[-empyre-] Cambridge and Paris

Lorna Collins lpc29 at cam.ac.uk
Mon Oct 11 16:22:12 EST 2010

Dear Patty, dear all,

Making Sense is more about discussing and experimenting with these
problematics rather than having a teleological definition to set them.
The point is to use the arts to open a way of thinking that traverses
many disciplines and media to bring forward a constructive and
accessible sense of the real. We do this from the rhyzomatic
connections made between different presentations, media and
individuals at the colloquia, which open up a creative interface for
difference, which we then publish (this will happen in Paris, online
or in the second book) and extend.

To define the aesthetic encounter -- this means the experience of
encountering or interacting with an artwork. The encounter is
immediately a passive phenomenological experience where you are
touched by an artwork. It is then about the conscious experience of
reacting to this artwork. We can think of the encounter in terms of
Rancière's notion of the 'partage du sensible', the distribution of
the sensible, which refers to the situation of an encounter -- what
you can sense, who can sense it, where it is, and how you can
articulate a response to it. Then the aesthetic encounter is
political. The aesthetic encounter takes place in the autonomous space
opened by the artwork. The aesthetic refers to an artwork, which can
have any form or medium. The artwork is something that is made in
response to a situation, i.e. it is the object (which can take any
form) of the expression or an articulation of the artist. We are all

"How does the change implied from "encounter" differ in function from
the change implied in "intervention" or "mobilization"?" I think that
intervention and mobilization refer to ways of engaging with the
encounter and installing its manifest implications. An encounter can
be passive -- your senses are stimulated and touched by an artwork.
(cf. Jean-Luc Nancy on sense and touch here) You don't have to do
anything except receive the stimulus opened by the artwork. The
content of this experience, and what the artwork expresses, then opens
an interface which can provide an intervention or be mobilized. This
is what we are trying to do with Making Sense.

At the colloquium in Paris we are proud and honored to present our
keynote speaker as Bernard Stiegler. He writes about the inherent,
ex-tatic technology and prostheses that define the human, whilst his
activist political society Ars Industrialis is trying to change the
world... see http://arsindustrialis.org/


2010/10/10 Patricia R. Zimmermann <patty at ithaca.edu>:
> Lorna:
> Could you explain in theoretical and practical terms your idea of how Making Sense facilitates "aesthetic encounters."?
> What is the theory of an "aesthetic encounter"?
> How does your group define "aesthetic"?
> And, how does your group define "encounter"?
> How does the change implied from "encounter" differ in function from the change implied in "intervention" or "mobilization"?
> Thanks in advance for sharing any thoughts on the above based on your experience in Making Sense.
> Patty
> -------
> Patricia R. Zimmermann, Ph.D.
> Professor, Cinema, Photography and Media Arts
> Roy H. Park School of Communications
> Codirector, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
> Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies
> 953 Danby Road
> Ithaca College
> Ithaca, New York 14850 USA
> Office: +1 (607) 274 3431
> FAX: +1 (607) 274 7078
> http://faculty.ithaca.edu/patty/
> http://www.ithaca.edu/fleff
> BLOG: http://www.ithaca.edu/fleff10/blogs/open_spaces/
> patty at ithaca.edu
> ---- Original message ----
>>Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2010 08:55:29 -0400
>>From: empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au (on behalf of Renate Ferro <rtf9 at cornell.edu>)
>>Subject: [-empyre-] Cambridge and Paris
>>To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
>>Lorna Collins wrote:
>>.......We want to analyse and discuss the aesthetic encounter and an art
>>practice as a medium that can help us make sense of the world. We
>>bring together artists and philosophers, scholars and students,
>>thinkers and writers, from all around the world, to build an interface
>>between artistic creation, theoretical debate and academic
>>scholarship. At the colloquium we want to formulate new ways to frame
>>and develop discourse, and found a new way of making sense, which can
>>challenge and invigorate the protocol, regulation and system of
>>academia. This is a different kind of conference – there is no
>>hierarchical division between the plenary speakers and the audience,
>>we have an economy of mutual exchange and intimate debate. This
>> Good Morning Lorna,  Thanks for giving us a general overview of your own
>>philosophy and the history of the Making Sense Colloquium.  I'm wondering if
>>you could talk about the event being held at the Pompidou in Paris? Do you
>>have a mission for this event that might be slightly different that the
>>Cambridge event in 2009?  Was there a publication that cam out of the
>>Cambridge event or what kind of information was gathered that perhaps has
>>informed the event in Paris? The statement above is so broad so I'm
>>wondering if you have defined the Paris event differently based on what
>>happened in Cambridge?
>>Lorna will be introducing two of the Visiting Artist's who will be featured
>>in Paris later today but I'm hoping that she will give us more of a sense of
>>the event's history so that perhaps that would give our empyre subscribers a
>>idea of the underpinnings of potential discussion points.
>>Thanks Lorna.  Renate
>>On 10/10/10 12:34 AM, "Lorna Collins" <lpc29 at cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>>> Dear Renate,
>>> Thanks for the intro! I’d like to say a bit about Making Sense… This
>>> is the second interdisciplinary colloquium of Making Sense.  The first
>>> was held at the University of Cambridge in 2009. At these events we
>>> want to analyse and discuss the aesthetic encounter and an art
>>> practice as a medium that can help us make sense of the world. We
>>> bring together artists and philosophers, scholars and students,
>>> thinkers and writers, from all around the world, to build an interface
>>> between artistic creation, theoretical debate and academic
>>> scholarship. At the colloquium we want to formulate new ways to frame
>>> and develop discourse, and found a new way of making sense, which can
>>> challenge and invigorate the protocol, regulation and system of
>>> academia. This is a different kind of conference – there is no
>>> hierarchical division between the plenary speakers and the audience,
>>> we have an economy of mutual exchange and intimate debate. This
>>> colloquium can be seen as an artistic creation or installation in
>>> itself. I think we can all be artists. Participants are encouraged to
>>> react and articulate their opinion.
>>> How does this fit into my own work? I am neither specifically a
>>> writer, nor artist, nor philosopher, but use these genres
>>> simultaneously to make sense of the world, to discover my place within
>>> it, and to think about what might threaten our most basic need to
>>> inhabit it. I use art to write philosophy, and I use philosophy to
>>> inspire the plastic forms of art I make; in between my visual,
>>> intellectual and phenomenological experiments I hope to invent a
>>> practical, accessible method for ‘making sense’.
>>> I take academic theory to the creative resources of practising art, in
>>> the efforts to challenge and invigorate the political scholarship of
>>> academic discourse through the basic, replenishing and regenerative
>>> facets of creativity. In this sense I am perhaps a diplomat and
>>> curator who seeks to arrange and mobilise the emancipatory interface
>>> that art can offer everyone, whilst trying to confirm and cement this
>>> chance in the more formal terms of academia.
>>> This is the kind of ethos that lies behind Making Sense the
>>> collective, which is the emerging group of artists and philosophers
>>> who came to the first and are coming to the second colloquium. Making
>>> Sense is bigger than singular events. We are trying to start a
>>> movement. The Making Sense project, beyond the colloquia, is
>>> ultimately about founding a communitarian practice, through art, that
>>> provides a restorative social act. It would be very interesting to
>>> discuss what that means and how it might be possible…
>>> I look forward to hearing your thoughts...
>>> Lorna
>>> 2010/10/10 Renate Ferro <rtf9 at cornell.edu>:
>>>> Welcome to our October discussion, ³Contextualizing Making Sense. The
>>>> alignment of criticality and configurations of embodiment and space permit
>>>> creative flows of networks, resources, research and discussions whose
>>>> configurations prove limitless.
>>>> Lorna Collins and her team of collaborators have invited Tim and I to
>>>> represent ­empyre this month at the ³Making Sense Colloquium² at the
>>>> IRI-Centre Pompidou, Institut Télécom the 19th and 20th of October.
>>>> http://www.makingsensesociety.org/ <http://www.makingsensesociety.org/>
>>>> Lorna is a theorist and a PhD student at the University of Cambridge where
>>>> she is a Foundation Scholar at Jesus College.  Her academic research pushes
>>>> to forge the development of Making Sense via her research and writing but
>>>> also through various events such as the ³Making Sense² colloquium. The
>>>> colloquium brings together a wide variety of international theorists and
>>>> artists some of whom will be our guests this month on ­empyre.
>>>> Both independently and collaboratively, Tim and I have worked between the
>>>> spaces of theory and practice for many years.  Through Tim¹s international
>>>> curating as well as his work in founding and directing the Rose Goldsen
>>>> Archive for New Media Art and in my case the founding and directing of The
>>>> Tinker Factory, an interdisciplinary lab for research and practice we have
>>>> independently found venues for forging theory and practice.  Together our
>>>> collaboration with ­empyre has given us an opportunity to investigate the
>>>> negotiations between theory and practice historically in May 2009 our
>>>> discussion Critical Motion Practice merged intersections that entailed both
>>>> self-reflective and interactive movement at the intersections of art,
>>>> choreography, architecture, activism and theory.  Again in September, 2007
>>>> our discussion on Critical Spatial Practice highlighted themes of social
>>>> responsibility at cross-disciplinary intersections.  The questions we asked
>>>> revolved between the technological and critical approaches between practice
>>>> and theory and how those questions empowered creativity, enhanced artistic
>>>> activism and encouraged artistic/performance practice and collaboration.
>>>> We are looking forward to joining the Making Sense participants and
>>>> anticipate the international online discussion that will evolve with our
>>>> 1400 subscribers. Each week we will highlight a handful of Making Sense
>>>> guests in hopes that their own project descriptions will entice our members
>>>> to add their own ideas and comments.
>>>> Together collaboratively we are hoping to open up the discussion of Making
>>>> Sense. As an artist my practice involves instincts, whim, research, reading,
>>>> discussion, investigation and critical analysis. When a research thread
>>>> ³makes sense² I assume that my inquiry is finished and the project is
>>>> finished a cue to proceed to the next.  The act of ³Making Sense² implies a
>>>> search for resolution.  Though in the process of making it is the
>>>> uneasiness, the questioning, the restlessness, the point that is not making
>>>> sense that excites me to continue.  Welcome to ³Contextualizing Making
>>>> Sense² or not?
>>>> We would like to welcome Lorna Collins as our first guest. We will begin
>>>> this month on ­empyre by asking Lorna to answer a few questions for our
>>>> -empyre members.  Can you fill us in a bit more about your own work as it
>>>> relates to the Making Sense Colloquium?   Additionally what can we expect
>>>> from the forum itself coming up in a few weeks?
>>>> Renate and Tim
>>>> Renate Ferro
>>>> URL:  http://www.renateferro.net
>>>> Email:   <rtf9 at cornell.edu>
>>>> ,
>>>> Visiting Assistant Professor of Art
>>>> Cornell University
>>>> Department of Art, Tjaden Hall
>>>> Ithaca, NY  14853
>>>> Co-moderator of _empyre soft skinned space
>>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empyre
>>>> Art Editor, diacritics
>>>> http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/dia/
>>>> _______________________________________________
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Lorna Collins
PhD Candidate: "Making Sense; art practice as a social act"
Jesus College

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