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Text image with swirl: Attunement Session 4 Attention, Sensation, Sense-Making

Attunement Session 4: Attention, Sensation, Sense-Making

March 16, 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

The worlds we inhabit are composed of sensations and sense-makings. How can we make sense of sensation?[i] What does it mean to be a sensing body? How are economies of attention changing social, psychological, and neurological dispositions?[ii] What are the consequences of these shifts for our concepts of imagination, will, and futurity? Can artistic and choreographic practices anticipate, alleviate, or suggest alternatives to relentless cognitive extractivism and social hypersynchronization? What are the creative and energetic consequences of togetherness?[iii] How might we move further into spaces of affinity, affection, and action?[iv] Can spectatorship be positioned as a choreographic process and become a rehearsal space for possible ways of entering the social and of sensing oneself in relation with others? [v] Can we attune ourselves to and sustain choreographic experiments in duration that demand more, or less, from our bodies?[vi]

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 an examination of sense-in-the-making, see the two-part exhibition Logics of Sense presented at the Blackwood, September 4–December 7, 2019.  Logics of Sense 1: Investigations at https://www.blackwoodgallery.ca/program/logics-of-sense-1-investigations and Logics of Sense 2: Implications at https://www.blackwoodgallery.ca/program/logics-of-sense-2-implications.

[ii] On affective attunement, attention, and the challenges of connectivity, see “Shifting Attention,” a special issue of Science, Technology & Human Values 47(2), edited by Rebecca Jablonsky, Tero Karppi, Nick Seaver and “In the mood for disconnection” by Tero Karppi, Aleena Chia, Ana Jorge in Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, Vol. 27(6).

[iii] For more on “togetherness,” see Aisha Sasha John, THOU (Toronto: Book*hug Press, 2014) and WATERS at Studio 303: https://www.studio303.ca/en/aisha-sasha-john-waters/.

[iv] On the irreplaceable experience of gathering, see Magic of Assembly choreographed by Andrew Tay in collaboration with Ashley Colours Perez and the music duo LAL (Rosina Kazi and Nicholas Murray) and performed by the TDT Ensemble at the Toronto Dance Theatre, February 2023, https://tdt.org/events/the-magic-of-assembly/.

[v] On embodied processes of looking and “choreographies of territoriality,” see k.g. Guttman in conversation with Noémie Solomon in Visiting Hours (Toronto: Gallery TPW, 2019), available at: http://archive.gallerytpw.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/kg-noemie-convo-web-ready4.pdf.

[vi] See “Durations of Soft Detail: A Companionate Reader for Weathering,” written and composed by Dages Juvelier Keates, Jesse Zaritt, Faye Driscoll, 2023, https://issuu.com/newyorklivearts/docs/durations_of_soft_detail.

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