Workshop Invitation: Thesholds of (Im)perceptibility Dark Matters: Exploring Thresholds of (Im)perceptibility
Monday 14th December 10.30-17.00
Lancaster University, Peter Scott Gallery
You are invited to attend this workshop which marks the culmination of a 1-year AHRC funded project at Lancaster University which has been exploring the provocations presented to physics, fine art and social science/philosophy by entities, forces and dimensions that exceed human and technological modes of sensing and comprehension.
This interdisciplinary project was inspired by physics’ exploration of cosmological phenomena such as dark matter, dark energy, string landscape, the multiverse as posing vital but difficult questions for those in the arts, humanities and social sciences interested in spaces in-between touch and non-touch, feeling and unfeeling in contexts of human – inhuman (non)relationship.
What can relationship (or lack of it) come to mean, for example, in contexts so radically removed from human modes of sensibility? How might mathematics – as a speculative ‘messenger’ to and from the unsensed – be understood as a medium for generating touch and relationship (or not)?
The project has also been inspired by recent interest in expanding the ‘geo’-political beyond the terrestrial to cosmologic entities and forces (see e.g. Yusoff, Clark, Colebrook) combined with calls to consider the insensible, unknowable, indeterminate as resources for rethinking the limits of materiality and ontology both within and beyond human knowledge projects (see e.g. Barad, Ellis, Schrader, Waterton, Yusoff). How do artists purposefully engage with the imperceptible, be it through endeavours to sense, reveal and represent the invisible (Kemp) or their negotiation of the unknown in the making process (Fisher & Fortnum)?
The event will provide an opportunity to expand conversations opened up through the Dark Matters project by bringing together a range of speakers from the arts and humanities, the social and physical sciences, all involved in working at the interstices between the manifest and the unmanifest, evidence and speculation, the known and unknown and unknowable, the human and inhuman.
Questions explored will include:
– Is there a way to formulate imperceptibility, invisibility, insensibility beyond anthropocentric conceptions of knowledge production?
– What might be the role of intuition and imagination in accounting for the imperceptible?
– What are the roles of ‘proxies’ or ‘sentinels’ for approaching the imperceptible and what are their ontological status?
– How do different scales and locations of imperceptibility challenge human levels of receptivity and responsiveness to current planetary challenges?
– What does it mean to account for the imperceptible beyond technological limitations?
– What might be the contribution of the arts, particularly drawing, in enhancing a critical sensibility to spaces in-between touch-non touch, feeling – unfeeling, knowing – not knowing?
Keynotes from: Karen Barad (University of Santa Cruz), Martin Kemp (Oxford University), Roberto Trotta (Imperial College) Speakers include: Sarah Casey (Lancaster University), Fiona Crisp (Northumbria University), Rebecca Ellis (Lancaster University), Kostas Dimopoulos (Lancaster University), Sasha Engelmann (University of Oxford, and the Technische Universität Braunschweig), Aura Heydenreich (ELINAS, Erlangen), Klaus Mecke (ELINAS, Erlangen), Jol Thomson (Technische Universität Braunschweig), Neal White (Bournemouth University)
Places at the workshop are limited please sign up via eventbrite: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/dark-matters-exploring-thresholds-of-imperceptibility-tickets-19330168053
NB. The workshop will be accompanied by an exhibition of new drawings by Sarah Casey developed during the Dark Matters project. Exhibition opening 11th December 6pm, then 15th December 2015 – 14th January 2016.
See www.lancasterarts.org for opening times. The workshop and exhibition have been made possible thanks to funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Institute of Physics and Lancaster University, FASS and Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts.