The Minor Gesture - Session #1 (with Erin Manning)


(Geoffrey Edwards) #1

Here is the first session of the reading group for The Minor Gesture, recorded on April 25th.

And here is the audio recording on its own : 1

Doug (@douggins) kept notes of the meeting as well. Here are his notes, which I have supplemented slightly.

Readers Undergroup Group Members Present:
Pat McKeever
Henna Aslam
John Davis
Juan Nino Falcon
Marco Morelli
Erin Manning
Geoffrey Edwards
Coralee (Cora) McLaren
Jocelyne Kiss
Doug Duff

Pat - PhD in Sociology , interest in Deleuze, Erin’s publications, interstitial spaces, movement, the brain, the body
Henna - PhD at Uof Toronto, autistic research- racialized autistic children become reproduced by their diagnostic encounters
Cora - in Toronto, former dancer, assistant professor,research in nursing and (children with) disability, suggested the book to Geoffrey, Erin’s work influential for rethinking and sensing the children/their movement in a different way.
Doug - “undercover agent”, KY living
Jocelyne - Quebec resident, researcher interested in movement, resonates with experience living in KY
John - football injury lead to the game of reading
Juan - Human’s natural production, our movements/gestures and how it applies to tech. Attempting to capture the singularity of sound/gesture/movement, the invisible/minor elements and its application with technology.
@32 minutes: Marco - 1st time in the passenger seat on a reading group ; feels like a Lucid Dream (add Waking Life Clip)
@33:40 Erin - transitory state due to illness; her work (Minor Gesture among others) is the in-betweeness + how others interpret this…the interpretation is rewarding and informative; this year spent doing more dancing than previous years; Three Ecologies Institute (provide links.)
Life as a creative parasite within the university (how does this effort compare to JPetersons new school?); universities are failing in many ways (debt, mostly “Major”, neurotypical); honor the slow of philosophy + minor gestures
Mentions cryptoeconomics; Holochain
(creatives can be found everywhere!!), collaborators everywhere!

Backwards writing - writing happens alongside life and work ; Moten : all Black Life is Neurodiverse…. Neurotypicality is imposed upon people who are in reality much more diverse than this - thus we may permit ourselves to state that neurotypical individuals are neurodiverse “passing as” neurotypical…we are all “minor” experts

@43: Holochain/cryptocurrency discussion - resistance to mainstream crypto-focus; need affinity; not identity based…more minor focused (Leslie’s neurodiverse “bursting” —> Eric’s “Quiet” allows for Leslie to display her voice and the gifts to be found in the “computing” mind).

@48: John - Quote (page 2) “The minor gesture’s indeterminacy, and even its failure to thrive, is what interests me here. For there is no question, it seems to me, that we put too much credence in that which persists, in the edifices rebuilt daily by technocrats. There must be other ways of living?” (John disconnects)

@49:50 Erin - Mentions Weather Patterns (Chapter 3) …this idea/question of the minor gesture (from quote) grew out of the weather patterns….Example is art…we do work to survive, art as ritual, gesture in contemporary art world…how is it recognized outside of the art world?
Power needs to be lived, not just experienced within the art world… what are the relays between work and practice?
There must be other ways of living…the both/and vision of Erin’s projects.
Mentions Toronto incident; Montreal —> student strikes in 2012…young put in risky/ precarious situations.

@46: Geoffrey - mentions Elder project (anyone can be an elder), also, the young need not be the only risk-takers
@56:50: John - polyphasic; fast/slow mind…self-reflexive capacity of both, work in tandem.
@58:40: Erin - John’s recognition is important. Neurodiversity is an old idea, it has always been around. But the internet has changed how it is expressed ; autistics… don’t speak back and forward like we are doing here, instead they usually write ; the internet has given them a platform for expression “at their own pace”…allows autistics to cross threshold; now we have books by autistics, professors with autism ; mentions 4-hour/week class, little speaking involved, utilize Google Docs + audio…class still meeting; also hiding places were a hot commodity.
106:30: Geoffrey - Claiming ownership or minor/neurodiversity (how do we influence?)
107:40: Erin - this is the political aspect, but not the minor per se, which destabilizes ;
Two hooded individual —> even in “right” environment not all needs will be met.

109:40: Marco - Space/Freedom at university?
Erin responds - Three Ecologies Institute exists already (in a certain sense) as a parasitical structure on the university, yet the university is both a gift and a discouragement…no linear way to design the new institute
There is no perfect place…no environment will meet all needs.

114:40 - Cora - How does dancing translate into the university experience/ how are you as a dancer then and now?
Erin responds -Homeschooled; left home at 14; waitressing; PhD was a way to get out of waitressing as a way to earn a living - Ephemeral Territories published while defending Ph.D. Thesis; Clothing designer; nomadic lifestyle; University life has been difficult - difficult to accept hierarchy, “distracted” students; Despite all this contradiction, message is to keep going with university plans.

124:40: Geoffrey - notes Cora’s/Jocelyne’s difficulties with university style - none of us really “fit in” in any straightforward way.
126: Erin - there is a need for professors to show their willingness to engage with each other
127: Jocelyne - Feels she does not belong at university…brilliance needs space, fragility support, sharing necessary.
She is concerned about what knowledge is taught to students ; Spiritual quality - there is a Need for more interaction; Resonates with ideas of new university involving neurodiversity

131:40 - John - Parasites & creative parasites
Experiences with Beatrice, the woman with Alzheimer’s, need to re-examine how we label people with disability or with illnesses such as dementia

136: 30 Erin -resonates with John
Disability & neurotypical’s chunking; autistics need more time to chunk (lacking executive functioning); dementia
Who has claim to neurotypicality?

142: Henna - quote from p. 7:
“This capacity to actualize, at the edge of the virtual where the actual is not-y et, is what makes the minor a gesture: the minor is a gesture insofar as it punctuates the in-act, leading the event elsewhere than toward the governant fixity of the major, be it the major in the name of normative political structures, of institutional life, of able- bodiedness, of gender conformity, of racial segregation. This book celebrates the fragility and the persistence of the minor gesture, perceiving in it more potential than in the self- directed “I” that stands outside experience and speaks the major languages of the brands of individualism and humanism that frame neurotypicality as the center of being.”

Minor social formation: already there? Experienced in the act?

Erin responds: Process philosophy; both/and; inheritances inherent, not always activated. Example: Black autistic and eye contact + police interation.
Claudia Rankin - black poet (see final chapter - indigenous Canadians…trust takes time)
Deleuze/Guittari - Kafka as minor writer…create conditions to access minor

150:42 - Geoffrey
Agency & Freedom discussed in Minor Gesture (see p6/pp.16-17/p21,23

Erin responds - hierarchy of volition in autistics…uncontrollable movements (spastic bodies) seen as unintelligent/lack of control=lack of reflective thought
Triad of Agency, Volition, Intention
Agencement, Fr. - defined as how the environment comes together

157:50 - Geoffrey - The role of the “I” - is it really necessary to “construct” an “I” retrospectively? People with dementia may not be able to express the “I”, but they are fully human nonetheless

Erin - each individual a part of building a constellation

Closing Remarks/Questions

Closing Quote Geoffrey (p. 24) :
“Minor gestures operate at this cusp where the nonconscious and the conscious co-compose, where language operates “beneath the words,” as autistic Amelia (formerly Amanda) Baggs might say (2010). From this position of indeterminacy, of the ineffable, how to make intelligible the singularity of what cannot be measured or categorized but is felt and, in some sense, known?”

Bateson Reading Group - Video Dialogue - Week 1
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The Life Divine – Reading Group, Session #11 [8/16]
Personal Introductions (forum-wide)
Personal Introductions (forum-wide)