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Text image with swirl: Attunement Session 1 Ecologies of Excess, Energetic Ethics, Interdependencies

Attunement Session 1: Ecologies of Excess, Energetic Ethics, Interdependencies

January 20, 2024
1:00-3:00 PM ET
Ada Slaight Hall, Daniels Spectrum
585 Dundas St E, Toronto
Ada Slaight Hall, Daniels Spectrum , 585 Dundas St E, Toronto (VIEW MAP)

Accessibility Info: Daniels Spectrum is a physically accessible venue with single-gender accessible washrooms and drinking fountains. Eight accessible seats are available in the front row of Ada Slaight Hall; please contact the Blackwood to reserve an accessible seat. Hearing assist devices are available on request.

Parking is available underneath Paintbox Condominiums at 225 Sackville Street just to the west side of Daniels Spectrum. There is indoor access to Daniels Spectrum from this lot. Rates: weekday and weekend (6am–6pm): $5/hr. Evenings: (6pm–6am): $5/hr.

Presented by The Blackwood in collaboration with Toronto Dance Theatre

What are the embodied effects of climate catastrophe, destructive energy expenditure, ecologies of excess, and the brutalities of the racialized and gendered earth? How do we continue to persist on a planet that is so intimately bound up in injurious forms of interdependency? Can we imagine a future without reproducing the epistemic hierarchies and extractive economies of the past and present?[i] Can we think ourselves as planetary in ways that are not derived from a global imaginary still entrenched in a colonizing framework?[ii] What can we learn if we no longer take earthly bodies for granted? What forms and practices open up the possibility of a different aesthetics, regenerative ethics, and alternative politics of inhabiting and sharing the earth?[iii] How can we sensitize ourselves to energetic potentials, elemental intimacies, and planetary forces? Can we create collective energy to dismantle some of the capitalist dreams that are taking up so much energy in our lives?[iv]

How can we attune ourselves to the world-to-come? Presented alongside three choreographic works premiering in Toronto in winter 2024—Weathering, FACE RIDER, and Odd-Sensual—the Attunement Sessions inquire into the profound aesthetic, environmental, geopolitical, philosophical, sexual, social, and technological questions necessary to approach difficult problems about how we live, think, act, build, sense, and move together towards an imperiled future.

Through artistic provocations, thought-experiments, and experiential exercises, the sessions foreground the necessity for deeper attunement to the processes of destruction and disaster making the world as we know it (accumulation, alienation, contamination, disembodiment, displacement, extinction, extraction, settlement…) and forms of composing and imagining the future we want to live in (affinities, edgings, interdependencies, proximities, solarities, wet dreams…).

Framed by a series of questions, the sessions bring together choreographed and improvised, intimate and planetary, descriptive and speculative approaches by participants from diverse disciplines and practices including art history, black studies, choreography, dance studies, decolonial environmental humanities, disconnection studies, feminist science & technology studies, Indigenous philosophy, intimacy coordination, poetry, queer and transgender studies, visual arts, and more.

[i] For a range of tactics and approaches see the Blackwood’s index of collective inquiries including How do we resist the cancellation of the future? at https://www.blackwoodgallery.ca/index.

[ii] This question will be addressed in the Future Pembroke Seminar, “Unwriting the Anthropocene: A Call to Experiment,” lead by Macarena Gómez-Barris at Brown University, 2024-2025. https://pembroke.brown.edu/pembroke-seminar/future.

[iii] See Macarena Gómez-Barris, The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2017); Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Undrowned: Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals (Chico: AK Press, 2020); Katherine McKittrick, “Respite. Quiet. A House of Dreams,” CR: The New Centennial Review, Vol. 22(3), 2022 and Sylvia Wynter and Katherine McKittrick, “Unparalleled Catastrophe for Our Species? Or, to Give Humanness a Different Future: Conversations,” in Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis, ed Katherine McKittrick (Durham: Duke University Press, 2015); Marina Roy, Queuejumping (Vancouver: Information Office, 2022); and Amanda Boetzkes’ forthcoming book Ecologicity, Vision and the Planetarity of Art and its related publications available at https://amandaboetzkes.com/about/ecologicity-vision-and-art-for-a-world-to-come/.

[iv] On queer-black-feminist dreaming of future worlds see “Collective Dreaming: An Interview with Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Almah LaVon,” in The Feminist Wire, August 10, 2015, https://thefeministwire.com/2015/08/collective-dreaming-an-interview-with-alexis-pauline-gumbs-and-almah-lavon/. On energies compelling planetary life, see Amanda Boetzkes “Cold Sun * Hot Planet: Solarity’s Aesthetic, Planetary Perspective,” in South Atlantic Quarterly, 120.1 (January 2021), edited by Darin Barney and Imre Szeman.

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