More-than-human world? A posthumanist critique of anthropocentrism in the art of Olga Tokarczuk and Patricia Piccinini | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Taboo–Transgression–Transcendence in Art & Science
  • ISSN: 1477-965X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9533

Abstract

The aim of the article is to analyse selected threads of Olga Tokarczuk’s literary work and selected artworks of Patricia Piccinini as a posthumanist critique of anthropocentrism. My analysis will be guided by the question of how art clarifies and helps us to understand a world in which boundaries between species are crossed and dualistic divisions – nature/culture, human/animal, human/machine – no longer apply. I will show that art is a space of expression in which the subjectivity of posthumanist hybrids is given the chance to infiltrate universal consciousness and break down the anthropocentric monolith of western European culture. The article will also cite the posthumanist postulate of decentralization of the human subject, as implemented artistically by Tokarczuk and Piccinini in their works. This postulate signifies the need to accept the new responsibility a human being bears as part of a larger, heterogeneous whole (Donna Haraway), as well as to develop a posthumanist ethics (Rosi Braidotti). With reference to one of Tokarczuk’s essays, I propose to describe this new ethics as ‘sensitive ethics’.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1386/tear_00034_1
2020-10-01
2024-05-29
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Badmington, Neil. ( 2006;), ‘ Cultural studies and the posthumanities. ’, in G. Hall, and C. Birchall. (eds), New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory, Edinburgh:: Edinburgh University Press;, pp. 26073.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Barad, Karen. ( 2007), Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, Durham, NC:: Duke University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Braidotti, Rosi. ( 2013), The Posthuman, Cambridge:: Polity;.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Braidotti, Rosi. ( 2017a;), ‘ Critical posthuman knowledges. ’, South Atlantic Quarterly, 116:1, pp. 8396.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Braidotti, Rosi. ( 2017b;), ‘ Posthuman critical theory. ’, Journal of Posthuman Studies, 1:1, pp. 925.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Ferrando, Francesca. ( 2013;), ‘ Posthumanism, transhumanism, antihumanism, metahumanism, and new materialisms: Differences and relations. ’, Existenz: An International Journal in Philosophy, Religion, Politics, and the Arts, 8:2, pp. 2632.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Ferrando, Francesca. ( 2016;), ‘ A feminist genealogy of posthuman aesthetics in the visual arts. ’, Palgrave Communications 2, p. 16011, https://doi.org/10.1057/palcomms.2016.11. Accessed 28 October 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Ferrando, Francesca. ( 2019), Philosophical Posthumanism, London and New York:: Bloomsbury Academic;.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Grusin, Richard. (ed.) ( 2015), The Nonhuman Turn, Minneapolis and London:: University of Minnesota Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Haraway, Donna. ( 2007;), ‘ Speculative fabulations for technoculture’s generations: Taking care of unexpected country. ’, in P. Piccinini. (ed.), (Tender) Creature Exhibition Catalogue, Artium;, https://www.patriciapiccinini.net/printessay.php?id=30. Accessed 28 October 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Haraway, Donna. ( 2008), When Species Meet, Minneapolis and London:: University of Minnesota Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Haraway, Donna. ( 2016), Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Durham, NC and London:: Duke University Press Books;.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Hassan, Ihab. ( 1977;), ‘ Prometheus as performer: Toward posthumanism culture?. ’, in M. Benamou, and Ch. Caramello. (eds), Performance in Postmodern Culture, Madison, WI:: Coda Press;, pp. 20117.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Hayles, Nancy Katherine. ( 1999), How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics, Chicago:: University of Chicago Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Heidegger, Martin. ( 1978;), ‘ Letter on humanism. ’, in D. F. Krell. (ed.), Basic Writings: Nine Key Essays, plus the Introduction to Being and Time, London:: Routledge;, pp. 21366.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Kenney, Martha, and Haraway, Donna. ( 2015;), ‘ Anthropocene, capitalocene, chthulhucene: Donna Haraway in conversation with Martha Kenney. ’, in H. Davis, and E. Turpin. (eds), Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters among Aesthetics, Politics, Environments and Epistemologies, London:: Open Humanities Press;, pp. 25570.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. LaGrandeur, Kevin. ( 2018;), ‘ Art and the posthuman. ’, in M. Bess, and D. Walsh Pasulka. (eds), Posthumanism: The Future of Homo Sapiens, New York:: Macmillan;, pp. 37788.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Latour, Bruno. ( 2005), Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor–Network–Theory, Oxford and New York:: Oxford University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Leston, Robert. ( 2013;), ‘ Unhinged: Kairos and the invention of the untimely. ’, Atlantic Journal of Communication, 21:1, pp. 2950.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. MacCormack, Patricia. ( 2012), Posthuman Ethics: Embodiment and Cultural Theory, London:: Ashgate;.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Orgaz, Laura Fernandez. ( 2007;), ‘ The naturally artificial world: A conversation between Patricia Piccinini and Laura Fernandez Orgaz. ’, Patricia Piccinini, http://www.patriciapiccinini.net/printessay.php?id=29. Accessed 28 October 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Padoł, Emilia. ( 2019;), ‘ Olga Tokarczuk: ja już jestem takim trochę robotem: wywiad’ (‘Olga Tokarczuk: I’m already a bit of a robot: An interview’). (trans. N. A. Michna), Onet Kultura, https://kultura.onet.pl/wywiady-i-artykuly/olga-tokarczuk-ja-juz-jestem-takim-troche-robotem-wywiad/6zknwet. Accessed 28 October 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Regan, Tom. ( 2004), The Case for Animal Rights, Berkeley, CA:: University of California Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Sarton, George. ( 1924;), ‘ The new humanism. ’, Isis, 6:1, pp. 942.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Sartre, Jean-Paul. ( 1989;), ‘ Existentialism is a humanism. ’, in W. Kaufman. (ed.), Existentialism from Dostoyevsky to Sartre, New York:: Meridian Publishing;, pp. 34567.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Singer, Peter. ( 1975), Animal Liberation, New York:: New York Review and Random House;.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Tokarczuk, Olga. ( 2003), Dom dzienny, dom nocny (House of Day, House of Night) (trans. N. A. Michna), Krakow:: Wyd. Literackie;.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Tokarczuk, Olga. ( 2006), Anna Inn w grobowcach świata (Anna in the Tombs of the World) (trans. N. A. Michna), Krakow:: Wyd. Literackie;.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Tokarczuk, Olga. ( 2014), Księgi Jakubowe (The Books of Jacob) (trans. N. A. Michna), Krakow:: Wyd. Literackie;.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Tokarczuk, Olga. ( 2018), Opowieści bizarne (Bizarre Stories) (trans. N. A. Michna), Krakow:: Wyd. Literackie;.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Tokarczuk, Olga. ( 2020a;), ‘ Człowiek na krańcach świata. ’ (‘Humanity at the end of the world’) (trans. N. A. Michna), Polityka, 40, pp. 2430.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Tokarczuk, Olga. ( 2020b), Czuły narrator (The Tender Narrator) (trans. N. A. Michna), Krakow:: Wyd. Literackie;.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Watts, Vanessa. ( 2013;), ‘ Indigenous place-thought and agency amongst humans and non-humans (first woman and sky woman go on a European tour!). ’, DIES: Decolonization, Indigeneity, Education and Society, 2:1, pp. 2034.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Wolfe, Cary. ( 2010), What Is Posthumanism?, Minneapolis, MN:: University of Minnesota Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Michna, Natalia Anna. ( [2020] 2022;), ‘ More-than-human world? A posthumanist critique of anthropocentrism in the art of Olga Tokarczuk and Patricia Piccinini. ’, Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research, 18:2&3, pp. 14558, https://doi.org/10.1386/tear_00034_1
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1386/tear_00034_1
Loading
/content/journals/10.1386/tear_00034_1
Loading

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error