Personal Research - Notes

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Massumi also seems to have been a useful theoretical reference for the undergoing works and research :

"stop thinking in binarisms, but rather in terms of emerging , passing into, i.e. dynamic unities and unmediated heterogeneities, and to think of perception and thought as two poles of the same process ", by Brian Massumi - Parables of the Virtual, Movement, Affect, Sensation

The Thinking-Feeling of What Happens, Brian Massumi

"... interaction is two-way, it’s participatory, and it evokes a behaviour rather than displaying a form. (pp.2)

When the artwork doesn’t exist, because each time that it operates the interaction produces a variation, and the variations are in principle infinite? When the artwork proliferates? Or when it disseminates, as it does when the work is networked, so that the interaction is distributed in time and space and never ties back together in one particular form? (>>> on interactive media)

The idea that there is such a thing as fixed form is actually as much an assumption about perception as it is an assumption about art. It assumes that vision is not dynamic – that it is a passive, transparent registering of something that is just there, simply and inertly. If vision is stable, then to make art dynamic you have to add movement. But if vision is already dynamic, the question changes. It’s not an issue of movement or no movement. The movement is always there in any case. So you have to make distinctions between kinds of movement, kinds of experiential dynamics, and then ask what difference they make. (pp.3)

... we don’t see spirals, we see spiralling. We see a movement that flows through the design.

– this movement we can’t actually see but can’t not see either – why not just call it abstract? Real and abstract. The reality of this abstraction doesn’t replace what’s actually there. It supplements it. We see it with and through the actual form.

We are really but implicitly – abstractly – seeing the object’s voluminousness. The perceived shape of an object is this abstract experience of volume. Voluminousness and weightiness are not in themselves visible. (...) we’re seeing the actual form “with and through” that set of abstract potentials. The reason we’re directly seeing an object and not just a surface is because we can’t not see what we’re seeing without also experiencing voluminousness and weightiness – the object’s invisible qualities.

We’re seeing, in the form of the object, the potential our body holds to walk around, take another look, extend a hand and touch. The form of the object is the way a whole set of active, embodied, potentials appear in present experience: how vision can relay into kinesthesia or the sense of movement, and how kinesthesia can relay into touch. (pp.4)

...all visual perception is “virtual.” It’s a point Alva Noë makes. (...) ..without the actual action -- action appearing in potential. (...) we abstractly see potential, we implicitly see a life dynamic, we virtually live relation. An object’s appearance is an event, full of all sorts of virtual movement. It’s real movement, because something has happened: the body has been capacitated. ( >>> Virtual/ Potentiality)

The action of vision, the kind of event it is, the virtual dimension it always has, is highlighted. It’s a kind of perception of the event of perception in the perception. ( pp.6)

The sense of relational aliveness disappears into the living. The “uncanniness” of the way in which the object appears as the object it is – as if it doubled itself with the aura of its own qualitative nature – disappears into a chain of action. We live out the perception, rather than living it in. We forget that a chair for example, isn’t just a chair. In addition to being one it looks like one. The “likeness” of an object to itself, its immediate doubleness, gives every perception a hint of déjà vu. That’s the uncanniness. The “likeness” of things is a qualitative fringe, or aura to use a totally unpopular word, that betokens a “moreness” to life. (... ) Antonio Damasio’s terms, it’s the “feeling of what happens,” that background feeling of what it’s “like” to be alive, here and now, but having been many elsewheres and with times to come. Art brings that vitality affect to the fore. ( >>> dynamic unfolding)

It is all a question of emphasis, an economy of foregrounding and backgrounding of dimensions of experience that always occur together and absolutely need each other. (pp.7)

Art brings back out the fact that all form is necessarily dynamic form. (...) Art is the technique of living life in -- experiencing the virtuality of it more fully, living it more intensely.

Its flow is a flow of action. It’s true that the flow is two- way. But the back and forth is of action and reaction. It always comes back to causal efficacy, instrumentality, affordance.

It’s integral, a thinking at one with a feeling: a thinking-further fused with a feeling of what is. But the fusion is asymmetrical, because the feeling of what is zeroes in on what can be settled in the present, while the thinking-further pulls off-centre and away toward more, so that together they make a dynamic, never quite at equilibrium. This gives the present perception its own momentum, even though it can’t presently sign-post exactly where it’s going. It’s more an open-ended tending-to than a reflection-of or a reflecting-on. It’s a posture -- if you can call a disposition to moving in a certain style a posture. It’s a dynamic posture. The “likeness,” then, will smudge strictly logical categories to the extent that the body tends-to, moves on, transfers habits, reflexes, competencies, and thinking-feelings from one thing to the next, expands its repertory of dynamic postures by mixing, matching and alloying them, explores its own living potential, strikes new postures – invents new ways of affording itself of the world, in collaboration with the world, with what the world throws before it.

What interactive art can do, what its strength is in my opinion, is to take the situation as its “object.” Not a function, not a use, not a behaviour, exploratory or otherwise, not an action- reaction, but a situation, with its own little ocean of complexity. It can take a situation and potentially “open” the interactions it affords. The question for interactive art is: how do you cleave an interaction asunder? ( >>>> interaction yes or no?)

(about perpective in painting..) This is a direct visual experience. But vision has been crafted in such a way as to wrap potential kinaesthesia and tactility into itself. It’s a semblance, just as the object itself was, but with the objective potential suspended, because you can’t actually advance and touch. It’s object-perception, without the object. (...) It’s a real experience of depth, minus the depth. + (…) perspective technique renders the abstract movement of perception as a spatial order. What shows-through the dynamic of this perceptual event is a spatial order that comes out as stable. (pp.27)

What I’m trying to say is that formations communicate only immanently, at the points where they live themselves in, or at their self-embracing fringes. They only virtually relate. All relation is virtual. Earlier on, when I was talking about how vision related to the other senses, I ended up having to say that vision is virtual. It is only because relation is virtual that there is any freedom or creativity in the world. If formations were in actual causal connection, how they effectively connect would be completely determined. They might interact, but they would not creatively relate. There would be no gap in the chain of connection for anything new to emerge from and pass contagiously across. There’d be no margin of creative indeterminacy. (..) The idea that all connection and communication is immanent, that there is no actual relation, is at the heart of Whitehead’s philosophy. . (pp.23) ( >>> Virtuality)

It’s like an experiential dissolve. There’s no determinate transition in a dissolve, just a continuous fading-out overlapping with a continuous fading-in. The point at which the changeover occurs is imperceptible by nature. It is purely abstract. But it must have happened. We know it did, because even if it wasn’t perceived, it was unmistakably felt. Known-felt, thought-felt. It’s a virtual affective event. (pp.26)

Whitehead writes actual interaction out of “reality.” He’s saying that in the final analysis, when you get into what really happens, there is no such thing as interaction. It has no reality, because there is no actual connection between things. (...) so that when we say “interaction” we’re saying “immanent relation,” with all the adjustments that come along with that in the way we think about what things actually are, what their action really (virtually) is, and how they communicate. For one thing, we shouldn’t say “interaction” without thinking-feeling discontinuity. (...) We have to take a distance on the rhetoric of connectivity that has been so dominant in the areas of new media and new technology. We will have to treat connectivity as a narrative, a meta-fictional revisionism. The same with interactivity.

The other sense that virtually appears in dynamic visual form is kinesthesia, the feeling of movement as such. Abstract art recomposes the senses. It composes perception with a different experiential palette than either perspective painting or decorative art (..) ... it’s a question of degrees of virtuality. The question has to be re-examined in each case to evaluate the nature of the recomposition. (pp.28)

And you’re all in that perception, every thought, every movement, every shadow, every sound, each of them modulating the others, in immediate vibrational relation, in resonance. The resonance is all-embracing. Relationally self-framing. In a way that is only for the moment, uniquely taking off from and floating in that space. It’s monadic. A world of perception unto itself. A self-embracing micro-climate of experience. This is not interactive art. There is no interaction. You have to stop acting for the perceptual event to happen. It then wells up of its own volition. It takes you. You’re in it, it’s not in you. You live it in, rather than living it out. You don’t go anywhere with it. It stays where it happened, as its own event. It’s an intensive experience, rather than an extension of it. This is an example of relational art that suspends all interaction. When I said earlier that what interactive art can do is to take a situation as its “object,” that it could live up to its potential by then cleaving the interactions it situated asunder, I meant something like this, but done with and through interactions. Not suspending them altogether, but opening micro-intervals in them, so that there is a rhythm of departure and return between nonsensuous perception of affective continuity, and actually emergent drops of narrativizable experience precipitating determinate words and instrumentalizable experience precipitating gestures. (pp.30) (...) Thought of in this way, art practice is a technique of composing potentials of existence, inventing experiential styles, coaxing new forms of life to emerge. It’s inventive, literally creative of vitality affect. And I do mean “technique.” To achieve any affective-effective composition requires the same kind of care, minute attention to detail, and obsessive experimentation in how the situation is set up or framed as Irwin is famous for. In Irwin’s case, and this applies to interactive art as well, the framing is non-objective. It’s more a performance envelope than an objective frame. A dynamic or operative frame. ( >>> Interaction/ Immersion // Relational)

But the senses are always also taking each other up in a way that produces fusion effects, like hapticity. The contrasting poles of the pure exercise of a sense and a cross-modal fusion are always in virtual contact. They are always in any case already in resonance. The same applies for stable spatial ordering and disruptive eventness. Intensity of experience and extension of it. Perception and action. Objective perception and semblance. Object perception and perception of perception. Self-referencing and function. Presentational immediacy and causal efficacy. Appearance and reality. Actual form and non-sensuous perception. Vision and narrative re-vision. Site-specificity and dispersion. These are not dualities. They are polarities, dynamic orientations in an abstract qualitative map of potential experience. It’s always a multi-polarity. ( >>> Potentiality / Dynamic dimension)

Think of the way vision and movement are coupled so banally in the urban environment, subordinated to the maximum to functional circulation. What if this new composition of kinesthesia and vision were recomposed within an urban performance envelope? What might that do? Who or what might want that? (pp.34)

That’s because the digital isn’t a medium, but it is what is now dominating the media field. Digital technology is an expanding network of connective and fusional potentials. (...) Digital technology has no specificity as a medium in its own right. That is why commentators like Lev Manovich call it a “meta-medium.” Mixing as a concept doesn’t go much further than meta-medium. It has the same limitations. It’s just a general name for the operations that the idea of meta-medium attributes to digital technology. Beyond that, there’s the whole problem of the unexamined assumptions about perception that go into the very notion of “mediation.” Perception as I have been trying to talk about it, as Whitehead’s philosophy says and as embodied cognition also says, is always direct and immediate. It’s always its own self-embracing event. It always has presentational immediacy. (pp.36) ( >>> Digital / Perception)

Langer has probably gone farther than any other aesthetic philosopher toward analyzing art- forms not as “media” but according to the type of experiential event they effect. You have to rethink what the typology is based on, but also what a typology can be logically. It doesn’t have to be a classification system, in the sense of subsuming particulars under an abstract, general idea. It can be based on a differentiating singular-generic thought-feeling. That is to say, it can try to take into account the kind of abstraction that effectively makes a perception what it actually will have been – the really lived abstraction of the virtual. This is a generative typology, a typology of dynamic forms of perception’s speculative appearing to itself and in itself. It is an immanent typology or typology of immanence. It amounts to the same thing. The kind of logic called for is what Simondon called allagmatic, an operative logic of the analog expressing “the internal resonance of a system of individuation.” Of individuation, because this kind of typology will always have to keep generating variations on itself, as the experience is always being restaged as an event and in the event, recomposed from within. New dynamic forms are always immanently emerging. Art is part and parcel of that process. Its practice speculatively advances its own generative typology. It practically contributes to its own thinking. ( >>>>>> Everything is an event ???) (pp.37) event in some sense, not necessarily consciously – in fact most often and in large part nonconsciously -- feels itself, catches itself in the relational act. And in some sense, not yet separable from this feeling, nonsensuously thinks itself, in that very same act. This is what Whitehead calls “prehension” and what Deleuze calls “contemplation.” Both authors apply these concepts to all events, whether they occur on organic or inorganic strata. (pp.39)"

Parables for the virtual, Preface

Massumi, B. (2002). Parables for the virtual. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Eric Shouse, “Feeling, Emotion, Affect”, MC Journal, Vol. 8, No. 6 (December 2005),

As Brian Massumi’s definition of affect in his introduction to Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus makes clear, affect is not a personal feeling. Feelings are personal and biographical, emotions are social, and affects are prepersonal.

A feeling is a sensation that has been checked against previous experiences and labelled. It is personal and biographical.

An emotion is the projection/display of a feeling. Unlike feelings, the display of emotion can be either genuine or feigned.

An affect is a non-conscious experience of intensity; it is a moment of unformed and unstructured potential. Of the three central terms in this essay – feeling, emotion, and affect – affect is the most abstract because affect cannot be fully realised in language, and because affect is always prior to and/or outside of consciousness (Massumi, Parables). Affect is the body’s way of preparing itself for action in a given circumstance by adding a quantitative dimension of intensity to the quality of an experience. The body has a grammar of its own that cannot be fully captured in language because it “doesn’t just absorb pulses or discrete stimulations; it infolds contexts…” (Massumi, Parables 30). Affect always precedes will and consciousness (Massumi, Parables 29).

Without affect feelings do not “feel” because they have no intensity, and without feelings rational decision-making becomes problematic (Damasio 204-22). In short, affect plays an important role in determining the relationship between our bodies, our environment, and others, and the subjective experience that we feel/think as affect dissolves into experience.

What does all of this mean for individuals who are interested in media and cultural studies? It means that describing “media effects” in terms of the communication of ideology sometimes results in the post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this therefore because of this) fallacy. This has to do with the second term in Massumi’s definitions of affect/affection. L’affection is the process whereby affect is transmitted between bodies. “The transmission of affect means that we are not self-contained in terms of our energies. There is no secure distinction between the ‘individual’ and the ‘environment’” (Brennan 6). Because affect is unformed and unstructured (unlike feelings and emotions) it can be transmitted between bodies. The importance of affect rests upon the fact that in many cases the message consciously received may be of less import to the receiver of that message than his or her non-conscious affective resonance with the source of the message.

The transmission of affect is about the way that bodies affect one another. When your body infolds a context and another body (real or virtual) is expressing intensity in that context, one intensity is infolded into another. By resonating with the intensity of the contexts it infolds, the body attempts to ensure that it is prepared to respond appropriately to a given circumstance. Given the ubiquity of affect, it is important to take note that the power of many forms of media lies not so much in their ideological effects, but in their ability to create affective resonances independent of content or meaning.

The power of affect lies in the fact that it is unformed and unstructured (abstract). It is affect’s “abstractivity” that makes it transmittable in ways that feelings and emotions are not, and it is because affect is transmittable that it is potentially such a powerful social force.

Teresa Brennan, The Transmission of Affect, 2003

For Brennan, the transmission of affect is social or psychological in origin, but it is responsible for bodily changes, it alters the biochemistry and neurology of the subject. The “atmosphere” or the environment literally gets into the individual. The origin of transmitted affects is social in that these affects do not only arise within an individual person, but also come from without – via an interaction with other people and an environment. But they have a physiological impact.

Affect - Feeling

Brennan, however, emphasizes the moment of judgment and evaluation in all affect: by an affect I mean the physiological shift accompanying a judgment. She makes a distinction between affect and feeling. Feeling not only refers to the sensations that register stimuli, but they also include something more than sensory information: they suppose a unified interpretation of that information, they are sensations that have found the right match in words. (5) Affects are material, physiological. They have an energetic dimension. They can enhance or deplete; energy can be projected outward or introjected. Simply put, anothers feelings can enhance, energize (as in warmth, love), or drain. The transmission of affect means that we are not self-contained in the transmission of our energies. There is no secure distinction between the ‘individual’ and the ‘environment’.

But the content one person gives to an affect, may be different from the content – the linguistic and visual content, the thoughts I attach to that affect – given to that same affect by another. (6) The content remains my own: they remain the product of the particular historical conjunction of words and experiences I represent.

"think about the individual and its relation to the environment in new ways, emphasizing their ongoing exchange on a physical level, "

(entertainment is also effected by sight, by seeing another person’s physiognomy and body language. On the face of it, in sight our boundaries may stay intact. We become like someone else by imitating that person, not by literally becoming or in some way merging with her. But visual images, like auditory traces, also have a direct physical impact; their reception, Brennan says, involves the activation of neurological networks, which also constitute transmissions breaching the bounds between individual and environment.)

book review by Dorian Stuber

Affect (thoughtless) - Feeling (thoughtful)

Transmission (spreading, passing on) is thus the central element of Brennan's theory of affects. Although she is indebted to psychoanalysis as the modern methodology most attentive to the corporeal materiality of affects, her own theory diverges from Freud's metapsychology "in that it postulates an origin for affects that is independent of the individual experiencing them" (13). Hell, for Brennan, isn't other people. Rather, it's the self, considered as a self-contained subject defined against those others. For to think that, affectively speaking, we are individuals, such that our affects seem "our own," is to suffer from a fantasy. Indeed, for Brennan, this foundational fantasy governs Western modernity. It is experienced, in miniature, in the infant's projection of its passivity and helplessness on to the mother. The foundational fantasy is "the belief that 'we,' the passive infant, are the true fountain of energy, and the mother is a hapless, witless receptacle" (13).

For Brennan, the primary effect of this fantasy, in allowing for a subject-centered, self-interested point of view, is to denigrate the idea that the flesh is itself intelligent. In denying the corporeal "other I" that lies behind the ego, the Western subject denies the transmission of affect that nonetheless remains (destructively) operative. Projection/introjection is delusional inasmuch as it is not experienced as a transmission. The deluded subject thinks, for instance, that the other is bad and it itself is good; it fails to see that the rage and envy it attributes to the other is really its own.

In the book's final two chapters, Brennan suggests how that transformation might occur, through what she calls the education of the senses. That education turns on the possibility of relating experience to language in ever more refined ways -- a possibility that requires that we expand our definition of language to include the systems of the body. At stake is the body's very interpretability in language.

Brennan is not suggesting that we should replace corporeal expression with language, but rather that we should (re)align those modes of expression. That alignment requires discernment. As we have seen, discernment is the meditative process whereby the body's experiences can be named: "insofar as people attend actively, listen to what they are feeling, they can identify sensations, sounds, and images, that they can name or, after struggle, can find words for. We do this all the time. It is called thinking" (140). As always Brennan is here bracing in her directness -- and her refusal to separate intelligence and body. Brennan never opposes these qualities, just as she never opposes meditation and reason. (Her use of "meditation" thus recalls its use by Descartes in his Meditations.)

But Brennan is vague when it comes to explaining this alignment of corporeal with linguistic expression. What does "alignment" mean? How does it happen? Brennan follows Lacan in suggesting that language is an entity greater than any individual who uses it. It preexists her, and continues after her death. The structure of language and the structure of the individual are thus at cross purposes: language is eternal and infinite, whereas human life is temporal and finite. Brennan then equates this structure to the ego's relation to the greater processes of life of which it is only an insignificant part. Life itself -- which is expressed directly through those "languages" or forms of expression that Brennan variously calls "fleshly intelligence" or "fleshly codes" or "languages of the flesh"-- is infinite in the same way as grammatical language, and it is only the deluded, affect-laden perspective of the ego that fails to see this, by overstating its own importance. For Brennan, the only difference between corporeal and linguistic languages is that the latter is "slower" than the former, because it incorporates self-consciousness of its own expressive capacities into its operation. The languages of the flesh, by contrast, are quick, almost instantaneous.

Brennan understands both linguistic and corporeal languages to exceed the individual, she also attributes tremendous power to the individual, who can transform language through learning, attention, and reasoning. (Her book concludes, in a version of Wittgenstein's aphorism, "Of that we cannot speak, thereof we must learn" [164].) This confusion over individual power or agency is not cleared up by referring, as Brennan repeatedly does, to an "other I" that must replace the position of the ego. The "other I" is by definition attuned to the "living logic" of the flesh -- but what is the status of this "attunement"? How do we find the words to express this dispersal of agency? Is this an active process or a passive one? Brennan occasionally hints that the body itself, as a sensing being, may operate on our linguistic choices: "Language may echo the facts of transmission; sentir may mean smell [in French] either because we once knew that we felt the other's feelings by smell or because the body knows it still and seeks the word that will best describe its operations" (149). The verbs here, "echoing" and "knowing," seem to describe opposite sorts of activities. The passivity of echoing is at odds with the activity of knowing. In Brennan's account, language -- no matter whether it be of the word or of the flesh -- is straightforwardly communicative. There seems to be no place for the waywardness of figural or rhetorical language -- even as she herself is beholden to it.

Brennan's book is most vital as a contribution to -- properly speaking, a meditation on -- the theoretical or philosophical question of the relation between living being and representation. We should be grateful to Brennan for making us attentive to the languages of the body, but we still need further consideration of the way that language as we have traditionally understood it relates to those other, still potentially metaphorical languages. In particular, we have not yet said all there is to say about the function of metaphor, metonymy and all the other rhetorical resources of figurative language as privileged elements in the task of aligning body and word.

Gerhard Schulze in The Experience Society

Gerhard Schulze in The Experience Society: It corresponds to a general revaluation of experience in Western societies, in which “experience” has become a focus of social, economic, and cultural activity. This tendency has been discussed by various observers; its most comprehensive analysis so far, however, comes from the German sociologist Gerhard Schulze.

Even though the ecological and economic consequences of this transformation have by now reached public consciousness, the cultural impact—at least as an impact of this process—is much less present. The transformation from a society of lack to a society of affluence, according to Schulze, produces a change in the way individuals relate to themselves. With the increase in both income and leisure time, more and more people can (and need to) shape their lives according to their own needs and preferences. People have to learn how to relate to their living context in a mode of selection—and their selection criteria are no longer primarily purpose-oriented—that is, driven by necessity—but are also, and increasingly, aesthetic. When I choose, I can choose according to necessity or taste. And in Western societies since the 1950s and 1960s, the realm of the nonnecessary, the aesthetic, has gained an extreme importance. The emerging affluent society might still celebrate its new wealth—as they say, more is more—but for the individual in the advanced affluent society, aesthetic criteria, such as quality and intensity of experience, have become a main point of orientation. It is important, however, to understand this as a gradual project in a historical perspective. Schulze does not claim that today we want (or are able) to orient our lives according to our experiences. What he says is that a historical and intercultural comparison reveals that there is now a relatively large focus on experience for the construction of the social world.

How do we want to live? What does it mean to lead a good life today? What could be “beautiful” relations?

This new focus on the subject and the intersubjective goes hand in hand with a changed relation to the material world. In a society that is focused on the production of goods—a society of lack, in other words—relating to things basically means adjusting to their characteristics. In an affluent postindustrial consumer society, the focus shifts from producing things to selecting them. Choosing things, however, means that their criteria are adjusted to me. This change of perspective leads to encounters with the self. Aside from things, the subject finds the theme of itself. This is where Schulze joins a discourse on the “technologies of the Self” (Michel Foucault) and the “aesthetics of existence,” which has gained increasing attention in recent years. This new focus on the subject and on the techniques and practices of subjectivization has been largely criticized, or even dismissed either as a new kind of fashion trend or—as Ulrich Bröckling claims, for example—as a particularly refined mode of economic self-exploitation. Schulze, in contrast, sees the turn toward the subject as an urgent and necessary project demanding public and rational debate, precisely because we don’t know how a “culture of being” might look today. Modern Western societies were primarily characterized by their attachment to what Schulze calls the logic of expansion or the “cumulative game” (Steigerungsspiel)—to perpetual technological, economic, and scientific progress and innovation. The more saturated the status quo of scientific and technological development, the more apparent becomes the necessity for a different mode, one that is less determined by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities, and more oriented toward ideas of how to shape and give form to the status quo. Schulze speaks in this regard about the increasing significance of a “culture of arrival” that needs to be acquired in a collective learning process. This, according to Schulze, is the main challenge of contemporary Western societies: the transition from a tradition of appropriating nature to the creation of an appropriation of culture.

If we agree with Schulze’s analysis that a major characteristic of our time is the fact that what historically was an upper-class phenomenon—namely the cultivation of an aesthetics of existence—is today a kind of mass phenomenon, then the “experience society” ultimately has to be seen as a part of a huge movement of democratization. With the increase of both income and leisure, more people can and must engage with techniques and practices of the self—the freedom to choose is also the obligation to choose. When material needs are satisfied to a certain extent, inner experiences become a focus of individual behavior, and a need for refinement, for the shaping of character, arises. And the realm that answers to this need is, in a secular society, no longer religion but the realm of culture. This, to a certain extent, might explain why in Western societies the aesthetic is gaining more and more significance for the practice of life. A notion of the aesthetic, however, that slowly seems to be loosening its obligatory tie to the object or artifact and increasingly orienting itself to the subjective and intersubjective.

The rise of material production as the dominant source of wealth was accompanied by a new ambition to democratize culture, which brought the fields of culture and production closer together. So if bourgeois culture was essentially based on a connection between the individual and the material object, then visual art became a kind of practicing ground in which this specific connection between materiality and subjectivity was both practiced and reflected on a purpose-free level. Not only because the artwork itself has, as a material object, a relation to the realm of material production—and yet can also designate this object as a source of cultural significance and aesthetic refinement—but also because the exhibition constituted a kind of ritualistic cultivation of the idea of an individual who relates to the material object.

And just as the attachment of visual art to the material object cultivated and refined bourgeois-industrial society’s groundedness in material production, so did art’s “experiential turn”—and the new focus on the perceiving, experiencing subject that came with it—resonate with the fundamental economic and cultural transformations of bourgeois-industrial societies in the late twentieth century. If present-day Western societies are on their way to a postindustrial social order, this development is mirrored in art’s shift from the object toward the dimensions of subjective and intersubjective experience. It is precisely these correspondences between art’s experiential turn and the rise of “experiences” to a prime paradigm of Western societies in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries that raise the central question of a qualitative judgment of this new “experiential turn” in visual art. And by this I mean not only the ability to decide between aesthetic and nonaesthetic experiences, which is becoming more and more virulent given that “experience” is now a focus of social, economic, and cultural activity. I also mean questions about aesthetic judgment, about quality and depth. Questions that until now have been asked primarily in critical discourse: What, after all, is experienced? The experience of having had an experience? Does the strong focus on the subject play into the hands of a narcissistic consumer culture? How does the strong focus on presence that comes with art’s turn to the experiential relate to the idea of a historical memory that is constituted by and through art?

Schulze’s Experience Society was published in 1992. The empirical data on which the book is based stem from the late 1980s. Critical voices could argue that the diagnosis is too dated to be adequate for the reality of the early twenty-first century, that economic crises and the “new poverty” question the affluence of Western societies and the search for “experience” as one of their main characteristics. There are, however, two misconceptions inherent in this critique. The affluent society is defined by the fact that its aggregate production is greater than what its population can consume. This signifies a transition from supply-driven to demand-driven markets. It does not mean that what is produced is equally distributed or accessible. The fact that there is an inequality of distribution that can and should be criticized does not mean that Western societies are not structurally affluent societies. And it is also empirically easy to prove that the experience-orientedness that Schulze observes has even increased since his book came out—up to the rise of the market and culture of experience that exist today.

Although Schulze’s fundamental diagnosis is still valid, the author himself refined and updated his analysis in a recent lecture on the subject. From today’s perspective, he differentiates between what he calls the “early” and “late” experience societies and what can also be defined as first-experience and second-experience societies. What characterizes the first-experience society is the shift from outer to inner goals described earlier, a shift that gives the central role to the subject, which seeks happiness in experiential stimulation. Reviewing this phenomenon today, Schulze adopts a more critical tone that incorporates some of the cultural critique of the supposedly narcissistic and individualistic focus on experiences:

In early experience society, instrumental thinking conquered the new pattern. Rationality of experience was born: a collection of common strategies to maximize and perfect experiences. A rapidly expanded market of experience trained and stabilized this rationality of experience. In a collective learning process, consumers and suppliers established four simple techniques of psychophysical stimulation: accumulation, variation, escalation, and coding opportunities of experience. … In late experience society, however, these techniques have largely lost their potency, like addictive drugs. People are still dedicated to the pursuit of happiness. They still define the sense of life in psychophysical terms. The good life is still conceived as one of intense, fascinating experiences. But there are increasing tones of criticism, boredom, disgust, and hostility.

Like Zygmunt Bauman and others, Schulze points to a kind of dead end of the subject’s turning to the self in the attempt to invert the self-centered perspective and open it to a new direction: to understand the work on the self as something that requires an involvement with something outside it, with projects and content. The shift toward inner goals that Schulze had defined as the main characteristic of contemporary Western societies is now recognized as a path that does not turn away from the outside but, conversely, presupposes an engagement with it.

Interestingly, there is a connection between Schulze’s critique of the experience society and a critique of the experiential turn of art that was raised by the art historian Rosalind Krauss. As Krauss writes in her essay “The Cultural Logic of the Late Capitalist Museum,” published in 1990, the phenomenological orientation toward experience, something that she elaborates primarily in reference to Robert Morris’s sculptures, brought with it not only a new approach to the physicality of the body but even a kind of compensatory, if not utopian, gesture as well. A viewer-subject, alienated in everyday life from his or her own experiences, was to be realigned with them through the experience of art. “This,” Krauss says, “is because the Minimalist subject is in this very displacement returned to its body, re-grounded in a kind of richer, denser subsoil of experience than the paper-thin layer of an autonomous visuality that had been the goal of optical painting.”

(...) Krauss quotes Thomas Krens, then the director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, a key protagonist in this change, who specifically referred to Minimal Art in explaining these developments: “It is Minimalism that has reshaped the way we … look at art: the demands we now put on it; our need to experience it along with its interaction with the space in which it exists; our need to have a cumulative, serial crescendo towards the intensity of this experience; our need to have more and at a larger scale.” Krens understood that conventional museum architecture was unable to provide the kind of experience that these Minimal objects required. The sculptures prompted him to opt for new design paradigms, preparing and anticipating new spatial concepts that took their cue from warehouses and factories and presentation formats that were geared toward comprehensive monographic shows.

Precisely because these objects engender an experience that remains contingent and does not refer to an essentially stable subject, this experience cannot give rise to a cultural context as traditionally represented by the museum. Instead of “reconciling” the individual with his or her own experiences, Minimal Art, according to Krauss, ultimately serves to underscore what she calls the “utterly fragmented, postmodern subject of contemporary mass culture,” which no longer finds the terrain for experience within a historical trajectory. In other words, it nurtures an individual subjugated to spectacle.

But just as Minimal artworks are abstract—with their geometric shapes and qualities as pure objects—and seem to maintain a position outside the representational conventions outlined in art history, so too does the experience of viewing these artworks remain abstract. This becomes clear, for example, in Tony Smith’s oft-cited anecdote of his nighttime experience on the unfinished New Jersey Turnpike. Smith drove down the empty road and reported how this experience, for him, was quasi-aesthetic in nature yet also shattered all customary aesthetic order. “There is no way you can frame it, you just have to experience it,” is how he put it, and it was clear to him that a reformulation of the aesthetic would also provoke a fundamental change in the conception of art, transgressing the aesthetic experience in a way that was universal. It was precisely this universality that ultimately rendered the experience of these works indeterminate and general.

In different ways, and from very different perspectives, both Schulze and Krauss point to an important premise of the experiential turn, which does not imply a turn away from meaning, discourse, and content but rather points to a connection of meaning production to experience—to the viewer’s situated and embodied experience. It leads to a concept of situated knowledge, an understanding of meaning as something that is always and inseparably linked to a situated and embodied subject. Correspondingly, the turn toward the subject and his or her experiences does not imply a narcissistic turn to the self. The work with and on the self presupposes an engagement with outer projects or content in the same way that such an engagement with projects or content also implies or leads to work on oneself.

The museum has always been a place that changes and transforms itself according to profound changes in the socioeconomic order upon which it is based. As long as this order was determined by premises of production and progress, the exhibition was able to be the privileged site for ritually performing a subjective encounter with objects. Historically it was an institution of liberal government in which essential values of modern subjectivity could be practiced and enacted vis-à-vis the material object. In this sense, Tony Bennett calls the exhibited objects “props for a performance in which a progressive, civilizing relationship to the self might be formed and worked upon.” From the 1960s onward, there seems to have been a strong tendency in visual art to connect to and at the same time challenge this formative effect of the museum. The exhibition, once conceived as a space dedicated to cultivating our most sophisticated relationships to objects, now proposes an aesthetic experience that is no longer work-related but self-related. The object, traditionally the protagonist of meaning production, becomes a device for engaging in an experimental relation with oneself and others. If we understand this turn toward the production and shaping of experiences today as an adjustment to the present state of Western societies, this, at best, could restore a discourse that enables art to become productive beyond its own boundaries in a project of a “culture of being.” Yet the subject of this experience is not of worldless and timeless universality; it is rather conceived as situated and contextualized, establishing a notion of aesthetic experience that is able to connect to the social and cultural contexts of art.


The Translocal Event and the Polyrhythmic Diagram - Sher Doruff

Translocality is used to describe socio-spatial dynamics and processes of simultaneity and identity formation that transcend boundaries – including, but also extending beyond, those of nation states. // " “trans” (across, or dynamic movement of crossing) ... the translocal as the diagrammatic interstice between the simultaneously directional forces of the local and the global; (pp.2)..."... *

thesis about: "key creative protocols in translocal performance practice, and ends with suggestions for new forms of transversal live and mediated performance practice"

"technicity of real-time, collaborative composition."

"Simultaneous forces or tendencies such as perception/memory, content/expression and instinct/intellect produce composites (experience, meaning, and intuition- respectively) that affect the sensation of interplay. The translocal event is itself a diagram - an interstice between the forces of the local and the global, between the tendencies of the individual and the collective. The translocal is a point of reference for exploring the distribution of affect, parameters of control and emergent aesthetics. Translocal interplay, enabled by digital technologies and network protocols, is ontogenetic and autopoietic; diagrammatic and synaesthetic; intuitive and transductive. ... The emerging aesthetics are processual – intuitive, diagrammatic and transversal. - WHAT ARE THE NEW CONDITIONS FOR DESIGNING? This research project explores creative processes. Investigates process theories and processual practices within what can be called an emergence paradigm generated from networks of dynamic systemic concepts. (pp.1) ...Concepts develop; concepts connect, couple and hinge; concepts unhinge, reconnect and dissolve. They focus on the dynamic interrelation of relations, on in-betweenness, on potential, opening conditions of possibility that further the questioning of contemporary practice-based theory in new media arts as it unpacks the performative experience of collaborative composition. (=Quipu)

...affective experience engendered through the multi-maker composition; of the temporal processes and reflexive situatedness of dynamic (ex)change; of the relationality of eventness and the movement of continuous mak- ing. (>>> Eventness) Processual subjectivity in the situatedness of the collaborative composition is the timeless, saturated potential of the bifurcating event that is emergence, that is phase shift, that is the creative. (pp.2) According to Massumi the event can be described as: [...] the interval of change, the in-itself of transformation [...] a time-form from which the passing present is excluded and which, for that very rea- son, is as future as it is past, looping directly from one to the other. It is the immediate proximity of before and after. (2002, 58) The event is a non-present ‘now’, a paradoxically empty interval, overfull with po- tential, of past becoming future becoming past. Its simultaneous directionality is isomorphic to intuitive movement between the thought passages of instinct and intellect, each traversing opposite directions (Bergson, 1911, 176).

  • or tendencies of the individual and the collective, the absolute and the relative, chance and choice (>>> chance and choice) *
  • the translocal as an ethical, political and aesthetic fold, a chaosmos
  • the translocal as a modulating deviation of the nonlocal
  • the translocal as a genre of performance practice that utilises technological and social protocols of distributed networks to explore relationally (=Quipu)
  • the translocal as a dynamic interval of spatial representation; the in-betweenness of absolute (allocentric) and relative (egocentric) “positioning”; of Euclidean and non-Euclidean spatial perception

The term polyrhythmic5, in this thesis, evokes a nuanced rendering of complex structures; pushes the singular rhythm of Deleuze and Guattari to its logical transversal conclusion. (=Quipu) ...the polyrhythmic rupture between the directional forces of local and global; politically, socially and aesthetically. It complexifies as it intersects with other forces or tendencies: content and expression, perception and memory, absolute and relative, indeterminate and de- terminant, chance and choice, molecular and molar, amodal and modal specificity, etc. These dualisms are closer to energetic forces, purely different in kind, that si- multaneously fold as unities as they divide and multiply as multiplicities. “Meaning” emerges from the translocal event as the movement of fractal plurality in the interval, the being of an interrelation as “non-relation”. (pp.5) KeyWorx in- terplay paradoxically locates (packets blitzing thru Internet protocols) as it simultaneously collapses position to a shared surface, at once “real but abstract,” a recursive, autopoietic actual-becoming-virtual-becoming-actual. This biogrammatic concept is the synaesthetic extension of a diagram, evocative of the double articulations between forms of content and forms of expression (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987, 43-5); a diagrammatic/bio-grammatic hybrid reflecting the experience of a fully actualised KeyWorx session between two or more ‘distant’ (>>> Virtual and Actual) The aim of this thesis is to explore, via performance practice, the ontogenetic processes of becoming: including movement, intuition, transduction, composition and improvisation (all of which figure significantly in this approach).

Part One – The Emergence Paradigm

...posthuman paradigm what we know and how we know it is a fluid, distributed, indeterminate interaction between human and nonhuman actors in a dynamic, emerging ecology. From this perspective, a topological map of intersecting complexities and distinguishable multiplicities can be imagined. (pp.9) wo dynamic terms that propagate a rhizomatic propensity, multiple lines of flight: potentiality and relationality. Blend the movement of these terms with ontologies that envelop (in)corporeality, virtuality, creativity and technicity and all that follows is underscored.


What might the dynamic, multi-maker modalities of artistic expression in ‘posthuman’ domains that include human and non-human interaction be? How might biological, social and technical relations in 21st century artistic processes be described? These sweeping questions drive this enquiry. (>>> Organic Units)

The other vector posits the nomadic articulations of virtual becomings, “catalytic fusions” and transitional fringings of relational “compositions” (Massumi, 2002a, 174)."

Closer: Performance, Technologies, Phenomenology -Susan Kozel

Craig, M. (2010). Susan Kozel: Closer: Performance, Technologies, Phenomenology. Hum Stud, 33(1), pp.103-108.

(Kozel) is concerned with expanding notions of embodiment through dance and digital technologies by posing the question: "what can be discovered and created as we become closer to our and close to others them?".

Kozel poses the possibility of dance as phenomenology.

Responding to Merleu-Ponty's notion of "flesh", Kozel explains, "there is a generosity to flesh; it does not discriminate between animals and humans, and, significantly for a discussion of technologies, between human and machines" (p. 34). The potential fora non-discriminatincg on caption of what constitutes a body lies at the heart of Kozel' s project.

Kozel is interested in the extension of body across networked space with the kind of intimacy generated between the dancers, the audience, and their "telepresence", and in the ways in which the "virtual body"...

.. but this chapter does turn to Gilles Deleuze to supplement Merleau- Ponty's notion of flesh with a concept of "metabolism"(p. 179) in an efforto account for more movement and than micro-organic-processes Merleau-Ponty allows for.In the installation Kozel describes a series of participatory "trajets", screens broadcasting images of bodies in motion and floor panels (...) This lends the installation a living quality that Kozel identify with a metabolizing"ecosystem"(p.204). Entering"trajets"is meant to feel like "entering into the interior of a body" (p. 199).If "Platsbepalingt"teaches something about the physicalityof timeand effort",trajets" teaches something aboutthe non-static of bodies and the of essentially quality amplification movement when two or more bodies interact.

Kozel explains "After interpreting Merleau-Ponty' inter corporeality through Spinozan filter so that it includes the inanimate, and Levinas' s alterity throughthe same filterso that it stretches to the nonhuman, we have come to a place where thereare no philosophical acrobatics required to meet the phenomenological reality of performing with motioncapture data". / "Deleuze's notion of the body - forces, particles and planes". - Susan Kozel: Phenomenology - Practice Based Research in the Arts, Stanford University - Susan Kozel: Social Choreographies

Moving without a body - Stamina Portanova

Portanova, S. (n.d.). Moving without a body. 2013 The MIT Press

Dance in Knowledge Society - Gabriele Klein

"...knowledge theory of dance or perhaps a physical theory of knowledge defined by subjects such as knowledge and experience, knowledge and education, physical instinctive knowledge, the exchange of knowledge, knowledge archives and knowledge transfer which outline dance as culture of knowledge. (pp.25) It is also true that knowledge does not remain static, but is in permanent state of flux... Today, we are in the midst of a similar upheaval of knowledge structures as we undergo the transition from an industrial, work based society to a knowledge based society and media.

...philosopher Jurgen Habermas made out a transformation of bourgeois salon culture to a media based public culture and identified this transition as the beginning of modern media society - a society, according to Habermas, that is based on a fundamentally different, more abstract and alienated communication structure. ...contemporary dance in the early 21st century is positioned within the context of a knowledge based society. The aesthetic concepts are correspondingly desperate: while Ausdruckstanz (expressionist dance) called for a return to nature and postulated the organic experience of the body as a social alternative, dance theatre in the 1970's was more concerned with portraying the penetration of the body and power. Contemporary dance from the 1990's on has been, much like modernity, self-reflective and interested in issues such as presence and representation, identity and cultural differences, body and language, by means of which it sounds not only the principles of the medium itself but also its social and cultural context.

This normative positioning of knowledge follows the modernist concept, since this 'proper' knowledge is knowledge gained through reason, understanding and rationality. Seen from this perspective, dance knowledge can only ever be the negation of modern knowledge. Consequently, dance knowledge is characterized as a specific distinct type of knowledge which cannot be regarded as discursive (i.e accessible through language) knowledge. From the perspective of cultural critique this knowledge is labelled as authentic knowledge that has merely been buried by civilization. This labeling is an attempt to protect it and leads to its exaltation to a quasi-mythologic status. ... The idea of dance knowledge as direct, physical, practical knowledge has always contributed to the myth of dance, and also to dance being either marginalized, as the 'other' (something separated from society or culturally irrelevant) or idealized precisely because of its emotionality, irrationality and physicality. In other words, it has been defined as something outside of society. ...Indeed, everyday life also centers around practical knowledge - and practical knowledge is physical knowledge. Almost 90% of everyday actions are carried out using intuitive knowledge. This kind of knowledge is sometimes called 'automated' knowledge because the body can access it without the need for any cogintive processes.

The sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has termed this type of quasi-automatic knowledge 'sens pratique' a practical sense, describing everyday situations as 'structured improvisation' or social choroegraphies. (pp.29)

The concept of knowledge society emphasizes the close link between modernization and mechanization. Thus, information and communication technologies have not only been the motor behind accelerated knowledge production and globe knowledge dissemination, they have also fostered the transformation of knowledge: knowledge in knowledge-based societies is fast-moving transient- just like dance. It is generated and it disappears rapidly; we only need to think of websites. The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman described transience as the key metaphor for our times. Everything previously stable and reliable dissolves in this 'liquid modernity'. It floats by, as Bauman says: Fluid travel easily. They flow, spill, run out, splash, pour over, leak, flood, spray, drip, seep, ooze (...) The extraordinary mobility of fluids makes us associate them with the idea of lightness. (...) We associate lightness or weightiness with mobility and inconstancy.

In this respect, the life of a dancer also represents the sobering flip side of the flexibility discussed by the sociologist Richard Sennet and the interpretation of the move towards knowledge society as an enthusiastically welcomed move towards modernization, seen as offering the opportunity to speak a new language, develop new economic structures and new flexible skills... In a knowledge-based society, these aspects are geared towards movement, transformation and transience. Dance is a suitable metaphor here - with all the political problems which the metaphor contains.

Dance as Hybrid Culture of knowledge - But it is not enough to attempt to deal with meaning of dance within knowledge societies on a merely metaphorical level. Dance doe snot only represent movement and transformation. Dance knowledge can also get things moving and have a transformative effect.

The philosopher Jean-François Lyotard distinguished between two different types of knowledge: 'narrative knowledge' / 'discursive knowledge." - (Dance has made use of both; the first when we look at it as a physical expression of the body and not by means of spoken language. The second when Thinking movement, e.g..: finding a (spoken) language, through static concept to grasp for dynamic processes.). " Consequently, dance might be described as hybrid culture of knowledge in which different types of knowledge are odds with one another. Knowledge can only arise out of a collective effort, and it grows in and through controversy and debate. One of the major challenges of the future will be to develop a 'culture of conflict' in order to go beyond the metaphorical meaning of dance and establish it as a relevant force in cultural policy as well as society and culture as a whole."


‘When you point at a body, you […] always point at a specific body in a specific place, and the complexity of the body means that you are pointing at a complex system […],’[1] as Conroy notes in Theatre & The Body. The body should not only be considered as a physical structure or mass of cells (an object), but the body should be approached as ‘a way of thinking about the points of connection between the person and the world.’[2]

...‘social body’ of the dancer, because it underlines the interwovenness of the physical body of the dancer and the specific (time and location related) cultural and political forces that interact with and shape the body of the dancer.

...the potential to mirror other social and political concepts, ideas, thoughts, ideologies.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty is particularly useful. In his phenomenological account of the body, he speaks about the lived body. You not only have a body, but you also are a body. The subject is constituted by the corporeal experiences we have from our body. Our interaction with the world cannot be seen as something that happens without the body, on the contrary, the interaction is made possible by the human body in the first place. As Ingrid Richardson and Carly Harper state about the phenomenological body: ‘The body is not simply a material location from which we perceive, a distantiated object; we experience things through our bodies not in a separate relationship to it.’[4] Through what Merleau-Ponty describes as the process of embodiment, ‘the subject is articulated in-the-world’ and this process forms ‘the condition and context through which relations between [us] and other things become possible.’[5]

For Merleau-Ponty the body is the primary vehicle for knowing, for experiencing and for interacting with the world around us. When considering the ‘social body’ of the dancer we find that the physical body plays a significant role too. For a dancer, the body is his or her main instrument. The physical body constituted by refined biological processes and mechanisms enables a dancer to move, to breathe, to express himself and to engage with other people. But this is not only true for dancers. Without the physical body and the mostly unconscious biological processes all of us are unable ‘to be’, in any way.

‘Our contemporary bodies are more than ever inscribed in culture, constrained by the geopolitical environment and moulded by the social media patterns,’[6] as Conquet underlines. This forms a good starting point for approaching the ‘social body’ of the dancer in understanding how the dancer as a member of society (inter)acts and which role the physical body fulfils in this process.

The concept of the social body immediately brings forward the notion that there is no such thing as a ‘neutral’ body. A body always bears meaning, even when it doesn’t try to express anything, in the sense that it doesn’t have a specific task to accomplish, like performing a choreography or having a conversation. Just in its ‘simple’ act of being, the body always bears political and sociological meaning. For example, we can often immediately read from a body whether it is female or male. This information provided by the body has strong implications for us in society, because social concepts of the body interact with the person. Even though we do not intentionally seek for such implications, these social concepts exist and it is hard to escape from them.

In the words of Fontaine: ‘The dancer’s body is a paradoxical body. It is the product of a culture and of social determinants, on the one hand; [on the other] it is the producer of new uses for the body.’[11]

Greco and Scholten the form of the movement derives from a particular intentionality and the actual natural conditions of the body.

Through the Pre-choreographic Elements it becomes possible to ‘read’ and talk about movement and to create new material by improvising around key parameters: time, space, intentions, qualities and physicality. It provides knowledge that is transferred by physical experience.

‘Dance is an art form that puts the body first and therefore wields an excellent tool to explore the different social meanings that a body can carry,’[27] as Greco and Scholten state. ‘[And] the body is engaged as carrier of its own meaning as well as an instrument to reflect on how we might communicate with each other differently and whether we can find relationships that are sustainable.’[28]

Torque the new kinaesthetic of the twentieth century - Hillel Schwartz

Performance Art: Life of the Archive and Topicality - Edited by Raphael Cuir and Éric Mangion

"According to John Langshaw Austn, the concept of performance originates in the productive role of language in relation to reality - perforative utterances are those that "do" at the same time they "say". Performance objects will then be seen as ocurrences capable of creating the circunstances in which action is carried out." (p.79)

" David Zerbib on performance ontological frame:

presence = temporality

singualrity = identity

materiality = body

efectiveness = transgression (p172)

Performance is reached in effect, as an effect, and this type of effectiveness leads to a anner of acting in consequence. Thus, the more it shows the work as an effective action, the more it acts on beings and things. (...) Intnesifying this view, we might say that performance art establishes its ontology as an active principle, since its mode of being purpposes effectiveness and implies efficacy.

Performance art a - a form that shatters artistic categories and definitions and trangresses limits - paradoxically constructs, in this very movement, its own ontological frame and means of its artistic recognition. (p.186)"

Moving as Thing: Choreographic Critiques of the Object - ANDRÉ LEPECKI

Lepecki, A. (2012). Moving as Thing: Choreographic Critiques of the Object. October, 140, pp.75-90.

To be moved by some thing, rather than by oneself. —Yvonne Rainer

To control and to dictate, and then to be obeyed with precision: this is why choreographer William Forsythe once described choreography as “an art of command.” Within this system, quite often a dancer’s moves are perceived as being little more than the immediate (or sometimes even unmediated) and obedient expression of a choreographer’s will. Within this spe- cific choreographic economy, the dancer’s subjectivity is seen as always ready for manipulation, as a mere means or as an instrument. It is in this sense that a dancer might be assimilated to an object—the dancer becomes merely a tool used by the choreographer. It was this problematic “political unconscious” defining the choreographic project that Yvonne Rainer so lucidly identified, and was so openly against, in her famous essay written in 1966 (but only published in 1968), when she defended the need for dance to be moved by “some thing” rather than by “oneself.” Given that “self” names a particular mode of subjectivation, predicated on manipulative and instrumental intentionality, which Rainer could no longer accept,a “thing” would be that a-personal, subjectless matter, that noninstrumental entity that would liberate a dancer’s moves into a field of nonhierarchical, horizontal interactions. The task (ontological but also political, aesthetic but also ethical) was to create a choreographic logic where any links between “manipulation” and “subject,” “utility” and “object,” would be bypassed—so that other possibilities for things could come into being.

Once objects and subjects symmetrically co-determine each other, it follows that “if the status of the object is profoundly changed, so also is that of the subject.” In this light, the change of the object’s status in recent choreography raises a pressing question for subjectivity: once an object surrenders (or is evacuated from) utility, once it is removed from the realm of instrumentality, from relations of subordination in regards to a subject that manipulates it—in other words, once an object becomes no longer an object but a thing—then what does a subject become? Specifically, what does the subject who dances become? In the co-constitutive sym- metry obtained between objects and subjects, the subject follows the path of the object: the subject involutes, becomes-thing. But, if this is indeed the case, what does this involution actually perform, in the realm of the choreo-aesthetic as well as that of the choreo-political?

Moving as Thing

Holding oneself back, holding back the very mode of subjectivation called “self,” is nothing more than to initiate a becoming thing by giving space (within objects and within subjects) to things.

—particularly in “the extreme phase of capitalist development in which we live,” characterized by “a massive accumulation and proliferation of apparatuses.”

As we produce objects, we find ourselves being produced by objects: “Today there is not even a single instant in which the life of individuals is not modeled, contaminated, or controlled by some apparatus.” Agamben’s definition of apparatus, then, is useful for understanding the predominance of objects in recent experimental dance: first, because his notion uncovers a performativity in objects, and second, because it identifies a choreographic force defining and inhabiting objects in contemporaneity—a force securing the relation between subjectivity and objectivity as it mediates the question of obedience, of governing gestures, of determining who determines whose movements. the necessary action to break free subjects and objects, and reveal a shared mode of being thing, and moving as thing.

This activation is nothing else than the political effect that a choreographic critique of the object has the capacity to create: the formation of an “impersonal movement that at the same time displaces the other from himself and allows him in his turn to give himself as thing and to take me as thing.”

Thinking with the body: Mind and movement in the work of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance:

"Mediated cognition. Thinking process that you are unware of (mediated things: internal derived from external things.)"

"...In a curious way, the recent interest in time-banking tends to restore time as the measure of value. Early-twentieth-century examples of time-banking, which are invoked as models for contemporary forms, are in turn indebted to the Equitable Labor Exchange developed in the 1830s by Robert Owen, and to Marx and Engels’s insistence on the abolition of money under communism, when socialized production would enable the direct expression of value in its “natural, adequate, and absolute measure, time.”

"The new labor is marked by the inability to distinguish between labor and leisure, between work and occupation, between working hours and free time—between performance and life."

"At a moment when the Western and indeed global performative economy is showing serious signs of disintegration, such interventions are part of a mix of practices that turn general performance into a reflexive and interventionist praxis, that turn new labor into a different kind of (non) work. Economic general performance spawns new forms of aesthetic general performance—its mutation, its fulfillment and tipping point."

"“We are at the beginning of a new language.” This was the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica writing in 1969 about the possibilities of a behavioral art. For him, the shift from visual aesthetics to synthetic, polysensorial experimentation was part of a larger rearticulation of the work of art: from one that proposed a merely metaphoric structure, or “model of life,” to one that treated “conflicts” within existing behavior as the generative material of the work. If the first remained confined to what Oiticica called “distant Utopias,” the second conceived of the work as a practice of transformative change seated within the present, in the “building up of everyday life.” The “new language” to which he refers was, thus, a language for the construction of behavior itself." at

Interview - Alva Noë "Dance As A Way Of Knowing" part of the Embodied Techne Series (2012)

This essay aims to summarize my recent readings and further notations for my self-directed research.

As to better support my recent projects and deepen my knowledge on my interest towards choreography and performance; I found relevant to research on sense experience and how knowledge is achieved by the interrelation between brain - body - world. One of my references being Alva Noë, one of the theorists that inspired the EEC programme - Embodied Embedded Cognition.

Noë investigates the structures of experience and consciousness (what philosophers call phenomenology); Presenting experience as the "basis of accessibility", allowing humans into "achieving access to the environment".

In an interview with Marlon Barrios Solano, part of the Embodied Techne Series (2012), Noë discusses "Dance As A Way Of Knowing".

He explores the idea that human consciousness is something we enact or achieve, in motion, as a way of being part of a larger process. Motion as "sensory motor understanding is what brings the world into focus for consciousness."

Noë highlights the fact that motion relies on a "temporally extended involvement", which enhances sensorial perception and consequently produces sensorial change: "transformations that happens in you while you go across the process; what is that transformation? Is understanding, is seeing connections, is knowing your way around."

Dance as a way to enact experience, thinking in motion - "dance in a sense of performance is an enactment or modeling of this fundamental fact about the world around us, which we dynamically interact with.".

In dance, along with similar kinesthetic experiences, the human body reaches an intense sensorial perceptual experience, composed of information from many places in the body, finding the need to have an understanding of/ control over of sensory consequences of their own movement. It can be seen either as personal, depending on the case- collective, confrontation - creating great awareness.

"Auditory Turn: William Forsythe’s Vocal Choreography"

Cognitive semiotician and aesthetics scholar Per Aage Brandt’s theory of the neuro-semantic economy of meaning con- struction departs in some important ways from Lehmann’s un- derstanding of simultaneity in aesthetic perception. In Brandt’s model, meaning is organized on five nonhierarchical strata, to which we can attend selectively or simultaneously: sensation (qualia),∗ perception (objects), apperception (situations), reflec- tion (notions), and affect (emotions). Thus, the processes of or- ganizing meaning do not constitute linear, integrative “assembly lines” that culminate over and over again at the level of abstract or reflective thinking. Instead, Brandt claims, mental construc- tion is “sloppy,” involving overlays of attention that occur in orders that are not strict. from "Auditory Turn: William Forsythe’s Vocal Choreography"

Resonant Bodies, Voices, Memories, and particularly a text by Jeroen Fabius

On the book Resonant Bodies, Voices, Memories, and particularly a text by Jeroen Fabius - Con forts fleuve, politics of perception in the work of Boris Charmatz, a point on the relation between communication and perceiver, although in the theatre context, seems to relate the same way in overall modes of performance, including dance:

"In dealing with politics, theatre cannot compete with the directness or speed with the means of communication of mass society. But, at the same time what characterizes communication in contemporary society is the loss of the communicative. A spectator can no longer assess the value of what is presented; everything is reduced to information; the gap between experience of an event and perception of the event is so big, that there is no way to assess what really is determining one's experience. " "Theatre can respond to this only with a politics of perception, which would at the same time be called an aesthetic of responsibility (r response-ability). Intead f the deceptively comforting reality of here and there, inside and outside, it can move the mutual implication of actors and spectators in the theatrical production of images into the centre and make visible the broken thread between personal experience and perception - Hans-Thies Lehmann"

Performance / Performativity / Objects / Subjects

"from the point of view of objects and subjects: how does an object perform its objectness and how does it perform us. In other words: how does the object perform our subject-ness. And how does the subject perform the object. Or: how can we replace our subjectness by objectness and what does that entail?"


Speaking Code, Geoff Cox and McLean

Cox, G. and McLean, A. (2013). Speaking code. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.

Franco Bifo Berardi - Pragmatics, or the future of language (foreword)

"Code is modeling the future, as future is inscribed in code. In fact the implementation of code is performing our environment, our behavior. Code is prescribing what we will do to the machine, and what the machine will do to us (...) Algorithms are numeric combinations that inscribe in themselves operational functions, formatting and performing the real developments of the human world. But the pragmatic effects of the code are not deterministic, as far as the code is the product of code writing, and code writing is affected by social, political, cultural and emotional processes."

"The subject does not belong to the world: rather, it is a limit of the world", Wittgenstein (Tractacus Logico-Philosophicus 1922)

"And the extension of my world depends on the potency of my language. Only an act of language may give us the possibility of seeing and creating a new human condition where now we see barbarianism and violence. Only an act of language escaping the technical automatisms of financial capitalism will make possible and emergence of a new life form. Code is a limited exercise of language and simultaneously it is the institution of a (performing and productive) limit. Limits can be productive, but outside of this limited space the infinite possibilities of language persist immeasurably Code implies syntatic exactness of linguistic signs: connection. Compatibility and consistency and syntactic exactness are the conditions of operational functionality of code. Propreitary code is language in debt. In every sphere of human action, grammar as the establishment of limits defining a space of communication. The economy is the universal grammar traversing the different level of human activity nowadays. Also language is defined and limited by its economic exchangeability:in the reduction of language to information, and incorporation of techno-linguistic automatisms in the social circulation of language. Nevertheless, whereas social communication is a limited process, language is boundless: its potentiality is not limited to the limits of the signified. In this book one question is raised: is it possible to speak as movement, as a form of subversion and of redefinition of the limits of language? "


"The combinatory aspect also indicates the central importance of the writing subject in meaning productions and registers code as an active agent in the process, which further complicates any reductive tendencies in human and machine reading and its interpretation. The cultural meanings generated are understood not as derived from intentionality or source code as such, but from the complex interplay of forces involved in the encoding and decoding of text and programs. (... ) helps too assert one of the central principles of the book, namely that coding practices produce significant aesthetic and political effects."

0 Double Coding

- two dimensional syntax (?)

"Humans and machines increasingly converse with other humans and machines, making our languages ever more codified, but the meaning produced through them are ever more prone to misunderstanding - in the confused spaces between encoding and coding of the utterance. Such combinations of natural and artificial languages demonstrate a multilingual human-machine confusion of tongues, under the conditions of contemporary capitalism that have integrated language, intellect and affect into production. (pp.1)

..or in new hybrid forms that combine the formal structures of natural languages and program code. These constitute the contemporary babble of communication technologies. (pp.2) Esoteric languages like Befunge (..) opening up a more indeterminate and expressive space and transcending the production of simple effects or predetermined action. Take, for another instance, the confounding effects of the esoteric Brainfuck programing language..

The reader whether human or machine, is also cast as one of the objets of the software and operating system. The point can be demonstrated with writing more generally as, in word-processing of text, the writer is also processed into the choice of software and operating system that prescribes or operates certain tasks. ( >>> operating system/ software / graphical user interface choices and implications)

Although instructional, program cannot simply be reduced to its functional aspects, as it also extends the instability already inherent to the relationship of speech to writing, where it can also go out of control. Like all codes, only really interpretable within the context of the overall network of relations that make its operations inherently unstable, It is both a computer-readable notation of logic and a representation of this process, both script and performance" ( >>>> unstable/ unpredictability in design)

The speculation is that esoteric languages similarly shift attention from command and control toward cultural expression and refusal. (pp.5) If subjects are constituted in language in the paradoxical way, it follows that they also have the ability to reconstitute themselves through language, and even reconstitute the institution of language itself. (=Quipu) coding where the writing of the software happens at the same time as performing with the software. (...) on this last point the practice of live coding exemplifies how the practice of coding, its writing, working and creative use, establishes an unstable relation to its output. (pp.6)

Some core principles underpin the practices of coding as both procedure and expression. ( >>> composition / procedure and expression)

"When a literary work interrogates the inscription technology that produces it, it mobilizes reflexive loops between its imaginative world and the material apparatus embodying that creation as a physical presence" (Writing Machines by N. Katherine Hayles) Like M.C.Escher's lithograph Drawing hands (1948), in which two hands can draw each another on a sheet of paper, there are many examples of recursion that encourage the author or reader to reflect on their role within the construction of the text, and on the ways in which meaning is constructed.

...imaginative feedback loops. Indeed the loop is an important component of the imperative programming, indicating when instructions are to be repeated or set to repeat until terminating condition is met, unless an infinite loop is invoked.

Acquisition of language and the human condition have been largely separated as part as the expansion of market logic. More than simply a series of sounds from the body, a speech act is something that involves the hymn capacity to think and thereby express feelings. Rediscovering the voice, combined with words as speech, is therefore a necessary part of social transformation in the face of overpowering forces that close down and oversimplify discussion, or reduce actions to procedures and behaviors that can b stimulated. If human action is compromised by its contemporary expression in numbers, it should also be remembered that even at binary level, in terms of numerical calculations, the computer is surprisingly prone to errors, an certain calculations simply canon be performed by strings of binary digits (determining the value of pi is a famous example) (=Quipu) (pp.14)

If coding is an invitations for speech and action . a script to be executed - then the act of coding is a deliberate action across cultural and technological fields.

Designing Design, Kenya Hara

“We do not know what to do with our physical bodies, which need massages as much as messages.”

“While dealing with shape, color, material, ad texture is one of the more important aspects of design, there is one more: its not the question of how to create, but how to make someone sense something We might call this creative awakening of the human sensors: the design of senses. (p.68)

The physicist Hermann Ludwig Helmholtz (1821-1894) said, “Everything is an event on the skin” Come to think of it, the sense of sight is the response to the stimulus of light on the retina, a circular membrane of 4cm diameter. The sense of hearing is likewise to movement of air (…) All human perception originates in the responses of membranes to things physical, stimulation transmitted to the brain through the nervous system. (p.100)

Design is not only concerned with color and form. Research into how we sense color and form, or research into the senses, is a critical subject of design. And observations of how the human senses work will give design new pointers.

Design … it holds emptiness or nothingness within… (p.413)

The elements that could not be simplified any further (after modernism) were identified as color , form, texture, material, rythmm, space, movement, dots, lines, pleas and so forth. (p.419)

Design as … the pursuit of shape and function, even while operating on economic energy.

Design is not he act of amazing an audience with the novelty of forms or materials, it is the originality that repeatedly extract astounding ideas the crevices of the very commonness of everyday life.

Design is not subordinate to media, design explores the essence of media. ”

dynamic => static, from Jonathan Edwards

What Then Happens When Interaction is Not Possible: The Virtuosic Interpretation of Ergodic Artefacts, Miguel Carvalhais, Pedro Cardoso

Procedural systems allow unique modes of authorship and singular aesthetic experiences. As creators and users of these systems, we need to be aware that their aesthetic potential is not solely defined by interaction but that interpretation, and the capacity to understand and simulate the processes taking place within these artefacts is highly significant. This paper argues that although direct interaction is usually the most discernible component in the relationship between ergodic artefacts and their users, ergodicity does not necessarily imply interaction. Non-interactive procedural artefacts may allow the development of ergodic experiences through interpretation, and the probing of the system by its reader through simulations. We try to set the grounds for designing towards virtuosic interpretation, an activity that we may describe as the ergodic experience developed by means of mental simulation through the development of theories of systems.

Keywords: Ergodic; Interaction; Simulation; Aesthetics; Procedural Design; MDA; Vicarious Interaction; Interpretation. Ergodic: of or relating to the condition that, in an interval of sufficient duration, a system will return to states that are closely similar to previous ones: the assumption of such a condition underlies statistical methods used in modern dynamics and atomic theory. at

Metahaven - White Night - Before A Manifesto - May 2008

"the new reality of design. Its unit of measurement is virtual.

Surface is folded out in order to produce value, while it is folded into secure it. The production of surface is design’s equivalent to the production of space; surface in the generic sense means flat space to display. Surface is anorexic, hyper-thin architecture.

Communicative (active) surface, or screen, is classified by its capacity to reveal and open up doorways to virtual worlds. In the absence of message, it maintains a system of placeholders and default images.

Active surfaces are inhabited by worlds in worlds.

Surfaces extend everywhere, recuperating the potentiality for conflicts by offering more space for the uncontested expansion of self-referential opinion. The actual confrontation between adversaries is prevented from taking place, thus suspending the political. The potentiality for a conflict to occur directly produces production – that is, it perpetuates the immanent breeding ground for new spheres and strata, new identities, new aesthetic needs and thus new spaces for production, combined with a permanent process of tagging. Precisely the tags, or names (which have passed through preceding stages of evaluation) enable the transformation of cultural clashes into capital accumulation. This is the true power of surface, as the multiplication of virtual surfaces is a frictionless event. This mechanism maintains itself only because endless coexistence equals the permanent potential for conflicts. This is the opposite model to the real and the physical, where the natural rule perpetually refuses the territorial coexistence of incompatible alternatives.

Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens – inventors of the Third Way – have done so with a focus on the changing role of the individual and the self. Scott Lash and John Urry summarize: ‘The thesis of the postmodern political economy is one of the evermore rapid circulation of subjects and objects. But it is also one of the “emptying out” of objects. For Giddens modernization is a process of “time-space distanciation” in which time and space “empty out”, become more abstract; things and people become “disembedded” from space and time.’

Drawing Curved

Defining Shapes

The first signs left by man were the prints of their foot steps in sand and soft soil. The first signs consciously created by man were probably written with the index finger or a stick in the sand, then later carved in wax, wood and stone which would finally preserve the traces for centuries. The foot would leave a complete shape with one print, making it the ancestor of today’s often used outline approach. The finger however, would create a thick line that would follow its movement making it the forerunner of the calligraphic approach. Later shapes would also be drawn from the outside what took more time but would also give new stylistic possibilities. So from the very beginning both approaches would coexist as calligraphy and punchcutting coexisted. Also found objects like stones would be used to create shapes and are today known as the mosaics or grid approach.

“Drawing a shadow on the sand” the origin of vector drawings; this is extremely interesting, we need to dig further into this. Nature and mathematics, all things that grow are vectors and transformations, ... Could this be the way into an anthropomorphic point of view on vectors? An intro to the full scope? An explanation as to why vector is so 'intangible' for many? (I'll make sure we avoid these puns in the actual acticle) - Vector = movement, liking the bow and arrow analogy.


Partial, Material and Situated Knowledges

- 20 - The work’s transmaterial flows and affects, transformation of agencies, and the constitution of transversal relations happen where different agents, human and non-human, meet; where data and bodies dynamically couple and affect each other. In the following we will take a closer look at how these transmaterial minglings and congealing agencies produce multiple perspectives and alternate situated knowledges. The works’ specific material enunciations, the ways in which they dynamically couple with bodies, and the transversal relations they produce, cut across and challenge some old and long-engrained boundaries, separating mind from body, human from nonhuman, and culture from nature. These demarcation lines and their underlying Cartesian ontology also brought upon us the distinction between matter and information (see Hayles 1999), which has deprived the digital of its materiality and in many ways defined the medium’s potential. The way, in which the artworks and their experimental playgrounds outplay these boundaries, is by deliberately producing unstable conditions and embroiling matter, processes, and human actors in this maelstrom of constant becoming. Davis has depicted the productive effect of Philip K. Dick’s radical and often destructive interferences: ‘In a world of manufactured illusions, the gremlins of entropy—malfunctions, interference, decay—can paradoxically liberate us by gouging holes in the smooth surface of simulation; these corrosive gaps create the space for breakthroughs and insights, imaginative or real’ (2005). The ‘gremlins’ of our works are the slipping logics of nonlinear systems or distributed agential forces of colliding materials: Uzume’s chaotic habitat and Maya’s noisy and bubbling data passage, On Track’s messy mix, and Zwischenräume’s forceful inscriptions of the machines’ gaze. All four release, what may appear as wilfulness, an agency unintended or an ‘other’ that unsettles our expectations and assumptions. At the same time, they open up a space for a different set of questions and relations that seek, in Donna Haraway’s words, ‘perspective[s] from those points of view, which can never be known in advance, which promise something quite extraordinary, that is, knowledge potent for constructing worlds less organized by axes of domination’ (1991:192).

Gregory Bateson

Form, Substance and Difference* by Gregory Bateson

"It is the attempt to separate intellect from emotion that is monstrous, and I suggest that it is equally monstrous—and dangerous—to attempt to separate the external mind from the internal. Or to separate mind from body."

David Reinfurt: eveRything is in eveRything

"A.J. Ayer helpfully places hume in the framework of British empiricism, a fundamental philosophical position that claims all knowledge arrives directly from sense experience. empiricism relies on a step-by-step sensory construction of the world and sits directly opposite of Rationalism, which imagines the world as complete and total, waiting to be described. Ayer begins his empiricist line with John Locke. in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), Locke first concretely described our understanding of the world as coming only from sense perceptions. he then divided this sense data into two categories: ideas of primary and ideas of secondary qualities. Primary qualities resemble the object that they describe, such as the solidity of a table, or the extension of a broom handle. secondary qualities are then reduced to surface treatments and therefore subject to change. these include color or taste, and as Ayer describes Locke describing these, they are: Nothing more than effects.

next in line according to Ayer is george Berkeley, the Anglo-irish philo- sopher and Bishop who, at the beginning of the 18th century, “demolished [Locke’s] theory of perception.” Following Locke, Berkeley agreed that we only know the world through direct sensory experience but then traced this to its logical end. if we only know something through direct experience then we cannot say anything about external objects separate from our sensible perception of them. Bishop Berkeley continues by suggesting that a mind is required to order these sensations and to construct these objects through a series of sensations. therefore Locke’s distinctions of primary and secondary qualities as located in an object was patently false. Berkeley’s account instead relied on god to originate the sensations and to make them known in a mind. According to the Bishop, Locke “had no warrant, on his premises, for believing in the existence of physical objects at all, that is, so long as physical objects are conceived ... as existing independently of our perception of them.” Ayer places David hume directly in this arc. hume reduces the empirical argument to its almost-absurd essence. Ayer, again: Berkeley had eliminated matter, but left minds intact. Hume, an avowed sceptic, showed that this favouritism was unjustified. We had as little reason for believing in the existence of minds, as beings maintaining their identity through time, as we had for believing in the existence of material substances ... All that remains, then, is a series of fleeting “perceptions” with no external object, no enduring subject to whom they could belong, and not themselves even bound to one another. this parade of perceptions, hume argues, actually produces the mind, and knowledge is constructed only through the sequence of sensory experiences. hume’s words now: “i say compose the mind, not belong to it. the mind is not a substance, in which the perceptions inhere.” he follows this argument to its end, wrestling with the fundamental philo- sophical problem of cause and effect. hume arrives at the radical conclusion that no such relationship can be shown to exist only through direct sense experience. Or, as Ayer says, “there could be no necessary connection between distinct events."

According to hume, since all perception comes only through sensible experience in the base unit of the impression, then he is unable to sense any quality directly of either the first moving billiard ball or the second billiard ball that would “admit” of the former’s motion as producing the motion of the latter. there is nothing that can be directly sensed either from the motion of the first or the motion of the second that can account for a cause and effect relationship between the two. he continues then to suggest, if we cannot sense anything directly to account for this relationship, then our expectation of the second ball moving on consequence of the first striking it is founded on absolutely nothing beyond previous experience. According to hume, there is no fundamental connection between cause and effect. And further, “We are determined by custom alone to suppose the future conformable to the past.”

Focillon then returns us to David hume for now, by making the case that thinking makes itself felt in the world OnLy through forms. hume suggests that these forms are actually *constructed* by our direct sensory impressions, and articulated by the connections that they make from one to another and through time. According to hume, objects are little more than bundles of perceptions, temporary and contingent—living made concrete as form.

A: Both.

if (1) the only way to know the world is through direct sensory experience, and (2) objects are collections of sense impressions, and (3) the mind is COnstRUCteD from this series of fleeting perceptions, then it follows that thinking and form are ALL One."

Patterns that connect Patterns that connect, Frederick Steier and Jane Jorgenson