Of the Ocean: Interiors at the Scale of the Planet

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Discussions of interiors have historically focused on bounded architectures, but interiority is instead experienced as an assemblage of power, technologies, and relations practised within planetary ecologies. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the ocean: an immense and embodied territory covering more than 70% of the surface of the Earth. This ‘wet volume’ is, however, largely absent from conventional disciplinary debates. Rendered either as surface, void, or aesthetic value, the ocean is ignored in our theorising of spatial experience. Similarly, ongoing climate and geopolitical crises of the Anthropocene guarantee there is no longer any ‘outside’ to speak of in this world. We must accept our shared interior totality, and engage with fluid relationships at the scale of the planet.

This chapter will examine planetary interiors, foregrounding the South China Sea in particular – where military skirmishes conceal slippages of the personal, local, and global; and myriad human and non-human entanglements. By rejecting the assumed neutrality of this boundless space, we can recognise the ocean-as-planetary-interior is elemental to thinking of – and living within – the precarity of this Anthropocene age.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterior Futures
EditorsGraeme Brooker, Harriet Harriss, Kevin Walker
Place of PublicationCA USA
PublisherCrucible Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780996752640
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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