Some abbreviated notes on an informal staff presentation with Tim Ingold at the Vakgroep Vergelijkende cultuurwetenschappen, Gent University, 2005-10-27. Please refer to Ingold's publications for further material and to make citations:

science is concerned with classification [of attributes], while anthropology could be more concerned with story and relational positioning; attribute - relation

science “cuts things up at the joints” - it is like carpentry; anthropology could be like weaving

one of Breughel’s paintings [probably “Children’s Games”] - wonderful rendition of social life; the individual activities are drawn partially but not entirely in relationship with one another; this gives a good picture of the notion of social life as weaving

in both painting and music, everything is suspended in movement

“task” versus “work” - task-time vs work-time

“build” vs “dwell”; but the terms “inhabit” and “habitation” are preferable

Paul Oliver

“inhabitant” knowledge rather than “local” knowledge, since knowledge of places is developed not by localised communities but by communities in movement

[Pinxten’s comment] “action habitat” because “habitat” on its own is too static environment or landscape

tangled organisms?

developmental systems approach - allows us to transcend the nature-nurture debate

perhaps dependent on our understanding of causation

genetics vs geneticism

paths versus places

three ways by which sociality has been transformed: footwear, paving, and transport technology

light, dextrous, barefoot movement changes into heavy, direct, and shodden transport

locomotion is cognition: feet-hands-mind

Laurent, Gestures of Speech

linearity of writing; graphism - radial rather than lineal

lines - developed along with stories and gestures from ancient times

unity of space, gesture and speech

two kinds of line: the gestural trace, and the point-to-point connector

what is “linearity”? - in context of the idea of the “linearity” of writing, for example, it is actually the transformation of one kind of line into the other: the continuous caligraphic gesture into the digital sequence of discrete typewritten units

Bergson, Creative Evolution

art and architecture share biology’s reduction of the organism to its “code” or “plan”

walking can be a practice of architecture…

the generative potential of the line

art and architecture as modes of creative investigation

art as a set of investigative and exploratory practices

anthropology with art and architecture, not treating them as objects

lines from the past

speech:song; language:music

written word a form of written music - the surprising lack of histories of writing treated along with musical notation; a comprehensive history of notation must be a history of the line

line + surface - threads and traces

weaving, embroidery, calligraphy

dissolution of threads into traces

therefore, line as something that moves and grows

the point-to-point connector - writing dissociated from the calligrapher and scribe

writing : drawing :: technology : art

Paul Klee

ap(point)ments vs walks - points are linked into an assembly

dwelling in places……lines of habitation

De Certeau

logic of inversion: converting paths into boundaries - turn this inside out again to rediscover meaning in life

interlaced trail of the lifeworld - a tissue - which literally means a surface constituted by a dense layer of intertwined lines

[OED (Apple Mac version 1.0): “3 [in sing. ] an intricate structure or network made from a number of connected items; ORIGIN late Middle English: from Old French tissu ‘woven,’ past participle of tistre, from Latin texere ‘to weave.’ The word originally denoted a rich material, often interwoven with gold or silver threads, later (mid 16th cent.) any woven fabric, hence the notion of [intricacy.]”]

relational field of interwoven lines, rather than connected points

a person as an ever-ramified fungal mycelium (or rhizome in Deleuze and Guattari’s sense; Ingold prefers the idea of mycelium)

five areas of research for an anthropology of the line: - movement dynamics - knowledge - modes of description - environment - history

wayfaring - growing roots

lines of wayfare, lines of transport

how are trails and roots enmeshed? How do lines of wayfare become interpolated with modes of transport?

different modes of living

James Gibson

knowledge not so much built up but forged along lines - knowledge is movement: inhabitants move into knowledge “alongly”

(scientific) project of classification severs relations - stories relate what classification divides

graphism as writing?

“text” - from weaving - “textile” - “textura”

movement, “hanging around,” creates places - places are not containers - inhabitants are not “locals”

knots and tangles in lines are what constitute “places”

tangled roots, creepers, lianas - environment is a domain of entanglement

ecology of life must be of threads and traces

lines of transmission; plat rather than beads on a string - history as a transgenerational flow

Alkan Chipperfield - 31 Oct 2005

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