Movement, Art, Philosophy
280 pp., 7 x 9 in, 73 b&w illus.
- Published: August 17, 2012
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Published: February 27, 2009
- Publisher: The MIT Press
A new philosophy of movement that explores the active relation between sensation and thought through the prisms of dance, cinema, art, and new media.
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.
What commonalities do the Aboriginal paintings by Dorothy Napangardi, Emily Kwyame, and Clifford Possum share with the Western images of McLaren, Leni Riefenstahl, and David Spriggs? Each artist's production, as explored by Manning, unfolds a topology of the mind, an elasticity of movement between feeling and thinking. Manning's writing is itself a bath of sensory experiences as she brings these art pieces to life. Relationscapes creates ephemeral anchors for new journeys.
Barbara Glowcsewski, author of the Dream Trackers digital project, senior researcher at the Laboratory of Social Anthropology, Collège de France
A groundbreaking work! There is currently no book I know of like it in the thoroughness, depth, and sweep. Relationscapes offers a unique approach to a central series of issues in both continental philosophy and cultural theory.
Andrew Murphie, School of English, Media, and Performing Arts, University of New South Wales