Couch Grass: Ethics of the Rhizome

  • Barbara Bolt

Ethics is about mattering, about taking account of the entangled materializations of which we are part, including new configurations, new subjectivities, new possibilities – even the smallest cuts matter (Barad 2007, 384).

This essay takes the artist Bianca Hester’s invitation to engage with the exhibition, please leave these windows open overnight to enable the fans to draw in cool air during the early hours of the morning, as an opportunity to investigate an ethical call, a call that makes a demand andrequires a response from those who accept this invitation. Through addressing the dynamics produced by and through this invitation, the essay asks what is expected of a participant in order that they may “leave the windows open” and enable new configurations and relationalities to emerge. It directs our questioning to how we might prepare ourselves to be open to such a challenge and sets out to sketch a “user’s guide” to attune us to this task. By adopting principles of carefulness,...



I would like to thank Bianca Hester for her generosity in the preparation of this essay. I very much appreciated her responsiveness and critical engagement with the text and for permission to reproduces the images.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Victorian College of the Arts, The University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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