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Making Kin: Subverting Ocularcentrism Through Sympoiesis and Tentacular Thinking

Bakan, Nina (2021) Making Kin: Subverting Ocularcentrism Through Sympoiesis and Tentacular Thinking. Masters thesis, OCAD University.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Bakan, Nina
Abstract:

This thesis argues that interspecies kinship, termed ‘making kin’ after Donna Haraway – counters the humanist underpinnings of ocularcentrism within contemporary art and visual culture. Ocularcentrism, the prioritization of sight over all other senses, stems from the legacy of European humanism and its corresponding system of sensory hierarchies. Within the humanist worldview, sight acts as a lens through which objective reality can be discerned, devoid of emotion, cultural difference, or subjectivity. However, truth is never universal, and historically the humanist definition of ‘humanity’ has been limited to a Eurocentric ideal. Making kin acts in opposition to this legacy of exclusion. Through the dual logics of “tentacular thinking” and “sympoiesis” making kin seeks to extend empathy and care across gender, race, and biological boundaries. This effort to bridge difference functions in opposition to the exclusionary politics of ocularcentrism and the humanistic worldview. Examining the work of three artist-led collectives (The Institute of Queer Ecology, BUSH gallery, and the South Asian Visual Arts Centre, specifically their collaboration with Christina Battle titled, Ishtar’s International Network of Feral Gardens) I will critique how their practices subvert the ocularcentric paradigm through embodied acts of kinship with the non-human world.

Date: 3 May 2021
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Criticism and Curatorial Practice
Date Deposited: 10 May 2021 17:06
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2021 08:47
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3399

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