Max Schnepf, Karoline Buchner
News vom 25.06.2019
In his writing at the intersection of anthropology, psychiatry and human-environment relations, the location of the mind was a major concern for Gregory Bateson. Not unlike the Pixies, he argued that the mind is not to be found in a person’s head. Bateson’s “ecology of mind” does not engage with an individual mind, either located in or, in the case of the Pixies song, forcefully evicted from an individual body. The “larger Mind”, Bateson argues, drawing on cybernetics, is “immanent in the total interconnected social system and planetary ecology” (Bateson 1978: 461).
With their feet placed firmly on the vinyl floor of the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin and their heads in anthropological theory and ethnographic materials, about 40 anthropologists gathered from May 16 to 17, 2019 to participate in a workshop, organized by the Working Group Medical Anthropology within the German Anthropological Association (DGSKA). “Exploring Ecologies of Mind in (Mental) Health: Eco-Pathologies and Onto-Politics of Healing Economies” – with this (admittedly quite buzzwordy) workshop title, the organizers, Caroline Meier zu Biesen, Nasima Selim (both FU Berlin), Claudia Lang (Cermes3, Paris) and Dominik Mattes (FU Berlin) asked the participants to rethink their ethnographic materials by taking Bateson’s work as a point of departure and creative tool. [more]