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Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy Hardcover – Feb 27 2009
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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)
About the Author
Erin Manning holds a University Research Chair in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal. She is director of the Sense Lab and the author of Politics of Touch: Sense, Movement, Sovereignty and Ephemeral Territories: Representing Nation, Home, and Identity in Canada.
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Hence: relationscapes. To ‘be' is to be implicated and folded though fields of individuation always in excess of any one identity: to be composed by relations, rather than merely entering into them from without, as it were. And it is to these vital fields of excess, this virtual overhang of actual occasions that Manning so vividly draws our attention to though her discussions - demonstrations, really - of movement and affect in the choreography of Anne Terese De Keersmaeker, the ‘animate sculptures’ of David Spriggs, the chronophotography of Etienne-Jules Marey, and even the cinema of Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. This is, after all, just what the book’s subtitle promises: philosophy, art, and movement, imbricated in an intellectual performance - a graphic choreography - performed by Manning herself.
As far as the philosophy goes, Manning does not so much ‘read' the tradition as much as she puts it to work: the concepts of Alfred Whitehead (whom she accidentally calls ‘Albert’ Whitehead at one point!), Gilles Deleuze, Gilbert Simondon and William James are drawn into a singular constellation of Manning’s making, resonating and playing off each other in order to be folded into her already richly composed chronicle. And of course, more than a mere synthesis, Manning’s own originality shines through as well, with her development of a vocabulary of ‘incipiency’, ‘pre-acceleration’ and ‘intervals’, allowing the force of her thought to be felt in it’s own right, expanding upon and deepening the many insights offered by the intellectual inheritance she draws upon.
It should be said though, that to the degree that Relationscapes is in fact something of a performance, it’s dazzling ornateness can be as exhausting as it is exhilarating. Manning’s poetics, while playful, constantly turn on flourishes of expression eschew explanation in favour of illustration. This is in line with Manning’s attempt at ‘worlding’ though words, but endless novelty brings with it it’s own measure of reader’s fatigue. Still, at it’s best, Relationscapes is a sparkling example of what process philosophy, done well, can achieve. Manning’s treatment of Australian aboriginal art (like the gorgeous Emily Kngwarreye painting that adorns the cover), and her sympathetic engagement with autistic experience are two particularly striking instances of exactly this. This is a philosophy-in-the-making all the more interesting for attending to it’s it’s own vertiginous becoming.
Book arrived in excellent condition and within the estimated time frame.
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