landscape, body and material feminism (some reading research)

kick-starting some uninterrupted days in the studio with some reading research. continuing my research reading on landscape and body, i have been reading Stacy Alaimo’s paper “Trans-corporeal Feminism and the Ethical Space of Nature” in ‘Material Feminism’ (2008). here, Alaimo argues for a non-binary approach to nature/culture or body/culture. some notes…

‘flight from nature’: for decades the body has been discussed in terms of its materiality but this materiality describes the body as passive, plastic matter – matter that is part of nature rather than cultural, social and environmental concerns (p. 237). recent feminist theory has sought to counteract the alignment of the female body to nature by inverting it. Alaimo argues that rather than inversion, a ‘trans-corporeality’ approach is needed which sees the body, its fleshiness as being inseparable from culture or environmental concerns rather than as an opposite – “analysis that travel through the entangled
territories of material and discursive, natural and cultural, biological and textual (p.238)

‘contact zone’: Alaimo argues that the human body is always enmeshed and inseparable from the ‘more than human’ culture and environment. she asks us to think of culture and the environment as another body rather than a mere backdrop to human endeavours – not an empty space but as close as ones skin and a fleshy body. human and nature are no longer separate (p. 239).

… i wonder where the lens fits into ‘trans-corporeality’? i have been arguing for the lens being part of an embodied practice. following this argument then, lens belongs to a corporeal matter that slips between the material and the cultural … possible argument to develop?


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