What Moves Us: Immersive Economies and Composite Bodies

 

Texts selected by Emily Rosamond

We will have read and be discussing:

“A Precarious Dance, a Derivative Sociality” by Randy Martin text

and

“Ana-Materialism & the Pineal Eye: Becoming Mouth-Breast – Visual Arts in the Age of Algorithmic Reproduction” by Johnny Golding (the first two sections if you don’t have time to read the rest!)  text


How can one account for the lived experiences of bodily movement – of what moves us – in a post-digital context? Movement, on the one hand, activates – even, in some sense, constitutes – immediate, fleshy, messy, lived experience. Yet, on the other hand, immediate experiences of movement also move immediately through heady, abstract circuits. Gestures, catapulted into image-streams as selfies, ripple through digital circuits as “gestures of mediation” (Paul Frosh, 2015). Derivative finance inflects physicality with its “coincident rhythms,” its peculiar ways of moving between disparate localities, and generalizing the condition of risk – such that movement comes to constitute part of a “politics of precarity” (Martin, 2012). The production of the first man-made, single-celled organism, named Synthia, in 2010, speaks to the need for a synthetic, fractal philosophy, which dispenses altogether with the persistent mind-body dualisms that leave traces in even the most committed strains of anti-essentialist thought (Golding, 2013), as if movement only pertained to one side of the body/mind split in the first place.

 

The session will consider some ways to construct a post-digital account of embodied movement, by examining two disparate and (I would argue) under-read writers. Randy Martin produces a theory of “social kinesthetics” to account for the coincident rhythms of contemporary dance-forms and derivative finance. Johnny Golding theorizes ana-materialism: a neither ‘real’ nor ‘not-real,’ anti-dualistic account of materiality, which departs from a reading of Descartes on the pineal gland. Thinking alongside these thinkers, can we construct an immersive economy of movement within – and between – composite, dispersed, derivative bodies?

 

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