At stake is the ability to think about the Other, those agents and beings radically different from ourselves. How are we to understand that which differs from our capacity to comprehend? The conjecture of this book is that such thinking is possible within particular parameters. Foremost, it is a thinking that arises from the event, action, and encounters with the animal others.  This is a corporeal thinking that risks itself, mind and body, in the acts of encounters that differ with each animal. Additionally, thinking the Other in this case is possible only if we consider thinking as an activity in the wake of philosophy as a series of experiments and paths toward producing tentative, sometimes fragile, and hybrid meaning. In particular, and as I’ll take up in later chapters, pidgin language—as a makeshift and cobbled-together language of words and gestures between two different groups—has been particularly helpful for me as a figure for thinking alongside animals.

Surface Encounters: thinking with animals and art

Surface Encounters focuses on a singular problem: what is an animal phenomenology? The contemporary artists considered in this book have unmoored themselves from the cultural grounding of meaning in order to take seriously the world of animals and an animal phenomenology as a productive limit from which they find inspirational and transformational material for their work. Along the way these artists develop pidgin languages of interspecies expression that challenge philosophy and fashion new concepts for animal studies.

 At stake is the ability to think about the Other, those agents and beings radically different from ourselves. How are we to understand that which differs from our capacity to comprehend? The conjecture of this book is that such thinking is possible within particular parameters. Foremost, it is a thinking that arises from the event, action, and encounters with the animal others.  This is a corporeal thinking that risks itself, mind and body, in the acts of encounters that differ with each animal. Additionally, thinking the Other in this case is possible only if we consider thinking as an activity in the wake of philosophy as a series of experiments and paths toward producing tentative, sometimes fragile, and hybrid meaning. In particular, and as I’ll take up in later chapters, pidgin language—as a makeshift and cobbled-together language of words and gestures between two different groups—has been particularly helpful for me as a figure for thinking alongside animals.

At stake is the ability to think about the Other, those agents and beings radically different from ourselves. How are we to understand that which differs from our capacity to comprehend? The conjecture of this book is that such thinking is possible within particular parameters. Foremost, it is a thinking that arises from the event, action, and encounters with the animal others.

This is a corporeal thinking that risks itself, mind and body, in the acts of encounters that differ with each animal. Additionally, thinking the Other in this case is possible only if we consider thinking as an activity in the wake of philosophy as a series of experiments and paths toward producing tentative, sometimes fragile, and hybrid meaning. In particular, and as I’ll take up in later chapters, pidgin language—as a makeshift and cobbled-together language of words and gestures between two different groups—has been particularly helpful for me as a figure for thinking alongside animals.