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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

Society of Molecules (2009)

A distributed Sense Lab event :

- each molecules will be 3-10 people.
- Each molecule will set up an aesthetico-political action
- Micropolitical actions can take 3hours – 7 days to unfold and can be ongoing
- The local should be at stake for each molecule
- each molecule will explore in whatever way works for their action the concept of an 
institution (which can be anything from road-maps, traffic, universities, art galleries etc)
- each molecule will contact with a list of its members, including a movement-profile (see below) for a contact member
- each molecule will find a seed and do research on that seed (see below)


- Society of Molecules will take place from May 1-May 7 2009
- by October 31 2008: all molecules will have contacted the central hub – Erin
 with their location, a list of all members, and the movement-profile
- by December 31 2008, each molecule will have made contact with the central hub to organize the sending of the emissary (see below)
- by December 31 2008: each molecules will have crafted a plan for raising money for their emissary
- between January 01-April 30: each molecule will send their emissary and receive an emissary


- each molecule will assign an emissary from within its group.
- This emissary will travel to another molecule between January 1 and April 30 2009.
- once the emissary is identified by its home molecule, that molecule will contact the central hub ( and request a location.
- if the location is still free, the emissary will be given the host molecule’s “movement profile” (see below for explanation on movement profiles)
- it will be the emissary’s job to locate the host molecule’s designated person
- when the emissary has made contact with the host molecule’s designated person, it will be the responsibility of the host molecule to extend hospitality to the emissary
- the duration of the visit will be worked out by the emissary in relation to the home molecule and the host molecule
- each emissary will bring a seed with them and leave it with the host molecule

Movement Profiles
- by October 31 2008 each molecule will choose one member (not the emissary) to act as a host for that molecule
- the host of the molecule will create a movement profile that will be sent to the central hub by October 31 2008
- a movement profile includes but is not limited to: the host’s regular movements (where they drink coffee, where they go out for a drink, their favourite walks, their mode of transport, their preferred outings etc) as well as their address and phone number
- if there is a chance that the host may not be available throughout Jan-April 2008, it is up to the molecule to decide how to handle it (another member of the molecule could “become” the host, for instance, moving in their profile, taking up their habits, for the time of the host’s absence).
- Emissaries are encouraged to engage in creative ways of locating their hosts
- when the emissary finds the host, it is the host’s responsibility to gather the members of the molecule and to collectively extend hospitality toward the emissary
- the gathering of the emissary and the host molecule will involve the creation of a “relational soup” 
- a “relational soup” can be a food-based soup eaten together or another kind of soup (this is up to the host molecule)
- once the relational soup has been digested (figuratively or not), the host molecule together with the emissary will craft a recipe that the emissary will bring to his or her home molecule
- the recipe may have an effect on how the home molecule crafts their own molecule.


- the seed that the emissary leaves with the host molecule will be “activated” after May 7 by the molecule
- the seed will act as a mode of gathering the force of the molecular collaboration toward a future project
- this future project (the growing of the seed) will be documented by the molecule (all molecules)
- the idea is that the growing/maintenance/engagement with the seed should be directed toward creating an ecology of practices that emerge around an actual planting.

- it is our hope that the documentation of this seeding practice will create modes of cross-contamination of practice that will tie into molecular organisation both past and future. Note: when the emissary brings the seed to the host molecule, he or she also brings a document on the seed as researched by the home molecule