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Interspecies Spaces: écriture féline

Bristol, JR; (2016) Interspecies Spaces: écriture féline. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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This research explores the potential of performative writing to spatialise relations between species in urban contexts. Using the concept of dorsality (Wills, 2008), the research aims to articulate unforeseen sensory, material and inscriptive forces which configure interspecies relations. Curious about more-than-human capacities for shaping built environments, the research explores material, gestural and spatial qualities of writing to articulate the agencies and habitats of animals with whom we share worlds-in-the-making. Catalysed by observations that built environments displace and contain animals, this research surveys critical perspectives on the economies by which discourses of species are entangled with those of space. If animals are influential but unspoken in architecture (Ingraham, 2006) and a ‘medium’ of artistic production (Baker, 2012), ethological practices by which they condition knowledge are animated in the emergent field of Critical Animal Studies (Haraway, 2008; Despret, 2013). Alongside these perspectives, the research references feminist performative writing practices (Pollock, 1998; Cixous, 1976; Rendell, 2011) to situate the embodiments and dynamics through which species co-script space. Drawing on dorsality’s imbrication of organic and mechanical forces as a technology of language, the research uses performative writing to study human relations with felines – a family of species whose interfaces with built environments range from ubiquitous to precarious. As a performative writing practice, écriture féline emerges in response to encounters with real, represented, domesticated and free-ranging felines in sites of trans-Atlantic colonial modernity. Its findings are assembled in a two-part artists’ book, bound within the thesis. While one part (Essays) textually delineates the ways in which feline-human relations shape built environments, the other (Figures) turns to writing’s potential to animate more-thantextual and more-than-human worlds.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Interspecies Spaces: écriture féline
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493015
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