Eco: Home. Tone: Tension.


[...] As transition areas between two adjacent but different ecosystems, ecotones appear as both gradual shifts and abrupt demarcations. But more than just a marker of separation or even a marker of connection (although importantly both of these things), an ecotone is also a zone of fecundity, creativity, transformation; of becoming, assembling, multiplying; of diverging, differentiating, relinquishing. Something happens. Estuaries, tidal zones, wetlands: these are all liminal spaces where “two complex systems meet, embrace, clash, and transform one another.”

An ecotone is a sort of membrane, too: a pause, or even an increase in velocity, where/when/how matter comes to matter differently. If we consider membrane logic as belonging to the species of the ecotone, we are again made aware of the rich complexity of the hydro-logics that sustain us. The liminal ecotone is not only a place of transit, but itself a watery body. In other words, an ecotone has a material fecundity that rejects an ontological separation between “thing” and “transition,” between “body” and “vector.” The watery membrane, then, is no passive prop for the ontologically weightier bodies that traverse it. In Gilles Deleuze’s terms, this event-full zone could be called “inorganic life.” But saturated with lively water, inorganic life is organic, too. The virtual is alsoactual. These and other pairs begin to creep.

Eco: home. Tone: tension. We must learn to be at home in the quivering tension of the inbetween.

No other home is available. In-between nature and culture, in-between biology and philosophy, in-between the human and everything we ram ourselves up against, everything we desperately shield ourselves from, everything we throw ourselves into, wrecked and recklessly, watching, amazed, as our skins become thinner.



Neimanis, Astrida.

"Hydrofeminism: Or, On Becoming a Body of Water."

Undutiful Daughters : New Directions in Feminist Thought and Practice,

edited by Gunkel, Henriette et al.,

Palgrave Macmillan. 2012.