How does a Snail See The World?

July 14, 2023
Posted in News
July 14, 2023 Dritter Jahrgang MASO
Uexküllian tradition of seeing and imagining non – human Umwelten (Jakob von Uexküll, A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans, 1934) not as objects but rather as subjects of the world has been present with many different artists, especially the ones concerned with fiction and story telling. I followed the tradition and studied snails collected in a nearby garden, named Jeremies (after famous Snail Jeremy), for couple of weeks, reading about their needs, perceptions, and empirically observing them, trying to connect their perception of the world with imaginary futures they live in, published at the Instagram account #Snail2090. Furthermore, I was connecting their (or rather my imagery of the Snail’s World) with the notion of Ethics of Care I have been studying and researching for over a year.
After reading the the essay ‘How does a Snail See the World – Imagining Non – Human Animals’ Visual Umwelten’ (2013) Published by Leuven University Press, I realised that only visual interpretation of non – human actors does not suffice as it lacks the complexity and density of bodily experience. This is when my research shifted into a research of slime and touch as metaphors for care described in the book Matters of Care (María Puig de la Bellacasa, 2017).

Questions and ideas generated by my research are concerned with creation of non – human realities
that are rather bodily experiences than visual representations.
For further research, I suggest either creating a theatre for Snails, or a 3D worlds for AR or VR where an audience can experience a speculative futures of Snail world through all senses (vision, smell, touch, hearing, taste) that are activated in this experiment, (e.g, slime controller, VR in a pull of slime with smell, Slime Jello that can be eaten etc.). This world should speak of care as defined by Bellacasa: ‘Care is everything that is done to maintain, continue, and re-pair ‘the world’ so that all can live in it as well as possible.’