Thinking—Spaces for Research—Creation – McCormack (2008)

Thinking—Spaces for Research—Creation – McCormack (2008)

  • Matters of Concern 
    • “The question was never to get away from facts but closer to them, not fighting empiricism but, on the contrary, renewing empiricism. (…) … the critical mind, if it is to renew itself and be relevant again, is to be found in the cultivation of a stubbornly realist attitude—to speak like William James—but a realism dealing with what I will call matters of concern, not matters of fact.” (Latour 2004)
    •  “Give me one matter of concern and I will show you the whole earth and heavens that have to be gathered to hold it firmly in place”? 
  •  Matters of concern (for geography)
    • 1) Thinking space — how it is conceptualised, produced, inhabited, contested, constructed, made and remade
    • 2) Making more of the practice and craft of thinking — corporeal, affective and perceptual (“forces that act under the representation of the identical”)
    • 3) Fieldwork — “exploring how different techniques of experience and experiment work to animate and inflect thinking with the force of the nonrepresentational”
    • 4) How techniques of experience and experiment complicate the critical tendency to oppose the lived and the abstract as conceptual, ethical, and political spaces 
  • Thinking-space: as facilitating environment and generative activity / cultivation of ecologies of research-creation
  • To have a space // geography — is it immobilising concretisation? (Bergson / Whitehead) 
    • unprocessural in nature — space as a container for action – LIKE A LAB!? 
    • an ‘unwillingness’ to think becoming!? 
  • Space-time // thinking-space is ‘before individual agency or intentionality gets to work’
  • Thinking about space 
    • epistemological after-awareness of processuality 
  • Thinking-space
    • co-intensive sensing
    • fundamentally an object of encounter rather than recognition
    • “cognitive experience must originate within that of a non-cognitive sort”
  • “It is one thing to affirm a movement from the grammar of disciplinary extraction to that of participation in a world that already participates in us before we think about it. It is another to work this affirmation into the practice and craft of research.”
  • “‘field’ has come to be understood less as a site ‘out there’ at which research takes place, but a space of distributed agency, action and encounter within which research materials are not so much discovered as co-generated”
  • How are Thinking Spaces arranged? The Thinking Space of the cloister… it’s “rhythm analysis”
  • The Production of Space (1991) — “field of application par excellent [of rhythm analysis], its preferred sphere of experiment, would be the sphere of music and dance, the sphere of ‘rhythmic cells’ and their effects.” (1991) 
  • Lefevre’s rhytmic / Guattari’s ritornello
    • the production of subjectivities through multiple ritornellos
    • eternal returns // 
    • Lefevre Cloister / Guattari’s Kitchen
    • making spaces… Critical Media Lab? 
  • La Borde — psychoanalytical environment – Jean Oury – social political and aesthetic practices
  • Participation rather than presentation /// Not a plan of action but an ethos of openness
  • “relational movement exercises becoming movement of thought” 
  • The after-affects might sustain a series of affirmations, presented here in no particular order…
    • That the critic is the one who assembles, the one who provides arenas within which to gather (Latour 2004)
    • That the paradoxical movement of dancing bodies (Gil 2006; Manning 2006) is generative – in potential – of multiple thinking-spaces
    • That concepts are mobile attractors, things to be played with and not necessarily policed or applied.
    • That what Whitehead (1978) calls “conceptual feeling” is not a contradiction in terms.
    • That as far as research methods are concerned, much more can be made of techniques that in embracing their own inventiveness “are not afraid to own up to the fact that they add (if ever so meagrely) to reality”
    • That research-creation would benefit through learning ‘ritournello games’ which “fix the existential ordering of the sensory environment and which prop up the meta- modelizing scenes of the most abstract problematic affects” 
    • That research-creation involves an ethical commitment to learning to become affected (in a Spinozist sense) by the relational movement of bodies, and a political one borne of the claim that we can never determine in advance the kinds of relational matrices of which bodies are capable of becoming involved 
    • That the world needs more conceptually rich environments within which to experiment thus ethically and politically. 
  • Ganzfeld Tents
  • Bruce Naumann — Dance or Exercise on the Perimeter of the Square 
  • Certainly, the lines of this geography might trouble any phenomenology of lived space defined against abstraction. And they would do so as part of what Gunnar Olsson calls “a cartography of thought” (1991: 181) that draws out the lines of which things and events are composed: “the lines that make them up, or they make up, or take, or create”

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