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  • Writer's pictureOutimaija Hakala

Outimaija Hakala: Ants

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

Ants / Muurahaiset (2021) lupine inkd drawing, sound of ants.

Photo credit (uppermost image): Timo Takala

Ants is a project about animal languages. How are animals, plants, and all non-human nature talking and representing themselves? At least some of them have their own language and marks, mostly non-linguistic forms of communication. View from human language is usually understood by linguistic systems. In posthumanism we need to think more openly about what language is. If we recognize languages by other species we can learn more about communication and connections between all living beings. Begin with others, deeply equal with non-humans.

Humans are yet overhead subjects, who are allowed to utilize non-humans (asubjects). By acting that way we are not yet posthumans, we are just on the way stepping down from human centric positions. But the paradigm is already changing. Cary Wolfe turns Adorno’s phrase upside down: not the ”preponderance of the objects” but the ”preponderance of subject.” Preponderance of subject is important for critical animal studies: if non-humans are subjects like we humans do, they have a moral value of a subject. We have to listen more carefully to other subjects and respect them. Eva Meijer develops that non-human animals speak and act politically. I'm standing with her, toward an interspecies democracy.

Outimaija Hakala is a visual artist and an art historian from Finland and doctoral candidate in Aalto Arts. Currently she is working on multidisciplinary project about challenges of conseptualising animals in science and arts with Voiko-collective. Her artistic research based on critical animal studies, posthumanism and environmental art. By research she is trying to find out how to respect and take animal subject into consideration in visual arts.


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