1st Edition

Surfaces Transformations of Body, Materials and Earth

Edited By Mike Anusas, Cristián Simonetti Copyright 2020
    208 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    208 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In attending to surfaces, as they wrap, layer and grow within sentient bodies, material formations and cosmological states, this volume presents a series of ten anthropological studies stretching across five continents and in observation of earthly practices of making, knowing, living and dying.

    Through theoretically reflecting on time spent with Aymara and Mapuche Andean cultures; the Malagasy people of Madagascar; craftspeople and designers across Europe and Oceania; amongst the architectures of Australia and South Korea and within the folds of books, screens, landscape and the sea, the anthropologists in this volume communicate diverse ways of considering, working with and knowing surfaces. Together, these writings advance a knowledge of the world which resists any definitive settlement of existential categories and rather seeks to know the world in its emergence and transformation, as entities grow, cohere, shift, dissolve, decay and are reborn through the contact and exchange of surfaces, persisting with varying time, power and effect.

    The book principally invites readers from anthropology, the creative arts and environmental studies, but also across the wider humanities and social sciences as well as those in neighbouring scientific fields of archaeology, biology, geography, geoscience, material science, neurology and psychology interested in the intersections of mind, body, materials and world.

    1 Introduction: turning to surfaces

    Mike Anusas and Cristián Simonetti

    2 On opening the book of surfaces

    Tim Ingold

    3 Air, smoke and fumes in Aymara and Mapuche rituals

    Juan Carlos Skewes and Debbie Guerra

    4 In light and shadow: surfaces and polarities in rituals of second burial in Central East Madagascar

    Christel Mattheeuws

    5 Re-animating skin: probing the surface in taxidermic practice

    Petra Tjitske Kalshoven

    6 The temporality of surfaces

    Cristián Simonetti

    7 Threshold as social surface

    Ray Lucas

    8 Vital surfaces and the making of urban architecture

    Anuradha Chatterjee

    9 On the substance of surfaces: situating materials and design in Melanesian environments

    Graeme Were

    10 On knitted surfaces-in-the-making

    Lydia Maria Arantes

    11 A life surficial: design and beyond

    Mike Anusas

    12 Epilogue

    Susanne Küchler


    Mike Anusas is Lecturer in Design & Screen Cultures, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh. Originally having trained and worked as a designer and engineer, he retrained as a social anthropologist to teach and research at the intersection of design and anthropology, exploring relationships between skilled practices, form-making and environmental perception.

    Cristián Simonetti is Assistant Professor in Anthropology, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. His work concentrates on how bodily gestures and environmental forces relate to notions of time in science, the topic of a monograph he published in 2018 also with Routledge, entitled Sentient Conceptualisations. Feeling for Time in the Sciences of the Past.