Susan Kozel: Performing phenomenology, phenomenology in performance

Welcome to the term’s first K3 seminar. It will be held by Susan Kozel, Professor of New Media, K3.

The title of the talk is:

Performing phenomenology, phenomenology in performance

It will take place on Wednesday, February 5 at 10.15-12.00 in The K3 Open Studio, NIC 0541, Niagara.

Below you will find an abstract for the talk.

“breadth of thought reacting with intensity of sensitive experience stands out as an ultimate claim of existence” (Whitehead 1929)

Supporting the goal of systematically connecting phenomenology and performativity, this seminar will explore a methodological, practical and fundamentally corporeal connection between the two. It expands ongoing work toward refining a method of phenomenological reflection that can account for the nuance and liminality of affective and somatic states.

The exploration of performance and phenomenology will be grounded in the work of choreographer Margrét Sara Guðjónsdóttir; in particular, a collaboration with her that produced a Mixed Reality archive as part of the Living Archives research project. Attention will be devoted not simply to demonstrating the MR installation, but to the special relationship between phenomenology and performance occurring through Guðjónsdóttir deeply somatic choreographies.

This is an applied phenomenology but it does not adhere to a formula that can be brought to bear to experience, like a tool out of a box. Rather, in and through its performance, the bodies of the dancers and the observers come to be. This commitment to understanding and applying a variation of phenomenological method is faithful to the Merleau-Pontian spirit which has shaped it, acknowledging the inherence of the one who sees in that which she sees, “a self through confusion,” one that is “caught up in things, that has a front and a back, a past and a future.” This method exists in motion, in its very application by an unstable self. When applied to the experience of watching dance, it becomes a phenomenology of performance and phenomenology as performance.

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