Dwelling-with and Other Acts of Care.

Care is not abstract; it is an activity located in a specific time and space. In this place at this moment, this person is caring with this chicken, worm, water, sunlight, tree, kerb or rock.

Dwelling-with: living openly and perceptively with the many entities who share my home. 

Acts of Care: Undertaking a practice of active caring through which to ground research in the here and now of suburban cohabitation.

Through choosing to make personal and academic headspace for the possibility that I might encounter my living space as populated not by ‘things’, but entities different to, but not hierarchically separate from myself. To enacting a daily practice of consciously attending to nonhuman entities with the same care, attention and openness to reciprocity that I show toward humans. Here I define care as attentive, sympathetic, considered, deeply felt and receptive to difference. In the case of nonhumans, this requires deliberately resisting learned and culturally normalised attitudes and expectations of both human agency and the agency of others. Through addressing my suburban environment as not only subject and content but also participant, this research seeks to articulate possible post-anthropocentric modes of conceptualising and engaging with the nonhuman world.

To manifests this agentic repositioning for a participating audience through material strategies reframing mundane intimacies of interactions between nonhuman entities as provocations inviting the reimagining of normal anthropocentric narratives. To convene multi-sensorial encounters that set up conditions in which it becomes possible that unfamiliar and contra-normal modes of human relationship might emerge. To convene time-space in which an audience might actively imagining possible non-anthropocentric modes of engagement available for the individual immersed in anthropocentric culture.

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