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Erin Manning holds a University Research Chair in Relational Art and Philosophy in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). She is also the director of the SenseLab

Dancing the Virtual (2006)

“what moves as a body returns as the movement of thought”

sponsored by The Sense Lab (Erin Manning, Concordia University, and the Workshop in
Radical Empiricism (Brian Massumi, Université de Montréal,

May 13-15, 2006 at the Society for Arts and Technology, Montréal

Call for Participation

We would like to challenge the dichotomy between creation and thought/research by establishing a working environment in which the emphasis will be placed on the ways in which research-creation reinvents collaboration and on the new modes of thought and action this makes possible. To think research-creation necessitates a rethinking of the body (and the mind/body split). We suggest that thought is of the body. To elaborate this hypothesis, we will take the sensing body in movement as our point of departure. The sensing body in movement can be understood as a processual entity that transforms and is transformed by the relational sensing matrices it instantiates through its movements.

Movement is the key word: research-creation is about the movement of thought. To create movements of thought is to actualize thought as a technique. What is at stake is the exploration of the ways in which we ascertain the social potential and political implications of technology (where the body itself can be seen as an originary technology and the senses as its prostheses). The premise of the present proposal is that exploration of this potential is inherently a philosophical undertaking of the most pragmatic kind: it changes our notions about what philosophical thought can be by bringing it into direct involvement with other sectors of activity. Mutual involvement, or relation, is the connecting thread.

To engage actively in research-creation is not only to create movements of thought, it is also to instantiate new platforms of experimentation. This project proposes to create such a platform of experimentation – where the body is actively produced through technologically mediated environment – in order to foster the future potential of research-creation. What we propose is to ask how movements of thought can engender creative tools that further the production of culture. New forms of collaboration are here not simply locales for experimentation: they are matrices of cultural becoming. Experimentation will function as much at this collective level as at the conceptual level, and on both levels technically. The aim of the event is produce a platform for speculative pragmatism where what begins technically as a movement is immediately a movement of thought.

Invited Participants: ANDREW MURPHIE, University of New South Wales, Australia

STAMATIA PORTANOVA, University of East London, UK

Keynote Post-Event Speaker: JOSÉ GIL, New University of Lisbon, Portugal