Attunements to Fog

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By characterizing capture as entailing both by relations of connection and relations of disconnection, Whitehead avoids the pitfall of understanding “the act of capture as a relation between two individuals already constituted before the capture itself,” where one party would become simply “the object of another” (ibid.: 51-52). Rather than a reduction to sameness, the space of uncertainty created by the particular manner in which the capture happens is suggestive of its propensity to novelty. As such, prehension enables us to better grasp what it might mean that the spider, through practices of trapping and trap-making, becomes fly-like without necessarily turning into a fly, but by continuously becoming something other than both the fly and itself.

Fog catchers exhibit generative capacities reminiscent of those highlighted in anthropological literature on traps. Their way of rendering subjects differently attuned to fog has amounted to reconceptualizations of lomas as ecosystems for which fog is imagined to play a central role. As a corollary effect, they have participated in the making of a public around these ecosystems, attuned to the fragility of the latter’s relation to fog and the possibility to re-establish such presumably lost loma-fog and, by extension, human-fog relations. This is, to draw again from Choy (2018: 71), a mutual capture that traps also the trapper; a becoming fog-like.

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January 13, 2021 - 2:50am

Critical Commentary

The materiality of fog captures or traps scientific understandings of the ecology of the lomas near Lima, just as they also ecologize fog by capturing its meaning in models of the environment. Traps are discussed as media between worlds and knowledges.