14 October 2010

About the Conference

The last two decades have witnessed a turn both to materiality and movement in critical, social and feminist theory. However, theorists of politics and movement often ignore the materiality of the body that moves and theorists of embodiment and material life sometimes forget the fluidity of physical existence. These disciplines are even further removed from scientific analyses of bodies and movement. Recent feminist and other critical theorists have attempted to unite these analogous although separate spheres by interchangeably engaging with philosophical theories of embodiment and movement and scientific disciplines such as neuroscience, quantum physics and biotechnology. Bodies in Movement situates itself within this shift, outlining and exploring the interstices between scientific-theoretical models and artistic investments in corporeality and movement.

Bodies are always-already in movement: embodied processes are subject to the numerous biological and chemical functions of materiality, as well as the theoretical and social mechanisms of material subjectivity. This two-day conference aims to investigate the theoretical/scientific/political/social/subjective/artistic/literary/virtual spaces where these processes occur. It will explore the themes from three directions. Firstly, we consider the type of ontology, ethics and politics that may emerge in articulations of materiality-in-movement: what potential subjectivities arise within this framework and what are their social and political possibilities? Secondly, we are interested in the types of platforms that may accommodate materiality-in-movement and the particular artistic, literary, technological and/or social works through which it emerges. Thirdly, we investigate and problematise the term materiality-in-movement. What do the separate concepts ‘bodies’ and ‘movement’ stand for and how/where/why are they combined?

Bodies are physical, biological and chemical processes, as well as various embodied discourses and discursive assemblages.

Movement may be measured through geographical positioning, cartographical relations or conceptualisations of speed or movement in time. However, movement also signifies locational, theoretical or political directions.

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