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Relaying the Pluriverse Otherwise? Environments, Storytelling, and Speculative Sensing

nerea.pngNerea Calvillo will be giving a paper at the transdisciplinary conference Multispecies Storytelling in Intermedial Practices at the Centre for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies, at Linneaus University, Sweden. 23-25 January.

The paper, co-authored with Martin Savransky, will be on Relaying the Pluriverse Otherwise? Environments, Storytelling, and Speculative Sensing

Abstract

How might we sense and relay our damaged worlds otherwise? Seeking to rise to the multiple challenges posed by climate-change, pollution and the endangerment of species, a host of practices are currently being deployed to measure the manifold devastation of our environments through data gathered by multiple science and citizen-science sensors. While potentially generative of a less rationalistic mode of connecting to our environments, one of the problems with such sensing devices is that they rarely challenge the established types of data on which their sensors feed. Data is “gathered”, but what is gathered is always less than what is concretely given in any environment: what other experiences, purposes, and events may those environments be capable of? For instance, what kinds of responses might become possible were we to relate not only to scientific data on ocean pollution, but to the endangered liveliness and sentience of more-than-humans themselves? What if we re-read the data of coral bleaching, for example, through speculative stories that could make the coral’s own experiences felt? Indeed, what might practices of speculative storytelling do to open up our ways of sensing the pluriverse? In this exploratory paper, we seek to experiment with the importance of such questions by dramatising the possibility that alternative modes and devices of sensing, and other ways of relaying what is sensed, might enable more-than-human worlds to make themselves present otherwise. We wish to explore how they may help us learn how to tell other stories. Stories that may, in turn, contribute to cultivating more generative multispecies relations in this ongoing pluriverse.