Meeting Minutes for March 5, 2009

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Cinzia and Marsha met to discuss actioning on the AHRC funding application (small grants for student-led initiatives)

The objectives of this first meeting were three fold:

  1. To assess our eligibility for the grant.
  2. To establish - however roughly - the premise of the sub-project (perhaps a stall) we'd like to propose, as well as what kind of form it might take.
  3. To consider how the project's premise and form fit into Parade as well as how these considerations pertain to our respective research interests. Marsha established her need to use this for her PhD research.

Eligibility for the Grant:
There are currently two grants for student-led initiatives on the horizon:
(a.) is a more general call with a rolling deadline. (b.) is specific to the Beyond Text Strategic Programme and is due April 9, 2009
We agreed we'd apply for the (b.) first and then, depending on the outcome, apply for the other. This application will be made jointly by Cinzia and Marsha and will be framed as an inter-institutional collaboration of research students between Chelsea (UAL?) and the University of Westminster.

It seems we're not only eligible for the (b.) grant, but the aims and objects of Parade fulfill many of the call's requirements. Hence, Cinzia and Marsha have decided to proceed with the application.

The Rough Premise of the Project and its Possible Form:

Initially, we talked about developing a panel with Bifo related to his Manifesto of Post-Futurism. However, we opted to rethink this when Marsha found herself struggling to see how it relates to her PhD research. Hence we considered instead the theory and practice of non-verbal communication--specifically, what this means as an embodied form of interpersonal relationship. This seems like a cracking focus for several reasons:

1. While there is significant research about verbal communication in the public domain, non-verbal communication remains underexplored. This is especially striking given increasing emphasis on the visual over the verbal. (Here we're thinking of Lev Manovich's conviction that images will soon eclipse text, Marsha's interest in Leonard Shlain's The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, not to mention the rise of emoticons in text messaging and emails, the increasing politico-economic significance of pictographic languages such as Chinese [though some will argue Chinese is better described as using ideagrams], etc.)

2. It fits well with the Beyond Text's stated interest in exploring "the current developments in the arts and humanities concerning questions of communication across time and place through performances, sounds, images and objects." (from the AHRC grant description)

(We've included the researcher applicants' specific interests because we plan to situate the project as originating at a point of synergy between our respective practices.)

3. It chimes with Marsha's research into dialogic art, which up until now has been logocentric. A project in non-verbal communication would afford her an opportunity to explore the exchange of other symbolic systems, including images and gestures.

4. Cinzia is interested in direct address -- specifically how one engages with another person to offer a relationship. This seems related to embodiment. Cinzia is more concerned with being in relationship than being in dialogue. For her, the accent is less on the transmission of meaning and more on some sort of being together.

Regarding the project's form:

We talked about a two-part (or even three-part) micro-event within the context of Parade involving (possible) immersion in an environment where all communication takes place non-verbally. What conditions and strategies would we need to make this a compelling experience? It seems we're both interested in thinking through what an environment--aimed at encouraging non-verbal communication--would involve. We've had visions of it being a place of safety (lots of plush stuff) and color (lots of colorful plush stuff)...but these are just imaginings.

We also talked about having a discussion facilitated by a panel to reflect on this experience post-immersion. Ideally, this verbal exchange will draw out and elaborate on the various experiences, observations and even literacies experienced in this non-verbal public domain.

To this end, The Embodied Knowledge Initiative (?) seeks to explore the ways in which knowledge is produced through a combination of verbal and non-verbal communication and how it transfers between these different forms.

Return to Embodied Public Domain