Non-representational landscapes and the performative affective forces of habit: from ‘Live’ to ‘Blank’

J. D. Dewsbury*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the relationship between landscapes and the performative materialities of habit in relation to non-representational theory. Materially, landscapes already pre-occupy us insofar as the material world is seen to afford action that is already thought practical intelligence: from how you tacitly know how much clearance to give your step as you walk onto the pavement, to learning to drive a car without needing to concentrate too hard on precisely what it is that you are doing. Where the human is already established in phenomenological thought, habit gives us an ontology whereby this is not the assumed starting point. Material affordances only address half the matter, given that the occupation of being in a landscape is now seen to be much more explicitly constitutive of what it means to be human in the first place. This article, then, addresses the new directions for cultural geography present in recent work on habit within the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Ravaisson. It does this by considering this interface between, on the one hand, the biological rewiring of bodies re-engineered in the lived and habit spaces of immediate occupation of landscaped activity and, on the other hand, that of cultural preoccupations disposing subjective formations in situ within landscapes. In this, it makes use of a workshop event from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded network Living in a Material World and the context of training at the British Army Ministry of Defence (MoD) site at Mynydd Epynt, Wales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-47
Number of pages19
Journalcultural geographies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2015


  • affect
  • Félix Ravaisson
  • Gilles Deleuze
  • habit
  • landscape
  • materiality
  • performance

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