The Matter of Mapping Multispecies Entanglements of Mourning—A Manifesto’s Shout, An Orca’s Tour of Grief
Mapping entanglements is work—work of care, maintenance, and mourning. This project utilises a new materialist methodology inherited from the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, who follow lines of becoming to track compositions which compose worlds. To map (non-linear, temporal, and situated) lines of loss across multispecies landscapes is material work of more-than-human mourning. The New York City-based performance artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles—alongside scholars such as María Puig de la Bellacasa and Donna J. Haraway—reorient configurations of work and care, which enable these lines to be followed into more-than-human worlds. Mapping lines of mourning into multispecies worlds is material work of the aesthetic-ethical response within shared and troubled landscapes. The key storytellers within the narrative of mourning and joy woven into this paper are the Salish Sea, the Lummi Nation, the Chinook Salmon, and the Southern Resident killer whale; the voices and cries to which this project, in work and care, is dedicated.
Aerial images document Southern Resident killer whale j17’s continued decline. (2019, May). NOAA Fisheries. https://archive.fisheries.noaa.gov/wcr/stories/2019/15_05152019-srkw-j17.html.
Barad, Karen (2007). Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Duke University Press.
Benjamin, Walter (1996). Selected writings volume 1, 1913-1926. (M. Bullock & M.W. Jennings, Ed.). The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Chiu, Allyson (2018, July 27). An orca calf died shortly after being born. Her grieving mother has carried her body for days. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/07/27/an-orca-calf-died-shortly-after-being-born-her-grieving-mother-has-carried-her-body-for-days/.
Coast Salish people & languages. (n. d.). Burke Museum. Retrieved May 18, 2020. https://www.burkemuseum.org/collections-and-research/culture/contemporary-culture/coast-salish-art/coast-salishpeople.
Cuthbert, Lori & Main, Douglas (2018, August 13). Orca mother drops calf, after unprecedented 17 days of mourning. National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2018/08/orca-mourning-calf-killer-whale-northwest-news/.
Deleuze, Gilles & Guattari, Félix (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press. Originally published in French 1980.
Fears, Darryl (2015, July 30). As salmon vanish in the dry Pacific Northwest so does Native heritage. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/as-salmon-vanish-in-the-dry-pacific-northwest-so-does-native-heritage/2015/07/30/2ae9f7a6-2f14-11e5-8f36-18d1d501920d_story.html.
Finkelpearl, Tom (2001). Dialogues in public art. MIT Press.
Goodyear, Sheena (2018, July 31). Orcas now taking turns floating dead calf in apparent mourning ritual. CBD News. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-tuesday-edition1.4768344/orcas-now-taking-turns-floating-dead-calf-in-apparent-mourning-ritual-1.4768349.
Guattari, Félix (2000). The three ecologies. (I. Pindar and P. Sutton, Trans.). Bloomsbury. Originally published in French in 1989.
Haraway, Donna J. (2004). The Haraway reader. Routledge.
Haraway, Donna J. (2016). Staying with the trouble: Making kin in the Chthulucene. Duke University Press.
Heidegger, Martin (1977). Basic writings. (D.F. Krell, Ed.). Harper San Francisco.
J35 update (2018, August 11). Center for Whale Research. https://www.whaleresearch.com/j35.
J57 (2020, September 11). Center for Whale Research. https://www.whaleresearch.com/j57.
Yong, Ed (2018, August 14). What a grieving orca tells us. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/08/orca-family-grief/567470/.
Mapes, Lynda V. (2019, July 2019). Mother orca Tahlequah and her dead calf, one year later. How did she change the conversation? Seattle Times. https://environment/mother-orca-tahlequah-and-her-dead-calf-one-year-later-how-are-the-southern-residents-doing.
Parker, Laura (2016, August 31). Rare video shows elephants ‘mourning’ matriarch’s death. National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2016/08/elephants-mourning-video-animal-grief/.
Plato (2002). Five dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo. (2nd ed). (G. M. A. Grube, Trans.). Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (Original work published ca. 360 B.C.E.)
Puig de la Bellacasa, María. (2017). Matters of care: Speculative ethics in more than human worlds. University of Minnesota Press.
Pulkkinen, Levi (2019, April 25). A pod of orcas is starving to death. A tribe has a radical plan to feed them. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/25/orca-starving-washington-feed-salmon-lummi-native-american.
Ryan, Bartholomew (2009, March 18). Manifesto for maintenance: a conversation with Mierle Laderman Ukeles. Art in America.https://www.artnews.com/art-in-america/interviews/draft-mierle-interview-56056/.
Southern Resident orca community demographics, composition of pods, births, and deaths since 1998 (2020, January 28). Orca Network. https://www.orcanetwork.org/Main/index.php?categories_file=Births%20and%20Deaths.
Southern resident killer whale priority chinook salmon stocks - questions and answers (2020, February 14). NOAA Fisheries. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/west-coast/endangered-species-conservation/southern-resident-killer-whale-priority-chinook-salmon.
Ukeles, Mierle Laderman (1969). Maintenance art manifesto 1969. Queens Museum. https://www.queensmuseum.org/wpcontent/uploads/2016/04/Ukeles_MANIFESTO.pdf.
Varney, Robert (2005, November 18). Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants: endangered statues for Southern Resident killer whales. Federal Register, NOAA. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2005-11-18/pdf/05-22859.pdf#page=1.
Wetzler, Rachel (2016). Meet the artist who called out a museum by scrubbing the floor for hours. Timeline. https://timeline.com/mierle-ukeles-cleaning-museum-64d274a0a19c.
LicenseThe authors who publish in this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal the right of first publication.
- Texts will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work, provided they include an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship, its initial publication in this journal and the terms of the license.