Boundary Work


(Concept by the biologist Donna J. Haraway from Staying with the Trouble. Making kin in the Chthulucene as a suggestion of a metaphor or symbol for the consideration and definition of objects, things, bodies of thought, models, method (?) etc.):

is translated with creature / reptile (german transl.: Viech/ Kreatur/ Kriechtier/ Kriecher) and stands as a picture for general “the living beings” in Haraways description. Since the term kritter does not specifically denote a certain creature, they are a possible fantasy space, a projection surface to describe a behavior that encompasses “becoming-together” and enables the incomplete and interdependent world system.

What are kritter like, what can they do?

Kritter have an irresistible urge to span, encompass and embrace each other. They interpret each other, twist and wind around and through each other, eat each other, partially digest each other and partially assimilate each other*. This creates arrangements, which can also be called cells, organisms or ecological structures. In this sense, Kritter can already stand for the smallest possible particles, unicellular organisms and bacteria, which, in their mutual absorption, utilization and connection, create a continuous development and change. They can be defined as individual particles but also produce an organism in context at the same time. Their definition in the individual and in common cannot be static, but is in constant change. That means: the critters do not precede their relationships. They constantly bring forth each other through semiotic-material involution and inversion.*

* concept of kritter occurs mainly on page 86 of Haraway, D. J.: Staying in the trouble. Making kin in the Chthulucene ( p.86 the german version, might differ a little in the english book, please change if sh has access to the book and finds the exact page!)

open questions:

  • How could the concept of the kritter influence definitions of disciplines?
  • How could the concept of the kritter influence the idea of transdisciplinary methods/ procedures in the sense of exceeding/ shifting/ questioning the limits (which presuppose limits for this step) ? -> the kritter does not preced their relationships
  • Is the kritter also working as a method or is it only a concept? (concept german transl.: Konzept, Begriff, Idee, Gedanke)

4 comments for “Kritter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Skip to toolbar