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By Timothy Choy, Jerry Zee

Cite As:
Choy, Timothy, and Jerry Zee. 2015. “Condition—Suspension.” Cultural Anthropology 30, no. 2: 210–223.


Atmospheric scenes compel anthropology into a dilution: a shift in concentration. Working through suspension as a condition through which to ask into life in the air, this Opening pauses with moments of arrest, distribution, and deposit by various airs. Such moments compel a reorientation of attention toward airy things even as they model a recomposition of anthropological inquiry by atmosphere. Exploring how sands shift and settle in a Chinese wind tunnel and how matsutake mushroom solids become aromatic vapors in Seoul, we move from considering materials in airborne states to a condition of suspension in atmosphere to which particulates and people alike are held. What could an anthropology in suspension become when its anthropos is subject to vaporization into a thing among others in the atmosphere’s composition?


air; Anthropocene; atmosphere; environment; suspension; vaporization; volatiles