• Friendship

Golding, Johnny, 2018, Book Section, Friendship In: Turner, Lynn, Selbach, Undine and Broglio, Ron, (eds.) The Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp. 262-276. ISBN 9781474418416

Abstract or Description:

Friendship names the raw, sensuous, delicate, multi-dimensional, secret intelligence shared by sentient beings at the moment of their extended encounter. It requires nothing of identity politics, selfhood, social agency, though its very expression enables and indeed solidifies, all this and more. Unlike companionship, it generates a strangely emboldened shared knowing, a suspended aliveness of (and to) otherness without recourse to an old-fashioned ‘mastery’ or ‘authority’ or binaric split between ‘self and Other’. This is not a suspended aliveness as in ‘freefall’ or some kind of nihilistic relativism that generates an always-already ‘in between’ or ‘transitioning’ state of affairs. Leastwise it is ‘romantic’, though its irruptions have launched over a thousand delicious plateaus. Friendship requires a wholly different logic of senses, emotions, libidinal economies, calculations and intentions, closer to the Socratic parrhesia (truth) and its reinvention by Foucault in his Courage of Truth, as epimeleia (the technologies of care). Drawing on a specific encounter, a wild encounter, one stretched over a seven-year period with a semi-feral mustang whose precise split-down-the-middle brown/white face, earned him the Ojibwe name “Manhattan” (corrupted from “Madweijwan, the ‘heard-flowing’ of where the two rivers meet), these remarks here today will step into that suspended aliveness of (and to) otherness in order to develop a wholly different logic of this event-secret-sensuous intelligence called ‘friendship’.
At its core is an ability to harness a particular type of raw energy, sexual presence, even joy – an athleticism, respect, trust, odd form of mastery and slowness of time (despite or, even perhaps, at a gallop), that not only goes beyond the traditional (and anthropomorphically bound) tropes of ‘fraternity’ or ‘brotherhood’, but beyond the linguistic turn itself, with all the trappings of ‘subject’ and ‘object’, the ‘becoming-x’ and the ‘transcendental’, now thrown to one side. In so doing, a form of consciousness and indeed a ‘new’ form of communication is enabled, one that speaks a wholly different language game, embodied in the breat(d)th and fractal singularities that today go under the such headings as quantum entanglements, ana-materialisms, incompletenesses and undecidabilities.
All this I learned from befriending a wildly playful and somewhat dangerous horse named Manhattan.

Official URL: https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-the-edin...
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art > W190 Fine Art not elsewhere classified
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2017 22:48
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2021 08:38
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3002
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