“moving towards uncertainty”
How might slow modes of practice resist productivity and move us towards uncertainty? As dance theorist André Lepecki quotes Fred Moten in his recent essay Moving as something ‘uncertainty surrounds the holding of things’ (Harney and Moten 2013, 91 in Lepecki, 2016, 29).
This presentation reflects on a two day assembly of working studies within the School of Media and Performing Arts, Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Coventry that brought practitioners, researchers and practices together in a facilitated process that included: Bone Tracing/ape resting states (Thomas Goodwin, Body Weather); States of Care (Hamish McPherson) with guidance and documentation by dramaturg Hanna Slattne.
The assembly aimed to ‘hold things’ in such a way that the possibility of failure and unproductivity might enable a deeply engaged slow process that resists the certainty of outcomes and productivity. Rather, somatically informed pedagogies and post human thinking offer cues towards methodologies that attend to the relationship between spaces of the inner body, the surfaces and spaces outside the body, and for becoming more attentive, through a ‘slower ontology’, ‘doing less’, tuning into listening, moving, writing and resting. In her book, Vibrant Matter, Jane Bennett suggests a political ecology of things that cultivates ‘a patient, sensory attentiveness to nonhuman forces operating outside and inside the human body’ (2010, p. viii).
The research activity solicited slow thinking as a practice that might allow us to experience coming together, the body, space and time differently within a practice as research context. This presentation will reflect on a process that suggests ways of ‘holding things’ that might as Lepecki suggests escape ‘instrumental reason’, ‘exist outside logics of manipulation’ and resist ‘graspability and comprehension’. The doctrine of somatic practices can be perceived as a multiplicity of sensory perceptions through choreography and documentation and engenders ‘essential insights into human nature’ and ‘functions largely as a potent agent of change’ (Batson, 2009, p. 2). To slow down becomes a practice of resistance.
Batson, Glenna. 2009. Somatic Studies and Dance. The International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. http://www.iadms.org/?page=248&hhSearchTerms=%22Somatic+Studies+and+Dance%22
Bennett, J. (2010). Vibrant Matter: a political ecology of things. USA: Duke University Press.
Harney, Stefano, and Fred Moten. 2013. The Undercommons. Fugitive planning and black study. Wivenhoe; New York; Port Watson: Minor Compositions
Lepecki, A (2016) Singularities: dance in the age of performance. New York: Routeledge
Becca works in performance practices that slip between the intersections of the body, space and digital environments. Her interest in this interdisciplinary terrain comes from years of working between the disciplines of design, spatial and dance practices. She completed her PhD in the Dance Studies Department at The University of Auckland in 2015.
Recently she has moved from Aotearoa New Zealand to take up a post as Senior Lecturer and Course Director in Dance at Coventry University in the UK. She continues her focus in research across the arts in performance, somatic research and education, and digital technologies and spatial practices.