Understanding emerging from interspecies relations: Horses, pigs, insect hotels, peat bogs in artistic practices, inquiries and processes of becoming to understand in research-writing
This thematic issue of Research in Arts and Education focuses on exploring research with species other than humans. In the original call, my co-editor Helena Sederholm and I named animals, plants, lichen, moss, and fungi as possible others, or rather partners with whom the carried out artistic and arts-based research could be carried out. The first volume of this special issue was published in 2022. Almost a year later, we publish this second volume that has a particular emphasis on the contradictory, paradoxical relations humans have with other species, the natural processes that are part of human life as well as with the conflicting and exploitative relations humans have built with particular species or places. The authors focus on personally built relationships and encounters with individual living or dead animals, while other authors bring attention to and investigate culturally built notions and contradictory practices that have become normative, dominant practices or perceptions. These articles and visual essays are characterized by posthumanist and postmaterialist orientations and although their strategies and approaches for research and art practices vary, their orientation can be characterized to be driven by exploratory criticality as well as deep reflection guided by sensitivity to arts and other epistemic traditions. As such, they are deeply involved in modes of increasing understanding with and through art.
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