Everyday Attunements

Everyday Attunements

“Rhetoric,” Thomas Rickert argues, “must be grounded in the material relations from which it springs, not simply as the situation giving it its shape and exigence, but as part of what we mean by rhetoric” (2013, p. x).

This week, I’m finishing up fieldwork for a new project. In our everyday lives, we’re immersed in myriad forms of disclosive ambience. Sometimes we’re attuned to such disclosures, but often we willingly pass them by. We unsee, unhear, and unfeel.

To be worldish—in Heidegger’s (1953/2010) terms, to both inhabit worlds and be world-forming—is to be invested, “to have a full range of interests, cares, and concerns merging with our encounters” (Rickert, p. 13).

The fieldwork for this project has focused on everyday attunements to worldishness, and thus to investments, cares, and concerns. I’ll hopefully have something more substantial to share about this soon, as I dig into analysis and turn from fieldwork to production and making.

But I wanted to share a little gif from this morning, an encounter of everyday attunement. It’s a glimpse of how I know my neighborhood, and how my neighborhood responds to me.

As I walk to my office, there are innumerable moments of worldish giving and taking. This is one such moment—a loose manhole assembly that gives when it’s warm, that becomes rigid when the sidewalks are frozen. Attuning to these material–environmental relations is attuning to my neighborhood, and to possibilities for action as I—and many others, human and nonhuman—move through this little world, this series of connected neighborhoods in Lexington, Kentucky.

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