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

Author Replies # Posted on April 15, 2014 at 14:07

My first impression, when I started my reading of Tim Ingold’s book, was that the texts were very dense and complex, so it was hard for me to digest and evaluate his perception in the beginning. The following idea was that author used material and arguments are quite abstract and hardly could be implemented in the more practical approach or serve as the argument for the environmental history research. However, the author elevates interesting and controversial ideas that shake up the traditional and sometime static perception of the surrounding nature with all the scales, layers and actors involved in it. Thus Tim Ingold for me could be understood as more ideological mentor that would throw different light to the well-know issues and discussions.

Regarding the two chapters that was compulsory for the seminar plus following the discussion during the seminar, my preferences come to the “Temporality of the Landscapes”. The idea to perceive the landscape as the qualitative and heterogeneous, as well as discuss the entity of it, let us resurrect it and make it complex and dynamic. Even though this kind of approach may pose some new issues in understanding the environment, but at the same time it fulfills the gaps in the network of interdependent between nature and human. Thus the key actors, which shape the world and transform behavior, become not only the humans, but also the nature likewise. As the environmental historians, this approach offers us different paradigm to interpret the boundaries that create the relationship between human and the nature.

As the optional reading, I selected chapter “Building, dwelling, living: How animals and people make themselves at home in the world” and my reasoning frankly was, because the name sounded similar to the Martin Heidegger text “Building Dwelling Thinking”. However, when I started looking closer to the text I was nicely surprised and intrigued by Tim Ingold’s ideas. The two questions he entices reader attention by asking, “what is means to say that an environment is built?” and “by what right do we conventionally identify the artificial with the ‘man-made’?” (Ingold:2000, p. 174). This is very nice minimal twist from the traditional discussion then it is focusing on: “what built environment means?”; to the more philosophical as well as social-ecological view when the separation between human and nature starts to interplay and creates the ebb that separates humans from the others – environment constructing organism.