A Brilliant Bit By Erin Manning

I am writing a conference paper and crunch time is upon us. I don’t have a lot of time for blog posts, but I think you will want to read this bit by Erin Manning from her book The Politics of Touch.

The movement invoked by a reaching-toward must always be uncertain: when I reach toward you, I do not know what I will touch–I do not know yet how your touch will return to me. I know only that I am willing to take the risk inherent in the movement of reaching-toward. This uncertainty is predicated on the double-take of touch. If I pretend to know the outcome of my reaching-toward, I am not really reaching-toward. In other words, when space is preconstructed (when the space between is overdetermined by my certainty about you and your simple location in the world), there is no space to cross, there is no chronotope to create, and ultimately, there is no potential for touch as a reaching toward. (122)

I am particularly concerned with this passage in relation to animals in factory farms and laboratories. I’ll let you do the interpretive work.

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3 Responses to A Brilliant Bit By Erin Manning

  1. Alex Jones says:

    Without going into this deeper, I sense some intellectualisation is going on in the matter of the suffering of animals.

    • kunzelman says:

      Maybe so. I am more talking about the claim that factory farms can be spaces of change and construction for human/nonhuman animal relationships than anything else. Animals suffering is bad; disguising that suffering in liberation language is bad, too.

      • Alex Jones says:

        There is a lack of wisdom in such considerations, which only means someone has been living in their head.

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