I have been having a good week.
First of all, I officially received my Ph.D. from Concordia University last Tuesday at the fall convocation ceremony. It was really nice to have my wife, daughter, younger brother, mom and dad there to see me walk across the stage. It was also great to have shared the stage with my Sense Lab colleague and artistic director of the online journal Inflexions, Leslie Plumb, who received her M.A. in the Special Individualized Program.
Since the convocation ceremony I have been accepted to three different conferences. This is a great boost for me because I have been applying to several academic teaching positions and post-doctoral grants since I defended my dissertation in June with no success thus far. The first conference to contact me was the 2012 Kaifeng International Deleuze Conference in China. As my previous post stated it will take place May 18-20, 2012. I am pretty excited about this conference because I have always wanted to go to China and it will be the first time I will be presenting research on a new book project on art, colour and perception. This project is an extension of the research in my dissertation, but rather than focusing on how the relations among compositional elements within an artwork enable the co-generation of images with the viewer. I will be investigating how the contrasts that occur between the compositional elements produce events, which are the relations viewers engage with, via the incipiency of images. To do this I will be focusing on colour contrasts, building on art historical and scientific thought from the 19th century and Whitehead’s notion of contrast (primarily discussed in his magnum opus Process and Reality).
The second conference that contacted me was the annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), which will be happening in Boston from March 21-25, 2012. I will be co-chairing a panel that I proposed with my colleague Tim Holland, who is in the midst of his Ph.D. in Film Studies at the University of Southern California. The panel is called “Mediated Futures” and includes papers from both Tim and I, as well as Alison Kozberg from the University of Southern California and Firoza Elavia from York University in Toronto. The paper I am presenting is part of a second book project I am working on, which is attempting to re-imagine the notion of remixing beyond the simple recombination of disparate elements. In this paper I will be discussing how the practice of VJing exemplifies the discontinuous experience of time we actually have, focusing on the work of Mark Amerika, Whitehead, and Benjamin Libet‘s work on human consciousness. My abstract can be see here.
The last conference I received notice from was Performance Studies International 18 (PSi 18), taking place in Leeds, UK from June 27 to July 1, 2012. I will be collaborating with three wonderful people I met this past summer at the Sense Lab’s research-creation event Generating the Impossible. They are the amazing partner team of Nicole Ridgway and Nathaniel Stern, both from Milwaukee, and Stephanie Springgay, who teaches at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. We proposed to do a “Shift” at PSi 18. According to the PSi web site a “Shift” is ” designed to pursue the conference theme in other ways than the presentation of papers. So ‘shift’ can be thought of in two ways: it is a work-shift – an act of collaborative and productive labour for a given period of time; and it shifts the gear from the more conventional modes of conferring.” We proposed to continue a collaborative project of Nathaniel’s called Sentimental Constructions. During “Generating the Impossible” a significant number of participants (including the four of us) collaborated in producing the Sentimental Construction that ended up being called “The Mist.”
In Leeds we proposed to, first, conduct a seminar (in a discussion format) that introduces the Sentimental Construction “The Mist” in order to provoke a dialogue about the challenges, questions, and ethical dimensions of site-oriented performance constructions, re-enactment in different locations, and working with different communities in a public space; and, second, workshop the creation of a new Sentimental Construction over the course of the conference that attends to and takes up the dialogue initiated in the seminar.
I am quite pleased to have such wonderful colleagues to collaborate with at both the SCMS and PSi 18 conferences. I will be continuing my collaborative practice in the coming days with several other colleagues as we discuss Brian Massumi’s new book Semblance and Event: Activist Philosophy and the Occurrent Arts through an online reading group. This group includes Glen Fuller at Event Mechanics, Andrew Murphie at Adventures in Jutland, Hollman Lozano, and Mat Wall-Smith.
I hope the good news continues to keep coming this week.