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Text image with swirl: Attunement Session 3 Data Bodies, (De)Generative Aesthetics, Unworlding

Attunement Session 3: Data Bodies, (De)Generative Aesthetics, Unworlding

February 10, 2024
1:00-3:00 PM ET
Toronto Dance Theatre
80 Winchester St, Toronto
Toronto Dance Theatre , 80 Winchester St, Toronto (VIEW MAP)

Accessibility Info: Unfortunately the Winchester Street Theatre is not currently wheelchair accessible. There are three steps outside of the front entrance, a small platform, and then three more steps to the lobby (a straight hallway that then leads you to the theatre). To access the private gender-neutral restrooms, there are five additional steps at the end of the lobby. The seats in the theatre are on risers with stairs; please contact info@tdt.org if you have any questions regarding accessing our space.

Presented by The Blackwood in collaboration with Toronto Dance Theatre

How is the world being made and unmade by digital technologies? How are they serving as an extension of the body—from the smartphone to avatar to biometric data? What are the ethical and epistemological implications of this rapidly changing moment?  How might we scrutinize the relationship between digital technologies and the cultures and politics that animate them?[i] What beliefs, desires, fantasies, histories, and symbols are latent in the technical systems that surround and capture our bodies? Can new technologies be mobilized toward liberation and survival? How are artists exploring the radical potential of (de)generative aesthetics,[ii] inciting counter-beliefs, reconfiguring bodies and worlds, and sustaining ethical relationality? Must some things come undone in order for new ways of thinking, being, and doing to emerge? Can we revel in unworlding?[iii]

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] On the materiality of digital technologies and the philosophies and imaginaries lurking in artificial intelligence, the internet, predictive policing, airport security, biometric recognition, and biological warfare, see Zach Blas: Unknown Ideals, eds. Edit Molnár and Marcel Schwierin (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2021).

[ii] On the wild edges of contemporary computational culture and politics, see Beth Coleman, Reality Was Whatever Happened: Octavia Butler AI and Other Possible Worlds at https://realitywaswhateverhappened.com/OBAI

[iii] See Jack Halbertsam, “Unworlding: An Aesthetics of Collapse,” recorded at RISD, September 23, 2022, available at https://complexity.risd.edu/methods-insights/jack-halberstam-unworlding-an-aesthetics-of-collapse/.

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