Reply To: Mon 14 Apr: The Perception of the Environment

Author Replies # Posted on April 16, 2014 at 11:31

Comment on Erika’s reflection

It seems two people have commented on your reflection, Erika…I don’t know why that happened, though.

Erika, I agree with your statement in the first paragraph, where you claim that the applicability of Ingold’s theory to our field of practice is somewhat hard to achieve. To me reading about the advantages of the relational model or the mental experiment, where Ingold takes the reader inside Bruegel’s painting in order to situate yourself inside a landscape, inside a taskscape that binds the trees, the field, the peasants, the church into a common, shared sociality, almost verged on sentimentality. However, Ingold has a way with words that compels the reader to actually envisage the situation of being-there-in-the-world. As you said, this does feel as if he is a kind of mentor that guides the reader to see the landscape in a new way. But, when he suggests that his theory might be of interest to legal studies (regarding the legal definition of »indigenousness« or to archaeologists on the field, I remain unconvinced.
Regarding the chapter »Building, dwelling, living«. I have read it some time ago, but I remember that Ingold extends Heidegger’s claim that to be is to build, so to speak, to non-human nature, even what common sense denigrates as inanimate objects. Heidegger builds his claim with the help of clear and lucid etymology, where he proves that to be and to build have a common proto-Indo-European root (I don’t remember it clearly, though). To me that was fascinating, since it claims that a dwelling is not simply a shelter, but a modus of existence. I agree with you that Ingold makes a worthy argument, when he extends Heidegger’s »building is dwelling« notion to animal dwellings. Reading that chapter made me feel cozy, feel at home-in-the-world.