Navigating Knowledge Frameworks at the Intercultural Interface

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Joe Citizen


As we emerge not altogether unscathed in 2022 into what optimistically might be called a postpandemic world, we are confronted by the pressing need to address global and climate instabilities against a general backdrop of complexity. Potential solutions must be balanced against environmental and societal concerns that cannot take for granted that any system is somehow isolated. Here then is the crux of new materialist and post-humanist approaches – a shift “away from Kant”1 and away it seems, from humancentric understandings of who, or what, has agency in the world.

Despite acknowledging the agencies of non-human others, such as electrical grids2 and quantum entanglement,3 or proposing new speculative realist frameworks by which to engage with such agentic capacities,4 finding workable solutions within such dynamics remains stubbornly difficult. What does become clear, at least, is that these Eurocentric traditions, arising from the European Enlightenment project, have not served the environment particularly well. Newtonian physics can no longer claim mastery over the tangible world through recourse to universal laws acting in isolation, and liberal humanism is revealed to be underpinned by Eurocentric cultural traditions of human exceptionalism and the rights of the individual exceeding the rights of the collective. As I have argued elsewhere,5 such traditions within the European imaginary arise from Judeo-Christian notions of dominion over the nonhuman and are reinforced by successive bifurcations between nature and culture through Plato/Aristotle-Descartes-Kant metaphysical trajectories.

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Author Biography

Joe Citizen, Wintec, Te Pūkenga

Dr Joe Citizen (PhD, AUT). I am a collaborative, practice-led creative-arts researcher. I am mainly interested in speculative metaphysics located at the intercultural hyphen space and how this applies to identifying potential synergies and parallels between Māori and Pākehā ways of knowing and being. I am particularly interested in relational emergence, which I explore through the creation of immersive interactive installations, using sound, lighting and transcoded data from environmental sensors.
My work is relevant to the fields of Māori–Pākehā relations, post-humanist and new materialist critique, aesthetics and contemporary digital theory. For further information, please contact me: