The Minor Gesture, by Erin Manning - Meeting #7- Chapter 8 (What a Body Can Do) & Postscript (Affimation Without Credit)


(Douglas Duff) #1

The Minor Gesture, by Erin Manning - Meeting #7- Chapter 8 (What a Body Can Do) & Postscript (Affimation Without Credit)
Audio Recording:

Image credit:

In this session, we will carry a conversation based upon our readings and insights from Chapter 8 - WHAT A BODY CAN DO: A Conversation with Arno Boehler & POSTSCRIPT: Affirmation Without Credit.

Seed Questions

  • How will this movement of Erinā€™s idea, presented here in writing, expand itself into our ā€œfugitive publicā€ persona? How will we carry the carrying-in-the-act into our public lives? What will be retained? What will be present in the moments as we muddle/struggle and delight through our days in a debt-ridden world? (or what is your take away from the reading?)

Erin Manning is a friend and colleague who lives in Montreal and heads up the SenseLab at Concordia University. Her book Relationscapes - Movement, Art, Philosophy profoundly influenced my own work at the intersection between the sciences and the arts. When I met her in the fall of 2014, she urged me to extend my readings in Deleuze, W. James and J.J. Gibson to include A.N. Whitehead, and during the winter of 2015, I took part in the class she taught on Whiteheadā€™s Process and Reality. The Minor Gesture could be viewed, in many ways, as a natural sequel to Relationscapes, and is strongly informed by her insightful readings of Whitehead as well as the philosophy of William James. When my colleague Cora McLaren at Ryerson University in Toronto, through whose work as a Ph.D. student I was introduced to Relationscapes, indicated she had a yearning to read The Minor Gesture, I took this as a sign and a portent - time to provoke the world (or a small part of it) into engaging with me in a reading-dancing again into Erinā€™s wonderful rhythms of thought.

  • Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. MDT ā€“ Chapter 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 Erinā€™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 :

"Eric Manningā€™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 Guattariā€™s schizoanalysis and Whiteheadā€™s speculative pragmatism to explore what is dubbed ā€˜the minor gestureā€™. 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 ā€˜majorā€™) 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 ā€“ particularly ā€˜autistic perceptionā€™. " - Ben Simmons

Zoom Link :

Note that the sessions will be recorded and posted online.

(Douglas Duff) #2

Audio/video recording available aboveā€¦These chapters carried a sort of energy that formed revelatory feelings and activated activisms while readingā€¦sorry to have missed this one, due to unnecessary work meetings! My work meetings were a direct consequence from reading this book: coming out of a discussion when we mentioned questioning how the university set-up blocks the minor gestures and the creative processes described in the book, I went back to work that day questioned the system (for me, the stateā€™s rules and regulationsā€¦in a nutshell I was written up for attempting to bypass the unnecessary hold-ups in order to seek a small justice for a client)ā€¦and now created a snowball effect of petty issues, unnecessary meetings, repetitions of unnecessary reminders of how things work. Looking forward to ending this boring day with a lively conversation!

(Heather Fester) #3

Hereā€™s the segment from Accidental Courtesy I mentioned on the call.

See you all next week!