Public Lecture: "Pet Project: Animal Companionship in the Dominion of the Dead"

When:2 Oct 2015, 4:30pm - 6pm
Venue:Central Lecture Block 3 (Map Ref E19)
Who:Prof. Hayden Lorimer
Pet Project

Abstract

First time I clapped eyes on the place, I knew there was a project in it. The most precious plot in the town, its seashore pet cemetery. Somewhere seemingly charmed into a paradoxical state: of makeshift permanency. A place giving off the impression of having gotten lost, only to resurface by way of several turning tides, misplaced and out-of-time. If feels sempiternal, ruinous and sunken. Encounters are estranged by 1001 love stories. One for every companion creature buried in a sandy grave. Since then, I’ve become a regular visitor, but I’m still not anywhere near the bottom of it. One thing I know for sure, my interest in this pet cemetery is about more than pet cemeteries. Always good to think with, the site seems to open a window on transversal practices, offering an experimental test-bed for theories of new materialism, serving as a creative crucible for ideas derived from the environmental humanities. Working these possible relations continues to prove productive. Consequently, my talk will take the form of a stylized landscape-tour, in which I consider the coupling of live theory and local culture. As a locus of practice, matter and relations, the pet cemetery is multiple and unstable: a place of multi-species burial; mass disposal; biochemical experiment; queered ecology; shared personhood; deep sentimentality; public good; solitary investment; private commemoration; collective narrative; inadvertent art; indigenous culture; folk craft; miniaturised design. And that is just the half of it.

About Hayden Lorimer

Hayden Lorimer is Professor of Cultural Geography in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom. His research explores diverse geographies of nature, landscape, biography, memory, art, science, fieldwork, and the life of the senses.

This is a free event, all welcome. 

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