Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy (Technologies of Lived Abstraction)

Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy (Technologies of Lived Abstraction)

Erin Manning

Language: English

Pages: 280

ISBN: 0262518007

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


With Relationscapes, Erin Manning offers a new philosophy of movement challenging the idea that movement is simple displacement in space, knowable only in terms of the actual. Exploring the relation between sensation and thought through the prisms of dance, cinema, art, and new media, Manning argues for the intensity of movement. From this idea of intensity -- the incipiency at the heart of movement -- Manning develops the concept of preacceleration, which makes palpable how movement creates relational intervals out of which displacements take form. Discussing her theory of incipient movement in terms of dance and relational movement, Manning describes choreographic practices that work to develop with a body in movement rather than simply stabilizing that body into patterns of displacement. She examines the movement-images of Leni Riefenstahl, Étienne-Jules Marey, and Norman McLaren (drawing on Bergson's idea of duration), and explores the dot-paintings of contemporary Australian Aboriginal artists. Turning to language, Manning proposes a theory of prearticulation claiming that language's affective force depends on a concept of thought in motion. Relationscapes takes a "Whiteheadian perspective," recognizing Whitehead's importance and his influence on process philosophers of the late twentieth century -- Deleuze and Guattari in particular. It will be of special interest to scholars in new media, philosophy, dance studies, film theory, and art history.

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of unpredictability—since new combinatory series are always taking form—that makes novel demands on the machinic process. While machines might otherwise be understood as passive mechanisms for the measuring of activity, I believe that Marey’s machines are relationally entwined with the experiments he devises. In fact, the machines become his mode of experimentation such that what he devises through them itself becomes “machinic.” Deleuze and Guattari define the machinic phylum “as materiality,

the first one, the smoke is traversed by a trapezoid shape that causes a violent undulation of the linear smoke-lines, transforming the composed grid-like surface into a fire-like feeling. To compose a form into a feeling is like making the holes felt even while conserving the whole of undifferentiated perception. To simply say we perceive a shape—a distorted trapezoid—would be to work at the level of deduction. I believe what Marey does is qualitatively different: this work makes the quasi chaos

processes: producing quantitative results need not preclude the experiential. This is the case for Marey, whose experiments create the conditions for the quantitative to be sidetracked by the qualitative. This passage from quality to quantity introduces novelty into his experiments, inciting him to create evolving forms of inquiry. A key question emerges: can there ever be “pure” positivism, or is positivism always moved by the forces of intensive magnitude? Numbering Numbers Numbers express

Riefenstahl’s films between the Godinfused transcendence of the fascist era—which is an opening onto an idea of a body beyond all bodies—and the physical transcendence proposed by Boccioni—the incorporeal body-becoming. While the Hitlerian transcendence seems to take hold through the filming of the large choreographed compositions, forcing a continual recasting of the plane of consistency into a plane of organization, thereby combining transcendence with disciplinarity, a resolutely physical

Whitehead’s “eternal objects.” The interval is not a thing but a quality of light, speed, closeness, purpleness. In Whiteheadian terms, this means that the interval preexists all actual occasions, composing them but not perishing along with them (when they have become “satisfied”). While a prehension may create an actual occasion that in time will have served its purpose and disappear, the interval that incites that actual event to shape-shift will remain potentially active for the next

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