The Minor Gesture, by Erin Manning - Meeting #3 - Chapter 2 (Artfulness - Emergent Collectivities and Processes of Individuation)


(Douglas Duff) #1

The Minor Gesture, by Erin Manning – Meeting #3 - Chapter 2 (Artfulness - Emergent Collectivities and Processes of Individuation)

  • Intro begins around 9mins, 30secs


Artfulness: the way the art of time makes itself felt, how it lands, and how it always exceeds its landing. —Minor Gesture, p. 63

We are reading The Minor Gesture , by Erin Manning, with virtual meeting every 2 weeks between April 25 and July 4 for live discussion. In Meeting #3, the group will discuss Chapter 2 “Artfulness - Emergent Collectivities and Processes of Individuation.”

Seed Questions

Reading Schedule:

  • Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. MDT – Chapter 2
  • Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. MDT – Chapters 3 and 4
  • Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. MDT – Chapters 5 and 6
  • Wednesday, July 4, 2018, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. MDT – Chapters 7 and 8 and Postscript

Note that although reading The Minor Gesture requires an effort to understand the philosophical concepts on display, one of the strengths of Erin’s writing is that she is as preoccupied with matters of practice as she is with matters of theory. The reading therefore provides not just insight into the latter, but it can be used to guide how one engages in practice. Herself a dancer, installation artist and fashion designer, she draws on these and other artistic sensitivities to illustrate and draw out her ideas. Here is an excerpt from an excellent review by Ben Simmons about The Minor Gesture :

“Erin Manning’s The Minor Gesture is the latest release in the Thought in the Act book series, published by Duke University Press, which explores how research and creation can be transformed by philosophy. In The Minor Gesture , Manning draws heavily from Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoanalysis and Whitehead’s speculative pragmatism to explore what is dubbed ‘the minor gesture’. The minor gesture is a subversive concept that refers to the fringes of perception and thought before its parsing into cultural intelligibility. The minor gesture is a force that challenges received wisdom and common sense (the ‘major’) by offering potentially unlimited experiential variations that suggest alternative forms of being, knowing and doing. In The Minor Gesture , Manning destabilises neurotypical accounts of perception and agency, and in doing so paves the way for a celebration of neurodiverse experience – particularly ‘autistic perception’. ” — Ben Simmons

Organizer: Geoffrey Edwards @Geoffrey_Edwards

(Marco V Morelli) #3

(Douglas Duff) #4

Erin’s words in this video coincide with this chapter we will be discussing today. Looking forward towards today’s creative conversation!

(john davis) #5

Sharing time with what we have made by our timing…give time…different currents of time…and time is money…how to work with this? How do we stage the encounter? This other kind of way?

(Douglas Duff) #6

@Geoffrey_Edwards and all others: As I stated a desire to start this discussion last meeting, I have a brief “invocation” style poem to start us out, intending to give us the sense of Manning’s artfulness. This is a dense chapter with fleeting philosophical ideas, duration, intuition, sympathy to name three, and a gentle request comes through the text to go beyond the stardard conversation…or at least practice the art of participation in time :slightly_smiling_face:.

(Geoffrey Edwards) #7

Lovely, @Douggins ! Perfect!

(Heather Fester) #8

I mentioned in my check-in that there is bleedthrough from chapter to chapter as I read Erin. It’s like pieces of a cloth I keep seeing while trying to grasp the larger quilt–either of the chapter or book (grasp and grab onto are Genlinian focusing terms). Here’s a song that captures the experience of reading her work, moving from chapter to chapter:

Jamiroquai, “Traveling without Moving”

I also wanted to follow up with examples from the shares I made today.

Here’s Andy Goldsworthy from Rivers and Tides about his work (which I also recommend): This is the excerpt on Wood.

(Full Rivers and Tides video is here)

I didn’t mention this, but was reminded of it in some of @johnnydavis54’s remarks about the field:
William S. Burroughs on Third Mind

Eugene Gendlin’s New Phenomenology of Carrying Forward (which describes “implicit intricacies”)

And, finally, my favorite treatment of the subtle/dream/imaginal bodie(s):

Arnold Mindell’s work (often with Amy Mindell) or Nathan Schwartz-Salant on dreams orliminality. (I’m in love with the Jungians–especially when they do it artfully–via Manning’s artfulness as becoming/method.)

And, as a bonus, here is a three-part video lecture/talk with/by George Quasha (axial stones artist) that he gave at CIIS when I was auditing a Poetics of Enlightenment class there with Steven Goodman (shown next to George in the video). Part I, Part II, Part III (Questions). Also, George Quasha with his frequent co-artist Charles Stein and poet Robert Kelly on ta’wil.

And, my own tai chi sentence poem in film poetics form and as text:

Tai Chi Sentence (film version with narration)

| tai chi sentence 1

the site

of knowing

and forgetting

is the hook




on the spine

of a curved




we don’t



the mind


the sentence

I cannot flow

in complete


(It was composed while flowing through the forms and letting the words arise. I captured them by recording myself and then transcribed them directly into the poem you see above.)

Here’s another poem of mine (after Gendlin and co-composed with my teacher at the time who helped me find the form and words from a freewrite I had done):

| to track the felt sense
of the thing
under the surface

it’s mostly
with you
how we spell
all full of
a fragment of


we are
of shame
of longing
or a felt sense
of the tender
and glass
my theory
long stares


P.S. Please include me on the Bateson book group! I’d love to dive in there more deeply with you all.)

(Douglas Duff) #9

Audio/video now available. Intro begins around 9mins, 30secs.

(Geoffrey Edwards) #10

Erin is very “multiphasic” in a way that parallels the discussions we have been having - this interleaving of different times and durations together, through fabric. I found this very inspiring. Last year, she worked with “cuffs” as an idea, which I also found very interesting and intriguing. Wonderful clip, thanks for sharing it @Douggins!