Erin Manning, Relationscapes

Manning, Erin. Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy. Cambridge London, MIT Press, 2012.

‘Events of Relation’

Actual events are monadic in the sense that they are contemporarily independent. An event is always singular, completely absorbed by its particular iteration. Events are never relational in their incipiency – their pastness – or in their perishing – their future pastness … without this monadic quality … there would be no elbow room in the universe [Whitehead] (7).

‘Incipient Action: The Dance of the Not-Yet’

The event is the composition of space-time that qualitatively alters the topological dimensions of our sensing bodies in movement … “We attribute to the motion the divisibility of the space which it traverses, forgetting that it is quite possible to divide an object, but not an act: and on the other hand we accustom ourselves to projecting this act itself into space, to applying it to the whole of the line which the moving body traverses, in a word, to solidifying” [Bergson 65] … Movement is a process of individuation where matter and form remain in flux, virtually shape-shifting into malleable environments. These environments – alive in the interval – are always singular, but never one (18).


  • can the moment of loss function as an actual event/event of movement? if so, whitehead’s perspective may shift my previously-held idea that an anti-social quality is characteristic of learning news online. in this case, the event is always anti-social, even if the news is delivered with a knock at the door. the after-share/processing/act of communicating is relational, but the ‘actual event’ is a solitary experience.
  • so, manning is clearly talking of physical movement [dance]. but pg 18’s excerpt made me think of the movement of messages [and, again, of the loss-memo] … [no crisp bow here, either … currently picking at knotted yarn, but] thinking about metabolizing grief. the ways that our sensing bodies’ topological dimensions become altered upon receiving different messages (shoulder slump, sigh, wide eyes, smile, raised brow).
  • also considering whether the movement of message as “process of individuation” [and until i revisit Carl Jung, i tread lightly] offers a glimpse into the shifting shape of knowledge-making, knowledge-sharing, knowledge-collecting …  [here, i picture an accordion in the hands of my great aunt dorie – with all of its compressions, expansions, variety of notes and rhythms and combinations of sounds and tempos, its spirited dutch polkas that sent our skirts spinning wildly, and the way it would sometimes wordlessly weep … but i digress. untidy metaphor.]
  • so then what does the message do to/with/in the malleable, always-singular-never-one environment? i want to think more on this bit, and the alive-ness of intervals as well [though this concept also leads to accordion thoughts].

for now, i’ll let my mind dwell in rememberings of childhood polka lessons in grandma’s basement.

One thought on “Erin Manning, Relationscapes

  1. Pingback: Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. [Part I] | {kin}aesthetic composure

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