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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



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Project Overview

Immediations: Art, Media and Event is a large-scale partnership between 11 universities (14academic research centres), 17 community partners, 21 co-applicants and 2 collaborators. Its goal is to formalize and solidify an existing network of collaboration that has been developed over the past 8 years through the activities of the SenseLab (, while extending the collaboration to newcommunity partners. The SenseLab, directed by Erin Manning at Concordia University, is a laboratory for research-creation pairing art and philosophy. The partnership comprises universities and community partners who are actively involved in research-creation (through PhD programs, exhibition practices, research residencies, and research dissemination activities). The central aim is to study research-creationas a form of knowledge production in its own right, to explore its grounding and methods, and to foster its practice internationally. The premise of the project is that research-creation occurs at the intersectionof different practices working in a variety of materials and media, both linguistic and non-linguistic (sound, image, movement, embodied interaction). Each of intersecting practices comes with its own history and methods, and produces research results specific to that tradition. However, working togetherthey are able to produce research results that could not have been achieved separately. Research-creation not only generates new knowledge; it generates new forms of knowledge that are essentially collaborative in nature. Our proposition is that in order for this collaborative innovation in forms of knowledge production to succeed to best result, the participating practices must find effective ways torub shoulders in immediate, active contact with each other. This means that platforms for organizing and orienting live, collaborative encounters must be put in place. A lived immediacy of encounter is another name for an event. Our partnership is designed to study the theory and practice of research-creation asthe knowledge-art of the event, exploring best practices and developing them further. Research approaches normally work at a distance from each other, “mediated” by communicational practices that share information across disciplines without bringing them into direct working proximity. By contrast, Immediation refers to strategies for bringing disciplines together in a shared working arena dedicated tocollaborative encounter. The success of this endeavour requires a concerted program of research into the larger cultural context surrounding research-creation practices. The cross-disciplinary make-up of our partnership (philosophy, architecture, dance, new media,fine arts) is ideal for the research we are proposing. We have an extensive track-record of workingtogether on research-creation; we have published widely on research-creation, immediation, new media practices and the event (see bibliography); we have exhibited artworks – processual, digital, participatory– that engage with questions pertinent to this study; we have taught research-creation courses andbrought a cohort of PhD students to completion; have brought international artists and scholars togetherto actively work together to explore how new forms of knowledge are created. With this grant, we willformalize this network and bring it to the next level, while reaching out into the wider community. Our goal will be to become a leading voice in the definition of research-creation. This is not research that can be done by one scholar: it is about networking across practices, both institutional andcommunity-based, in a field that is by nature transversal. With this grant, we will bring the model ofresearch-creation to a stage where it can be disseminated amongst a wide variety of disciplines. This will be done via publication (5 monographs and 3 journal issues); a knowledge archive, planning towards a syllabus for advanced degrees and through a new concept of the exhibitiondeveloped specifically out of the research-creation model. The exhibition will itself tour a range ofinstitutions, thereby functioning as a means of knowledge transfer. This will lead not only to the development of a strong academic research portfolio around the concept of research-creation. It will also have lasting effects as regards the relationship between the university and community organizations.