Three times thrown into the wake of ocean incursions. Three times brutally awakened. A semi-fictional anthropologist stumbles in media res upon three different depths or decompression stops, of res in media: (a) at several thousand metres below sea level in a nuclear submarine; (b) at sea level on a fishing trawler; and, finally, (c) deep blue diving at night along a safety line guiding military rescue divers towards a sunken trawler. This is both an essay in individuation and an exploration of associated milieus, inspired by a body of work concerning social constructs of the sea, ocean biopolitics and the oceanization of thought. However, rather than building through theory, we chose to compose through storytelling and body experiment, using interviews and ethnographic materials we collected in 2016. Part dream state, part insomnia, part night work, the narrative deals with our increasingly industrialized mode of existence, affecting our sensory relations to ‘environments’ such as the ocean, but also our sleep and ‘attention’, and the relevance of the ‘anthropocene’ once at sea. Is there anything left of the ‘human’ or the ‘(s)cene’ (terrestrial paradigm) in the movements of the swell and the darkness of the deep?
Social Science Information: Information sur les Sciences Sociales – SAGE
Published: Sep 1, 2018
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