natural history to explore how one can construct an animal phenomenology, to think and feel as an animal other—or any other.

Until now phenomenology has grappled with how humans are embedded in their world. According to philosophical tradition, animals do not practice the self-reflexive thought that provides humans with depth of being. Without human interiority, philosophers have believed, animals live on the surface of things. But, Broglio argues, the surface can be a site of productive engagement with the world of animals, and as such he turns to humans who work with surfaces: contemporary artists.

Taking on the negative claim of animals living only on the surface and turning the premise into a positive set of possibilities for human-animal engagement, Broglio considers artists—including Damien Hirst, Carolee Schneemann, Olly and Suzi, and Marcus Coates—who take seriously the world of the animal on its own terms. In doing so, these artists develop languages of interspecies expression that both challenge philosophy and fashion new concepts for animal studies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816672974
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2011
  • Series: Posthumanities Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ron Broglio is assistant professor of English and senior scholar of the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: Staying on the Surface

1. Meat Matters: Distance in Damien Hirst
2. Body of Thought: Immanence and Carolee Schneemann
3. Making Space for Animal Dwelling: Worlding with Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson
4. Contact Zones and Living Flesh: Touch after Olly and Suzi
5. A Minor Art: Becoming-Animal of Marcus Coates Coda: Human, Animal, and Matthew Barney

Notes Index

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