Copyright Artist Charlotte Grum

Posthumanist methodology – a matter of de-mattering?

Being inspired by the concept of ‘becoming’, I set out to explore human non-human intra-action creating a durational site-specific performative situation in the countryside of Denmark. Barad’s concept of intra-action (2003) is a particularly interesting thinking tool in my artistic practice, challenging a dualist understanding of subjectivity, materiality and agency. Becoming Sheep (2015) intended to explore the apparatuses producing ‘humans’ and ‘non-humans’, that is the embodied and embedded mattering processes and practices producing these very phenomena.

Posthuman in my art practice is not to be understood in terms of the cyborg inspired body art Australian artist Stelarc ( or French artist ORLAN ( being occupied with the radical changes to the human species made possible by biotechnology (Gomoll, 2011).

My art practice investigates the potential and paradoxes of a posthumanist analytical perspective on performative situations. This posthumanist approach is called more conceptual and a forerunner for the posthuman/transhuman cyborg universe (Lippert-Rasmussen et al, 2012).

‘The posthuman’ is not A phenomena but a pletphora of conceptual and material figurations de-centering Man, the former measure of all things, as Braidotti (2013:2) puts it. ‘Man’ both seen as the human animal, but also as a certain gendered version of the human animal.

Becoming Sheep (2015) thus can be seen as performing a posthumanist methodology concerned with re-configuring or de-stabilizing dominant socio-material categories and practices.

‘Becoming’ is here understood as a Haraway species-specific notion of ‘becoming-with’ stating that we have never been human (echoing Latours We have never been modern, 1991), but we are always already queer naturecultures.


Barad, K. (2003): Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter. In Signs. Journal of Women in Culture and Society

Barad, K. (2012): Nature’s Queer Performativity. In Kvinder, Køn og Forskning 12

Braidotti, R. (2013): The Posthuman. Polity Press

Gomoll, L. (2011): POSTHUMAN PERFORMANCE. A Feminist Intervention. In TOTAL ART Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1

Lippert-Rasmussen, K., Thomsen, M. R. and Wamberg, J. (2012): The Posthuman Condition. Ethics, Aesthetics and Politics of Biotechnological Challenges. Aarhus Universitetsforlag

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4 Comments on "Posthumanist methodology – a matter of de-mattering?"

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Kim Haagen Mathiesen
Hey there fellow group entity 😉 Interesting approach to the subject, i have not read all the articles you refer to, but I’ll see if i can’t contribute to somewhat of a discussion about your subject of choice. The thing i really like about your angle is, that you seem to abandon the technological discourse and in instead focus on the inhuman other, a totally different approach to the posthuman than my own. Looking at the picture i find a strong sense of caring and acknowledgement of the inhuman other. Is this picture your utopian posthuman world? When reading your… Read more »
Laura Benítez Valero
Hi Charlotte, thank you very much for your post and for sharing with us your artistic practice. I’m really interested in becoming as one of the key “concepts” to move from inter-actions to intra-actions. When two bodies interact, they each maintain a level of independence, each entity exist before they account to one another, however when bodies intra-act they do it in a constitutive way, materialize through intra-actions, and the ability to act emerges from with it the relationship not outside of it. So intra-action gives us the possibility of thinking about the relationship with the “others”, with materials, non-humans,… Read more »
James Wachira
James Wachira
Hi Charlotte, I find your attempt at a posthumanist methodology inspiring. I am yet to read all the articles but I appreciate the insights of your argument. I am curious to read what you would have to say regarding the concept of becoming. I am thinking that the concept of becoming leans toward some anthropocentric end. I am curious to understand what becoming sheep can be read without a tinge of curiosity which would still place man at the centre of experimenting and knowing. Still new to the concept of Posthumanism. I seek input that will make it clearer to… Read more »