Erin Manning

“Choreographing the Political”

Erin Manning’s keynote address will move through her trilogy of books, from The Politics of Touch through to Always More Than One.

In collaboration with the Performance Studies (Canada) Speaker Series

Erin Manning, Ph.D., is a philosopher, visual artist and dancer, and is currently a University Research Chair at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University, Montreal. She is also a founder and director of The Sense Lab, an interdisciplinary laboratory on research, creation and an international network focusing on intersections between philosophy and art through the sensing body in motion. Erin Manning received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Hawaii (2001) and has been teaching philosophy, political theory, visual studies, cultural studies, and film theory. She is a member of the editorial board for the online journal Inflexions and the author of works on movement and ephemerality, for which she frequently collaborates with Brian Massumi.

Erin Manning founded The Sense Lab in 2004 with the hopes of creating a collaborative environment to allow for and nurture new modes of encounter. Since its founding The Sense Lab has held monthly reading groups and a speaker series, Bodies-Bits///Corps-Données. Dancing the Virtual (2005), was The Sense Lab’s first event. Erin Manning writes in her book Relationscapes: movement, art, philosophy (2009) that Dancing the Virtual:was conceived as a challenge to the often upheld dichotomy between creation and thought/research. The specific aim of “Dancing the Virtual” was to produce a platform for speculative pragmatism where what begins technically as a movement is immediately a movement of thought. In the active passage between movement and movements of thought, the participants of “Dancing the Virtual” collaboratively began to build a repertoire of new techniques for experimentation that performatively bridge the gap between thinking/speaking and doing/creating. Not only did this facilitate creation and communication across fields of inquiry during the events that challenge the active/passive model of speaker/listener or artist/spectator.The Sense Lab has since hosted Housing the Body, Dressing the Environment(2007), Into the Folds (2008), Society of Molecules (2009) and Generating the Impossible (2011). Since 2007 The Sense Lab has hosted an online journal Inflexions. In 2007 Sense Lab also began a book series with MIT Press that is edited by Erin Manning and Brian Massumi entitled Technologies of Lived Abstraction. The Sense Lab now also hosts residencies. Erin Manning says, “At SenseLab, I seek to allow for a wide regrouping of collectives and individuals who similarly are impatient to create modalities of existence and thought that propose more creative ways of working academically and in the art world.” In July 2011, The Sense Lab will co-­curate (with the SAT) the launch of the new third floor and green roof of the Society for Art and Technology. The Sense Lab’s concept of Inflexions (also the title of the Sense Lab journal) will guide this 6­ month event. The focus will be on research­ creation.

Erin Manning has received numerous awards including: University Medal in Arts for highest standing, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada (1996), Governor General Silver Medal in Arts for highest standing (1996), Werner Levi Award for high standing, University of Hawaii at Manoa (1999) and the University Research Award: Concordia University Research Fellow, Emerging Scholar in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Fine Arts (2008). Her publications include:Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009), Politics of Touch: Sense, Movement, Sovereignty (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2007) and Ephemeral Territories: Representing Nation, Home and Identity in Canada (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2003).