RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018

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99 Felt Knowledges (2) - Poetry and Performance
Affiliation History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group
Convenor(s) Candice Boyd (The University of Melbourne, Australia)
Sarah Bennett (Kingston University, UK)
Chair(s) Sarah Bennett (Kingston University, UK)
Timetable Wednesday 29 August 2018, Session 4 (16:50 - 18:30)
Room Sir Martin Evans Building - John Pryde Lecture Theatre
Session abstract Non-representational, affective, and performative methods have generated considerable interest in cultural geography over the past decade (Dewsbury, 2010; Vannini, 2015). These developments have occurred alongside debates in the creative arts sparked by new materialisms and speculative realism (Barrett & Bolt, 2015; Bryant et al., 2013). In this session, we seek to interrogate the types of knowledges that are created when such methodologies are employed, with an emphasis on what is ‘perceptively felt’ (Manning & Massumi, 2014).

The first session comprises paper presentations, ending with two video-based presentations. The second session consists of performative papers.
Linked Sessions Felt Knowledges (1) - Papers and Video
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2018@rgs.org
Inventory of behaviours
Jo Addison (Kingston University, UK)
Natasha Kidd (Bath Spa University, UK)
This paper will explore the preparations, patterns, neuroses and procrastinations that surround the production of art works in the studio. It will draw on data gathered from a four day, live performance event at Tate Modern. For Inventory of Behaviours, artists are invited to consider their own behaviour in the physical, digital, or psychological spaces in which their art is made and devise an instruction to enable someone else to imitate or re-enact their ritual, traits or habits. The resulting instructions will be collated and enacted by visitors to Tate Exchange and scrutinised by invited specialists from a variety of disciplines, including psychology and neurology.

Christopher Bollas’s ‘unthought known’ refers to the ways in which individuals may organize their lives around patterns of experience that are known at some deep level but possibly not at the level of conscious thought. By attempting to draw out some of the behaviours that are integral to the interior creativity of artists and employing re-enactment to embody them, this research seeks to understand the possibilities for making and learning.

Inventory of Behaviours was developed by artists/senior lecturers Jo Addison and Natasha Kidd in collaboration with Freelands Foundation. Consistent with their individual practice-based research in to the conditions of making, their collaborative research explores learning as form. Performances and live events are designed to stage the act of learning beyond the constraints of academia.

In keeping with this methodology, this presentation will employ a performative approach.
Difficult to Listen / Research in cultural geographies as radio art
Ben Knight (University of Manchester, UK)
I will perform an extract from Difficult to Listen - an ongoing ‘live’ radio art collaboration with the sound artist Tom White. This project draws on autoethnographic ‘sound writing’, field recordings and performance practices, to develop a creative approach to research that explores the sensuous, affective nature of listening within the ordinary spaces of an asylum seeker drop-in. It will be a solo performance with a live reading and pre-recorded sound. Through Difficult to Listen I want to extend debates around sonic and cultural geographies (Gallagher & Prior 2013) to consider more performative ways of knowing that resonate with experimental documentary practices and a growing interest in radio art within contemporary art practice. This approach engages with Trinh T. Minhha’s (1982) notion of not speaking about, but speaking nearby, in an attempt to get to grips with voice and empowerment within research and the asymmetrical relations and improvised social spaces of the asylum drop-in.
The Non-birfurcatedman – poetry, musical composition – immersive installation
Mikey Georgeson (School of Fine Art, University of East London, UK)
In this paper I shall present my short film-poem “The Non-bifurcatedman” and discuss the correlation between the Absurd and Whitehead’s idea of the bifurcation of nature. Whitehead argues that since Aristotle we have thought of the cosmos as made of essential substances, which undergo change. The idea of object separateness, he argues, is an abstract convenience we view as the “real” world and this “bifurcation of nature” has skewed all ontological thinking. Despite our desire to read it and present it as an object, Art functions as a non-representational event. Bifurcation’s insistence on fixed substance prevents us from accessing the cycle of creativity. How then to present Art as non-bifurcated?
I created the installation “The Non-bifurcatedman” to embody the experience of a moment of personal epiphany. The piece’s occupants find themselves hurled via technology, back into nature. Its subject, a familiar car journey, is mundane but my sense of occasion profound. As a result of experiencing audience engagement I had a strong sense of how the specificity of quotidian flux is entangled with cosmic relativity. The film is part of an immersive installation containing a loop-like spoken-word poem embedded within a visual hyper-drive through dandelion seeds. I composed the surrounding music using live improvised assemblage parts. The idea was to give a sense of felt presence by leaving parts in a natural state. Memory is created in the now. The poem, the film and music all function as shifting loops giving the car’s “occupant” a sense of an endless creative cycle.
Feeling with Breath: A poetic tracing of everyday vibrancy in Belfast
Ciara Merrick (University of Bristol, UK)
Today, the world is ‘known’ through frames: manufactured representations visually binding perception to pre-determined narratives, to already proscribed bodies and to experiences manifest prior to their becoming. Confined to politically engineered frames, perception is active within the confines of a representability determined a priori, with the witnessing body compelled to comply with the moral and cultural customs of the milieu in which it exists. The very energy of the sensing body is appropriated as it becomes invested in behaviours and perceptions already permitted: the body becomes habitually induced to recognise what it perceives, as opposed to actively perceiving by oneself. But how do we break from this manufactured habit of perception? How do we change the focus from capturing pre-determined, singular frames and begin to trace relational ecologies in movement? Breath. In moving with the rhythm, tempo, vibrations and shapes of breath – with an air boundless, enchanting, excessive and relational – we begin to animate a whole-body sensing. This felt perception is not located in form but in the force of eventness, in the blossoming of becoming and in the lure of creativity where difference is animated. Tracing poetry moving with the rhythmic vibrancy of everyday Belfast, Northern Ireland this paper seeks to move amidst, to listen-to and to feel-with breath. It argues a whole-body sensing brings the body face-to-face with a rift in continuity which, in turn, calls into question the habitual and totalising images of representation, and creates a space in-between in which the two can encounter one and other in a sharing of breath.
Feeling the grafting
Anna Fairchild (School of Fine Art, University of East London, UK)
Using a temporarily unaware methodological approach to making, the objects and images explore mapping a transitional place of the digital and cultural shift in a personal geography of memory. Using an intuitively felt engagement with direct casting methods and materials such as plaster and cement the event objects are caught in the space between my excavation through memory as embodied knowledge (Bergson, 1911) of a cartography of persistent fluid forms and hard edged surfaces. The emergent forms become fragments of temporal milieu moments. (Deleuze & Guatarri, 1987) These objects are excavated through a Geography of Memory as successive non-representational patched or grafted fragile forms, which matter through matter to explore sympoietic landscapes of an in and out affective engagement with our current geographies.