Actively not Arriving: A Durational Atmospheric Intervention


conference: DARE 2015: the dark precursor
date: November 9, 2015
venue: De Bijloke Music Center, Foyer
format: coLab
practice: performance
keywords: artistic research, diagram, intensity

abstract about the author(s)


We propose the creation of a singular foyer for encounter and thinking-feeling in a collaborative, open-source environment. Concretely, we plan to install a space for ongoing modulation between art and philosophy/thinking. Located in a transient area of the conference, the space will processually tend intensities as they modulate in the intervals of the event, offering specific techniques and materials, such as collective writing, open microphone, collaging/cut-ups/diagramming, and platforms for presentations and discussions to extrapolate themselves into the atmospheric space through new formulations. In this sense, we are thinking of a space inhabited by the desire for situations that oblige us to think and act in the presence of what is at stake. In the temporal aspect of the increasingly professional expectations of what constitutes a successful academic/artistic life, we are thinking about the things “we didn’t get to,” “won’t get to,” and “don’t need to arrive at” as the attractors of a dark precursor that is not a moment in time but a movement-across as trans-temporal force. Being in the arch of getting there (while not arriving) is the process and is the atmosphere we are looking to activate in Ghent.

“Actively not arriving” is what we consider study, as delineated by Stefano Harney and Fred Moten. This conception of study does not rely on any “official” beginning of the process, as would be the case in more traditional educational contexts. In other words, study is always already happening, constantly creating new ways of thinking collectively. We add to this a concept of “atmospheres”: how does study formulate itself atmospherically, as modular forces that can be collectively tended? How do we study together? What is the role of study in contrast to knowledge production and communication? What is at stake emerges here out of a concern for the ways that knowledge and practice are combined in artistic research. We are wondering how modes and moods of atmospheres of study generate new kinds of fugitive planning, that is “research on the go,” rather than research that fits a given framework to be aligned with and to then extract its peer-reviewed surplus value. Study is seeking out the arch as that which makes an event collectively move across different practices, bodies, thoughts, and feeling. An arch in its very arching is without a discrete beginning and end, a dark precursor actualising itself as both a local milieu and a trans-temporal process. How can we take account of these processes in the immediacy of study, as that which is always already underway? And how can we tend to its unfolding throughout the arching of an event and the potential of its remnants that are left hanging in the air? not beginning, not ending, not arriving: a continuing radiation.

about the author(s)


Based in Montreal, the SenseLab is an international network of artists and academics, writers and makers, from a wide diversity of fields, working together at the crossroads of philosophy, art, and activism.

Participants are held together by affinity rather than by any structure of membership or institutional hierarchy. The SenseLab’s event-based projects are collectively self-organizing. Their aim is to experiment with creative techniques for thought in the act. The SenseLab’s product is its process, which is meant to disseminate. The measure of success is the creative momentum that spins off into individual and group practices elsewhere, to seed new processes asserting their own autonomy. The SenseLab makes no claim to ownership, operating as much as possible on the principle of a gift economy.

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