Exploring taskscape: new approaches to temporality and the doing of the world
Andrew Whitehouse (University of Aberdeen)
Paolo Gruppuso (University of Gastronomic Sciences)
Tim Ingold (University of Aberdeen)
Calman - Ken Wade
Start time:
6 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Returning to Ingold's 1993 notion of taskscape, this panel reconsiders the doing of the world. How does this doing emerge in studies of Anthropocene environmental themes and in the light of more recent approaches to temporality and environmental relations?

Long abstract:

In 1993 Tim Ingold introduced the term 'taskscape' to explain how places and landscapes emerge through the activities of 'those who dwell therein'. It implies unfolding processes of temporality, challenging distinctions between built and natural environment, form and process: between the footprints and the movements that generate them. Taskscape is thus the array of activities that carries forward social life in the world and the traces and footprints that together are the doing of the world. Since 1993 much has changed in our understanding of landscape. Olwig's work has retraced the etymology of landscape from the medieval polities of northern Germany defined through customary activity to the literal meaning of the word as land shaped. In this sense landscape connotes something similar to taskscape: it becomes its own doing. In his more recent work, Ingold has moved beyond landscape to the notions of meshwork and 'weather-world' in which the life lines and movements of humans, other beings, wind and water flow and entangle. More-than-human anthropology has emphasised the need to incorporate other species into the social and, as such, the taskscape must surely now include their activities alongside those of humans. Our intention is to return to taskscape to re-evaluate its significance in understanding human-environment relations, their temporalities and how the world that is perceived is made. We invite contributions that explore and expand the concepts of temporality and taskscape in light of recent theoretical and thematic developments, particularly more-than-human anthropology, climate change, alternative energies, and the Anthropocene.