Stamatia Portanova: Moving without a Body: Digital Philosophy and Choreographic Thoughts (2013)

26 February 2015, dusan

“Digital technologies offer the possibility of capturing, storing, and manipulating movement, abstracting it from the body and transforming it into numerical information. In Moving without a Body, Stamatia Portanova considers what really happens when the physicality of movement is translated into a numerical code by a technological system. Drawing on the radical empiricism of Gilles Deleuze and Alfred North Whitehead, she argues that this does not amount to a technical assessment of software’s capacity to record motion but requires a philosophical rethinking of what movement itself is, or can become.

Discussing the development of different audiovisual tools and the shift from analog to digital, she focuses on some choreographic realizations of this evolution, including works by Loie Fuller and Merce Cunningham. Throughout, Portanova considers these technologies and dances as ways to think—rather than just perform or perceive—movement. She distinguishes the choreographic thought from the performance: a body performs a movement, and a mind thinks or choreographs a dance. Similarly, she sees the move from analog to digital as a shift in conception rather than simply in technical realization. Analyzing choreographic technologies for their capacity to redesign the way movement is thought, Moving without a Body offers an ambitiously conceived reflection on the ontological implications of the encounter between movement and technological systems.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2013
Technologies of Lived Abstraction series
ISBN 0262018926, 9780262018920
200 pages

Reviews: Donnarumma (Mute, 2014), Murphy (Afterimage, 2014), Thain (Digicult).


PDF (11 MB)

Audiovisual Thinking: The Journal of Academic Videos, No. 2-3 (2010-2011)

12 May 2012, dusan

Audiovisual Thinking is a leading journal of academic videos about audiovisuality, communication and media. The journal is a pioneering forum where academics and educators can articulate, conceptualize and disseminate their research about audiovisuality and audiovisual culture through the medium of video.

Issue 2: Rights and wrongs in the age of digital media
The second issue of Audiovisual Thinking focuses on how copyright and intellectual property issues relate to audiovisuality in general and academic video essays in particular.

Issue 3: The real, the virtual and the fictional
What is digital? What is virtual? How do the digital and the virtual relate to each other? Is virtual the opposite of real, or is it a subset of reality? And where in this does the fictional come in? Although philosophical, these issues have in many different ways impacted on how we think about identity, integrity, communication and media in this digital era we have created for ourselves.

Contact: Inge Ejbye Sørensen
Editorial board: Thommy Eriksson, Oranit Klein Shagrir, Inge Sørensen, Petri Kola, Sanna Marttila

View online (Issue 2; fixed on 2012-7-28)
View online (Issue 3; fixed on 2012-7-28)

Brian Massumi: Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation (2002)

15 January 2011, dusan

Although the body has been the focus of much contemporary cultural theory, the models that are typically applied neglect the most salient characteristics of embodied existence—movement, affect, and sensation—in favor of concepts derived from linguistic theory. In Parables for the Virtual Brian Massumi views the body and media such as television, film, and the Internet, as cultural formations that operate on multiple registers of sensation beyond the reach of the reading techniques founded on the standard rhetorical and semiotic models.

Renewing and assessing William James’s radical empiricism and Henri Bergson’s philosophy of perception through the filter of the post-war French philosophy of Deleuze, Guattari, and Foucault, Massumi links a cultural logic of variation to questions of movement, affect, and sensation. If such concepts are as fundamental as signs and significations, he argues, then a new set of theoretical issues appear, and with them potential new paths for the wedding of scientific and cultural theory. Replacing the traditional opposition of literal and figural with new distinctions between stasis and motion and between actual and virtual, Parables for the Virtual tackles related theoretical issues by applying them to cultural mediums as diverse as architecture, body art, the digital art of Stelarc, and Ronald Reagan’s acting career. The result is an intriguing combination of cultural theory, science, and philosophy that asserts itself in a crystalline and multi-faceted argument.

Parables for the Virtual will interest students and scholars of continental and Anglo-American philosophy, cultural studies, cognitive science, electronic art, digital culture, and chaos theory, as well as those concerned with the “science wars” and the relation between the humanities and the sciences in general.

Publisher Duke University Press, 2002
Post-contemporary interventions series
ISBN 0822328976, 9780822328971
328 pages

google books

PDF (thanks to esco_bar; updated on 2012-7-24)