Becoming ad hoc or ad hoc becoming: makeshift ecologies

Jones, O (2014) Becoming ad hoc or ad hoc becoming: makeshift ecologies. In: RGS-IBG Annual Conference, 26 - 29 August 2014, Kensington Gore, London.

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In this paper I will set out W G Sebald’s account of his ‘methodology’ in which he states that the haphazard and instinctual – the business of following one’s nose (as a dog on a scent) or simply walking and seeing what turns up – is the only way to make creative progress on a given ‘subject’. The systematic inquiry soon loses the scent (of life). I will also talk about Burnside’s notion of the makeshift – “to recognize the new values that emerge from the makeshift is to discover the earliest traces of a new direction, the steps in a spontaneous remarking of ourselves, the hazy outline of a democratizing order of the imagination… in the unlikeliest places.” In here is an important point; ad hocism allows the agencies of the world into our work. I might also talk about the growth in ‘mending cultures’ which are replete with improvised, at hand solutions; and the ‘material hacking’ cultures that are growing amongst artist-engineers (makers) in ‘hackspaces’. Ad-hocism seems a quintessentially ecological, pragmatic, pluralistic, ‘local method’ (as demanded by ANT) with particular relationships to both space (the at-hand) and time (the at-hand-now). I will endeavour to find some prop, or quote, or something, between my arrival at Paddington Station and the presentation, to use in the talk, which will illustrate but also alter its direction to that initially prepared.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: School of Sciences
Date Deposited: 26 May 2015 12:23
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:40
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