Uncertainty in the city (Newcastle University, Australia)

Snaebjornsdottir, Bryndis and Wilson, Mark (2009) Uncertainty in the city (Newcastle University, Australia). In: Minding Animals, 13th - 18th July 2009, Newcastle University. Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL: http://www.mindinganimals.com/images/stories/Docum...


The division afforded by cities, between ‘culture’ and ‘nature’ has proved increasingly porous as more and more
animals and birds consider concentrations of human population an attraction rather than a deterrent because of the opportunities such culture provides in terms of habitat and feeding. For some, the presence of these creatures –
pigeons, starlings, rats, mice, foxes, and all manner of insects is a threat of some kind, a kind of leakage and therefore a representation of the fragility of our
insulation from the ‘wild’, the unpredictability and ‘chaos’ of ‘nature’.
The late anthropologist Mary Douglas coined the term "…dirt is matter out of place" to indicate how societies distinguish between that which is acceptable and desirable and that which is unacceptable and offensive – the difference between what is ‘pure’ and ‘polluted’. So, ‘Pests’, like ‘Dirt’ are thought to be so when and where they are encountered ‘out of place’ – the issue of just what is in and what is out of place, seems to be a matter of variable opinion, both between cultures
and within those cultures.
This art project, which has its first public manifestation, Radio Animal in June 2009, explores specific perceptions and limits of tolerance and ‘animal infringement’ in the city of Lancaster and its surroundings. During our research we’ve observed territorial ambivalence and contradictory vested interests in relation to a wide range of species. Most significant to us is this mixture of responses, the
paradoxical nature of human attitudes towards agents of ‘the wild’ and the implicit cohesion-in-tension
of the human/nature paradigm.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Journal or Publication Title: n/a
Related URL(s):
Departments: Institute of Arts (IOA)
Additional Information: OP212
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2012 14:57
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2016 16:09
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1312

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item