Added on by Alira Callaghan.

I attended the ASCP conference at the end of last year in Hobart, this is the abstract for the paper I presented:

Nonanthropocentric Approaches: exploring engagements of OOO through practice-led research

The curatorial statement for the exhibition And Another Thing posited that the collected works were “part of an alternate movement toward nonanthropocentrism, an effort to dislodge the human from the centre of discussion, to enrich the concept of being, and to open the very world itself to all things that comprise it. The world is brimming with things, and seen from a non-anthropocentric vantage, all things are equal, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral. Nonanthropocentrism repositions humans as just “another thing,” no more precious or central than any other” (Behar & Mikelsen, 2011).

The exhibition was an early exploration into nonanthropocentrism for artist/curator Katherine Behar and was an event that preceded two of her books that explicitly dealt with object-oriented ontologies (OOO)—And Another Thing: Nonanthropocentrism in Art (2016), and Object-Oriented Feminism (2016). These contributions to the fields of both art and philosophy came from practically engaging with concepts of OOO and nonanthropocentrism through creative practice first and foremost. This paper examines what is meant by “practically engaging” with a philosophical theory in creative practice and proposes the framework of practice-led research as the generative mode this action can occur within, referencing both my own art practice and that of others.

The postgraduate day before the conference was a great opportunity to meet other early career researchers and listen to speakers from across Australia and overseas. Dr Michelle Boulous Walker from University of Queensland talked about the need for collegiality within institutions and definitely inspired some of us to engage more in reading groups and events on our own campuses. Her book Slow Philosophy: reading against the institution, available through Bloomsbury publishing, identifies the need for academic pursuits to be slowed down against the demands of the institution- makes me feel better about the pace of my PhD!