On poetry, touch
Following Barad, I ask whether there is space between touching and — not. This question is social.
From Poetry’s Social Forms, Post45, 2019
[...] In "On Touching: the Inhuman that Therefore I Am," Karen Barad draws on quantum field theory to describe the relationship between particles and the void, suggesting that it no longer makes sense to conceive of particles in the void, but rather to think of particles "entangled with it," which changes our concept of how touch works on a particle level. Barad acknowledges, "A common explanation for the physics of touching is that one thing it does not involve is ... well, touching. That is there is no actual contact involved. You may think you are touching a coffee mug when you are about to raise it to your mouth, but your hand is not actually touching the mug."1 Immersed in Encadenar, I grapple with the paradox of touching without touching. I begin to think of touch as diffusion. I start to see myself in gradient. And yet I know that many forms of contact produce violence. I know there is no ahistorical or apolitical relationship to this landscape — I grew up with stories about this site, have my own fraught relationship as a settler to its histories. I want to learn what modes of contact Encadenar produces, proliferates, as argument. Following Barad, I ask whether there is space between touching and — not. This question is social. [read more]