Thinking through the ‘and’: foregrounding the entangled becomings of posthuman relationality

Micali, Alberto and Pasqualini, Nicolò (2017) Thinking through the ‘and’: foregrounding the entangled becomings of posthuman relationality. In: 9th Beyond Humanism Conference, 19-22 July, 2017, John Cabot University, Rome.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


The erosion of the illusory gap that distances human-animals from non-human alterities recharges both terms with a new value, providing as well a novel opportunity. On the one hand, it offers the possibility of transforming and redistributing the roles and the responsibilities that emerge from such a relation. On the other hand, it permits to examine and re-debate the state of the relation(s) that involves and qualifies the terms. The wide spectrum of posthumanism, by focusing on the results of such an epistemological evolution, generated a literary, pictorial as well as philosophical universe made of alien, monstrous and techno-boosted forms, which came from the exaltation of deformation and enhancement, the deconstruction and, in some instances, the discredit of an unsustainable ‘human essence’.
Even though the crucial results gained by posthumanist critique, the eradication of the anthropocentric root has not fully get rid of its distortive humanist lens, which continuously seems to inform contemporary theory. Too often, the processes of relationality and hybridisation that animate and make distinct such a critique do not move beyond a representationalist account of the entangled becomings at stake. The terms of the human-non-human relation, of the encounter between different materialities, end to be trapped into a frame of reference that implies relationality in terms of closeness, welcomeness and involvement – often following a precise direction: from the human to the ‘other’. This is a relationality stuck into a plane of hybridisation that is anchored to resemblance, mediated by the capability of looking for and recognising again human’s leftovers in the result of the transformation, rather than being regarded in terms of conjunction and metamorphosis, in terms of diffraction instead of reflection, of weird monstrosity rather than distortive mirroring.
This paper aims to contribute to the current debates in the field of critical posthumanism, foregrounding the hetero-directional character of the human non-human relation beyond representationalist and anthropocentric readings of entangled becomings. Particularly, it focuses on the ‘and’: the term(s) of relationality condensing and holding the unstable assembling that permeates and regulates ‘intra-actions’ within posthuman constellations; the relation that co-constitutes human and non-human emergences; the hybridisation of the biotechnological materialities that are involved in this plane of relationality by means of what Karen Barad defines as ‘intra-acting from within, and as part of, the phenomena produced’.

Keywords:posthuman, Critical Posthumanism, new materialism, neo-materialism, Ecological Thinking, process-relational ontologies, pulse culture
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V590 Philosophy not elsewhere classified
L Social studies > L726 Cultural Geography
L Social studies > L610 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
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ID Code:28065
Deposited On:02 Aug 2017 13:08

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