In Our Hands: An Ethics of Gestural Response-ability. Rebecca Schneider in conversation with Lucia Ruprecht
The following conversation aims to trace the role of gesture and gestural thinking in Rebecca Schneider’s work, and to tease out the specific gestural ethics which arises in her writings. In particular, Schneider thinks about the politics of citation and reiteration for an ethics of call and response that emerges in the gesture of the hail. Both predicated upon a fundamentally ethical relationality and susceptible to ideological investment, the hail epitomises the operations of the “both/and”—a logic of conjunction that structures and punctuates the history of thinking on gesture from the classic Brechtian tactic in which performance both replays and counters conditions of subjugation to Alexander Weheliye’s reclamation of this tactic for black and critical ethnic studies. The gesture of the hail will lead us, then, to the gesture of protest in the Black Lives Matter movement. The hands that are held up in the air both replay (and respond to) the standard pose of surrender in the face of police authority and call for a future that might be different. Schneider’s ethics of response-ability thus rethinks relationality as something that always already anticipates and perpetually reinaugurates possibilities for response.
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