Working between art and forestry, towards an ecology of practices
Jennifer Clarke (Robert Gordon University)
Paper short abstract:
This paper will explore particular ways of doing “anthropology with” in relation to the idea of an "ecology of practices" (Stengers, 2010). The paper presents my approach to working between art and forestry as a way of working with art and artists, and forests and forestry.
Paper long abstract:
This paper will explore particular ways of doing "anthropology with" in relation to the idea of an 'ecology of practices' (Stengers, 2010). While emerging through dialogue with other disciplines, specifically conceptual art and continental philosophy, the proposition here is one which engages fundamentally anthropological concerns, namely the ethics and politics of knowledge formation, by exploring some connections between method, questions of what constitutes knowledge (or knowledge formation) and the transformation of the researcher in the process. The paper presents my approach to working between art and forestry as a way of working with art and artists, and forests and forestry. It focusses on the notion of creative work as ethical work, described in this paper by way of in key encounters with contemporary ecological artists,and forestry designers in relation to specific places and ideas, making comparisons between anthropology and forestry as generative practices. The paper considers conversation, drawing 'in and from the field' as particular methods used to explore disciplinary boundaries, showing how the researcher actively creates a field of inquiry, and then follows it. In doing so, it explores what it means to work creatively 'with' ones counterparts. By discussing what art does, in ethical terms - as a praxis response to ecological crisis - it also opens out into broader anthropological concerns, suggesting what one such speculative, open-ended approach in anthropology looks like.