[-empyre-] out of range

Erin Manning emanning at alcor.concordia.ca
Thu May 14 11:42:49 EST 2009

I like this concept, Norah, of critical making. For the past 5 years,  
the SenseLab has been working out a vocabulary for the concept of  
research-creation, building on a terminology that gained currency in  
Canada when university-based Fine Arts departments started being  
eligible for government-based research grants (SSHRC). For me,  
research-creation suggests that concepts are borne through the  
practice of making. These concepts are not necessarily articulated (or  
directly articulable) in language. Their technicity - as concepts in  
the making - is first and foremost articulated in whatever medium they  
activate. Philosophy is, for me, also a medium open for creative  
articulation, and one that tends to express itself in writing. At its  
best, it links up with concepts in the making, assisting them in their  
passage toward individuation in language. This is a co-creative  
practice that goes far beyond standard ideas of interpretation or  
description. When philosophy creates concepts, it is always also  
proposing new modes of thought that are in conversation with and in  
excess to art-based concepts-in-the-making. It is in excess to the  
degree that, articulated in a new medium (language) philosophical  
concepts create a new ground, a new set of relations. This is not to  
suggest that concepts need to be articulated in language (or that  
philosophy is always sensitive to concepts in the making). It is to  
begin to underscore the idea that 1) artists are immanently  
articulating concepts through the techniques and textured  
articulations in practice 2) philosophy can be a playground for  
fielding a creative interplay between artistic concepts in the making  
and new modes of thought.
On 13-May-09, at 6:56 PM, Norah Zuniga Shaw wrote:

> Hello all.
> Thanks Johannes, this is a good message to get me going a bit more.  
> Without
> my other half I needed some instigation (am enjoying imagining our  
> friend
> stelarc on a boat in south pacific or deep under the ocean at a deep  
> sea
> diving station because how else could he manage to be out of touch  
> of the
> incessant emails arriving on our phones, laptops, and in our  
> dreams...what
> kind of traveling motion takes him out of range, I need to know the  
> secret
> to that!).
> I too have felt a bit off kilter in the flurry of rich theorizing  
> that came
> rushing into my normally quite mundane and logistically oriented  
> email inbox
> last week. I wondered if perhaps that was because of my tendency to  
> read
> only short missives in email (and on screens in general) and save my  
> deeper
> philosophical meanderings for my paper-based textual experiences.   
> What is
> it that Hayles says about "how information lost its body"? That may  
> explain
> why Erin's contribution lit up in my inbox and captured my seemingly
> fleeting attention. I saw her recently and am deep into reading her  
> new work
> on relationscapes so then the email had a different embodied  
> context. But
> the other residue of last week is this thinking that they brought  
> about
> failure and gaps and the spaces in between the knowing and the  
> doing. I want
> to try moving that idea. Is it something like the space between the  
> sliding
> joints of the foot? Or is it more like when you try to do a perfectly
> relaxed fall in the most postmodern sense of the word and find  
> yourself
> tensing up near the floor and therefore landing harder? What kinds of
> failure are we talking about here really. And how does it move? But  
> that's
> not actually the subject of my thinking.
> My theorizing of late has been manifesting much more within the  
> practice of
> making. Critical making my friend Matt Ratto would call it. And
> communicating visually. I invite readers to go sample the making so  
> that it
> can be part of our exchange. I'll stop there to keep these brief and  
> then
> respond to your other very much appreciated prompts in separate  
> emails, to
> allow for grazing.
> Norah
> On 5/13/09 2:25 PM, "Johannes Birringer" <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk 
> >
> wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Johannes Birringer
>> Sent: 13 May 2009 19:24
>> To: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> Subject: critical motion nowhere and everywhere at some time
>> hello all:
>> thanks Norah for drawing attention to a question that perhaps might  
>> like
>> to see itself addressed in this month's discussion, namely what would
>> constitute "critical motion" and what
>> such a term or concept implies for us here, to address, and why.
>> Your brief reference to work (and dissemination of research) which,
>> admittedly, I was able to experience first-hand (and i am thus  
>> partial)
>> in London during the recent Forsythe festival,
>> was refreshing in its questions... can you say more about
>> "counterpoint"?
>> (I love Forsythe's worktitles:  "Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same
>> Time").......
>> <<<<   Norah Zuniga Shaw wrote:
>> The interactive moving animations reflect on, work on, re-invent the
>> choreographic structures in a dance. They were generated at the
>> intersection
>> of choreography, animation art, geography, architecture, theory  
>> (maybe)
>> and
>> even I suppose a form of activism in that they are reaching out to
>> invite
>> folks in to the dance and into some ways that we see patterns in
>> complexity.
>> Are they a technological approach to movement? A critical one? They  
>> are
>> a
>> mix of analytical and creative. They seek to generate new creativity
>> while
>> representing a form of it (namely counterpoint in William  
>> Forsythe's One
>> Flat Thing Reproduced). They seek to invite a certain kind of "dance
>> readership." Counterpoint itself suggests some pretty radical ideas
>> about
>> ways to relate and find agreement in motion that don't require unison
>> (or
>> unity). The work is created in a complex community of practice that
>> requires
>> both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary practices for  
>> creation...
>> I was in a production workshop over the last 10 days and am barely  
>> able
>> to shift energies now from physical work and computing/editing and
>> designing
>> to the reading of such a highly complex and philosophical debate  
>> that we
>> have had here.
>> I could not read the debate in a linear way, as it began,
>> with Stamatia and Ashkey lighting out, and Erin following.
>> Then i got to a point where i did not want to read further.  Did  
>> anyone
>> else have this
>> sensation?
>> The discourse, I began so sense, was becoming less than particpatory,
>> but i could be wrong. ??  I am sorry if I misunderstood.
>> What readership, Norah, was invited, in your work?
>> with many regards
>> Johannes
>> Johannes Birringer
>> artistic director, DAP Lab
>> School of Arts
>> Brunel University
>> West London
>> UB8 3PH   UK
>> http://www.brunel.ac.uk/dap
>> http://www.danssansjoux.org
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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Erin Manning
Concordia Research Chair
Faculty of Fine Arts
Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve W.
Montreal QC H3G1M8


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