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T h e

te mporality
of th e
landscape
T im
Ingold
Prologue
I adh e re to th at sch ool of
th ough t
wh ich h olds th at social or cultural
anth ropology,
biological anth ropology
and
arch ae ology
f orma
ne ce ssary unity
-
th at
th e y
are all
part
of
th e same inte lle ctual
e nte rprise (Ingold
1992a:
694).
I amnot conce rne d h e re with th e link
with
biological
or
'ph ysical' anth ropology,
but wh at I h ave to
say
doe s be ar
ce ntrally
on th e
unif ying
th e me s of
arch ae ology
and social-cultural
anth ropology.
I want to stre ss two such
th e me s,
and
th e y
are
close ly
re late d.
First,
h uman lif e is a
proce ss
th at involve s th e
passage
of time .
Se cond,
th is
lif e -proce ss
is alsoth e
proce ss
of f ormation of th e
landscape s
in wh ich
pe ople
h ave live d. T ime and
landscape , th e n,
are to
my
mind th e e sse ntial
points
of
topical
contact be twe e n
arch ae ology
and
anth ropology. Mypurpose ,
in th is
article ,
is to
bring
th e
pe rspe ctive s
of
arch ae ology
and
anth ropology
into unison
th rough
a f ocus on th e
te mporality
of th e
landscape .
In
particular,
I be lie ve th at such a f ocus
migh t
e nable us to
move
be yond
th e ste rile
opposition
be twe e n th e naturalistic vie w of th e
landscape
as a
ne utral,
e xte rnal
backdrop
to h uman
activitie s,
and th e culturalistic vie w th at
e ve ry
landscape
is a
particularcognitive
or
symbolic orde ring
of
space .
I
argue
th at we sh ould
adopt,
in
place
of both th e se
vie ws,
wh at I call a
'dwe lling pe rspe ctive ', according
to wh ich
th e
landscape
is constitute d as an
e nduring
re cord of
-
and
te stimony
to
- th e live s and
works of
past ge ne rations
wh o h ave dwe lt with in
it,
and in so
doing,
h ave le f t th e re
some th ing
of th e mse lve s.
For
anth ropologists,
to
adopt
a
pe rspe ctive
of th is kind me ans
bringing
to be ar th e
knowle dge
born of imme diate
e xpe rie nce , by privile ging
th e
unde rstandings
th at
pe ople
de rive f romth e ir
live d, e ve ryday
involve me nt in th e world. Ye t it will
sure ly
be
obje cte d
th at th is ave nue is not
ope n
to
arch ae ologists
conce rne d with h uman activitie s in th e
distant
past.
'T h e
pe ople ',
it is said
'th e y're
de ad'
(Sah lins
1972:
81); only
th e mate rial
re cord re mains f or th e ir succe ssors of our own time to
inte rpre t
as be st
th e y
can. But th is
obje ction
misse s th e
point,
wh ich is th at th e
practice of arch ae ology
is
itse lf
a
f orm of
dwe lling.
T h e
knowle dge
born of th is
practice
is th us on a
par
with th at wh ich come s f rom
th e
practical activity
of th e native dwe lle r and wh ich th e
anth ropologist, th rough
participation,
se e ks to le arn and unde rstand. For both th e
arch ae ologist
and th e native
dwe lle r,
th e
landscape
te lls
-
or rath e r is
-
a
story.
It e nf olds th e live s and time s of
pre de ce ssors wh o,
ove r th e
ge ne rations,
h ave move d around in it and
playe d
th e ir
part
in
its f ormation. T o
pe rce ive
th e
landscape
is th e re f ore to
carry
out an act of
re me mbrance ,
and
re me mbe ring
is not so much a matte r of
calling
up
an inte rnal
image ,
store d in th e
World
Arch ae ology
Volume 25 No. 2
Conce ptions
of
T ime and Ancie nt
Socie ty
? Routle dge
1993 0043-8243/93/2502/152 $3.00/1
T h e
te mporalityof
th e
landscape
153
mind,
as of
e ngaging pe rce ptually
with an e nvironme nt th at is itse lf
pre gnant
with th e
past.
T o be
sure ,
th e rule s and me th ods of
e ngage me nt e mploye d re spe ctive ly by
th e native
dwe lle r and th e
arch ae ologist
will
dif f e r,
as will th e storie s
th e y te ll,
ne ve rth e le ss - in so f ar
as both se e k th e
past
in th e
landscape
-
th e y
are
e ngage d
in
proje cts
of
f undame ntally
th e
same kind.
It is of course
part
of an
arch ae ological training
to le arn to atte nd to th ose clue s wh ich
th e re st of us
migh t pass
ove r
(lite rally,
wh e n
th e y
are be low th e
surf ace ),
and wh ich make
it
possible
to te ll a f ulle r or a rich e r
story. Like wise ,
native dwe lle rs
(and
th e ir
anth ropological companions)
le arn
th rough
an e ducation of atte ntion. T h e novice
h unte r,
f or
e xample ,
trave ls
th rough
th e
country
with h is
me ntors,
and as h e
goe s,
spe cif ic
f e ature s
are
pointe d
out to h im. Oth e r
th ings
h e discove rs f or
h imse lf ,
in th e course of f urth e r
f orays, bywatch ing, liste ning
and
f e e ling.
T h us th e
e xpe rie nce d
h unte ris th e
knowle dge a-
ble h unte r. He can te ll
th ings
f romsubtle indications th at
you
or
I,
unskille d in th e h unte r's
art,
migh t
not e ve n notice . Calle d
upon
to
e xplicate
th is
knowle dge ,
h e
may
do soin af orm
th at
re appe ars
in th e work of th e non-native
e th nograph e r
as a
corpus
of
myth s
or
storie s,
wh e re as th e
arch ae ologist's knowle dge
-
drawn f romth e
practice s
of e xcavation rath e r
th an
h unting
-
may appe ar
in th e
se e mingly
auth oritative f ormof th e site
re port.
But we
sh ould re sist th e
te mptation
to assume th at since storie s are storie s
th e y are ,
in some
se nse ,
unre al or
untrue ,
f or th is is to
suppose
th at th e
only
re al
re ality,
or true
truth ,
is one in
wh ich
we ,
as
living, e xpe rie ncing be ings,
can h ave no
part
at all.
T e lling
a
story
is not like
we aving
a
tape stry
to cove r
up
th e
world,
it is rath e r a
way
of
guiding
th e atte ntion of
liste ne rs or re ade rs into it. A
pe rson
wh o can 'te ll' is one wh o is
pe rce ptually
attune d to
picking up
inf ormation in th e e nvironme nt th at
oth e rs,
le ss skille d in th e tasks of
pe rce ption, migh t miss,
and th e
te lle r,
in
re nde ring
h is
knowle dge e xplicit,
conducts th e
atte ntion of h is audie nce
along
th e same
path s
as h is own.
Following
th at
pre amble ,
I sh all now
go
on to
lay
out th e burde n of
myargume nt.
T h is is
pre se nte d
in f our
principal
se ctions. In th e f irst
two,
I
atte mpt
to
spe cif y
more
pre cise ly
wh at I me an
bymyke y
te rms -
landscape
and
te mporality.
I
argue
th at
te mporality
inh e re s
in th e
patte rn
of
dwe lling
activitie s th at I call th e
taskscape .
In th e th ird se ction I conside r
h ow
taskscape
re late s to
landscape and, ultimate ly by dissolving
th e distinction be twe e n
th e m,
I
proce e d
to re cove r th e
te mporality
of th e
landscape
itse lf .
Finally,
I draw some
concre te illustrations of
my argume nts
f rom a we ll-known
painting by Brue ge l,
T h e
Harve ste rs.
Landscape
Le t me
be gin bye xplaining
wh at th e
landscape
is not. It is not
'land',
it is not
'nature ',
and it
is not
'space '. Conside r,
f irstof
all,
th e distinction be twe e n land and
landscape .
Land is not
some th ing you
can
se e , any
more th an
you
can se e th e
we igh t
of
ph ysical obje cts.
All
obje cts
of th e most dive rse kinds h ave
we igh t,
and it is
possible
to
e xpre ss
h ow much
anyth ing we igh s
re lative to
any
oth e r
th ing. Like wise ,
land is a kind of lowe st common
de nominator of th e
ph e nome nal world,
inh e re nt in
e ve ry portion
of th e e arth 's surf ace
ye t
dire ctly
visible in
none ,
and in te rms of wh ich
anyportion may
be re nde re d
quantitative ly
e quivale nt
to
any
oth e r
(Ingold
1986a:
153-4).
You can ask of
land,
as of
we igh t,
h ow
154 T im
Ingold
much th e re
is,
but not wh at it is like . But wh e re land is th us
quantitative
and
h omoge ne ous,
th e
landscape
is
qualitative
and
h e te roge ne ous. Supposing
th at
you
are
standing outdoors,
it is wh at
you
se e all around: acontoure d and te xture d surf ace
re ple te
with dive rse
obje cts
-
living
and
non-living,
natural and artif icial
(th e se
distinctions are
both
proble matic,
as we sh all
se e ,
but
th e y
will se rve f or th e time
be ing).
T h us at
any
particularmome nt, you
can ask of a
landscape
wh at it is
like ,
but not h ow much of it th e re
is. For th e
landscape
is a
ple num,
th e re are no h ole s in it th at re main to be f ille d
in,
so th at
e ve ry
inf ill is in
re ality
a
re working.
As
Me inig obse rve s,
one sh ould not ove rlook 'th e
powe rf ul
f act th at lif e must be live d amidst th at wh ich was made be f ore '
(1979a: 44).
T h e
landscape
is not 'nature '. Of
course ,
nature can me an
many th ings,
and th is is not
th e
place
f or adiscourse on th e
h istory
of th e
conce pt.
Suf f ice it to
say
th at I h ave in mind
th e rath e r
spe cif ic
se nse wh ose
ontological
f oundation is an
imagine d se paration
be twe e n
th e h uman
pe rce ive r
and th e
world,
such th at th e
pe rce ive r
h as to re construct th e
world,
in
consciousne ss,
prior
to
anyme aningf ul e ngage me nt
with it. T h e world of
nature ,
it is of te n
said,
is wh at lie s 'out th e re '. All kinds of e ntitie s are
suppose d
to e xist out
th e re ,
but not
you
and I. We live 'in
h e re ',
in th e
inte rsubje ctive space
marke d out
by
our me ntal
re pre se ntations. Application
of th is
logic
f orce s an insiste nt
dualism,
be twe e n
obje ct
and
subje ct,
th e mate rial and th e
ide al, ope rational
and
cognize d,
'e tic' and 'e mic'. Some
write rs
distinguish
be twe e n nature and th e
landscape
in
just
th e se te rms
-
th e f orme ris said
to stand to th e latte r as
ph ysical re ality
to its cultural or
symbolic
construction. For
e xample ,
Danie ls and
Cosgrove
introduce a colle ction of
e ssays
on T h e
Iconograph y of
Landscape
with th e
f ollowing
de f inition: 'A
landscape
is acultural
image ,
a
pictorial way
of
re pre se nting
or
symbolising surroundings' (1988: 1).
I do not sh are th is vie w. T o th e
contrary,
I
re je ct
th e division be twe e n inne r and oute r
worlds
-
re spe ctive ly
of mind and
matte r,
me aning
and substance
-
upon
wh ich such
distinction re sts. T h e
landscape ,
I
h old,
is not a
picture
in th e
imagination, surve ye d by
th e
mind's
e ye ; nor, h owe ve r,
is it an alie n and f ormle ss substrate
awaiting
th e
imposition
of
h uman orde r. 'T h e ide aof
landscape ',
as
Me inig write s,
'runs counte r to
re cognition
of
any
simple binary re lationsh ip
be twe e n man and nature '
(Me inig
1979b:
2). T h us,
ne ith e r is
th e
landscape
ide ntical to
nature ,
nor is it on th e side of
h umanity against
nature . As th e
f amiliardomain of our
dwe lling,
it is with
us,
not
against us,
but it is no le ss re al f or th at.
And
th rough living
in
it,
th e
landscape
be come s a
part
of
us, just
as we are a
part
of it.
More ove r,
wh at
goe s
f or its h uman
compone nt goe s
f or oth e r
compone nts
as we ll. In a
world construe d as
nature , e ve ry obje ct
is a se lf -containe d
e ntity, inte racting
with oth e rs
th rough
some kind of e xte rnal contact. But in a
landscape ,
e ach
compone nt
e nf olds with in
its e sse nce th e
totality
of its re lations with e ach and
e ve ry
oth e r. In
sh ort,
wh e re as th e
orde r of nature is
e xplicate ,
th e orde r of th e
landscape
is
implicate (Boh m
1980:
172).
T h e
landscape
is not
'space '.
T o
appre ciate
th e
contrast,
we could
compare
th e
e ve ryday
proje ct
of
dwe lling
in th e world with th e rath e r
pe culiar
and
spe cialize d proje ct
of th e
surve yor
or
cartograph e r
wh ose
obje ctive
is to
re pre se nt
it. No doubt th e
surve yor,
as h e
goe s
about h is
practical tasks, e xpe rie nce s
th e
landscape
much as doe s
e ve ryone
e lse
wh ose busine ss of lif e lie s th e re . Like oth e r
pe ople ,
h e is
mobile , ye t
unable to be in more
th an one
place
at a time . In th e
landscape ,
th e distance be twe e n two
place s,
A and
B,
is
e xpe rie nce d
as a
journe y made ,
a
bodily
move me nt f romone
place
to th e
oth e r,
and th e
gradually ch anging
vistas
along
th e route . T h e
surve yor's job, h owe ve r,
is to take
T h e
te mporalityof
th e
landscape
155
instrume ntal me asure me nts f roma conside rable numbe r of
place s,
and to combine th e se
data to
produce
a
single picture
wh ich is
inde pe nde nt
of
any point
of obse rvation. T h is
picture
is of th e world as it could be
dire ctlyappre h e nde d only by
aconsciousne ss
capable
of
be ing e ve rywh e re
at once and nowh e re in
particular(th e
ne are st we can
ge t
to th is in
practice
is
by taking
an ae rial or
'bird's-e ye ' vie w).
T o such a
consciousne ss,
at once
immobile and
omnipre se nt,
th e distance be twe e n A and B would be th e
le ngth
of a line
plotte d
be twe e n two
points
th at are
simultane ously
in
vie w,
th at line
marking
one of
any
numbe rof
journe ys
th at could
pote ntially
be made
(cf .
Bourdie u 1977:
2).
It is as
th ough ,
f roman
imaginaryposition
above th e
world,
I could dire ct th e move me nts of
my body
with in
it,
like a counte r on a
board,
so th at to
say
'I am h e re ' is not to
point
f rom
some wh e re to
my surroundings,
but to
point
f romnowh e re to th e
position
on th e board
wh e re
my body h appe ns
to be . And wh e re as actual
journe ys
are made
th rough
a
landscape ,
th e board on wh ich all
pote ntial journe ys may
be
plotte d
is
e quivale nt
to
space .
T h e re is atradition of
ge ograph ical
re se arch
(e .g.
Gould and Wh ite
1974)
wh ich se ts out
f romth e
pre mise
th atwe are all
cartograph e rs
in our
dailylive s,
and th at we use ourbodie s
as th e
surve yor
use s h is
instrume nts,
to
re giste r
a
se nsory input
f rom
multiple points
of
obse rvation,
wh ich is th e n
proce sse d by
our
inte llige nce
into an
image
wh ich we
carry
around with
us,
like a
map
in our
h e ads,
wh e re ve r we
go.
T h e
mind,
rath e rth an
re ach ing
into its
surroundings
f romits
dwe lling place
with in th e
world,
may
be like ne d in th is vie w
to a f ilm
spre ad
out
upon
its e xte rior surf ace . T o unde rstand th e se nse of
space
th at is
implicate d
in th is
cartograph ic
vie w of e nvironme ntal
pe rce ption,
it is
h e lpf ul
to draw an
analogy
f romth e
linguistics
of Fe rdinand de Saussure . T o
grasp
th e e sse nce of
language ,
Saussure invite s us to
picture th ough t
and sound as two continuous and undif f e re ntiate d
plane s,
of me ntal and
ph onic
substance
re spe ctive ly,
like two side s of ash e e t of
pape r. By
cutting
th e sh e e t into
pie ce s
(words)
we
cre ate ,
on one
side ,
a
syste m
of discre te
conce pts,
and on th e
oth e r,
a
syste m
of discre te
sounds;
and since one side cannot be cut with out at
th e same time
cutting
th e
oth e r,
th e two
syste ms
of division are
ne ce ssarilyh omologous
so
th at to e ach
conce pt
th e re
corre sponds
a sound
(Saussure
1959:
112-13).
Now wh e n
ge ograph e rs
and
anth ropologists
write about
space ,
wh at is
ge ne rally implie d is
some th ing
close ly
akin to Saussure 's sh e e t of
pape r, only
in th is case th e counte r-side to
th ough t
is th e
continuumnot of
ph onic
substance but of th e surf ace of th e e arth . And so it
appe ars
th at
th e division of th e world into a mosaic of
e xte rnally
bounde d
se gme nts
is e ntaile d in th e
ve ry production
of
spatial me anings.
Just as th e
word,
f or
Saussure ,
is th e union of a
conce pt
with ade limite d 'ch unk' of
sound, so th e
place
is th e union of a
symbolic me aning
with a de limite d block of th e e arth 's surf ace .
Spatial
dif f e re ntiation
implie s spatial
se gme ntation.
T h is is not so of th e
landscape ,
h owe ve r. Fora
place
in th e
landscape
is not 'cutout' f rom
th e
wh ole , e ith e r on th e
plane
of ide as oron th at of mate rial substance .
Rath e r,
e ach
place
e mbodie s th e wh ole at a
particular
ne xus with in it, and in th is
re spe ct
is dif f e re nt f rom
e ve ry
oth e r. A
place
owe s its ch aracte r to th e
e xpe rie nce s
it af f ords to th ose wh o
spe nd
time th e re
-
to th e
sigh ts,
sounds and inde e d sme lls th at constitute its
spe cif ic
ambie nce .
And th e se , in
turn, de pe nd
on th e kinds of activitie s in wh ich its inh abitants
e ngage .
It is
f romth is re lational conte xt of
pe ople 's e ngage me nt
with th e
world,
in th e busine ss of
dwe lling,
th ate ach
place
draws its
unique signif icance .
T h us wh e re as with
space , me anings
are attach e d to th e
world,
with th e
landscape th e y
are
gath e re d f rom
it.
More ove r,
wh ile
156 T im
Ingold
place s
h ave ce ntre s - inde e d it would be more
appropriate
to
say
th at
th e y
are ce ntre s
-
th e y
h ave no boundarie s. In
journe ying
f rom
place
A to
place
B it make s no se nse to
ask,
along
th e
way,
wh e th e r one is 'still' in A or h as 'crosse d ove r' to B
(Ingold 1986a:
155).
Of
course ,
boundarie s of various kinds
may
be drawn in th e
landscape ,
and ide ntif ie d e ith e r
with naturalf e ature s such as th e course of arive ror an
e scarpme nt,
orwith built structure s
such as walls and f e nce s. But such boundarie s are not acondition f orth e constitution of th e
place s
on e ith e r side of th e m; nor do
th e y se gme nt
th e
landscape ,
f or th e f e ature s with
wh ich
th e y
are ide ntif ie d are th e mse lve s an
inte gral part
of it.
Finally,
it is
important
to
note th at no f e ature of th e
landscape is,
of
itse lf ,
a
boundary.
It can
only
be come a
boundary,
or th e indicator of a
boundary,
in re lation to th e activitie s of th e
pe ople (or
animals)
f or wh omit is
re cognize d
or
e xpe rie nce d
as such .
In th e course of
e xplaining
wh at th e
landscape
is
not,
I h ave
alre ady
move d some
way
towards a
positive
ch aracte rization. In
sh ort,
th e
landscape
is th e world as it is known to
th ose wh o dwe ll
th e re in,
wh o inh abit its
place s
and
journe y along
th e
path s
conne cting
th e m. Is it
not, th e n,
ide ntical to wh at we
migh t
oth e rwise call th e e nvironme nt?
Ce rtainly
th e distinction be twe e n
landscape
and e nvironme nt is not
e asy
to
draw,
and f or
many
purpose s th e y may
be tre ate d as
practicallysynonymous.
It will
alre ady
be
appare nt
th at
cannot
acce pt
th e distinction of f e re d
byT uan,
wh o
argue s
th at an e nvironme nt is 'a
give n,
a
pie ce
of
re ality
th at is
simply
th e re ',
as
oppose d
to th e
landscape ,
wh ich is a
product
of
h uman
cognition,
'an ach ie ve me nt of th e mature mind'
(T uan
1979:
90, 100).
For th at is
me re ly
to
re produce
th e
dich otomy
be twe e n nature and
h umanity.
T h e e nvironme nt is no
more 'nature ' th an is th e
landscape
a
symbolic
construct.
Else wh e re ,
I h ave contraste d
nature and e nvironme nt
byway
of adistinction be twe e n
re alityof -
'th e
ph ysical
world of
ne utral
obje cts appare nt only
to th e
de tach e d,
indif f e re nt
obse rve r',
and
re alityf or-
'th e
world constitute d in re lation to th e
organism
or
pe rson
wh ose e nvironme nt it is'
(Ingold
1992b:
44).
But to th ink of e nvironme nt in th is se nse is to re gard it
primarily
in te rms of
f unction,
of wh at it af f ords to cre ature s
-
wh e th e r h uman or non-h uman
-
with ce rtain
capabilitie s
and
proje cts
of action.
Re ciprocally,
to
re gard
th e se cre ature s as
organisms
is
to vie w th e m in te rms of th e ir
principle s
of
dynamic f unctioning,
th at is as
organize d
syste ms (Pitte ndrigh
1958:
394).
As Le wontin
succinctly puts
it
(1982: 160),
th e e nviron-
me nt is 'nature
organise d by
an
organism'.
T h e
conce pt
of
landscape ,
bycontrast, puts
th e
e mph asis
on
f orm,
in
just
th e same
way
th at th e
conce pt
of th e
body e mph asize s
th e f ormrath e r th an th e f unction of a
living
cre ature . Like
organism
and
e nvironme nt, body
and
landscape
are
comple me ntary
te rms:
e ach
implie s
th e
oth e r, alte rnate ly
as
f igure
and
ground.
T h e f orms of th e landscape are
not, h owe ve r, pre pare d
in advance f or cre ature s to
occupy,
nor are th e
bodily
f orms of
th ose cre ature s
inde pe nde ntly spe cif ie d
in th e ir
ge ne tic make up.
Both se ts of f orms are
ge ne rate d
and sustaine d in and
th rough
th e
proce ssual unf olding
of atotal f ie ld of re lations
th at cuts across th e
e me rge nt
inte rf ace be twe e n
organism
and e nvironme nt
(Goodwin
1988). Having re gard
to its f ormative
prope rtie s,
we
may
re f e r to th is
proce ss
as one of
e mbodime nt.
T h ough
th e notion of e mbodime nt h as
re ce ntly
come much into
f ash ion,
th e re h as be e n a
te nde ncy
-
f ollowing
an ancie nt inclination in We ste rn
th ough t
to
prioritize
f orm ove r
proce ss (Oyama
1985:
13)
-
to conce ive of it as a move me nt of
inscription, wh e re by
some
pre -e xisting patte rn, te mplate
or
programme ,
wh e th e r ge ne tic
or
cultural,
is 're alize d' in asubstantive me dium. T h is is not wh at I h ave in
mind,
h owe ve r.
T h e
te mporalityof
th e
landscape
157
T o th e
contrary,
and
adopting
a
h e lpf ul
distinction f romConne rton
(1989: 72-3),
I
re gard
e mbodime nt as amove me nt of
incorporation
rath e rth an
inscription,
not a
transcribing
of
f orm onto mate rial but a move me nt wh e re in f orms th e mse lve s are
ge ne rate d (Ingold
1990:
215). T aking
th e
organism
as our f ocus of
re f e re nce ,
th is move me nt is wh at is
commonly
known as th e
lif e -cycle .
T h us
organisms may
be said to
incorporate ,
in th e ir
bodily f orms,
th e
lif e -cycle proce sse s
th at
give
rise to th e m. Could not th e
same , th e n,
be
said of th e e nvironme nt? Is it
possible
to
ide ntif y
a
corre sponding cycle ,
or rath e ra se rie s
of
inte rlocking cycle s,
wh ich build th e mse lve s into th e f orms of th e
landscape ,
and of
wh ich th e
landscape may accordingly
be
re garde d
as an e mbodime nt? Be f ore
answe ring
th is
que stion,
we ne e d to turn to th e se cond of
myke y te rms,
name ly 'te mporality'.
T e mporality
Le t me
be gin,
once
again, by stating
wh at
te mporality
is not. It is not
ch ronology (as
oppose d
to
h istory),
and it is not
h istory
(as
oppose d
to
ch ronology). By ch ronology,
I
me an
any re gular syste m
of date d time
inte rvals,
in wh ich e ve nts are said to h ave take n
place . By h istory,
I me an
any
se rie s of e ve nts wh ich
may
be date d in time
according
to th e ir
occurre nce in one or anoth e r
ch ronological
inte rval. T h us th e Battle of
Hastings
was an
h istorical
e ve nt,
1066 was a date
(marking
th e inte rval of a
ye ar),
and re cords te ll us th at
th e f orme r occurre d in th e latte r. In th e me re succe ssion of date s th e re are no
e ve nts,
be cause
e ve ryth ing re pe ats;
in th e me re succe ssion of e ve nts th e re is no
time ,
as
noth ing
doe s. T h e re lation be twe e n
ch ronology
and
h istory,
in th is
conce ption,
h as be e n we ll
e xpre sse d by
Kuble r: 'With out
ch ange
th e re is no
h istory;
with out
re gularity
th e re is no
time . T ime and
h istory
are re late d as rule and variation: time is th e
re gularse tting
f or th e
vagarie s
of
h istory' (1962: 72).
Now in
introducing
th e
conce pt
of
te mporality,
I do not inte nd th at it sh ould stand as a
th ird
te rm, alongside
th e
conce pts
of
ch ronology
and
h istory.
For in th e se nse in wh ich I
sh all use th e te rm
h e re , te mporality
e ntails a
pe rspe ctive
th at contrasts
radically
with th e
one ,
outline d
above ,
th at se ts
up h istory
and
ch ronology
in a re lation of
comple me ntary
opposition.
T h e contrast is
e sse ntially e quivale nt
to th at drawn
by
Ge ll
(1992: 149-55)
be twe e n wh at h e calls
(f ollowing McT aggart)
th e
A-se rie s,
in wh ich time is immane nt in
th e
passage
of
e ve nts,
and th e
B-se rie s,
in wh ich e ve nts are
strung
out in time like be ads on
a th re ad. Wh e re as in th e
B-se rie s,
e ve nts are tre ate d as isolate d
h appe nings, succe e ding
one anoth e r f rame
by f rame ,
e ach e ve nt in th e A-se rie s is se e n to
e ncompass
a
patte rn
of
re te nsions f romth e
past
and
prote ntions
f or th e f uture . T h us f romth e A-se rie s
point
of
vie w, te mporality
and
h istoricity
are not
oppose d
but rath e r
me rge
in th e
e xpe rie nce
of
th ose
wh o,
in th e ir
activitie s, carry
f orward th e
proce ss
of social lif e . T ake n
toge th e r,
th e se
activitie s make
up
wh at I sh all call th e
'taskscape ',
and it is with th e intrinsic
te mporality
of
th e
taskscape
th at I sh all be
principally
conce rne d in th is se ction.
We can make a start
by re turning
f or a mome nt to th e distinction be twe e n land and
landscape .
As acommon de nominator in te rms of wh ich constitue nts of th e e nvironme nt
of dive rse kinds
may
be re nde re d
quantitative lycomparable ,
I
compare d
land with
we igh t.
But I could
e qually
h ave drawn th e
comparison
with value or with labour. Value is th e
de nominator of commoditie s th at e nable s us to
say
h ow much
any
one
th ing
is worth
by
158 T im
Ingold
comparison
with
anoth e r,
e ve n
th ough
th e se two
th ings may
be
quite
unlike in te rms of
th e ir
ph ysical qualitie s
and
pote ntial
use s. In th is
se nse ,
th e
conce pt
of value (in
ge ne ral)
is
classically distinguish e d
f romth at of
use -value ,
wh ich re f e rs to th e
spe cif ic prope rtie s
or
'af f ordance s' of
any particularobje ct,
th at comme nd it to th e
proje ct
of a use r
(Ingold
1992b:
48-9,
cf . J. Gibson 1979:
127;
Marx 1930:
169). Cle arly,
th is
distinction,
be twe e n
value and
use -value ,
is
pre cise lyh omologous
to th atbe twe e n land and
landscape .
But if we
turn to conside r th e work th at
goe s
into th e
making
of use f ul
th ings,
th e n
again
we can
re cognize
th atwh ilst th e
ope rations
of
making
are inde e d as unlike as th e
obje cts produce d
-
involving
dif f e re nt raw
mate rials,
dif f e re nt
tools,
dif f e re nt
proce dure s
and dif f e re nt
skills
-
th e y
can ne ve rth e le ss be
compare d
in th at
th e y
call f or variable amounts of wh at
maysimply
be calle d 'labour': th e common de nominator of
productive
activitie s. Like land
and
value ,
labour is
quantitative
and
h omoge ne ous,
h uman work sh orn of its
particu-
laritie s. It is of course th e
f ounding pre mise
of th e labour
th e ory
of value th at th e amount
of value in a
th ing
is de te rmine d
by
th e amount of labour th at we nt into
producing
it.
How, th e n,
sh ould we de scribe th e
practice s
of work in th e ir concre te
particulars?
For
th is
purpose
I sh all
adopt
th e te rm
'task',
de f ine d as
anypractical ope ration,
carrie d out
by
a skille d
age nt
in an
e nvironme nt,
as
part
of h is or h e r normal busine ss of lif e . In oth e r
words,
tasks are th e constitutive acts of
dwe lling.
No more th an f e ature s of th e
landscape ,
h owe ve r,
are tasks
suspe nde d
in avacuum.
Eve ry
task take s its
me aning
f romits
position
with in an e nse mble of
tasks, pe rf orme d
in se rie s orin
paralle l,
and
usuallyby
many
pe ople
working toge th e r.
One of th e
gre at
mistake s of re ce nt
anth ropology
-
wh at
Re ynolds
(1993: 410)
calls 'th e
gre at
tool-use
f allacy'
-
h as be e n to insist
upon
a
se paration
be twe e n
th e domains of te ch nical and social
activity,
a
se paration
th at h as blinde d us to th e f act th at
one of th e
outstanding
f e ature s of h uman te ch nical
practice s
lie s in th e ir e mbe dde dne ss in
th e curre nt of
sociality.
It is to th e e ntire e nse mble of
tasks,
in th e ir mutual
inte rlocking,
th at I re f e r
by
th e
conce pt
of
taskscape .
Justas th e landscape
is an
array
of re late d
f e ature s,
so
-
byanalogy
-
th e
taskscape
is an
array
of re late d activitie s. And as with th e
landscape ,
it
is
qualitative
and
h e te roge ne ous:
we can ask of a
taskscape ,
as of a
landscape ,
wh at it is
like ,
but not h ow much of it th e re is. In sh ort, th e
taskscape
is to labourwh at th e
landscape
is to land, and inde e d wh at an e nse mble of use -value s is to value in
ge ne ral.
Now if value is me asure d out in units of
mone y,
and land in units of
space ,
wh at is th e
curre ncy
of labour? T h e
answe r,
of
course ,
is time - but it is time of a
ve rype culiarsort,
one
th at must be
wh olly
indif f e re nt to th e modulations of h uman
e xpe rie nce .
T o most of us it
appe ars
in th e f amiliar
guise
of clock-time : th us an h ouris an
h our, re gardle ss
of wh at one
is
doing
in
it,
orof h ow one f e e ls. But th is kind of
ch ronological
time doe s not
de pe nd upon
th e e xiste nce of artif icial clocks. It
may
be base d on
any pe rf e ctly re pe titive ,
me ch anical
syste mincluding
th at
(putative ly)
constitute d
by
th e e arth in its axial rotations and in its
re volutions around th e sun. Sorokin and Me rton
(1937),
in a classic
pape r,
call it
'astronomical' time : it is, th e y write , 'unif orm, h omoge ne ous;
. . .
pure ly quantitative ,
sh orn of
qualitative
variations'. And
th e y distinguish
it f rom'social
time ',
wh ich
th e y
se e as
f undame ntallyqualitative , some th ing
towh ich we can af f ix moral
judge me nts
such as
good
or
bad, grounde d
in th e
'rh yth ms, pulsations
and be ats of th e socie tie s in wh ich
th e y
are
f ound', and f or th at re ason tie d to th e
particular
circumstance s of
place
and
pe ople
(1937:
621-3).
Adopting
Sorokin and Me rton's
distinction,
we could
pe rh aps
conclude
th at wh e re as labour is me asure d out in units of astronomical
time ,
or in clock-time
T h e
te mporalityof
th e
landscape
159
calibrate d to an astronomical
standard,
th e
te mporality
of th e
taskscape
is
e sse ntially
social. Be f ore we can
acce pt
th is
conclusion, h owe ve r,
th e ide a of social time must be
e xamine d alittle more
close ly.
In
my
e arlie r discussion of th e
signif icance
of
space ,
I sh owe d th at in th e
cartograph ic
imagination,
th e mind is
suppose d
to be laid out
upon
th e surf ace of th e e arth . Like wise in
th e
ch ronological pe rspe ctive ,
time
appe ars
as th e inte rf ace be twe e n mind and 'duration' -
by
wh ich is me ant an undif f e re ntiate d stre amof
bodily activity
and
e xpe rie nce . T aking
time in th is
se nse ,
Durkh e im
f amously
like ne d it to 'an e ndle ss
ch art,
wh e re all duration is
spre ad
out be f ore th e
mind,
and
upon
wh ich all
possible
e ve nts can be locate d in re lation to
f ixe d and de te rminate
guide line s' (1976[1915]: 10).
Rath e r like Saussure 's sh e e t of
pape r,
it could be
compare d
to a
strip
of inf inite
le ngth ,
with
th ough t
on one side and duration on
th e oth e r.
By cutting
th e
strip
into
se gme nts
we e stablish a
division,
on th e one
h and,
into
cale ndrical inte rvals or
date s,
and on th e oth e r
h and,
into discre te 'ch unks' of live d
e xpe rie nce ,
such th at to
e ve ry
ch unk th e re
corre sponds
a date in a unif orm
se que nce
of
be f ore and af te r. And as
e ve ry
ch unk succe e ds th e
ne xt,
like f rame s on a re e l of
f ilm,
we
imagine
ourse lve s to be
looking
on 'as time
goe s by',
as
th ough
we could take
up
a
point
of
vie w de tach e d f romth e
te mporal proce ss
of our lif e in th e world and watch ourse lve s
e ngage d
now in th is
task,
now in
th at,
in an
une nding
se rie s of
pre se nt
instants.
Wh e nce ,
th e n,
come th e divisions wh ich
give ch ronological
f ormto th e substance of
e xpe rie nce ?
Durkh e im's
answe r,
as is we ll
known,
was th at th e se divisions-
'indispe nsable guide line s'
f or th e
te mporal orde ring
of e ve nts - come f rom
socie ty, corre sponding
to th e
'pe riodical
re curre nce of
rite s, f e asts,
and
public
ce re monie s'
(ibid.).
T h us f or
Durkh e im,
time is at
once
ch ronological
and social, f or
socie ty
itse lf is a kind of
clock, wh ose
moving parts
are
individual h uman
be ings (Ingold
1986b:
341).
T h is is not, h owe ve r, th e
way
we
pe rce ive
th e
te mporality
of th e
taskscape .
Forwe do so
not as
spe ctators
but as
participants,
in th e
ve ry pe rf ormance
of our tasks. As
Me rle au-Ponty put it,
in
re ckoning
with an
e nvironme nt,
I am 'at
my
task rath e r th an
conf ronting
it'
(1962: 416).
T h e notion th at we can stand aside and obse rve th e
passage
of
time is f ounde d
upon
an illusion of dise mbodime nt. T h is
passage is, inde e d, none oth e r
th an ourown
journe y th rough
th e
taskscape
in th e busine ss of
dwe lling.
Once
again
we can
take our cue f rom
Me rle au-Ponty:
'th e
passage
of one
pre se nt
to th e ne xt is not a
th ing
wh ich I conce ive , nor do I se e it as an onlooke r,
I
e f f e ct
it'
(1962: 421, my
e mph asis).
Re ach ing
out into th e
taskscape ,
I
pe rce ive ,
at th is
mome nt,
a
particular
vista of
past
and
f uture ;
but it is avistath at is available f romth is mome nt and no oth e r
(se e
Ge ll 1992:
269).
As
such ,
it constitute s
mypre se nt, conf e rring upon
it a
unique
ch aracte r. T h us th e
pre se nt
is not marke d
of f
f roma
past
th at it h as
re place d
or af uture th at
will,
in
turn, re place it;
it
rath e r
gath e rs
th e
past
and f uture into itse lf , like re f ractions in a
crystal
ball. And
just
as in
th e
landscape ,
we can move f rom
place
to
place
with out
crossing anyboundary,
since th e
vista th at constitute s th e
ide ntity
of a
place ch ange s
e ve n as we
move , so like wise can we
move f rom one
pre se nt
to anoth e r with out
h aving
to bre ak
th rough any ch ronological
barrie rth at
migh t
be
suppose d
to
se parate
e ach
pre se nt
f romth e ne xt in line . Inde e d th e
f e ature s th at Durkh e im ide ntif ie d as
se rving
th is
se gme nting
f unction
-
rite s, f e asts and
ce re monie s
-
are th e mse lve s as
inte gral
to th e
taskscape
as are
boundary
marke rs such as
walls or f e nce s to th e
landscape .
T h e
te mporality
of th e
taskscape
is social, th e n, not be cause
socie ty provide s
an e xte rnal
160 T im
Ingold
f rame
against
wh ich
particular
tasks f ind
inde pe nde nt
me asure ,
but be cause
pe ople ,
in th e
pe rf ormance
of th e ir
tasks,
also atte nd to one anoth e r.
Looking back,
we can se e th at
Durkh e im's e rrorwas to divorce th e
sph e re
of
pe ople 's
mutual involve me nt f romth at of
th e ir
e ve ryday practical activity
in th e
world, le aving
th e latte r to be carrie d out
by
individuals in h e rme tic isolation. In re al
lif e ,
th is is not h ow we
go
about our busine ss. By
watch ing, liste ning, pe rh aps
e ve n
touch ing,
we
continually
f e e l e ach oth e r's
pre se nce
in
th e social
e nvironme nt,
at
e ve ry
mome nt
adjusting
our move me nts in
re sponse
to th is
ongoing pe rce ptual monitoring (Ingold
1993:
456).
Forth e orch e stral
musician,
playing
an
instrume nt, watch ing
th e conductorand
liste ning
toone 's f e llow
playe rs
are all
inse parable
aspe cts
of th e same
proce ss
of action: f orth is
re ason,
th e
ge sture s
of th e
pe rf orme rs may
be
said to re sonate with e ach oth e r. In orch e stral
music,
th e ach ie ve me nt of re sonance is an
absolute
pre condition
f orsucce ssf ul
pe rf ormance .
But th e same is
true ,
more
ge ne rally,
of
social lif e
(Rich ards 1991;
Wikan
1992).
Inde e d it could be
argue d
th at in th e re sonance of
move me nt and
f e e ling ste mming
f rom
pe ople 's mutually
atte ntive
e ngage me nt,
in sh are d
conte xts of
practical activity,
lie s th e
ve ry
f oundation of
sociality.
Le t me
pursue
th e
analogy
be twe e n orch e stral
pe rf ormance
and social lif e alittle f urth e r
since ,
more th an
any
oth e r artistic
ge nre ,
music mirrors th e
te mporal
f orm of th e
taskscape .
I
want, by
me ans of th is
analogy,
to make th re e
points.
First,
wh ilst th e re are
cycle s
and
re pe titions
in music as in social
lif e ,
th e se are
e sse ntially rh yth mic
rath e rth an
me tronomic
(on
th is
distinction,
se e
Young (1988: 19)).
It is f or
pre cise ly
th is re ason th at
social
time , pace Durkh e im,
is not
ch ronological.
A
me tronome ,
like a
clock,
inscribe s an
artif icial division into
e qual se gme nts
upon
an oth e rwise undif f e re ntiate d
move me nt;
rh yth m, bycontrast,
is intrinsic to th e move me nt itse lf .
Lange r
h as
argue d
th at th e e sse nce
of
rh yth m
lie s in th e succe ssive
building up
and re solution of
te nsion,
on th e
principle
th at
e ve ry
re solution is itse lf a
pre paration
f orth e ne xt
building-up(1953: 126-7).
T h e re
may
of
course be re sts orsustaine d note s with in a
pie ce ,
but f arf rom
bre aking
it
up
into
se gme nts,
such mome nts are
ge ne rally
one s of
h igh te nsion,
wh ose re solution be come s e ve r more
urge nt
th e
longe r th e y
are h e ld.
Only
ourlast e xh alation of bre ath is not a
pre paration
f or
th e ne xt inh alation - with
th at,
we
die ; similarly
with th e last be at th e music come s to an
e nd. Social
lif e ,
h owe ve r, is ne ve r
f inish e d,
and th e re are no bre aks in it th at are not
inte gral
to its te nsile
structure ,
to th e 'e bb and f low of
activity' by
wh ich
socie ty
itse lf se e ms
to bre ath e
(Young
1988:
53).
My
se cond
point
is th atin music as in social
lif e ,
th e re is not
just
one
rh yth mic cycle ,
but a
comple x inte rwe aving
of
ve ry many
concurre nt
cycle s (f or
an
e xe mplary analysis
of 'th e
rh yth mic
structure s of e conomic
lif e ',
se e
Guye r (1988)).
Wh ilst it re f le cts th e
te mporal
f ormof social
lif e ,
music in f act
re pre se nts
a
ve ry
conside rable
simplif ication,
since it
involve s
only
one
se nsory re giste r (th e auditory),
and its
rh yth ms
are f e we r and more
tigh tly
controlle d. In both
case s, h owe ve r,
since
anyrh yth mmay
be take n as th e
te mpo
f or
any
of th e
oth e rs,
th e re is no
single ,
one -dime nsional strand of time . As
Lange rputs
it: 'lif e
is
always
a de nse f abric of concurre nt
te nsions,
and as e ach of th e mis a me asure of
time ,
th e me asure me nts th e mse lve s do not coincide '
(1953: 113).
T h us th e
te mporality
of th e
taskscape ,
wh ile it is intrinsic rath e rth an
e xte rnallyimpose d (me tronomic),
lie s not in
any
particularrh yth m,
but in th e ne twork of
inte rre lationsh ips
be twe e n th e
multiple rh yth ms
of wh ich th e
taskscape
is itse lf constitute d. T o cite ace le brate d
anth ropological e xample :
among
th e Nue r of south e rn Sudan, according
to
Evans-Pritch ard,
th e
passage
of time is
T h e
te mporality
of
th e
landscape
161
'primarily
th e succe ssion of
[pastoral]
tasks and th e irre lations toone anoth e r'
(1940: 101-2;
my e mph asis).
Each of th e se re lations
is,
of
course ,
a
spe cif ic
re sonance . And
so, just
as
social lif e consists in th e
unf olding
of af ie ld of
re lationsh ips among pe rsons
wh o atte nd to
one anoth e r in wh at
th e y
do,
its
te mporality
consists in th e
unf olding
of th e re sultant
patte rn
of re sonance s.
T h ird,
th e f orms of th e
taskscape ,
like th ose of
music,
come into
be ing th rough
move me nt. Music e xists
only
wh e n it is
be ing pe rf orme d (it
doe s not
pre -e xist,
as is
some time s
th ough t,
in th e
score , any
more th an acake
pre -e xists
in th e
re cipe
f or
making
it). Similarly,
th e
taskscape
e xists
only
so
long
as
pe ople
are
actually e ngage d
in th e
activitie s of
dwe lling, de spite
th e
atte mpts
of
anth ropologists
to translate it into
some th ing
rath e r
e quivale nt
to ascore - akind of ide al
de sign
f or
dwe lling
- th at
ge ne rallygoe s by
th e
name of
'culture ',
and th at
pe ople
are
suppose d
to
bring
with th e minto th e ir e ncounte r
with th e world. T h is
paralle l,
h owe ve r, brings
me to a critical
que stion. Up
to
now,
my
discussion of
te mporality
h as conce ntrate d
e xclusive ly
on th e
taskscape , allowing
th e
landscape
to
slip
f romvie w. It is now
h igh
time to
bring
it back into f ocus. I
argue d
in th e
pre vious
se ction th at th e
landscape
is not
nature ;
h e re I claimth at th e
taskscape
is not
culture .
Landscape
and
taskscape , th e n,
are not to be
oppose d
as nature toculture . Soh ow
are we to unde rstand th e re lation be twe e n th e m? Wh e re doe s one e nd and th e oth e r
be gin?
Can
th e y
e ve n be
distinguish e d
at all? If music be st re f le cts th e f orms of th e
taskscape ,
it
migh t
be
th ough t
th at
painting
is th e most natural me diumf or
re pre se nting
th e f orms of th e
landscape .
And th is
sugge sts
th at an e xamination of th e
dif f e re nce ,
in th e
f ie ld of
art,
be twe e n music and
painting migh t
of f e r some clue s as to h ow a distinction
migh t possibly
be drawn be twe e n
taskscape
and
landscape
as f ace ts of th e re al world. I
be gin byf ollowing up
th is
sugge stion.
T e mporalizing
th e
landscape
At f irst
glance
th e dif f e re nce se e ms obvious:
paintings
do not h ave to be
pe rf orme d, th e y
are
pre se nte d
to us as works th at are
comple te
in th e mse lve s. But on close r
inspe ction,
th is
contrast
appe ars
more as an arte f act of a
syste matic
bias in We ste rn
th ough t,
to wh ich I
h ave
alre adyallude d, th at le ads us to
privile ge
f ormove r
proce ss.
T h us th e actual work of
painting
is subordinate d to th e f inal
product;
th e f orme r is h idde n f romvie w so th at th e
latte r alone be come s an
obje ct
of
conte mplation.
In
many
non-We ste rn socie tie s, by
contrast,
th e orde r of
priority
is re ve rse d: wh at is e sse ntial is th e act of
painting itse lf ,
of
wh ich th e
products may
be
re lative ly
sh ort-live d
-
bare lype rce ive d
be f ore
be ing
e rase d or
cove re d
up.
T h is is
so,
f or
e xample , among
th e
Yolngu,
an
Aboriginal pe ople
of north e rn
Australia, wh ose
e xpe rie nce
of f inish e d
paintings, according
to th e ir
e th nograph e r,
is
limite d to
'image s f le e tingly glimpse d th rough
th e corne rof th e ir
e ye s'
(Morph y
1989:
26).
T h e
e mph asis, h e re ,
is on
painting
as
pe rf ormance .
Far f rom
be ing
th e
pre paration
of
obje cts
f or f uture
conte mplation,
it is an act of
conte mplation
in itse lf . So, too,
is
pe rf orming
or
liste ning
to music. T h us all at
once ,
th e contrast be twe e n
painting
and music
se e ms le ss se cure . It be come s a matte r of
de gre e ,
in th e e xte nt to wh ich f orms e ndure
be yond
th e imme diate conte xts of th e ir
production.
Musical sound, of course , is
subje ct
to
th e
prope rty
of
rapid f ading: spe e ding
outwards f romits
point
of e mission, and
dissipating
162 T im
Ingold
as it
goe s,
it is
pre se nt only mome ntarily
to ourse nse s. But
wh e re ,
as in
painting, ge sture s
le ave th e irtrace s in solid
substance ,
th e
re sulting
f orms
may
last much
longe r,
albe it ne ve r
inde f inite ly.
Re turning
now f romth e contrast be twe e n music and
painting
to th at be twe e n
taskscape
and
landscape ,
th e f irst
point
to note is th at no more th an a
painting
is th e
landscape give n
re ady-made .
One
cannot,
as
Inglis points out,
'tre at
landscape
as an
obje ct
if it is to be
unde rstood. It is a
living proce ss;
it make s me n; it is made
by
th e m'
(1977: 489).
Just as
with
music,
th e f orms of th e
landscape
are
ge ne rate d
in move me nt: th e se
f orms, h owe ve r,
are
conge ale d
in a solid me dium-
inde e d,
to borrow
Inglis's
words
again,
'a
landscape
is
th e most solid
appe arance
in wh ich a
h istory
can de clare itse lf '
(ibid.).
T h anks to th e ir
solidity,
f e ature s of th e
landscape
re main available f or
inspe ction long
af te rth e move me nt
th at
gave
rise to th e mh as ce ase d.
If ,
as Me ad
argue d (1977[1938]: 97), e ve ryobje ct
is to be
re garde d
as a
'collapse d act',
th e n th e
landscape
as a wh ole must like wise be unde rstood as
th e
taskscape
in its e mbodie d
f orm:
a
patte rn
of activitie s
'collapse d'
into an
array
of
f e ature s. But to re ite rate a
point
made
e arlie r,
th e
landscape
take s on its f orms
th rough
a
proce ss
of
incorporation,
not of
inscription.
T h at is to
say,
th e
proce ss
is not one
wh e re by
cultural
de sign
is
impose d
upon
a
naturally give n
substrate ,
as
th ough
th e move me nt
issue d f romth e f ormand was
comple te d
in its concre te re alization in th e mate rial. For th e
f orms of th e
landscape
arise
alongside
th ose of th e
taskscape ,
with in th e same curre nt of
activity.
If we
re cognize
a man's
gait
in th e
patte rn
of h is
f ootprints,
it is not be cause th e
gait pre ce de d
th e
f ootprints
and was 'inscribe d' in
th e m,
but be cause both th e
gait
and th e
prints
arose with in th e move me nt of th e man's
walking.
Since , more ove r,
th e activitie s th at
comprise
th e
taskscape
are
une nding,
th e
landscape
is ne ve r
comple te :
ne ith e r 'built' nor
'unbuilt',
it is
pe rpe tually
unde rconstruction. T h is is
wh y
th e conve ntional
dich otomy
be twe e n natural and artif icial
(or 'man-made ')
com-
pone nts
of th e
landscape
is so
proble matic. Virtuallybyde f inition,
an arte f act is an
obje ct
sh ape d
to a
pre -conce ive d image
th at motivate d its
construction,
and it is 'f inish e d' at th e
point
wh e n it is
brough t
into
conf ormity
with th is
image .
Wh at
h appe ns
to it
be yond
th at
point
is
suppose d
to
be long
to th e
ph ase
of use rath e rth an
manuf acture ,
to
dwe lling
rath e r
th an
building.
But th e f orms of th e
landscape
are not
pre -pre pare d
f or
pe ople
to live in
-
not
by
nature nor
by
h uman h ands
-
f orit is in th e
ve ryproce ss
of
dwe lling
th at th e se f orms
are constitute d. 'T o
build',
as
He ide gge r insiste d,
'is itse lf
alre ady
to dwe ll'
(1971: 146).
T h us th e
landscape
is
always
in th e nature of 'work in
progre ss'.
My
conclusion th at th e
landscape
is th e
conge ale d
f ormof th e
taskscape
doe s e nable us
to
e xplain wh y, intuitive ly,
th e
landscape
se e ms to be wh at we se e around
us,
wh e re as th e
taskscape
is wh at we h e ar. T o be
se e n,
an
obje ct
ne e d do
noth ing itse lf ,
f or th e
optic array
th at
spe cif ie s
its f ormto a vie we r consists of
ligh t
re f le cte d of f its oute r surf ace s. T o be
h e ard,
on th e oth e r
h and,
an
obje ct
must
active ly
e mit sounds
or, th rough
its
move me nt,
cause sound to be e mitte d
by
oth e r
obje cts
with wh ich it come s into contact.
T h us,
outside
my
window I se e a
landscape
of h ouse s, tre e s, garde ns,
a stre e t and
pave me nt.
I do not
h e ar
any
of th e se
th ings,
but I can h e ar
pe ople talking
on th e
pave me nt,
acar
passing by,
birds
singing
in th e
tre e s,
a
dog barking
some wh e re in th e
distance ,
and th e sound of
h amme ring
as a
ne igh bour re pairs
h is
garde n
sh e d. In sh ort, wh at I h e ar is
activity,
e ve n
wh e n its source cannot be se e n. And since th e f orms of th e
taskscape , suspe nde d
as
th e y
are in
move me nt,
are
pre se nt only
as
activity,
th e limits of th e
taskscape
are also th e limits
T h e
te mporalityof
th e
landscape
163
of th e
auditory
world.
(Wh ilst
I de al h e re
only
with visual and aural
pe rce ption,
we sh ould
not unde re stimate th e
signif icance
of
touch ,
wh ich is
important
to all of us but above all to
blind
pe ople ,
f or wh om it
ope ns up
th e
possibility
of acce ss to th e
landscape
- if
only
th rough proximate bodily contact.)
T h is
argume nt
carrie s an
important corollary.
Wh ilst both th e
landscape
and th e
taskscape pre suppose
th e
pre se nce
of an
age nt
wh o watch e s and
liste ns,
th e
taskscape
must be
populate d
with
be ings
wh o are th e mse lve s
age nts,
and wh o
re ciprocally
'act back'
in th e
proce ss
of th e irown
dwe lling.
In oth e r
words,
th e
taskscape
e xists not
just
as
activity
but as
inte ractivity.
Inde e d th is conclusion was
alre ady
f ore sh adowe d wh e n I introduce d
th e
conce pt
of re sonance as th e
rh yth mic
h armonization of mutual atte ntion.
Having
said
th at, h owe ve r,
th e re is no re ason
wh y
th e domain of
inte ractivity
sh ould be conf ine d to th e
move me nt of h uman
be ings.
We h e ar animals as we ll as
pe ople ,
such as th e birds and th e
dog
in
my e xample
above .
Hunte rs,
to take anoth e r
e xample ,
are ale rt to
e ve ry sigh t,
sound orsme ll th at re ve als th e
pre se nce
of
animals,
and we can be sure th at th e animals are
like wise ale rtto th e
pre se nce
of
h umans,
as
th e y
are alsoto th at of one anoth e r. On a
large r
scale ,
th e h unte rs'
journe ys th rough
th e
landscape ,
or th e ir oscillations be twe e n th e
procure me nt
of dif f e re nt animal
spe cie s,
re sonate with th e
migratory
move me nts of
te rre strial
mammals,
birds and f ish .
Pe rh aps th e n,
as Re e d
argue s,
th e re is af undame ntal
dif f e re nce be twe e n our
pe rce ption
of animate
be ings
and inanimate
obje cts,
since th e
f orme r -
by
virtue of th e ir
capacity
f or autonomous move me nt - 'are aware of th e ir
surroundings (including us)
and be cause
th e y
act on th ose
surroundings (including us)'
(Re e d
1988:
116).
In oth e r
words, th e y
af f ord th e
possibility
not
only
of action but also of
inte raction
(cf .
J. Gibson 1979:
135).
Sh ould we , th e n, draw th e boundarie s of th e
taskscape
around th e limits of th e animate ?
T h ough
th e
argume nt
is a
compe lling one ,
I f ind th at it is
ultimate ly unsatisf actory,
f or
two re asons in
particular. First, as
Lange r obse rve s, 'rh yth m
is th e basis of
lif e ,
but not
limite d to lif e '
(1953: 128).
T h e
rh yth ms
of h uman activitie s re sonate not
only
with th ose of
oth e r
living th ings
but also with awh ole h ost of oth e r
rh yth mic ph e nome na
-
th e
cycle s
of
day
and
nigh t
and of th e
se asons, th e winds, th e
tide s,
and so on.
Citing
a
pe tition
of 1800
f romth e se aside town of Sunde rland, in wh ich it is
e xplaine d
th at
'pe ople
are
oblige d
to be
up
at all h ours of th e
nigh t
to atte nd th e tide s and th e ir af f airs
upon
th e
rive r', T h ompson
(1967: 59-60)
note s th at 'th e
ope rative ph rase
is "atte nd th e tide s": th e
patte rning
of social
time in th e
se aport
f ollows
upon
th e
rh yth ms
of th e se a'. In
many
case s th e se natural
rh yth mic ph e nome na
f ind th e irultimate cause in th e me ch anics of
plane tarymotion,
but it
is not of course to th e se th at we re sonate . T h us we re sonate to th e
cycle s
of
ligh t
and
darkne ss, not to th e rotation of th e e arth , e ve n
th ough
th e diurnal
cycle
is cause d
by
th e
e arth 's axial rotation. And we re sonate to th e
cycle s
of
ve ge tative growth
and
de cay,
not to
th e e arth 's re volutions around th e sun,
e ve n
th ough
th e latte r cause th e
cycle
of th e
se asons. More ove r th e se re sonance s are
e mbodie d,
in th e se nse th at
th e y
are not
only
h istorically incorporate d
into th e
e nduring
f e ature s of th e
landscape
but also
de ve lop-
me ntally incorporate d
into our
ve ry
constitution as
biological organisms.
T h us
Young
de scribe s th e
body
as 'an
array
of
inte rlocking
(or
inte rf lowing) cycle s,
with th e ir own
sph e re s
of
partial inde pe nde nce
with in th e solar
cycle '
(1988:
41).
We do not consult th e se
cycle s,
as we
migh t
consult awrist-watch ,
in orde rto time ourown
activitie s,
f orth e
cycle s
are inh e re nt in th e
rh yth mic
structure of th e activitie s th e mse lve s. It would
se e m, th e n,
164 T im
Ingold
th at th e
patte rn
of re sonance s th at
comprise s
th e
te mporality
of th e
taskscape
must be
e xpande d
to e mbrace th e
totality
of
rh yth mic ph e nome na,
wh e th e r animate or inanimate .
T h e se cond re ason
wh y
I would be re luctant to re strict th e
taskscape
to th e re almof
living th ings
h as to dowith th e
ve ry
notion of
animacy.
I do not th ink we can
re gard
th is as a
prope rty
th at can be ascribe d to
obje cts
in
isolation,
such th at some
(animate )
h ave it and
oth e rs
(inanimate )
do not. For lif e is not a
principle
th at is
se parate ly
installe d inside
individual
organisms,
and wh ich se ts th e min motion
upon
th e
stage
of th e inanimate . T o
th e
contrary,
as I h ave
argue d e lse wh e re ,
lif e is 'a name f or wh at is
going
on in th e
ge ne rative
f ie ld with in wh ich
organic
f orms are locate d and "h e ld in
place "' (Ingold
1990:
215).
T h at
ge ne rative
f ie ld is constitute d
by
th e
totality
of
organism-e nvironme nt
re lations,
and th e activitie s of
organisms
are mome nts of its
unf olding.
Inde e d once we
th ink of th e world in th is
way,
as atotal move me nt of
be coming
wh ich builds itse lf into th e
f orms we
se e ,
and in wh ich e ach f ormtake s
sh ape
in continuous re lation to th ose around
it,
th e n th e distinction be twe e n th e animate and th e inanimate se e ms to dissolve . T h e world
itse lf take s on th e ch aracte r of an
organism,
and th e move me nts of animals -
including
th ose of us h uman
be ings
- are
parts
or
aspe cts
of its
lif e -proce ss (Love lock 1979).
T h is
me ans th at in
dwe lling
in th e
world,
we donot act
upon it,
ordo
th ings
to
it;
rath e rwe move
along
with it. Our actions do not transf ormth e
world, th e y
are
part
and
parce l
of th e
world's
transf orming
itse lf . And th at is
just
anoth e r
way
of
saying
th at
th e y be long
to time .
For in th e f inal
analysis, e ve ryth ing
is
suspe nde d
in move me nt. As Wh ite h e ad once
re marke d,
'th e re is no
h olding
nature still and
looking
at it'
(cite d
in Ho 1989:
19-20).
Wh at
appe ar
to us as th e f ixe d f orms of th e
landscape , passive
and
unch anging
unle ss acte d
upon
f rom
outside ,
are th e mse lve s in
motion,
albe it on a scale
imme asurably
slowe r and
more
maje stic
th an th at on wh ich our own activitie s are conducte d.
Imagine
a f ilmof th e
landscape ,
sh ot ove r
ye ars, ce nturie s,
e ve n mille nnia.
Sligh tly spe e de d up, plants appe ar
to
e ngage
in
ve ry
animal-like
move me nts,
tre e s f le x th e ir limbs with out
any prompting
f romth e winds.
Spe e de d up
rath e r
more , glacie rs
f low like rive rs and e ve n th e e arth
be gins
to move . At
ye t gre ate r spe e ds
solid rock
be nds,
buckle s and f lows like molte n me tal. T h e
world itse lf
be gins
to bre ath e . T h us th e
rh yth mic patte rn
of h uman activitie s ne sts with in
th e wide r
patte rn
of
activity
f or all animal
lif e ,
wh ich in turn ne sts with in th e
patte rn
of
activity
f or all so-calle d
living th ings,
wh ich ne sts with in th e
lif e -proce ss
of th e world. At
e ach of th e se
le ve ls,
coh e re nce is f ounde d
upon
re sonance
(Ho
1989:
18). Ultimate ly,
th e n, byre placing
th e tasks of h uman
dwe lling
in th e ir
prope r
conte xt with in th e
proce ss
of
be coming
of th e world as a
wh ole ,
we can do
away
with th e
dich otomy
be twe e n
taskscape
and
landscape
-
only, h owe ve r, by re cognizing
th e f undame ntal
te mporality
of th e
landscape
itse lf .
T h e Harve ste rs
In orde r to
provide
some illustration of th e ide as
de ve lope d
in th e
pre ce ding se ctions,
I
re produce
h e re a
painting wh ich ,
more th an
any
oth e r I
know, vividly capture s
a se nse of
th e
te mporality
of th e
landscape .
T h is is T h e
Harve ste rs, painte d by
Pie te r
Brue ge l
th e
Elde r in 1565
(se e
Plate
1).
I amnot an art h istorian or
critic,
and
my purpose
is not to
analyse
th e
painting
in te rms of
style , composition
or ae sth e tic e f f e ct. Nor amI conce rne d
T h e
te mporalityof
th e
landscape
165
Plate 1 T h e Harve ste rs
(1565) by
Pie te r
Brue ge l
th e Elde r.
Re produce d by pe rmission
of th e
Me tropolitan
Muse umof
Art, Roge rs Fund,
1919
(19.164).
with th e h istorical conte xt of its
production.
Suf f ice it to
say
th at th e
picture
is be lie ve d to
be one of ase rie s of
twe lve ,
e ach
de picting
amonth of th e
ye ar,
out of wh ich
only
f ive h ave
survive d
(W.
Gibson 1977:
147).
Each
pane l portrays
a
landscape ,
in th e colours and
appare l appropriate
to th e
month ,
and sh ows
pe ople e ngage d
in th e tasks of th e
agriculturalcycle
th at are usual at th at time of
ye ar.
T h e Harve ste rs
de picts
th e month of
August,
and sh ows f ie ld h ands at work
re aping
and
sh e af ing
a luxuriant
crop
of
wh e at,
wh ilst oth e rs
pause
f or a
midday
me al and some we ll-e arne d re st. T h e se nse of rustic
h armony conve ye d
in th is sce ne
may, pe rh aps, re pre se nt some th ing
of an ide alization on
Brue ge l's part.
As Walte rGibson
points out,
Brue ge l
was incline d to
'de pict pe asants ve ry
much as a
we alth y
landowne r would h ave vie we d
th e m,
as th e
anonymous
te nde rs of h is
f ie lds and f locks'
(1977: 157-8). Any
landowne r would h ave h ad cause f or satisf action in
such a f ine
crop,
wh e re as th e h ands wh o swe ate d to
bring
it in
may
h ave h ad a rath e r
dif f e re nt
e xpe rie nce .
Ne ve rth e le ss, Brue ge l painte d during
a
pe riod
of
gre at
mate rial
prospe rity
in th e
Ne th e rlands,
in wh ich all sh are d to some
de gre e .
T h e se we re f ortunate
time s.
Rath e r th an
vie wing
th e
painting
as awork of
art,
I would like toinvite
you
-
th e re ade r
-
to
imagine yourse lf
se t down in th e
ve ry landscape de picte d,
on a
sultry August day
in
1565.
Standing
alittle
way
of f to th e
righ t
of th e
group
be ne ath th e
tre e , you
are awitne ss
to th e sce ne
unf olding
about
you.
And of course
you
h e ar it
too,
f or th e sce ne doe s not
unf old in sile nce . So accustome d are we to
th inking
of th e
landscape
as a
picture
th at we
can look
at,
like a
plate
in a book or an
image
on a
scre e n,
th at it is
pe rh aps ne ce ssary
to
166 T im
Ingold
re mind
you
th at
e xch anging
th e
painting
f or 're al lif e ' is not
simply
amatte r of
incre asing
th e scale . Wh at is involve d is af undame ntal dif f e re nce of orie ntation. In th e
landscape
of
our
dwe lling,
we look around
(J.
Gibson 1979:
203).
In wh at f ollows I sh all f ocus on six
compone nts
of wh at
you
se e around
you,
and comme nt on e ach in so f aras
th e y
illustrate
aspe cts
of wh at I h ave h ad to
say
about
landscape
and
te mporality. T h e y
are : th e h ills and
valle y,
th e
path s
and
tracks,
th e
tre e ,
th e
corn,
th e
ch urch ,
and th e
pe ople .
T h e h ills and
valle y
T h e te rrain is a
ge ntlyundulating
one of low h ills and
valle ys, grading
of f to ash ore line th at
can
just
be made out
th rough
th e summe rh aze . You are
standing
ne arth e summitof a
h ill,
f romwh e re
you
can look out across th e
inte rve ning valle y
to th e ne xt.
How, th e n,
do
you
dif f e re ntiate be twe e n th e h ills and th e
valle y
as
compone nts
of th is
landscape ?
Are
th e y
alte rnating
blocks or
strips
into wh ich it
may
be divide d
up?
Any atte mpt
at such division
plunge s
us
imme diate ly
into
absurdity.
For wh e re can we draw th e boundarie s of a h ill
e xce pt along
th e
valle y
bottoms th at
se parate
it f romth e h ills on e ith e r side ? And wh e re
can we draw th e boundarie s of a
valle y e xce pt along
th e summits of th e h ills th at mark its
wate rsh e d? One
way,
we would h ave a
landscape consisting only
of
h ills,
th e oth e r
way
it
would consist
only
of
valle ys.
Of
course ,
'h ill' and
'valle y'
are
oppose d
te rms,
but th e
opposition
is not
spatial
or altitudinal but kinae sth e tic. It is th e move me nts of
f alling away
f rom,
and
rising up
towards,
th at
spe cif y
th e f ormof th e h ill; and th e move me nts of
f alling
away towards,
and
rising up
f rom,
th at
spe cif y
th e f orm of th e
valle y. T h rough
th e
e xe rcise s of
de sce nding
and
climbing,
and th e ir dif f e re nt muscular
e ntailme nts,
th e
contours of th e
landscape
are not so much me asure d as
f e lt-
th e y
are
dire ctlyincorporate d
into our
bodily e xpe rie nce .
But e ve n if
you
re main roote d to one
spot,
th e same
principle
applie s.
As
you
look across th e
valle y
to th e h ill on th e h orizon, your e ye s
do not re main
f ixe d:
swive lling
in th e ir
socke ts,
or as
you
tilt
your h e ad, th e ir motions accord with th e
move me nt of
your
atte ntion as it f ollows its course
th rough
th e
landscape .
You 'cast
your
e ye s'
f irstdownwards into th e
valle y,
and th e n
upwards
towards th e distant h ill. Inde e d in
th is ve rnacular
ph rase ,
to 'cast one 's
e ye s',
commonse nse h as once
again graspe d
intuitive ly
wh at th e
psych ology
of vision,
with its
me taph ors
of re tinal
image ry,
h as f ound
so h ard to
acce pt:
th at move me nt is th e
ve ry
e sse nce of
pe rce ption.
It is
be cause ,
in
scanning
th e te rrain f rom
ne arby
into th e
distance , your
downward
glance
is f ollowe d
by
an
upward one , th at
you pe rce ive
th e
valle y.
More ove r some one
standing
wh e re
you
are now would
pe rce ive
th e same
topograph ic
panorama, re gardle ss
of th e time of
ye ar,
th e we ath e r conditions and th e activitie s in wh ich
pe ople may
be
e ngage d.
We
mayre asonablysuppose
th atove r th e ce nturie s, pe rh aps
e ve n
mille nnia,
th is basic
topograph y
h as
ch ange d
but little . Se t
against
th e duration of h uman
me mory
and
e xpe rie nce ,
it
may
th e re f ore be take n to e stablish abase line of
pe rmane nce .
Ye t
pe rmane nce ,
as Gibson h as
stre sse d,
is
always re lative ; th us 'it is be tte r to
spe ak
of
pe rsiste nce
unde r
ch ange ' (J.
Gibson 1979:
13). Alth ough
th e
topograph y
is invariant
re lative to th e h uman
lif e -cycle ,
it is not itse lf immune to
ch ange .
Se a-le ve ls rise and f all
with
global
climatic
cycle s,
and th e
pre se nt
contours of th e
country
are th e cumulative
outcome of a slow and
long
drawn out
proce ss
of e rosion and
de position.
T h is
proce ss,
more ove r,
was not conf ine d to e arlie r
ge ological e poch s during
wh ich th e
landscape
T h e
te mporalityof
th e
landscape
167
assume d its
pre se nt topograph ic
f orm. For it is still
going on,
and will continue so
long
as
th e
stre am, just
visible in th e
valle y
bottom,
f lows on towards th e se a. T h e stre amdoe s not
f low be twe e n
pre -cut banks,
but cuts its banks e ve n as it f lows.
Like wise ,
as we h ave
se e n,
pe ople sh ape
th e
landscape
e ve n as
th e y
dwe ll. And h uman
activitie s,
as we ll as th e action
of rive rs and th e
se a,
contribute
signif icantly
to th e
proce ss
of e rosion. As
you watch ,
th e
stre am
f lows,
f olk are at
work,
a
landscape
is
be ing f orme d,
and time
passe s.
T h e
path s
and tracks
I re marke d above th at we
e xpe rie nce
th e contours of th e
landscape by moving th rough it,
so th at it e nte rs - as Bach e lard would
say
- into our 'muscularconsciousne ss'.
Re living
th e
e xpe rie nce
in our
imagination,
we are incline d to re call th e road we took as
'climbing'
th e
h ill,
or as
'de sce nding'
into th e
valle y,
as
th ough
'th e road itse lf h ad
muscle s,
or
rath e r,
counte r-muscle s'
(Bach e lard
1964:
11).
And
th is, too,
is
probably
h ow
you
re call th e
path s
and tracks th at are visible to
you
now: af te r
all, you
must h ave trave lle d
along
atle ast some
of th e mto re ach th e
spot
wh e re
you
are
curre ntlystanding.
Ne are st at
h and,
a
path
h as
be e n cut
th rough
th e
wh e at-f ie ld,
allowing
sh e ave s to be carrie d
down,
and wate r and
provisions
to be carrie d
up.
Furth e r
of f ,
a cart-track runs
along
th e
valle y bottom,
and
anoth e rwinds
up
th e h ill be h ind. In th e
distance ,
path s
criss-cross th e
village gre e n.
T ake n
toge th e r,
th e se
path s
and tracks
'impose
a h abitual
patte rn
on th e move me nt of
pe ople '
(Jackson
1989:
146).
And
ye t th e y
also arise out of th at
move me nt,
f or
e ve ry path
or track
sh ows
up
as th e accumulate d
imprint
of countle ss
journe ys
th at
pe ople
h ave made - with or
with out th e ir ve h icle s or dome stic animals - as
th e y
h ave
gone
about th e ir
e ve ryday
busine ss. T h us th e same move me nt is
e mbodie d,
on th e side of th e
pe ople ,
in th e ir
'muscular
consciousne ss',
and on th e side of th e
landscape ,
in its ne twork of
path s
and
tracks. In th is ne twork is se dime nte d th e
activity
of an e ntire
community,
ove r
many
ge ne rations.
It is th e
taskscape
made visible .
In th e ir
journe ys along path s
and
tracks, h owe ve r,
pe ople
alsomove f rom
place
to
place .
T o re ach a
place , you
ne e d cross no
boundary,
but
you
must f ollow some kind of
path .
T h us th e re can be no
place s
with out
path s, along
wh ich
pe ople
arrive and
de part;
and no
path s
with out
place s,
th at constitute th e ir de stinations and
points
of
de parture .
And f or
th e
h arve ste rs,
th e
place
to wh ich
th e y arrive ,
and wh e nce
th e y
will le ave at th e e nd of th e
day,
is marke d
by
th e ne xt f e ature of th e
landscape
to
occupy your
atte ntion. ...
T h e tre e
Rising
f rom th e
spot
wh e re
pe ople
are
gath e re d
f or th e ir
re past
is an old and
gnarle d
pe ar-tre e ,
wh ich
provide s
th e mwith both sh ade f romth e
sun,
a back-re st and a
prop
f or
ute nsils.
Be ing
th e month of
August,
th e tre e is in f ull
le af ,
and f ruit is
ripe ning
on th e
branch e s. But th is is not
just any
tre e . Forone
th ing,
it draws th e e ntire
landscape
around it
into a
unique
f ocus: in oth e r
words,
by
its
pre se nce
it constitute s a
particularplace .
T h e
place
was not th e re be f ore th e
tre e ,
but came into
be ing
with it. And f or th ose wh o are
gath e re d
th e re ,
th e
prospe ct
it
af f ords,
wh ich is to be h ad nowh e re
e lse ,
is wh at
give s
it its
particular
ch aracte r and
ide ntity.
For anoth e r
th ing,
no oth e r tre e h as
quite
th e same
conf iguration
of
branch e s,
dive rging, be nding
and
twisting
in
e xactly
th e same
way.
In its
168 T im
Ingold
pre se nt f orm,
th e tre e e mbodie s th e e ntire
h istory
of its
de ve lopme nt
f romth e mome nt it
f irst took root. And th at
h istory
consists in th e
unf olding
of its re lations with manif old
compone nts
of its
e nvironme nt, including
th e
pe ople
wh o h ave nurture d
it,
tille d th e soil
around
it,
prune d
its
branch e s, picke d
its
f ruit,
and - as at
pre se nt
- use it as
some th ing
to
le an
against.
T h e
pe ople ,
in oth e r
words,
are as much bound
up
in th e lif e of th e tre e as is
th e tre e in th e live s of th e
pe ople . More ove r,
unlike th e h ills and th e
valle y,
th e tre e h as
manif e stly grown
with in
living me mory.
T h us its
te mporality
is more consonant with th at
of h uman
dwe lling.
Ye t in its
branch ing
structure ,
th e tre e combine s an e ntire
h ie rarch y
of
te mporal rh yth ms, ranging
f rom th e
long cycle
of its own
ge rmination, growth
and
e ve ntual
de cay
to th e
sh ort,
annual
cycle
of
f lowe ring, f ruiting
and f oliation. At one
e xtre me , re pre se nte d
by
th e solid
trunk,
it
pre side s
immobile ove r th e
passage
of h uman
ge ne rations;
at th e
oth e r, re pre se nte d
by
th e f ronde sce nt
sh oots,
it re sonate s with th e
lif e -cycle s
of
inse cts,
th e se asonal
migrations
of
birds,
and th e
re gular
round of h uman
agricultural
activitie s
(cf .
Davie s
1988).
In a
se nse , th e n,
th e tre e
bridge s
th e
gap
be twe e n
th e
appare ntly
f ixe d and invariant f orms of th e
landscape
and th e mobile and transie nt
f orms of animal
lif e ,
visible
proof
th at all of th e se
f orms,
f romth e most
pe rmane nt
to th e
most
e ph e me ral,
are
dynamically
linke d unde r transf ormation with in th e move me nt of
be coming
of th e world as awh ole .
T h e corn
T urning
f romth e
pe ar-tre e
to th e
wh e at-f ie ld,
it is no
longe r
a
place
in th e
landscape
but
th e
surrounding
surf ace th at
occupie s your
atte ntion. And
pe rh aps
wh at is most
striking
about th is surf ace is its
unif ormity
of
colour,
a
golde n
sh e e n th at cloaks th e more e le vate d
parts
of th e
country
f oras f aras th e
e ye
can se e . As
you know,
wh e at take s on th is colour at
th e
particular
time of
ye ar
wh e n it is
ripe
f or
h arve sting.
More th an
any
oth e r f e ature of th e
landscape ,
th e
golde n
corn
gath e rs
th e live s of its
inh abitants,
wh e re ve r
th e y maybe ,
into
te mporal unison,
f ounde d
upon
acommunion of visual
e xpe rie nce .
T h us wh e re as th e tre e
binds
past, pre se nt
and f uture in a
single place ,
th e corn binds
e ve ry place
in th e
landscape
with in a
single
h orizon of th e
pre se nt.
T h e
tre e , we could
say,
e stablish e s avivid se nse of
duration,
th e corn an
e qually
vivid se nse of wh at Fabian
(1983:
31)
calls coe valne ss. It is
th is distinction th at Bach e lard h as in mind wh e n h e contrasts th e 'be f ore -me , be f ore -us' of
th e f ore st with th e 'with -me , with -us' of f ie lds and
me adows,
wh e re in 'my
dre ams and
re colle ctions
accompany
all th e dif f e re nt
ph ase s
of
tilling
and
h arve sting' (Bach e lard
1964:
188).
You
may suppose
th at th e
sle e pe r
be ne ath th e tre e is dre aming of
corn,
but if
so, you may
be sure th at th e
pe ople
and th e activitie s th at
f igure
in h is dre amare coe val
with th ose of th e
pre se nt
and do not take h imback into an e ncounte r with th e
past.
(Note
th at th e distinction be twe e n coe valne ss and duration, re pre se nte d by
th e corn and th e
tre e ,
is not at all th e same as th e classic Saussurian
dich otomy
be twe e n
synch rony
and
diach rony:
th e f orme r
be longs
to th e
pe rspe ctive
of th e A-se rie s rath e rth an th e
B-se rie s,
to th e
te mporality
of th e
landscape ,
not to its
ch ronology (Ingold 1986b: 151).)
Wh e re th e corn h as be e n
f re sh lycut,
it
pre se nts
ash e e r ve rtical
f ront,
not f arsh ort of a
man's
h e igh t.
But th is is not a
boundary f e ature ,
like a
h e dge
or f e nce . It is an
inte rf ace ,
wh ose outline is
progre ssive ly
transf orme d as th e h arve ste rs
proce e d
with th e ir work.
He re is a f ine
e xample
of th e
way
in wh ich f orm
e me rge s th rough
move me nt. Anoth e r
T h e
te mporalityof
th e
landscape
169
e xample
can be se e n f urth e r
of f ,
wh e re a man is
e ngage d
in th e task of
binding
th e wh e at
into ash e af . Each
comple te d
sh e af h as a
re gularf orm,
wh ich arise s out of th e co-ordinate d
move me nt of
binding.
But th e
comple tion
of a sh e af is
only
one mome nt in th e labour
proce ss.
T h e sh e ave s will late rbe carrie d down th e
path th rough
th e
f ie ld,
to th e
h aycart
in
th e
valle y.
Inde e d at th is
ve ry mome nt,
one woman is
stoope d
almost double in th e act of
picking up
a
sh e af ,
and two oth e rs can be se e n on th e ir
way down,
sh e ave s on th e ir
sh oulde rs.
Many
more
ope rations
will f ollow be f ore th e wh e at is
e ve ntually
transf orme d
intobre ad. In th e sce ne be f ore
you,
one of th e h arve ste rs unde rth e
tre e ,
se ate d on a
sh e af ,
is
cutting
a loaf . He re th e
cycle
of
production
and
consumption
e nds wh e re it
be gan,
with
th e
produce rs.
For
production
is tantamount to
dwe lling:
it doe s not
be gin
h e re
(with
a
pre conce ive d image )
and e nd th e re
(with
af inish e d
arte f act),
but is
continuouslygoing
on.
T h e ch urch
Not f ar of f , ne stle d in a
grove
of tre e s ne ar th e
top
of th e
h ill,
is a stone ch urch . It is
instructive to ask: h ow doe s th e ch urch dif f e rf romth e tre e ?
T h e y
h ave more in
common,
pe rh aps,
th an me e ts th e
e ye .
Both
posse ss
th e attribute s of wh at Bakh tin
(1981: 84)
calls a
'ch ronotope '
-
th at
is,
a
place ch arge d
with
te mporality,
one in wh ich
te mporality
take s on
palpable
f orm. Like th e
tre e ,
th e ch urch
by
its
ve ry pre se nce
constitute s a
place ,
wh ich
owe s its ch aracte rto th e
unique way
in wh ich it draws in th e
surrounding landscape . Again
like th e
tre e ,
th e ch urch
spans
h uman
ge ne rations, ye t
its
te mporality
is not inconsonant
with th at of h uman
dwe lling.
As th e tre e burie s its roots in th e
ground,
so also
pe ople 's
ance stors are burie d in th e
grave yard
be side th e
ch urch ,
and both se ts of roots
may
re ach to
approximate ly
th e same
te mporal de pth .
More ove r th e
ch urch , too,
re sonate s to th e
cycle s
of h uman lif e and subsiste nce .
Among
th e inh abitants of th e
ne igh bourh ood,
it; is not
only
se e n but also h e ard, as its be lls
ring
out th e
se asons, th e
month s, birth s, marriage s
and
de ath s. In sh ort, as f e ature s of th e
landscape ,
both th e ch urch and th e tre e
appe ar
as
ve ritable monume nts to th e
passage
of time .
Ye t
de spite
th e se
similaritie s, th e dif f e re nce
may
se e mobvious. T h e
ch urch , af te r all, is
a
building.
T h e tre e
by contrast, is not built, it
grows.
We
may agre e
to re se rve th e te rm
'building'
f or
any
durable structure in th e
landscape
wh ose f ormarise s and is sustaine d
with in th e curre nt of h uman
activity.
It would be
wrong
to
conclude , h owe ve r,
th at th e
distinction be twe e n
buildings
and
non-buildings
is an absolute one . Wh e re an absolute
distinction is made , it is
ge ne rally pre mise d upon
th e
se paration
of mind and
nature , such
th at built f orm, rath e rth an
h aving
its source with in
nature ,
is said to be
supe rimpose d by
th e mind
upon
it. But f rom th e
pe rspe ctive
of
dwe lling,
we can se e th at th e f orms of
buildings,
as much as of
any
oth e r f e ature s of th e
landscape ,
are ne ith e r
give n
in th e world
nor
place d upon it, but
e me rge
with in th e
se lf -transf orming proce sse s
of th e world itse lf .
With
re spe ct
to
any f e ature , th e
scope
of h uman involve me nt in th e se
proce sse s
will
vary
f rom
ne gligible
to
conside rable , th ough
it is ne ve r total
(e ve n
th e most
'e ngine e re d'
of
e nvironme nts is h ome to oth e r
spe cie s).
Wh at is oris not a
'building'
is th e re f ore are lative
matte r; more ove r as h uman involve me nt
mayvary
in th e 'lif e
h istory'
of a
f e ature ,
it
may
be more or le ss of a
building
in dif f e re nt
pe riods.
Re turning
to th e tre e and th e
ch urch ,
it is
e vide ntly
too
simple
to
suppose
th at th e f orm
of th e tre e is
naturally give n
in its
ge ne tic make up,
wh e re as th e f orm of th e ch urch
170 T im
Ingold
pre -e xists,
in th e minds of th e
builde rs,
as a
plan
wh ich is th e n 're alize d' in stone . In th e
case of th e
tre e ,
we h ave
alre ady
obse rve d th at its
growth
consists in th e
unf olding
of atotal
syste m
of re lations constitute d
by
th e f act of its
pre se nce
in an
e nvironme nt,
f romth e
point
of
ge rmination
onwards,
and th at
pe ople ,
as
compone nts
of th e tre e 's
e nvironme nt, play
a
not
insignif icant
role in th is
proce ss.
Like wise ,
th e
'biograph y'
of th e ch urch consists in th e
unf olding
of re lations with its h uman
builde rs,
as we ll as with oth e r
compone nts
of its
e nvironme nt,
f romth e mome nt wh e n th e f irststone was laid. T h e 'f inal' f ormof th e ch urch
may
inde e d h ave be e n
pre f igure d
in th e h uman
imagination,
but it no more issue d f romth e
image
th an did th e f ormof th e tre e issue f romits
ge ne s.
In both
case s,
th e f ormis th e
e mbodime nt of a
de ve lopme ntal
or h istorical
proce ss,
and is roote d in th e conte xt of
h uman
dwe lling
in th e world.
In th e case of th e
ch urch , more ove r,
th at
proce ss
did not
stop
wh e n its f ormcame to
match th e
conce ptual
mode l. Foras
long
as th e
building
re mains
standing
in th e
landscape ,
it will continue
-
as it doe s now - to
f igure
with in th e e nvironme nt not
just
of h uman
be ings
but of a
myriad
of oth e r
living kinds, plant
and
animal,
wh ich will
incorporate
it into th e ir
own lif e -activitie s and
modif y
it in th e
proce ss.
And it is
subje ct, too,
to th e same f orce s of
we ath e ring
and
de composition,
both
organic
and
me te orological,
th at af f e ct
e ve ryth ing
e lse in th e
landscape .
T h e
pre se rvation
of th e ch urch in its
e xisting,
'f inish e d' f ormin th e
f ace of th e se
f orce s,
h owe ve r substantial it
may
be in its mate rials and
construction,
re quire s
a
re gularinput
of e f f ort in mainte nance and
re pair.
Once th is h uman
input lapse s,
le aving
it at th e
me rcy
of oth e r f orms of lif e and of th e
we ath e r,
it will soon ce ase to be a
building
and be come a ruin.
T h e
pe ople
So f arI h ave de scribe d th e sce ne
only
as
you
be h old it with
your e ye s.
Ye t
you
do not
only
look, you
liste n as
we ll,
f or th e air is f ull of sounds of one kind and anoth e r.
T h ough
th e
f olk be ne ath th e tre e are too
busye ating
to
talk, you
h e ar th e clatte r of woode n
spoons
on
bowls,
th e
slurp
of th e
drinke r,
and th e loud snore s of th e me mbe r of th e
party
wh o is
outstre tch e d in
sle e p.
Furth e r
of f , you
h e ar th e swish of
scyth e s against
th e cornstalks and
th e calls of th e birds as
th e y swoop
low ove r th e f ie ld in se arch of
pre y.
Far of f in th e
distance ,
waf te d on th e
ligh t wind,
can be h e ard th e sounds of
pe ople conve rsing
and
playing
on a
gre e n,
be h ind
wh ich ,
on th e oth e r side of th e
stre am,
lie s acluste rof
cottage s.
Wh at
you
h e ar is a
taskscape .
In th e
pe rf ormance
of th e ir
particulartasks, pe ople
are
re sponsive
not
only
to th e
cycle
of maturation of th e
crop,
wh ich draws th e m
toge th e r
in th e ove rall
proje ct
of
h arve sting,
but also to e ach oth e r's activitie s as th e se are
apportione d by
th e division of labour. Eve n
with in th e same task, individuals do not
carry
on in mutual isolation.
T e ch nically,
it take s
only
one man to wie ld a
scyth e ,
but th e
re ape rs
ne ve rth e le ss work in
unison, ach ie ving
a
dance -like
h armony
in th e ir
rh yth mic
move me nts.
Similarly
th e two wome n
carrying
sh e ave s down into th e
valle y adjust
th e ir
pace ,
e ach in re lation to th e
oth e r,
so th at th e
distance be twe e n th e mre mains more or le ss invariant.
Pe rh aps
th e re is le ss co-ordination
be twe e n th e
re spe ctive
move me nts of th e e ate rs, h owe ve r
th e y e ye
e ach oth e r
inte ntly
as
th e y
se t about th e ir
re past,
and th e me al is a
joint activity
on wh ich all h ave e mbarke d
toge th e r,
and wh ich
th e y
will f inish
toge th e r. Only
th e
sle e pe r,
oblivious to th e
world,
is
T h e
te mporality
of
th e
landscape
171
out of
joint
- h is snore s
jar
th e se nse s
pre cise ly
be cause
th e y
are not in
any
kind of
rh yth mic
re lation to wh at is
going
on around. With out wake f ul
atte ntion,
th e re can be no re sonance .
But in
atte nding
to one
anoth e r,
do th e
pe ople
inh abit a world of th e ir
own,
an
e xclusive ly
h uman world of
me anings
and
inte ntions,
of be lie f s and
value s,
de tach e d f rom
th e one in wh ich th e ir bodie s are
put
to work in th e ir se ve ral activitie s? Do
th e y,
f rom
with in such adomain of
inte rsubje ctivity,
look at th e world outside
th rough
th e window of
th e ir se nse s?
Sure ly
not. For th e h ills and
valle y,
th e
tre e ,
th e corn and th e birds are as
palpably pre se nt
to th e m
(as
inde e d to
you too)
as are th e
pe ople
to e ach oth e r
(and
to
you).
T h e
re ape rs,
as
th e y
wie ld th e ir
scyth e s,
are with th e
corn, just
as th e e ate rs are with
th e irf e llows. T h e
landscape ,
in
sh ort,
is not a
totality
th at
you
or
anyone
e lse can look
at,
it
is rath e rth e world in wh ich we stand in
taking up
a
point
of vie w on our
surroundings.
And
it is with in th e conte xt of th is atte ntive involve me nt in th e
landscape
th at th e h uman
imagination ge ts
to work in
f ash ioning
ide as about it. For th e
landscape ,
to borrow a
ph rase
f rom
Me rle au-Ponty (1962: 24),
is not so much th e
obje ct
as 'th e h ome land of our
th ough ts'.
Epilogue
Concluding
an
e ssay
on th e
ways
in wh ich th e We ste rn
Apach e
of Arizona discove r
me aning,
value and moral
guidance
in th e
landscape
around
th e m,
Basso abh ors th e
te nde ncy
in
e cological anth ropology
to
re le gate
such matte rs to an
'e piph e nome nal' le ve l,
wh ich is se e n to h ave little or no
be aring
on th e
dynamics
of
adaptation
of h uman
populations
to th e conditions of th e ir e nvironme nts. An
e cology
th at is
f ully cultural,
Basso
argue s,
is one th at would atte nd as much to th e se miotic as to th e mate rial
dime nsions of
pe ople 's
re lations with th e ir
surroundings, bybringing
into f ocus 'th e
laye rs
of
signif icance
with wh ich h uman
be ings
blanke t th e e nvironme nt'
(Basso
1984:
49).
In
rath e r similar
ve in,
Cosgrove re gre ts
th e
te nde ncy
in h uman
ge ograph y
to
re gard
th e
landscape
in
narrowly
utilitarian and f unctional
te rms,
as 'an
impe rsonal e xpre ssion
of
de mograph ic
and e conomic
f orce s',
and th us to
ignore
th e
multiple laye rs
of
symbolic
me aning
or cultural
re pre se ntation
th at are
de posite d upon
it. T h e task of
de coding
th e
'many-laye re d me anings
of
symbolic landscape s', Cosgrove argue s,
will
re quire
a
ge ograph y
th at is not
just
h uman but
prope rly
h umanistic
(Cosgrove
1989:
120-7).
T h ough
I h ave some
sympath y
with th e vie ws
e xpre sse d by
th e se
write rs,
I be lie ve th at
th e
me taph ors
of cultural construction wh ich
th e y adopt
h ave an e f f e ct
quite opposite
to
th at inte nde d. For th e
ve ry
ide a th at
me aning
cove rs ove r th e
world, laye r upon laye r,
carrie s th e
implication
th at th e
way
to uncove r th e most basic le ve l of h uman
be ings'
practical
involve me nt with th e ir e nvironme nts is
by stripping
th e se
laye rs away.
In oth e r
words,
such
blanke ting me taph ors actually
se rve to cre ate and
pe rpe tuate
an inte lle ctual
space
in wh ich h uman
e cology
or h uman
ge ograph y
can
f lourish ,
untrouble d
by any
conce rns about wh at th e world me ans to th e
pe ople
wh o live in it. We can
sure ly
le arn f rom
th e We ste rn
Apach e ,
wh o insist th at th e storie s
th e y te ll,
f arf rom
putting me anings upon
th e
landscape ,
are inte nde d to allow liste ne rs to
place
th e mse lve s in re lation to
spe cif ic
f e ature s of th e
landscape ,
in such a
way
th at th e ir
me anings may
be re ve ale d or disclose d.
Storie s
h e lp
to
ope n up
th e
world,
not to cloak it.
172 T im
Ingold
And such
ope ning up, too,
must be th e
obje ctive
of
arch ae ology.
Like th e We ste rn
Apach e
-
and f or th at matte r
any
oth e r
group
of
pe ople
wh o are
truly
'at h ome ' in th e
world -
arch ae ologists study
th e
me aning
of th e
landscape ,
not
by inte rpre ting
th e
many
laye rs
of its
re pre se ntation (adding
f urth e r
laye rs
in th e
proce ss)
but
byprobing
e ve r more
de e ply
into it.
Me aning
is th e re to be discove re d in th e
landscape ,
if
only
we know h ow to
atte nd to it.
Eve ry f e ature , th e n,
is a
pote ntial clue ,
a
ke y
to
me aning
rath e rth an ave h icle
f or
carrying
it. T h is
discove ryproce dure ,
wh e re in
obje cts
in th e
landscape
be come clue s to
me aning,
is wh at
distinguish e s
th e
pe rspe ctive
of
dwe lling.
And
since ,
as I h ave
sh own,
th e
proce ss
of
dwe lling
is
f undame ntally te mporal,
th e
appre h e nsion
of th e
landscape
in th e
dwe lling pe rspe ctive
must
be gin
f roma
re cognition
of its
te mporality. Only th rough
such
re cognition, by te mporalizing
th e
landscape ,
can we move
be yond
th e division th at h as
af f licte d most
inquirie s up
to
now,
be twe e n th e 'scie ntif ic'
study
of an
ate mporalize d
nature ,
and th e 'h umanistic'
study
of a de mate rialize d
h istory.
And no
discipline
is be tte r
place d
to take th is
ste p
th an
arch ae ology.
I h ave not be e n conce rne d h e re with e ith e r th e
me th ods or th e re sults of
arch ae ological inquiry.
Howe ve r to th e
que stion,
'wh at is
arch ae ology
th e
studyof ?T ,
I be lie ve th e re is no be tte r answe rth an 'th e
te mporality
of th e
landscape '.
I
h ope ,
in th is
article ,
to h ave
gone
some
way
towards
e lucidating
wh at th is
me ans.
10.iii.93
De partme nt
of Social
Anth ropology
Unive rsityof
Manch e ste r
Note
An e arlie r ve rsion of th is
pape r
was
pre se nte d
to th e se ssion on
'Place ,
time and
e xpe rie nce : inte rpre ting pre h istoric landscape s',
at th e Conf e re nce of th e T h e ore tical
Arch ae ology Group, Unive rsity
of
Le ice ste r,
De ce mbe r 1991.
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C. Eme rson and M.
Holquist;
e d. M.
Holquist).
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Unive rsity
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D. 1980. Wh ole ne ss and th e
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Ke gan
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173
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E. 1976
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J. 1983. T ime and th e Oth e r: How
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A. 1992. T h e
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J. J. 1979. T h e
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W. S. 1977.
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Abstract
Ingold,
T .
T h e
te mporality
of th e
landscape
Landscape
and
te mporality
are th e
major unif ying
th e me s of
arch ae ology
and social-cultural
anth ropology.
T h is
pape r atte mpts
to sh ow h ow th e
te mporality
of th e
landscape may
be unde rstood
by way
of a
'dwe lling pe rspe ctive '
th at se ts out f rom th e
pre mise
of
pe ople 's active , pe rce ptual
e ngage me nt
in th e world. T h e
me aning
of
'landscape '
is clarif ie d
by
contrast to th e
conce pts
of land,
nature and
space .
T h e notion of
'taskscape '
is introduce d to de note a
patte rn
of
dwe lling activitie s,
and th e intrinsic
te mporality
of th e
taskscape
is sh own to lie in its
rh yth mic
inte rre lations or
patte rns
of re sonance .
By conside ring
h ow
taskscape
re late s to
landscape ,
th e distinction be twe e n th e m is
ultimate ly dissolve d, and th e
landscape
itse lf is sh own to be
f undame ntally te mporal.
Some concre te
illustrations of th e se
argume nts
are drawn f rom a
painting by Brue ge l,
T h e Harve ste rs.

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