Intra-action Conceptual Development

Karen Barad coined the term “intra-action” to get beyond the metaphysics of individualism underpinning conventional understandings of “interactions.” Intra-actions involve the mutual constitution of entangled agencies. “Boundaries do not sit still,” she writes (1996).  “Bodies are not objects with inherent boundaries and properties; they are material-discursive phenomena.  ‘Human’ bodies are not inherently different from ‘nonhuman’ ones” (1996). Donna Haraway recently brought the notion of “intra-action” from the realm of physics to the domains of ecology, ethology, and multispecies ethnography

emu wearMaria Fernanda Cardoso Emu Wear

Intra-action: Multispecies Becomings’ is taking place with support from the Environmental Humanities program at UNSW.  The exhibit will take place in conjunction with the Australian Animal Studies Group conference at the University of Sydney.

The original “intra-action” article : Barad, Karen “Meeting the Universe Halfway: Realism and Social Constructivism Without Contradiction” In Feminism, Science, and the Philosophy of Science, L. H. Nelson and J. Nelson (eds) Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers (1996): 161-194.

Foundational texts on the concept of Intra-action and related ideas in art can be found below:

Karen Barad :  Conceptualisation of Intra-action, ‘Posthumanist Performativity‘ and ‘Meeting the Universe Halfway

Donna Haraway : ‘When Species Meet‘, ‘Cyborg Manifesto’, Diffraction concept and other works

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Intra-act!

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