Animistology, wtf is that anyway?

So, what the fuck is animistology anyway? If I would have to put it in one sentence it would go something like the following.

_"Animistology is an attempt for a non-academic intellectual journalistic inquiry in what it means to be and what's happening on the edge of our existence and _the fringes of culture."


Animistology derives it's name from Animism.

All cultures have sooner or later been soaked in animism. These days it still can be found all over the world in various societies. The only place where it also survived a culture moving into modernity is in Japan in the form of Shinto. Otherwise it is mainly practised in tribal societies.

Traditionally, animism is described as the believe that things may also have soul or contain a spirit. That is also the common denominator in popular culture these days, brought upon us by Sir Edward Tylor. But actually there is an ongoing discourse on what animism might or might not be. The most fruitful addition to the subject, in my opinion, is the direction that anthropologist Nurit Bird-David took. She and a few colleagues argue that animism is a relational epistemology or relational ontology.


And that's exactly where Animistology wants to position itself. Contemporary processes in the arts, humanities and sciences paint a very complex image of the world we are embedded in. Our existence is becoming paradox - not graspable with the vocabularies we have developed so far. Our vocabularies usually put ourselves, us humans, in the centre.

That worked for a while, but so did the geocentric model.

A unifying thread in these processes is the re-evaluation of the concept of human or humanity. The idea of human/humanity is resolved to a certain degree, depending on where you look. The hierarchies and dichotomies are levelled. No more nature/technology, human/animals or mind/body. Subjectivity and agency becoming shifting entities, egregores, melded out of our old objects and beings. We're put in relation with the world we're embed.

Animistology doesn't try to push a new paradigm or show up the new right way to live. But it investigates, subsumes and curates information about ongoing processes in art, humanities and sciences which are working on our epistemological and ontological frameworks. Furthermore Animistology covers ongoing developments in technology and science which are transforming our everyday life and understanding of what is.

Book Recommendations

Animistology is influenced and informed by various movements from different directions, such as speculative realism, the nonhuman turn or posthuman studies.

These books each give a good introduction in the overlapping subjects that animistology is concerned with at the moment.

I especially recommend Alien Phenomenology as an easy entry into the world of the nonhuman. It's kinda like reading a stoner's diary, should such a thing ever be written.