Tim Ingold is hoogleraar Antropologie aan de Universiteit van Aberdeen. Hij heeft veel onderzoek gedaan onder de bevolking van Lapland.  In zijn studies en beschouwingen heeft hij een heel eigen benadering ontwikkeld. We proeven iets daarvan aan de titel van zijn meest recente grote werk: Being Alive; Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description.(2011)


In de aanhef van dit boek presenteert hij zich aldus:

I am an anthropologist: not a social or cultural anthropologist; not a biological or archaeological anthropologist;  just an anthropologist. And  in  this  book I present a very personal view of what, for me, anthropology is. I do not pretend that it is in any way representative: to the contrary, anthropologists reading this book may feel that it strays rather far from their usual preoccupations, and that its centre of gravity lies closer to other fields such as art or architecture. It has indeed been part of my purpose to shift anthropology in this direction, a purpose founded on the conviction that the convention according to which anthropology is committed to observing and describing life as we find it, but not to changing it, whereas art and architecture are at liberty to propose forms never before encountered, without having first to observe and describe what is already there, is unsustainable. The truth is that the propositions of art and architecture, to the extent that they carry force, must be grounded in a profound understanding of the lived world, and conversely that anthropological accounts of the manifold ways in which  life is lived would be of no avail if they were not brought to bear on speculative inquiries into what the possibilities for human life might be. Thus art, architecture and anthropology have in common that they observe, describe and propose

Thus art, architecture and anthropology have in common that they observe, describe and propose. There is, perhaps, a discipline waiting to be defined and named where these three fields meet, and if some readers would prefer to regard this book as a kind of manifesto for that discipline, then I shall not object. Nor would I object were anyone to consider my endeavour to be closer to philosophy than anthropology, save to say that I am no philosopher.

In verband met de mobilistiek ('perhaps a discipline waiting to be defined') gaan we hier wat meer in op zijn tekst uit 2007: Up, Across and Along. Hoofdstuk 3 uit zijn boek Lines: a brief history. Om te tonen waar het over gaat volgt hier een sleutelpassage uit deze tekst. (Vet gedrukt door mij.) Het -hier erg belangrijke- Engelse woord wayfaring is moeilijk goed te vertalen. Het betekent reizen, met de bijbetekenis van voetreis. Om het accent dat Ingold er aan geeft de duiden heeft Willem Schinkel het wel vertaald als wegwonen.

I aim to show how the line, in the course of its history, has been gradually shorn of the movement that gave rise to it. Once the trace of a continuous gesture, the line has been fragmented - under the sway of modernity - into a succession of points or dots. This fragmentation, as I shall explain, has taken place in the related fields of travel, where wayfaring is replaced by destination-oriented transport, mapping, where the drawn sketch is replaced by the route-plan, and textuality, where storytelling is replaced by the pre- composed plot. To an ever-increasing extent, people in modern metropolitan societies find themselves in environments built as assemblies of connected elements. Yet in practice they continue to thread their own ways through these environments, tracing paths as they go. I suggest that to understand how people do not just occupy but inhabit the environments in which they dwell, we might do better to revert from the paradigm of the assembly to that of the walk.

UP, ACROSS AND ALONG vind je hier.