April 23rd, 2016

In order to rearrange our mental landscapes, we must learn not to pull on one end of the thread, but to engage the knot as a whole. Instructions for a complex relationship role-play.

Entanglement describes the ongoing interweaving, of different kinds of things acting at different scales (e.g. mushrooms, pine trees, soils, Hmong-Americans, Japanese buyers, cell phones, property rights, gift-giving customs, markets, etc.), into complex relationships. Often confounded with hybridity, entanglement does not celebrate the collapse of categories or the fusion of humans with nonhumans, material with ideal, culture with nature. Instead, it preserves the possibility of analysis and the potential for fraying that leads to fragmentation. Following one causal thread into the tangle, the analyst (or activist) can expect to emerge grasping another of a different and surprising kind.