representation enables


Dillard (2003a) suggests that "multiple and complex representations" enable various entry points for the reader to (re)imagine possibilities as well as negotiate "between and among multiple relations and realities" (p. 670).

St. Pierre and Richardson (2005) add to the discussion of research representation by suggesting that researchers write data in three different ways and then ask:

"What do you know in each rendition that you did not know in the other renditions?" and "How do the different renditions enrich each other?" (p. 975).

The idea is that rather than looking for coherence, one might look for ways in which multiple layers of representation enrich (and in some cases, change) meaning. For example, one can read the longer textual pieces alone, or dive into the hypertext with the accompaniment and input of any number of reading partners: a tree, a companion species, a favourite rock, or spirit guide. Depending on the intention of the reader and whether there is a reading companion present, one's choices, insights, and understandings will vary. In the context of an animist ontology, including spaces for pausing within the text, primarily found in the form of links, music, and images, can support dialogic reading and provide more spacious opportunities for the more-than-human to be co-creators of meaning.


Thus multiple representations, and the twinning of research and representation unsettles the continual reinscription of humans as the unmarked norm and only conscious agents involved in research and reading processes. Attending to research representation also enables access to ontologies, epistemologies, and a identity/subjectivity often not made visible, or easily accessible, in Western contexts. As noted elsewhere, it may be easier to see the ways in which dominant discourses have closed down ontological and epistemological perspectives that support research/representation with the many voices of animate Earth, than it is to fully engage the epistemologies, ontologies, and associated methodologies, methods and representational forms that enable more-than-human persons to be active participants in research.