Chalmers Conferences, Transvaluation: Making the world matter

The animistic moment
Mattias Kärrholm

Last modified: 2015-08-18


In this paper I want to discuss a couple of anthropomorphic/animistic examples of how agency can be delegated to things as a productive strategy in a context of making. The first example is two texts by Clarice Lispector, The Passion According to G.H (1964) and her posthumous (and incomplete) novel A Breath of Life, and the second is Louis Kahn and his work on the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad. The examples are used in order to discuss anthropomorphism/animism as seen from a relational ontology of material agency, where a certain part of an assemblage is deliberately made into a critical and transformative mediator. It is also suggested that such an animistic moment can be seen as particular and sometimes productive strategy for the unfolding and refolding of different spaces into each other. Finally, animism will be discussed, alongside hybridization and singularisation, as a specific strategy of spatial production.


animism; Clarice Lispector; Louis Kahn; materiality


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