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of Knowledge: Art and Embodied Cognition

27-29 June 2019

in alphabetical order
(by first presenter)

In this document, you will find abstracts for each presentation in the following alphabetical order (by
last name of first presenter). Each presentation abstract includes biographies for the presenters and
is separated by a line divider.

Jane Bartier, Stewart Mathison, Malcolm Gardiner
Ashlee Barton
Andrew Burrell, Alexandra Chalmers Braithwaite
Patricia Cain
Liz Cameron
Michael Chapman, Beth George, Pia Ednie-Brown
Nick Chilvers
Alyssa Choat
Elly Clarke
Robin Conrad
Chris Cottrell
Tess Crane
Alice Cummins
Henry Daniel
Mig Dann
Elizabeth de Roza, Emylia Safian
Rea Dennis
Robin Dixon
Jacquelene Drinkall
Pia Ednie-Brown, Michael Chapman, Beth George
Scott Andrew Elliott
Joseph Ferguson, Lihau Xu, Russell Tytler
Shaun Gallagher
Michael D. Golden
Simon Grennan
Ceri Hann
Shelley Hannigan, Joseph Ferguson, Russell Tytler, Vaughan Prain
Richard Helmer
Anne Helga Henning
Aaron Hoffman
Ilona Jetmar
Todd Reece Johnson
Frances Joseph, Miranda Smitheram
Takeshi Kadobayashi
Mariko Kida
Hiroki Komuro
Gary Levy
Nancy Mauro-Flude
Vahri McKenzie
Sally McLaughlin
Shaun McLeod
Olivia Millard
Naohiko Mimura
Tharupathi Munasinghe
Maiya Murphy
Jack Parry
Simon Penny

Lucía Piquero
J Rosenbaum
Philipa Rothfield
Claudio Schnugg
Joey Pei Ling Soh
Mandy Stefanakis
Prue Stevenson
Fleur Summers
Susanne Thurow
Maurizio Toscano
David Turnbull
Annalu Waller
Margaret Wertheim
Anne Wilson

Jane Bartier School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University
Stewart Mathison Winchelsea Land and Rivercare
Malcolm Gardiner Otway Water
Peripatetic panel and discussion at Gardiners Creek Reserve

Waiting Time

Yeodene Swamp is a site along Boundary Creek, where the deepwater aquifer used to bubble out of
the ground through soaks and springs flowing into the Barwon River. This river flows through
Wathaurong, Gulidjan and Gadubanud country north out of the Otways via several townships,
through Geelong and into the Great Southern Ocean at Barwon Heads, Victoria. I propose to re-
perform this revelatory moment during the site visit at Yeodene Swamp in which an affective
engagement (Duxbury 2010, Slovic, et al 2004) provoked the option of a surrender to nature. Each of
the panellists will talk about the ways they encountered Yeodene Swamp and how they respond to
the risks where, as humans, a 100 year no intervention strategy may be the best path forward. We
will ask participants to mark time by simply registering a repetitive action near where they are
standing or sitting, for example knotting a length of yarn. I will provide a soundscape from Yeodene
Swamp. There will be a flyer of the scientific and natural environment information. As a result of
large amounts of water being taken out of the river and from under the ground over many decades,
primarily as a result of the population growth in Geelong, the river has for the first known time, had
periods where it stopped flowing. By 2016 groundwater extraction had dried a swamp wetland
generating toxic levels of acid and heavy metals, producing a major fish kill. The water ran crystal
clear, not tannin tinted or muddy and was lethal to instream life forms. The loss of water has led to
the aquifer site at Yeodene Swamp revealing great depths of peat which, when burning, can follow
the underground peat layers (an unknown river path) and emerge to begin new above ground fires.
The specific location confronts how we engage with our world and ways that we interact with each
other and the communities which we form part of. It is a question of our capacity to surrender to

Bios: The proposal is for Jane Bartier, Malcolm Gardiner and Stewart Mathison to be a panel at
Gardners Creek Reserve. The panel is a coming together of different knowledge systems of science,
art, agriculture and nature in response to the risks of the dramatic impact of the loss of water flow in
the Barwon River. Jane is currently undertaking a PhD in creative arts practice in which an
understanding of place activates her practice. Malcolm has for many years been a strong advocate
for raising awareness about the implications of river systems; Stewart is a farmer and actively
interested in how we engage the community in broader issues and risks associated with our

Ashlee Barton Deakin University
20 min paper

Structured Dance Practice: noticing the present through repetition

Many practitioners in the field of improvised dance, attribute characteristics of spontaneity,
authenticity and the new to their improvisation practices, suggesting that the nature of dance
improvisation is a practising of ‘being present’. Different practitioners describe practising in various
ways, however, I have come to understand that regardless of the mode of practising, in one way or
another, practising involves repetition. This presentation explores the contention between the
perceived sameness of repetition and the characteristics of spontaneity, authenticity and the new
which are often said to be elements that define dance improvisation. It questions whether engaging

in embodied practices, in their unavoidably repetitive rhythm, enables one to expand their noticing
of the present, and in turn asks, does this translate to an understanding of ‘being present’? I will
utilise the discourse of Gilles Deleuze’s three syntheses of time (Difference & Repetition, 1968) as a
way of discussing the present as an inescapable mode of time, which is infiltrated with the past and
the anticipated future, all analysed from the point of view of repetition. This scholarship will support
my discussion of my MA research project in which I adopted a practice-led methodology: a weekly
studio-based dance practice, undertaken by a group of four dancers, including myself, over an
eighteen-month period. The weekly practising was made up of two separate, structured dance
practices: a four-part improvisation practice and a set or learned movement practice based upon
Trisha Brown’s Accumulation (1971). Drawing specifically from Deleuze’s proposal that, “repetition
changes nothing in the object repeated, but does change something in the mind which contemplates
it” (Deleuze, Difference & Repetition, [1968] 1994, p. 70), this presentation will discuss the changes
in my noticing of the present throughout the undertaking of my weekly practice sessions in which
the above two practices were engaged in separately, over an extended period of time. Through this
discussion, I will reveal how the repetition of embodied practising (dancing) is a mechanism for
expanding one’s noticing to recognise the many different layers which make up the present, and
thus coming to a more explicit understanding of ‘being present’.

Bio: Ashlee Barton is a dancer, dance maker/researcher and dance teacher who graduated with a
Bachelor of Arts (Dance) from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2009. As a dancer
she has worked with and performed alongside artists such as Emma Fishwick, Roslyn Wythes and
Olivia Millard, and her work has been presented in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Canberra. Ashlee
graduated with first class Honours at Deakin University in 2016 and has since been teaching there as
a sessional staff member within the undergraduate Art and Performance program. Ashlee is
currently undertaking a Master of Arts (Research) also at Deakin University, which is to be
completed in May 2019.

Andrew Burrell Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, University of Technology Sydney
Alexandra Chalmers Braithwaite Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, University of
Technology Sydney
20 min paper

Embodied and Disembodied Present-ness in the Immersive Explorations of Agatha Gothe-Snape.

“Yves, where are we when we draw?” John Berger, Berger on Drawing.1 This paper addresses the
ongoing creative and conceptual collaboration between the visual artist Agatha Gothe-Snape and
the authors. EVERY ACT OF READING PERFORMS A WORK (EARPAW) is a monolithic virtual reality
sculpture that is the repository of accumulated inquiries (body of knowledge) into the 3-part
exhibition The National.2 It shifts Gothe-Snape's performative and relational drawing practice into
live virtual reality drawing, manifesting a text-based spatial mnemonic system.3 This system contains
the records of interviews, articles, reviews and conversations around The National that accumulate
over time and space, and perhaps more importantly, it contains the space of, and for, the body —
the body of both the artist and the viewer. The spatial affordances of VR have enabled Gothe-Snape
to build her own memory theatre of the Australian contemporary art field, scaled perfectly to the
proportions of the human body - her body. It is reminiscent of Camillo’s 16th century “wooden
[memory] theatre, crowded with images”4 by which a viewer’s bodily position in relational space
would allow encyclopaedic knowledge on any subject. In this case, Gothe-Snape has created a
personal theatre mediated via her own phenomenological understanding and experience of the time
and space of The National and its cultural context. Dealing in what Johanna Drucker refers to as
capta5 (as opposed to objective data) she is using the virtual environment, and her body’s

relationships within it, to off-load the cognitive work of making sense of this vast amount of
information and her subjective position within it.6 EARPAW is a work of performative process, and
strives to discover new practice and procedures. From this process has emerged a conflict between
the disappearance of the artist’s body into an emerging self in the network of capta only for this
body to reappear, almost with a new-found sense of itself as embodied within, and as vital key to
the understanding of, the resulting virtual environment. It is this sense of embodied and
disembodied present-ness in Gothe-Snape’s process that this paper will go on to explore.

Berger, John. Berger on Drawing. Cork: Occasional press, 2005 p.123
A major exhibition partnership between three of Sydney’s premier cultural institutions (MCA, Art Gallery of
New South Wales & Carriageworks), The National: New Australian Art is a six-year initiative presenting the
latest ideas and forms in contemporary Australian art over three editions in 2017, 2019 and 2021. https://the-
This practice is based, in part, on formal training in multiple performance traditions, including butoh and
postmodern performance art.
Yates, Frances Amelia. The Art of Memory. Pimlico ed. London: Pimlico, 1992 p.135
Drucker, Johanna. “Graphesis: Visual Knowledge Production and Representation,” 2011. p. 128
This terminology of off-loading was suggested to us by Wilson, Margaret. “Six Views of Embodied Cognition.”
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 9, no. 4 (December 2002): 625–36.

Bios: Andrew Burrell is a practice-based researcher and educator exploring virtual and digitally
mediated environments as a site for the construction, experience and exploration of memory as
narrative. His ongoing research investigates the relationship between imagined and remembered
narrative and how the multi-layered biological and technological encoding of human subjectivity
may be portrayed within, and inform the design of, virtual and augmented environments. He is a
lecturer in Visual Communication at the University of Technology Sydney, where he is also a
founding member of the Speculative Narratives and Networks Studio.

Alexandra Chalmers Braithwaite is a designer and researcher interested practice-based research as a
critical activity. Her recent projects focus on the integration of queer theory and feminist scholarship
with design investigations in virtual reality. She is currently a research assistant with the Speculative
Narratives and Networks Studio at University of Technology Sydney.

Patricia Cain Independent Artist
Keynote Presentation

‘How do I know what I think until I see what I say?’ (The otherwise invisible into visibility)

‘What I am trying to say is that in fact, what visual artists know and do and show is closer to the
heart of what visual perception is…
…That fundamental act of perception is precisely that drawing out into the visible, something that
wasn’t there as visible previously. Thus, the great genius of being alive, of having a brain, is to
actually bring forth that reality.’ Francesco Varela speaking at the ‘Art meets Science and Spirituality
in a Changing Economy’ conference in 1990 (Wijers, 1990:130). My working knowledge of embodied
or ‘enactive’ art practice makes me a practitioner whose theorising is embedded in the experience of
making, and my commitment to practice involves creating expansion through self-growth. Amongst
the complexity of what I produce and the experiential installations I make, the consistent circular
element of my focus, is awareness of making (my) self, and how I do this. My presentation is both a
conversation about becoming part of what I know in embodied practice, and a self-curated ‘Thinking
Space’ installation, the narrative of which informs:

• Movement/relationality between internal/external
• Making visible the narrative of self-contextualisation
• Connectivity for neurodiversity - connecting with others who think differently
• The role of research in-forming embodied practice

Bio: Patricia Cain is an artist and visual scholar who lives and works in Scotland. Her book Drawing:
The Enactive Evolution of the Practitioner (2010) redefines drawing as an enactive phenomenon and
is a first-person account of the development of a practice-led methodology to access lived
experience of the creative mind. Fusing art practice and cognition, she is interested in accessing
hidden aspects of thinking - such as creativity, experiential learning, spiritual growth. Her practice
gets its uniqueness from her particular multi-layered thinking style which is focused, complex and
visual. She makes thinking processes and experience visible as the artwork, through mapping, digital
modelling, narrating and curating studio work - shifting importance away from ‘artefact’ to
‘development of artist’. Since completing her practice-led PHD at Glasgow School of Art in 2008, she
has focused on self-curating multi-media exhibitions as experiential installations, which allows her to
create layers of points of access to the complex network that emerges for an audience: the artwork
is the artist-led narrative and interpretation and connects with others to reveal a more fundamental
experience. To view her ground-breaking solo exhibition Drawing (on) Riverside at the Kelvingrove
Art Gallery and Museum (2011) see
Patricia’s current project Making Autistic Thinking Visible explores how autistic thinking and the
development of autistic identity (Self) can be made visible. Her interest is in evolving autistic-led
creative research methodologies that can reveal the nature of neuro-diverse thinking styles.

Liz Cameron Deakin University
Keynote Presentation

Natural processes of knowing from an Australian Aboriginal perspective.

The interplay of our natural human bodily senses as a form of knowing between art and science
offers an alternative mode of thinking. Ancient Aboriginal theories consist of 120,000 years of
experimental practice and lived experiences. "Ways of Knowing" in epistemological terms is rooted
in localised culture that reflects past, present and future considerations of cognitive embodied
thinking. Such embodied knowing considers holistic, evolving and adaptive processes based on the
interconnectedness between the social, spiritual, cultural and natural environments through deep
analytical concentrations of how humans cohabitate with the environment. By demonstrating
aspects of Aboriginal philosophies associated with the seven human senses, as another way of
knowing, artists and scientists alike may re- think their style of thinking to grasp a different lens and
re-connection with self and the natural environment.

Bio: Professor Liz Cameron is associated with the Dharug Aboriginal Nation, located Hawkesbury
River area in NSW. Liz commenced her early career in nursing and later completed a Diploma in Fine
Arts, Post Graduate studies in Indigenous Social Health, and a PhD in Indigenous Philosophies. In
2010, Liz was nominated and awarded the National Indigenous Education Ambassador of Australia;
2012 presented in Top Ten Women’s researchers at Macquarie University and 2013 awarded the
National Indigenous staff scholarship awards. Liz’s research interests include Indigenous land and
sea management (Caring for Country), creativity within cultural form and function, (traditional
Aboriginal healing practices), Indigenous health (preventative social/emotional) and is a practicing
artist. Liz has a personal passion in the arts and sciences involving Aboriginal aspects of optimal
internal and external health as a transformative process through Indigenous ways of knowing. With
a drive to create positive change, Liz’s focus is to share ancient forms of knowing to advance others

in bridging the understandings of creativity and science through the interplay of imagination and
intuition within healing Website:

Michael Chapman University of Newcastle
Beth George University of Newcastle
Pia Ednie-Brown University of Newcastle
20 min paper

Full Tilt: architectural enrichment in Claude Parent’s Living Laboratories

The 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale on “Fundamentals”, curated by Rem Koolhaas, contained a
room entitled “Room 15: Ramp” that featured the work of two important and interrelated figures
who were born just months apart. The first was war veteran Tim Nugent, who tirelessly campaigned
for amenable disabled access ramps across America and was instrumental in the establishment of
regulation that governed amenity in the built environment. The second was the work of radical
French architect Claude Parent, whose theory of the oblique, conceived with Paul Virilio in the
1960s, had argued for tilted surfaces (up to 45 degrees) as a mode of unsettling the generic
horizontality of contemporary life, and challenging the body in deliberate and coercive ways. As
Koolhaas’s curation implies, both figures had a significant influence on the built environment. The
former at the broadest, most democratic sense; the latter in the cultivation of a new avant-garde
relationship between the body and space, which in itself influenced a progressive avant-garde of
contemporary architects. This paper argues that the influence of Parent’s work has been largely
connected to a relatively elite avant-garde aesthetic, and this has prevented a broader
understanding of the environmental and behavioural potential of his theory of the oblique, which
sets out to challenge both the body and the brain. Using Parent’s design for an elaborate living
laboratory at the Paris Pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 1970 as a starting point, the paper explores
the centrality of the body and movement to Parent’s spatial strategies. Specifically, the paper
explores Parent’s invitation to place the body in less comfortable urban environments within the
more recent context of biological resilience and explores recent theories in regard to architecture
and neuroscience, which can support these propositions (as well as their value), at least at an
experimental level. The paper draws from the work of Mallgrave, Johnson and Eberhard around
embodiment in architecture, and Tinio and Leder, Stahlman, Leising Garlick and Blaisdell, and
Gallese and Gattara in neuroscience. The paper focusses on enrichment, and particularly within the
framework of embodiment, through the exploration of an architecture that privileges movement
through the design of landscapes that both require and enable it. The paper concludes that Parent’s
theories of the oblique transcend their aesthetic influence, and have important and untested
ramifications for the design of inclusive and enriched urban landscapes.

Bios: Dr. Michael Chapman is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Newcastle. His
research is concerned with the theory and politics of architecture, with an emphasis on the domains
of aesthetics, art theory, critical theory, avant-garde studies, psychology, neuroscience,
communication theory and modernism.

Dr. Beth George is an educator and practitioner in architecture, with a research focus on urbanism,
cartography, design and drawing. She is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle's School of
Architecture and Built Environment.

Dr. Pia Ednie-Brown is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Newcastle. Her research has
explored ethics, innovation, emergence, and emerging technologies, particularly in relation to
creative practice research methodologies.


Nick Chilvers RMIT University
20 min performative presentation

Tina Arena: Queer Ontology and Understanding Collective Histories

Tina Arena focusses a heuristic mode of inquiry, blending the disciplines of auto-ethnography with
critical analysis. It draws from a secret history of embodied experience and personal trauma. It
revolves around the performative aspects of my participation in a sub-cultural environment over the
past three decades. Investigating an intimate account of clandestine sex practices, often referred to
as ‘risk behaviour’ in relation to Queer identities, my research operates as creative exegesis to the
performative and poetic choreographies of my everyday life. Through auto-biographical reflections
and poetic narratives, the paper itself, and its reading, is proposed as a performance-artwork. The
term ‘Tina’ is a coded derivation of the chemical name, Crystal Methamphetamine, a drug often
used to enhance the experience of fetish and group sex-play in Queer sub-culture. The ‘arena’ is the
social space in which I have organised and engaged a sense of danger and hyper sex-performance
within these cultures. I locate this dynamic within the theoretical frames of Mikhail Bakhtin’s (1965)
concept of the Carnivalesque; and the digital organisation of social/sexual practice through Andrew
Hewitt’s (2005) notion of Social Choreography. We use coded language to communicate our desires,
and digital applications/online platforms to connect. The name Tina Arena is also appropriated
because of the entertainer’s long-standing connection to Australian LGBTIQ communities. I
developed sexual awareness in the 1980s at the height of the AIDS pandemic. As a young adult, I
witnessed the proliferation of digital cultures into the contemporary agora. I refer to these events as
‘media spectacles,’ and argue that although a reparative élan has developed in broader culture, the
possibility of new Queer ontologies depends on our collective understanding of mutual histories.
This paper speaks to connections across the arts and sciences by discussing how recent social and
medical technologies benefit the agency of Queer people today.

Bio: My PhD project - Sexual Choreography: post-AIDS and post-Internet - was an interdisciplinary
practice-led project exploring my own experience of Queer identity following what is discussed as a
post-AIDS era. The research reflected on Queer history, and ways in which matters of sexual health,
trauma and self-care are communicated and understood in broader culture today. My study
considered the significance of new technologies, which influence Queer lives and behaviours in a
shifting landscape. The research involved critical and auto-ethnographic discourse, conveying a
nuanced perspective relating to personal loss and harm, as well as the reparative processes of
recovery and rehabilitation.

Alyssa Choat University Technology Sydney / Design School, Fashion and Textiles Design
20 min paper

Performance and New Materialism: Towards an expanded notion of material agency through
creative practice.

This research paper expands on new materialist notions of material agency within the context of
practice-based creative research. New materialism provides a recognition of the agency of non-
human actors, and enables a focus on the dynamics of human and non-human relationships. A key
concept of new materialist theory is a critical perspective on the binary of human and non-human,
arguing that all matter resides within a form of incessant flow, in states of constant transformation.
These renewed approaches to understanding matter has drawn from developments in science and

physics exploring the nature of forces and networks that constitutes matter. In a world that is
continuing to become more technologically reliant and scientifically developed, this research paper
explores the expanded notion of material in terms of agentic capacity emerging within human and
non-human interactions. This is explored within a performance practice, which stages these
relationships. This approach furthers the theoretical parameters of new materialism into practice-
based modes of enquiry. An expanded notion of ‘material agency’ is developed through a series of
performance research projects. Performances were undertaken in a weeklong workshop in
collaboration with twelve contemporary dancers, which drew on movement improvisation
techniques working in pairs and with constructed textile forms. Within this paper the performance
projects are understood as ‘ecological sites’ in which a dialogue between materials, bodies and
space occurs through movement. Performances intervened in habitual bodily responses to
surroundings, instead re-orienting these relationships in terms of physical touch, velocity, weight,
movement as reciprocal relationships emerge between bodies and between bodies and textile
forms. Documentation of these works in the form of photography and video assist in the expansion
of new materialist notions of the dialogical and reciprocal in human and non-human interactions for
a more dynamic understanding of the material agency and the materiality of the body.

Bio: Alyssa Choat works primarily with performance, installation, video and fashion. Recent works
are developed from observing relationships occurring within experimental performance and re-
iterating these into material mediums of Phenomenal Bodies, (2017) and Transference, (2017). She
has also recently conducted live performances including Live Sculptures, (2016), and Deframed,
(2016), a commissioned public work for Art Month Sydney. Recent international conference
presentations include 17th Annual IFFTI Conference in Florence, Italy and her work has been
exhibited internationally as part of the Critical Costume Exhibition 2015 in Helsinki. Alyssa is a
lecturer in fashion at the Design School at University Technology Sydney and is currently completing
her Joint PhD with UTS and Technology University Berlin, on materialist enquiry through
performance practice.

Elly Clarke Media, Film & Music and Drama, Sussex University, UK
Elly Clarke with Bon Mott and Sean Miles
20 min performative presentation

Is My Body Out of Date? The Drag of Physicality in the Digital Age: Episode 3

For the Body of Knowledge conference, I propose the next episode in a performance-lecture soap
opera series I began at Transmediale in Berlin last year entitled ‘Is My Body Out of Date?’ Closely
related to my PhD research, the performance (strikes) poses (around) the question of whether, in a
world that is increasingly managed and experienced online, our bodies as our primary mode of
interaction may be beginning to feel out of date; our desire for sweaty, messy, fleshy physical co-
presence out of whack with the efficiency, agility and value of our algorithms. Performed live at a
laptop with my long-term collaborator Vladimir Bjeličić joining via Google Hangout from Belgrade,
the performance makes use of repetition and cites songs and videos and documentation from my
own (multi bodied, multi-locational) drag alter ego character #Sergina – who is played by Vladimir
and others alongside me. The performance quotes from a range of artists and thinkers on the
themes of love, cyborgs, intimacy and technology, alongside literature from commercial advertising
for new technologies, such as Alexa – without distinguishing what is a quote and what is just said.
The script is voiced by me and Vladimir, as well as the inbuilt MacBook computer voices. We interact
with pre-recorded videos (of ourselves) that are hard to distinguish from that which is happening in
the moment. For this third episode we would weave in some interactivity through live hacking of
parts of the script by the audience, who would literally be able to put words into our mouths as we

perform. The performance is screenshared and can also be live broadcast. Within the context of
BoK2019, this would touch on several key themes including virtual embodiment; human/computer
interaction; temporal coupling and time consciousness, and performance and the performative.

Bio: Elly Clarke is a 1st year PhD CHASE funded scholar at the University of Sussex and an artist
interested in the feel and experience of the physical body in a digitally-mediated world. Her practice
incorporates music, performance, curating, digital & analogue photography, film and participatory
projects. Recent key works include #Sergina’s Stimulatingly Sexy Simultaneous Simulation of Herself
(performed simultaneously in Berlin, Brooklyn, Belgrade, Bristol and The Lowry, 2015), A Class(y)
Lecture (Galerie Wedding, 2018) and Queer Encounters King’s Cross (2018). Clarke’s practice-led
research explores the ‘the performance and the resistance (the ‘drag’) of being and having a human
body today.

Robin Conrad Texas Woman’s University
20 min performative presentation

Speaking Dance: The Gap Between Verbal Language and the Moving Body

The tempo surges; a chaos of limbs extend rapid fire in all directions—a frenetic swirl of moving
bodies. The intercorporeal intensity affectively moves us to the edge of our seats. Abruptly, the
dynamic fervour bursts into stillness—a moment to collectively take our breath, a moment to
contemplate. Experience is constituted through the body, through action, through movement; it is
then translated, mediated through verbal language. But can language accurately capture the felt-
sensation of movement? Although there are creative approaches to describing the experience within
and among dancing bodies, I propose there is also conflict in methodological approaches whose
primary source of information about these embodied experiences relies solely on verbal language
and disregards the discourse of the moving body as a vital component of research data. In this
presentation, I outline gaps between verbal language, theory, and embodied practice, namely
Western contemporary dance improvisation. As a platform to integrate the knowledge of the
dancing body, I utilize Maxine Sheets-Johnstone’s concept of “thinking through movement.” I
incorporate the moving body into this presentation through a research method I term “danced
responses,” or hybridized spoken and movement reactions to research questions. I present the
choreographic analysis of filmed interviews with professional dancers, discussing occlusions and
potential complementarity between the two forms of communication—verbal language and dance.
This presentation poses the question: if the challenge is that words are ultimately insufficient to talk
about dance, might we gain better insight and language if we danced our thinking, extending the
potential for our expressive responses to a query? Although language is necessary to legitimize
dance research as an interdisciplinary endeavour that transcends the inner circle of its practitioners,
the integration of language and bodily modes of expression offers exciting possibilities for the
interrelated relationship of theory and dance and the validity of alternate knowledge systems.

Bio: Robin Conrad is a teaching artist, dance scholar, and concert and commercial choreographer
based in Los Angeles with a career spanning a broad spectrum of dance experience: choreographing
for film and television; teaching as an associate professor; developing social justice projects as an
artist-in-residence at the Skirball Cultural Center; and, presenting work at conferences and festivals
worldwide. Her current research utilizes phenomenology-based ethnography to explore
interrelationality at two adult dancing communities in Los Angeles. Robin is interested in alternate
knowledge systems negotiated through movement that forge collaborations of body and theory.
Robin is a doctoral candidate in dance at Texas Woman’s University.


Chris Cottrell Monash Art, Design & Architecture, Monash University
20 min paper

“Gentle House: prototyping spatial designs for neurodiversity”

As Erin Manning describes, our typical modes of perception “chunk” experience into objects and
subjects, which are apprehended primarily in terms of their affordances and usefulness. Autistic
modes of perception work differently. Manning describes a field perception that directly apprehends
the “complex relational patterning of space-times of experience, in their teeming with
contingencies, and in all their uniqueness.” This paper discusses the early phases of a spatial design
research project that works with these concepts of autistic perception, and designs-with a family of
four to renovate their home. The family includes an eight-year-old child on the autism spectrum,
who is currently being home-schooled. The re-organised spaces will respond to the needs of him and
the rest of the family. The home-schooled eight-year-old lives with sensory processing disorder. This
is a condition where there are difficulties integrating different sense modalities that can lead to
moments of being overwhelmed by some stimulus and a more highly tuned receptivity to other
stimulus, such as texture and smell. This design research approach aims to learn from his
experiences of the world, in particular this more highly tuned awareness of phenomena that
neurotypical perception tends to tune out or overlook, to create spaces that are stimulating and
enjoyable for the whole family to live in. The larger implications are a rethinking of our living and
working environments towards a sensorially richer and more inclusive ends. The early phases of the
project have involved a series of spatial, material and sensory design exercises, full-size prototypes,
design drawings and collages. These case studies will be discussed and contextualised in relation to
other spatial practitioners working with the perceptual complexities of space-time experiences, and
chart some trajectories for future research.

Bio: Chris Cottrell is a spatial designer who explores our relationship to the built environment, with a
focus on helping us to recognise and care about the subtle or invisible forces that influence the
world around us. Working with air, pressure, movement, textiles, optical effects, and sound, the
broader question centres on how we can create meaningful relationships to our surrounding
environments. His research practice is inherently relational, prioritising collaboration with other
participants and drawing out opportunities from material and contextual cues. He describes this
practice as ‘architectural judo’, a transversal practice that operates across installation and
performative art, architecture, interiors and writing.

Tess Crane School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University
20 min participatory presentation

Making sense of the material mark: Exploring the mechanisms of the art making experience and
its impact on wellbeing and experience

Translating the embodied knowing of the visual art making process into a tangible and concretely
perceptible mode of understanding is a foundational task for any arts practitioner that finds
themselves in an interdisciplinary setting. The practice challenge of developing fresh and novel
discourses about the way in which we may adapt, transfer and share our rich, discipline specific
knowledge will be a focus of this session. An interdisciplinary lens will be cast over these practice-
based considerations – acknowledging my location, as an art therapist and educator, as informative
to the pedagogical questions that are explored. The process of exploring and identifying the specific
mechanisms involved in the art making experience is a multilayered and integrative inquiry. In this

session I will explore paradigms of understanding that contribute to the body of knowledge
regarding the impact of materials and materiality – specifically the inherent qualities of art materials
and how then these can inform engagement in the creative process. In addition, different aspects of
the making process will be considered, in an endeavour to understand the experience of creative
expression in the therapeutic context. Further to this, a foundational practice question will be
explored: Can we condense our embodied understanding of the art making process into a shared
and transferable language, and could this then enable us to quantify and comprehend the nuanced
way in which art and art making can contribute to health and wellbeing in new and emergent ways?
Practice examples will be drawn upon from the speaker’s experiences as art therapist, educator and
artist. In addition, broader emergent perspectives on the speaker’s current postgraduate research
within the area of the group art therapy experience and how this contributes to maternal health will
be considered.

Bio: Tess Crane is a registered art therapist and academic in the Master of Art Therapy program at La
Trobe University. Prior to this, Tess has gained a range of clinical experiences, with a focus on adult
mental health and the group art making experience. Tess has worked in a range of clinical settings
including, parent infant wellbeing, adult mental health and clients living with an eating disorders. In
both her role as therapist and educator, Tess values the way in which visual art materials and the
communal art making experience can foster a sense of belonging, understanding and

Alice Cummins Independent Artist
20 min performance

of the body

My proposal is an invitation for the audience to be present to the immediacy of performance as an
instance of embodied cognition. I am resisting framing my work inside known paradigms. The work
is about giving credibility to embodiment within an arts practice. My moving body is thinking,
responding, deciding, selecting, feeling, sensing, perceiving. I am in a shared field of potentiality.
Embodied cognition is realized in this convergence and collision of ideas as I navigate the terrain
between my audience and myself. How does the immediacy of my performance impact my
audience? What do they feel? What do they experience and perceive through this engagement with
a viscerally intimate moving body? What is happening through this “…interconnectedness of
watching and doing, gesture and thought” (Ann Cooper Albright, Engaging Bodies: The Politics and
Poetics of Corporeality, 2013: xi)? As a dancer I want to make tangible that which is intangible. How
does the felt sense become palpable? I am not the only body making sense of space/time. All the
bodies feel and sense the materiality of the performance. In the immersion together perhaps
audience members experience bodily states and sensations? Opening the idea of cognition I invite
my audience to “… practice the perception and the configuration of one’s own sensing” (Jondi
Keane: Embodied cognition is a special kind of movement1). It is a work that asks questions of us.
This could leverage a discussion with neuro-scientists, to consider other ways of apprehending what
embodied cognition is or might be? In her latest work “Y”2, New York City choreographer RoseAnne
Spradlin has created a work that is conceptually and performatively embodied. As I watch I am
dancing. I cannot help myself – it affects me at a micro level (interoceptors, proprioceptors, muscle
spindles), as it also influences my perception of the dancing. For a considerable time I am simply in
motion, my imagination can’t keep up and intuition is suspended. It’s faster than I can process
conceptually. The only way I can experience it is to go with it. When I stop watching I can still feel it
in my body. Reflection and analysis happen later. My perceptions have been dislocated, by the

belaboured insistent choreography and the labouring dancers, as new experience is recognised and


Bio: Alice Cummins is a Melbourne dance artist with a 30-year history of contemporary performance
making, collaborating with musicians, writers, visual artists and filmmakers. Alice’s practice enables
compositional refinement and distillation of experience into performance through the coalescence
of aesthetics|ethics and physiology. Her work reflects the entanglement of cultural, social, and
personal matter in a relational field recognizing we are always of the body. Recent works:
Evanescence, (Amos Gebhardt, Adelaide Biennial, 2018); PAF residency with philosopher Ana Ramos
(2017); The Australian Ugliness, (Eugenia Lim, 2017-18); disappearance, (Michele Theunissen, 2016-
18); SenseLab residency (2016); In Memory of the Last Sunset, (Neha Choksi, 20th Biennale of Sydney

Henry Daniel School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University
20 min performative presentation


To have a mind is to have the ability to reason, and to be sensitive to reasons in thought, feeling and
action. (Hacker, 2014: 89)

. . . the Tibetan word for “mind,” which is sem (Sanskrit citta), covers not just the realm of thought
but also that of emotion. (His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, 2005: 122)

In our direct and immediate awareness of the body, we know it primarily through the various tactile
sensations involved in any activity of touching something. (Welton, 1998: 47)

This performance/presentation begins with a hypothesis, which states that we human beings are
cognitively embodied through our experiences of movement through space and time; the spaces we
inhabit and the practices we engage in are documented through cortical and cartographic maps.
Thus, if dance is defined as the movement experience of the human body in space-time, then
choreography becomes the deliberate organization of those movements into coherent and
meaningful structures towards some prescribed goal. Also, if cartography is defined as the discipline
which deals with the conception, production, dissemination, representation and study of maps of
geographical territory, then cortical mapping is the method through which the brain dynamically
represents relationships between the body and its internal and external environment within itself.
My current research, Contemporary Nomads []
examines the dynamic topography of these relationships through a number of questions, including;
what happens in and through the body as people become displaced, and how is this displacement
experienced as shifts in their cortical maps? anthropos addresses this question through the medium
of performance.

Bio: Henry Daniel, PhD, Professor of Dance, Performance Studies and New Media Technologies,
scholar, performer, choreographer, and Artistic Director of Full Performing Bodies, Daniel’s research
concentrates on strengthening notions of Practice-as-Research (PaR), Arts-based-Research, and
Research/Creation in Canada. He has a professional background in dance, theatre, and new media
with a career that started in his native Trinidad & Tobago and continued in the USA, Germany, the
UK, and Canada. Daniel’s current research project “Contemporary Nomads” takes it inspiration from

what cultural theorist Stuart Hall once called "the prototype of the modern or postmodern New
World nomad, continually moving between centre and periphery” (Hall in Rutherford, J. 234:1990).

Mig Dann RMIT University
20 min paper

The insights of encounter: exploring memory and trauma through the intersection of creative
practice and psychological enquiry.

Canadian psychologists and academics Michael Lambek and Paul Antze (1996) propose that the past
does not correspond to the present in any direct, unmediated way since memories, already
distorted by successive rememberings are, like dreams, highly condensed symbols of hidden
preoccupations. Acts of remembering can take on performative meaning in re-enacting
‘unspeakable’ events. Representations of the body address the silence, which is the hallmark of
trauma, to give voice to previously unclaimed experiences. By exploring memory as embodied or
sensory remembering through creative practice, this paper asks how the encounter with material
forms can engage with memory to generate meaning through the embodied associations of the
materials used? Processing emotions and lived experiences through reflection, and then re-
imagining and re-presenting them in a contemporary context, can reveal trauma as an element of a
fractured then re-forming identity. Integration in this context is a process where an awareness of
painful memories of trauma is incorporated into a sense of self, and the trauma no longer constrains
the individual. In this paper, I will reflect on my own sculptures and installations, which reflect my
traumatic memories of infant institutionalisation and childhood sexual abuse. I will contextualise this
in relation to two other artists who have worked with personal trauma, Louise Bourgeois and Tracey
Emin. I will consider whether a material investigation and experimentation with the sensory aspects
of memory, including affect, embodied perception, intuition and felt knowledge, is a means to
transform past trauma.

Bio: Mig Dann is a Melbourne-based artist currently undertaking a PhD in the School of Art at RMIT
University. Her research is a practice-led investigation of memory and trauma through an expanded
spatial practice. Through installations that combine objects, sound and moving images in ways that
are conceptually and emotionally immersive, she is considering the poetics as well as the politics of
memory and personal cultural history. In 2016 Mig was commissioned to make a site-responsive
work for the Sculpture Walk at Wesenberg Sculpture Park, Mecklenberg, Germany, followed by a six-
week residency, where the work on memory originated

Elizabeth de Roza LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
Emylia Safian LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
20 min participatory presentation

CASE STUDY: The Phoenix with Seven Tales: a collaborative trans/disciplinary performance in a

This participatory presentation will examine the processes in realising the performance of The
Phoenix with Seven Tales through the themes of embodied practices and imagery at the
intersections of theatre and art therapy processes. Notions central to this collaborative
trans/disciplinary practice are the sensory-kinesthetic and perceptual-affective qualitative and
subjective dimensions of experiences in image and performance making. The nature of embodied
images in art therapy (Schaverien, 1992) suggests that the eyes are not merely visual agents but also

the conduit for contemplation. The visual expression is in a symbiotic relationship with the body,
further reinforced by Jullien’s (2018) position on the two different ways of looking. Beneath the
suggestion that one can either look with the eyes or to look through the eyes is the implication of
two pathways towards cognition. The latter, which leads to discoveries of inward significance,
involves intimately looking at the existing borderlines between subjectivity and objectivity, and the
process of exchange and interaction between self and the other. The notion of embodiment in
performance making articulates that the body is the site of knowledge and meaning-making
(Shusterman, 2012). It is through the body that we make sense of who we are and where we are,
through which we embodied space, and share a lived-experience. Looking through our eyes to view
a collaborative community arts project, this participatory presentation will also offer a snapshot of
the role sensations and emotions as embedded in our mindbody and inner life through a group
image making process, expanding on ways through which art practices can shift the shared lived-
experience in performances with a case vignette.

Jullien, F. (2018). Living off landscape: Or the unthought-of in reason (P. Rodriguez, Trans.). London: Rowman
& Littlefield International. (Original work published 2018).
Schaverien, J. (1992). The revealing image: Analytic art psychotherapy in theory and practice. London:
Shusterman, R. (2012). Thinking through the body: Essays in somaesthetics. Cambridge University Press.

Bios: Elizabeth de Roza is an artist-researcher/educator, performance maker, theatre director, a
multi-disciplinary performance artist based in Singapore. Her work draws from contemporary
performance practices on notions of hybridity, interactivity, cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural art
and collaboration. Her training in performance-making, draws from traditional Asian theatrical
training/performing methods, martial arts (kalaripayattu)and contemporary art practices. She is also
a Senior Lecturer at Lasalle College of the Arts, School of Dance and Theatre and co-convenor of the
Embodied Research Working Group (IFTR).

Emylia Safian is an art therapist, lecturer and clinical supervisor at Lasalle College of the Arts, School
of Creative Industries, with research interests in complex, developmental and intergenerational
trauma, somatic and analytical psychology, and embodied approaches to psychotherapy. Her
practices gravitate towards mind/body sciences and integrates physiology with psychology for an
encompassing approach in capitalising human development. Since 2007, she has been in
partnership with educational institutions, voluntary welfare organisations, government agencies and
NGOs within Southeast Asia, working with persons of all ages in situational and developmental crisis
within different communities.

Rea Dennis School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University
20 min paper

Design, Movement, Cognition: Somatic Practices and Contemporary life

In this paper I explore the way in which somatic practices align to biology’s conception of biophilia
and consider how biophilia is integral to performative practices, particularly those enacted outdoors.
The paper aims to trouble our reliance on conceptions such as psycho-geography and emplacement
when thinking through (and outward from) the body, and to consider our intuitive movement
practices as manifestations of our desire to connect with/be part of nature and natural systems.
Drawing on two artist case studies, the paper considers ways in which the natural leads the
movement (Rea Dennis, Geo-choreographic Flow) and the way the constructed can insist on a
relationship to nature/self (Canadian painter turned sculptor, Janet Echelmon’s Zone of
Recomposure). The paper then draws on the 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design to suggest ways in which

somatic movement practices must more actively lead in future planning, discussion about how we
live, and the place of nature in our lives.

Bio: Rea Dennis is a performance practitioner and scholar based in Melbourne, Australia whose
works range from experiential and interactive performances and site-based social engagement, to
intense black box physical performance. She also has a multimedia practice exploring perception,
affect and materiality. She is a lecturer in Art and Performance at Deakin University and writes
critical papers addressing experiences of thinking through making, embodied cognition and
performance. Her work has toured to UK, New York, Taiwan, Germany, Brazil and Japan.

Robin Dixon Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Sydney
20 min paper

La maschera di Pantalone: mask as cognitive artefact in the commedia dell’arte

Commedia dell’arte dominated continental European stages for over two centuries, but several
aspects of the form remain obscure to contemporary historians. Our understanding of how
commedia worked in performance is improving all the time, a clear example of the benefits of
blending historical inquiry, textual analysis and practice-led research methods. However, despite the
incorporation of commedia-inspired skills into acting curricula at institutions across the world, the
original rehearsal methods and training techniques utilised by performers have not received due
scholarly attention. Perhaps the most immediately recognisable feature of commedia dell’arte is the
use of grotesque hand-made leather masks by the performers of specific stereotyped roles. These
masks were a fundamental element of actor training and performances. Explanations of how they
were used by performers have tended towards the prosaically functional or quasi-mystical.
However, a thorough examination of these artefacts grounded in concepts of distributed cognition
and automaticity might offer compelling alternative hypotheses for how the improvisatory or
‘flexible’ nature of the form might have functioned in performance. This paper will examine how
these masks, as crucial elements in the cognitive ecology of commedia dell’arte, were implicated in
conventional patterns of actor movement and gesture. I will consider the ways in which the design,
construction and wearing of each mask might have encouraged or circumscribed specific types of
movement, and the relationship between these types of movement and the almost unique cognitive
demands of this form in performance: conventional characterisation, blending rehearsed and
unrehearsed textual material, and the flexible processes of composition-in-performance.

Bio: Robin is an Honorary Associate of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, Sydney
University. His primary area of research interest is the stagecraft and performance of ancient
Roman theatre. He has taught widely on the history of Western theatre, and pursues a range of
interdisciplinary research interests, including commedia dell’arte, Shakespeare in performance, and
the translation and adaptation of ancient drama. His PhD thesis on the spatial dramaturgy
of Plautine comedy was submitted in 2011, and since then he has taught at Sydney
University and the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

Jacquelene Drinkall School of Creative Arts and Media, College of Arts, Law and Education,
University of Tasmania
20 min paper

Fracking brain-body-world continuum and minerals of materialist-consciousness

Current ideas about material-consciousness speculate on the existence of Perceptronium, a state of
matter in which consciousness exists via variable states of environmental mathematics. Further, a
new sixth state of matter called Excitonium, speculated upon for five decades, has been confirmed
using energy-loss spectroscopy to reveal quantum processes within a superconductor superfluid
state of matter, and it is unknown if this substance is a conductor or insulator of energy.1 Physicist
Roger Penrose and anaesthetist Stuart Hammeroff speculate on the existence of quantum
microtubules within the brain as a possible explanation for consciousness, energy of mind and other
as yet unknown quantum bioneuropowers. William James’ past experiments with nitrous oxide
informed his research into telepathy and consciousness, long before futuristic speculation on
hacking of the brain and its mineral and atomic composition to create a “synthetic quantum brain”.
If quantum processing operates in the brain, it should be possible to extract the mineral recipe and
simulate it in the service of AI and quantum supercomputing using simulated body fluid (minus the
phosphate ions); pyrophosphate, and “…enzyme pyrophosphatase to create free phosphates that
can bind with calcium-indicators …”.2 This brain as a lake metaphor is also used by both
neuroengineer Professor Tom Oxley to describe his development of telepathic ‘stentrode’ brain-
computer-interface, and philosopher Catherine Malabou’s mediations on overcoming our addictions
to technology, extraction and mining - building on Jacques Derrida’s Geopsychoanalysis which points
to the earth’s telepathic traumas and atomic transferences. I wish to explore the materiality of
mental process that are being extracted in the service of artificial intelligence and AI telepathy. I
wish to better understand the forces within matter as shaping the transcommunicative
consciousness beyond the confined comprehension of humanism. Today’s conflation of brain,
embodied cognition, artificial and market intelligences could be the “the great 21st century mind
frack” given that simulating a human brain would require most of the power of Europe.3

Siv Schwink, “Physicists excited by a new form of matter, excitonium,” December 7, 2017, Physics
Illinois, accessed December 20, 2017,
Matthew P. A. Fisher, “Are We Quantum Computers, or Merely Clever Robots?”, Asia Pacific Newsletter, April
2017, Volume 6 No 1, 39-45
Ferran, Bronan, “Neuromorphobia (Hypehypehyper),” Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism: Part Three,
ed. Warren Neidich (Berlin: Archive Books, 2017), 113-132, 120; Professor Karlheinz Meier, “Neuromorphobic
Computing Subproject,” University of Heidelberg,
brains.cfm “It would consume five times more power than the total generating capacity of Germany and still
run 1,000 times slower than biology […] To simulate a day’s thinking, it would take years.”

Bio: Jacquelene Drinkall is Lecturer in Art at School of Creative Arts and Media (Inveresk), University
of Tasmania. Last year she exhibited in Riga Triennale (Latvia), The Altitude Project (Blue Mountains),
Articulate Gallery (Sydney), Sawtooth Gallery (Launceston) and more. She holds BA and Masters by
Research in Painting, and PhD in Art History and Theory. Jacquelene has undertaken awarded
residencies at Artspace, Firstdraft and Frontyard (Sydney), Banff (Canada), Phasmid (Berlin), Cite
Internationale (Paris) and has received numerous awards and scholarships. She has recently
published in on Art and Telepathy; Leonardo Electronic Almanac/MIT Press; and in
Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism.

Pia Ednie-Brown University of Newcastle
Michael Chapman University of Newcastle
Beth George University of Newcastle
20 min paper

Architectural 'Aesthetic Incunabula': Empathic Drawing as a movement toward Environmental

It is now well established that environmental enrichment is linked to cognitive enhancement in the
growing and developing brain, and to reduced cognitive decline in the ageing brain. Work in
neurobiology (Gallese et al) has started to flesh out much of the how and why of these critical
bodily, cognitive and environmental relations through understanding the role of mirror neurons,
empathy, and the complexities of interrelationship. There remains, however, a huge gap between
scientific understanding and the development of principles for architectural design pertaining to
cognitive enhancement. Our proposition is that this gap in knowledge could be partially investigated
through attention to the primary activity of architects, which is firstly drawing and designing, before
these become translated into buildings. Our approach is to recast this act of drawing as a
connecting, non-verbal medium of exchange between gestures or bodies in space – and to analyse
the spatial modulations of these interactions. During the days just prior to the opening BoK2019
exhibition Thinking Rooms / Enacting Knowledges, a group of creative practitioners have engaged in
a collaborative drawing process in the gallery space, via a technological assemblage enabling relays
and feedback loops. One aspiration of this experiment was to analyse the activity through the lens of
‘aesthetic incunabula’, a term taken from Ellen Dissanyake that refers to the crossmodal,
supramodal, and nonverbal characteristics of adult-infant interactions. She argues that these
dimensions of human interaction are “important elements of adult experiences of the arts, as is the
expression and sharing of emotion” (Dissanyake, 2001, 338). Following experiments in the gallery,
we hope to unpack tacit aesthetic incunabula, and speculate on how these might play a role in the
design of enriched environments.

Dissanyake, Ellen (2001) ‘Aesthetic Incunabula,’ Philosophy and Literature, 25: 335–346

Bios: Dr. Pia Ednie-Brown is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Newcastle. Her research
has explored ethics, innovation, emergence, and emerging technologies, particularly in relation to
creative practice research methodologies.

Dr. Michael Chapman is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Newcastle. His research is
concerned with the theory and politics of architecture, with an emphasis on the domains of
aesthetics, art theory, critical theory, avant-garde studies, psychology, neuroscience, communication
theory and modernism.

Dr. Beth George is an educator and practitioner in architecture, with a research focus on urbanism,
cartography, design and drawing. She is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle's School of
Architecture and Built Environment.

Scott Andrew Elliott artist and independent researcher
20 min peripatetic presentation

Embodied Aporia: exploring the potentials for posing questions directly to the body

It is my contention that questions that cannot be posed through language can be posed through
other methods. Certain questions are best posed by architecture; the prosody that inflects a spoken
question, and the mark that punctuates written questions, can be taken up by architectural
gestures. As a result, a question that is posed by architecture can be held open not only durationally
but also in interactions between body and architecture. These lived moments of disorientation can
lead to a form of doubt that is experienced body-wide. Within the moment crossing over from
disorientation to reorientation, potentials that are present in an architectural environment can be
brought into awareness and taken up in acts of engagement with that environment. A kind of
embodied aporia, this puzzlement is lived, and through it an essential tentativeness can be

acknowledged that may lead to further questions and potential answers tested through living. This
presentation will discuss whether there a benefit in raising non-verbal questions that do not directly
lead to answers. The bodily presence of architectural and art objects will be discussed through works
of Minimalist sculpture, and the methods through which architectural questions are posed directly
to the body will be discussed through the works and writings of Arakawa & Gins. My presentation
will be a peripatetic talk which will involve a walk in and around the Deakin complex near the
conference site. This walking tour aims to parallel the theme of disorientation discussed in the talk.

Bio: Scott Andrew Elliott is a Canadian artist and independent researcher. His work examines the
interstices between art and architecture through both theoretical propositions and built works. This
work aims to parse out the ways architectural environments or installations can be designed
towards questioning our human relationship to built surroundings. He has lectured and exhibited in
Canada, Finland, Estonia and Australia, and completed his PhD at RMIT University. His recent
academic publications have speculated on how bodily change can arise through aesthetic
encounters with built surroundings through investigations into art historical and literary examples.

Joseph Ferguson School of Education, Deakin University
Lihau Xu School of Education, Deakin University
Russell Tytler School of Education, Deakin University
20 min paper

The epistemic body as distinct from the cognitive: The role of the body in students’ multimodal
understanding of levers

Theories of embodied cognition suggest that cognitive processes are deeply rooted in the body’s
interactions with the world (Barsalou, 2008; Wilson, 2002). Human understanding is thus considered
as necessarily and fundamentally embodied (Hall & Nemirovsky, 2012; Lakoff & Núñez, 2000; Núñez,
Edwards & Matos, 1999). But in determining the epistemic power of the body relative to the
cognitive, the body is determined as merely a form of the cognitive. We are interested in the body
and its power to make meaning as a corporeal phenomenon –physically interacting with the material
world to make new meanings and things (Ingold, 2013). With the material world pushing back on us,
engaging with us in a “dance of agency” (Pickering, 1995). This paper reports on a lesson in which
groups of year 7 students were required to solve a series of lever problems. The session was
conducted in a purpose-built laboratory classroom with multiple video and audio channels, allowing
for fine-grained recording and analysis of the students’ multimodal interactions with each other
(including teachers) and the environment (in particular a model see-saw). The socio-semiotic
(Lemke, 1990) analysis of the data suggests that students’ bodies were integral to their unfolding
understanding of the key mathematical and physics concepts underpinning the lever principle. This
involved the students: manipulating the see-saw model, drawing/writing their ideas, pointing to the
see-saw model as well as their drawings/writings, and gesturing various aspects of the forces at play.
We argue that the model was experienced by the students as an analogue of a real see-saw, such
that it was the embodied projection students made through their fingers in speculatively adjusting
the weights, as well as their memory of see-saws and balance, through which they experienced and
reasoned about the lever principle. This paper proposes that the abstract concepts of law of
moment, equilibrium, equivalence, weight, length, and balance point only became meaningful for
the students through their multimodal meaning making that necessarily involved their bodies. The
epistemic agency of the students’ bodies was not simply the corporeal equivalent of their cognitions,
but rather it was of the body itself.

Barsalou, L. W. (2008). Grounded cognition. Annual Review of Psychology, 59, 617–645.

Hall, R., & Nemirovsky, R. (2012). Introduction to the Special Issue: Modalities of body engagement in
mathematical activity and learning. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 21(2), 207-215.
Ingold, T. (2013). Making: Anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture. London; New York: Routledge.
Lakoff, G., & Núñez, R. E. (2000). Where mathematics comes from: How the embodied mind brings
mathematics into being. New York: Basic Books.
Lemke, J. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning and values. Norwood, N. J.: Ablex Pub. Corp.
Núñez, R. E., Edwards, L. D., & Filipe Matos, J. (1999). Embodied cognition as grounding for situatedness and
context in mathematics education. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 39(1), 45-65.
Pickering, A. (1995). The mangle of practice: Time, agency, and science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Wilson, M. (2002). Six views of embodied cognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 9(4), 625-636.

Bios: Dr Joseph Ferguson is a research fellow with interest in the multimodal nature of reasoning,
particularly when it comes to creativity in the science classroom. He is motivated by a desire to
contribute to efforts to understand, and advocate for, the role of the body in meaning making as it
occurs in various forms of inference making as the inquiry process is undertaken by students in
collaboration with teachers. Joseph is interested in exploring the potential of video-based
methodologies to afford such research of the epistemic power of the body.

Lihua Xu is a lecturer in science education at Deakin University. Lihua’s research activity has been
focused upon video-based classroom research and cross-cultural comparative studies. She was
involved in a number of large-scale projects that investigated curriculum and instructional practices
in both science and mathematics classrooms from East Asian and Western countries. Her current
research explores innovative ways to improve teacher professional learning in schools and facilitate
school change in the area of STEM.

Russell Tytler is Alfred Deakin Professor and Chair in Science Education at Deakin University,
Melbourne. He has researched and written extensively on student learning and reasoning in science.
His interest in the role of representation in reasoning and learning in science extends to pedagogy
and teacher and school change. He researches and writes on student engagement with science and
mathematics, school-community partnerships, and STEM curriculum policy and practice. His current
interest is in interdisciplinarity leading to critical and creative reasoning.

Shaun Gallagher University of Memphis
Keynote Presentation

How moving is sometimes thinking

I’ll consider different types of movement that either contribute to thinking or can be considered a
form of thinking. Gesture and sign language are obvious candidates and indeed they have been
considered an instance of extended mind. A more enactive conception, however, is that, as
Merleau-Ponty says of speech, gestures ‘accomplish thought’. I appeal to David McNeill’s conception
of the growth-point to make this argument. I’ll also argue that movement (even whole-body
movement) can scaffold learning and problem solving. This is a form of movement that forms an
enactive metaphor and constitutes an understanding, for example, in science education. I’ll also
consider three forms of movement connected with the performing arts of dancing and theatrical
acting. First, dancing itself has been equated with a form of thinking – a form of “exploring the
world” (Sheets-Johnstone). Michelle Merritt (2013) argues that the dancer does not think first, and
then move, but that “Movement just is thought, and thought, in the case of improvisational dance,
consists in the movement.” Movement in this regard is meaningful and intelligent; it’s a form of
sense-making. Another form of movement that in some sense combines dancing and gesture is
marking, where abbreviated body- and or hand-movements used in rehearsals just are a form of

thinking through a choreographed performance. Finally, I’ll consider the kind of movement that goes
along with blocking in the rehearsal and performance of on-stage acting. Not all movement is
thinking. I conclude with some considerations about movement therapy and argue for some subtle
distinctions between movement and narrative thinking. In some regards a subject’s movement may
allow them to find a new way to think about their life circumstances. But that movement per se is
not necessarily a form of narrative, as some body psychotherapists have argued.

Bio: Shaun Gallagher is the Lillian and Morrie Moss Professor of Excellence at the University of
Memphis, Department of Philosophy. His areas of research include phenomenology and the
cognitive sciences, especially topics related to embodiment, self, agency and intersubjectivity,
hermeneutics, and the philosophy of time. Dr. Gallagher has a secondary research appointment at
the University of Wollongong, Australia, and is Honorary Professor of Health Sciences at the
University of Tromsø, Norway. He has held visiting positions at the Cognition and Brain Sciences
Unit, Cambridge University; the Center for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen; the
Centre de Recherche en Epistémelogie Appliquée (CREA), Paris; the Ecole Normale Supériure, Lyon;
and at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Most recently he was Senior Research Fellow at Keble
College, University of Oxford. Professor Gallagher held the Anneliese Maier Research Award
[Anneliese Maier-Forschungspreis] (2012-18) funded by the Humboldt Fellowship. He is also part of
a research project studying Minds in Skilled Performance with funding from the Australian Research
Council (2017-2020). He was principle investigator on several recent grants, including a European
Commission Marie Curie Actions Grant: TESIS: Towards an Embodied Science of Intersubjectivity
(2011-15), and a Templeton Foundation grant (2011-2013) which funded an empirical and
phenomenological study of astronauts’ experiences during space flight. Gallagher is a founding
editor and a co-editor-in-chief of the journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.

Michael D. Golden Soka University of America, Min-on Music Research Institute
20 min paper

Musicking as Ecological Behavior: An Integrated “4E” View

Recent work in the philosophy and neuroscience of cognition presents new opportunities to
consider the phenomenon of human musicking from an integrative perspective, engaging with the
various traditional branches of musicology (e.g., social/cultural, biological, aesthetic/theoretical) as
well as systems and ecological thinking to address some of the enduring questions about this
universal human behavior and its role in our daily lives and in the development of our species.
Examination of some of the special characteristics of musicking may also lead to new perspectives
on cognition itself. Two senses of the word “ecological” will be explored in this context. First is the
meaning that musicking as cognitive behavior has emerged from properties of life in our ecosystem,
and second is the meaning that it functions as a means for humans (and perhaps others) to more
effectively know and interact with our environments. Ethnomusicological studies provide a basis for
the assertion that people from cultures around the globe feel that music connects them in some way
with their environments -- social, “natural” or metaphysical. This connection involves not merely our
interior states, but active engagement as living beings (including listening), bodily experience
(including motion and emotion), and a sense of expanded self. In other words, musicking as a mode
of cognition might be understood as enactive, embodied, embedded and extended, as in
contemporary “4E” theory. The work of Maturana and Varela (the Santiago theory of cognition)
provides a basis for a biological correlate of the subjective phenomena described in the cultural
studies, and locates human cognition in the continuum of cognitive behaviors common to all living
things. This paper will further explore those ideas as they apply to musicking, as well as potential

links to other areas of research such as mirror neuron systems, social bonding and enculturation,
and evolutionary musicology.

Bio: Michael Golden received the DMA in Composition from the University of Washington. His
creative work has earned international, national and regional awards, commissions, recordings and
performances, the latter on six of the seven continents (no response yet from the penguins). His
current research focuses on synthesis of work in 4E cognition, neuroscience, ethnomusicology,
ecology and evolutionary musicology, aimed at arriving at an integrated perspective on musicking.
He teaches at Soka University of America in California, and serves as Research Fellow with the Min-
On Music Research Institute, investigating the potential of music in peacebuilding activities.

Simon Grennan School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University
20 min paper

Making sense of landscape: integrating neuroscientific perspectives.

Why are certain phenomenological qualities of landscape imagery more pervasive than others?
Landscape’s sense of belatedness, its displaced salience, its temporal ambiguity, its prevailing sense
of melancholy and loss are arguably its most durable mood-qualities. While phenomenological
traditions give rich descriptions of our embodied experiences with landscape they do not focus on
the underlying causality of those experiences and moods. Landscape experience has also been
forensically dissected by Marxist, post-structuralist, and post-modern frameworks, which stress the
social, ideological and political dimensions underlying such “experiences”. Again however, such
frameworks do not explain why such dimensions should “confect” one kind of subjective effect over
another. Darwinian perspectives alternatively have offered persuasive causal explanations for our
fundamental landscape preferences and aesthetic values (beyond proximal cultural determinants)
but do not capture many of landscape’s most potent subjective qualities. Largely absent from this
history of investigations are neuroscientific approaches to consciousness which may offer new
insights into the what-its-likeness of landscape scenery and imagery. This paper speculates on the
prevalent affective qualities of landscape listed above by engaging with recent neuro-scientific
research. In particular, I draw on Susan Greenfield’s transient neuronal assembly hypothesis, which
correlates the degree of consciousness with particular affective mood states. In dialogue with visual
arts and geographical perspectives, the discussion maps Greenfield’s theoretical framework—and its
system of correlations—onto the context of landscape experience and reception. In this way, the
paper suggests complementary explanations for the mood of landscape.

Bio: Simon Grennan is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Arts at Deakin University where he
teaches contemporary art practice. Along with specialisations in painting, drawing, and printmaking,
his creative interests have more recently extended to video installation and cross institutional
collaborations. Grennan holds a Bachelor degree in Visual Arts and a Masters degree in Education.
His current PhD research focuses on the relationship between landscape and consciousness,
particularly consciousness in the context of our emerging scientific understanding of the mind/brain.

Ceri Hann RMIT University
20 min participatory presentation

Wear and Tear

This submission is composed of two participatory investigations examining how habits,
behaviors, and stories are communally worn and made to wear. Conference delegates will be invited
to encounter two actions that are literally and metaphorically stranded between bodies, articulating
the binds that simultaneously draw us together yet script us apart. The first project led by Roseanne
Bartley troubles Michael Polanyi’s notion that ‘We can know more than we can tell.’ Bartley
proposes to lead a participatory workshop/performance that tells of tacit know-how through
iterative tellings of the makings of string. Through the twist and turn of natural fibre tacit actions of
making are choreographed. Initially told of through verbal instruction and material trace, the haptic
gestures of participants are amplified through corresponding temporalities: actions of verbalizing
(chorusing of transitive verbs); verb chaining (annotation of a verb score through charcoal stenciling
and carbon copies) and vocal incantations (a-rhythmic communal utterance of verb chains).
Accumulatively, telling practices overlap, intermingle and feed-back to knowing practices, opening
the potential to reconfigure a thread for how we might collectively know anew. The second project
led by Ceri Hann is a kit of bells each tied with four lengths of looped string and distributed amongst
the attendees who are asked to hook one string over their own finger and to connect the remaining
strands with three other people. The networked web of participants is then set the challenge of
moving together as quietly as possible to a nearby location and on arrival asked to return as noisily
as possible. Articulating the inhabitants of a mobile architecture across the landscape, a
performative way of understanding how we are performed. Bodies bound by the task of minimizing
sound, incidental music played on a simple prosthetic tool, a study in-group perception where tacit
knowledge practices a move beyond existing epistemologies toward new and renewed ontologies.
These activities are intended as embodied metaphors of social cognition. They are playful
analogues of a digitally networked society and render the commensurate cognitive effects tangible.
These projects may be of use as an experiential interpretive key to better comprehend the
constellation of complex ideas relating to embodied knowledge.

Bio: Ceri Hann is a multidisciplinary arts practitioner who develops participatory art forms intended
to enhance the conditions for collective idea generation. This approach to practice often
avoids categorisation, as the outcomes are intentionally defused in the wonder/wander of everyday
life. The gifting of metaphorical objects to instigate philosophical discourse stems from Ceri’s
recently completed PhD research at RMIT, The Making of a Knowledge Casino (2016). The creation
of low tech props for treating the urban condition as a 3D movie set were used to enable mutually
inspired activities for people that may not consider themselves artists, but may become script
writers of their own way to play. A link to his presentation can be found here: Over the past ten years Ceri has been a sessional tutor and guest
lecturer in the School of Art and School of Architecture and Design at RMIT and has an ongoing
engagement within the Art in Public Space and MFA post-graduate programs. Ceri has presented
work at Melbourne Comedy Festival (2017), Liquid Architecture (2015), RMIT Project Space (2014)
and run workshops at West Space, Blindside Sound Series and Testing Grounds.

Shelley Hannigan School of Education, Deakin University
Joseph Ferguson School of Education, Deakin University
Russell Tytler School of Education, Deakin University
Vaughan Prain School of Education, Deakin University
20 min paper

The role of embodied metaphor in art/science education

Interdisciplinary, environmental, project-based approaches to education offer both teachers and
students opportunities for embodied-cognitive experiences. The Melbourne Zoo’s (2017) campaign

for threatened species calls for the public to take informed-action in this regard. A threatened
species/trash puppet project connected to this initiative was designed and implemented by teachers
from an all-girls school in Melbourne, educators from a private education provider, and the zoo, in
collaboration with researchers. The sequence of lessons was intended to productively enmesh art
and science, allowing year 10 students to: 1) learn about threatened species 2) create puppets of
these animals using recycled materials 3) use these puppets in a small mobile ‘theatre in a suitcase’
performance, to communicate the story of the plight of the threatened species to a young audience
at the zoo. One of the puppet-building sessions was conducted in a specially built classroom, with
multiple wall and ceiling-mounted cameras and microphones capable of capturing all individual and
group interactions. The student performances were also filmed and interviews conducted with
students were audio recorded. Through an aesthetic analysis of the data, drawing on both Dewey (in
Wickman, 2006) and Peirce (in Anderson, 1987), we suggest that students experienced the
generative interaction of art and science through the embodiment of aesthetics, cognition and
metaphor. In considering puppets as metaphors (Farrell & Llewellyn, 2011; Gross, 2012; Hausman,
1989), our analysis focuses particularly on the embodied nature of the puppets, both in the
students’ construction and operating (i.e. inhabiting) of these marionettes. Our proposition that the
puppets became embodied metaphorical beings for the students is intended in both the common
sense notion - the puppets as representations of something to which they are not literally applicable
- and in the Peircean sense – the puppets as constituting self-referential entities. The puppets as art
objects, necessarily referenced their own coming into being, but as science objects, necessarily
referenced the natural world.

Anderson, D.R. (1987). Creativity and the philosophy of C.S. Peirce. Dordrecht, the Netherlands; Kluwer
Academic Publishers.
Hausman, C. R. (1989). Metaphor & art. New York: Pennsylvania State University.
Gross, K. (2012). Puppet: An essay on uncanny life. Chicago: Chicago Press.
Farrell, J., & Llewellyn, C. (2011). Figures of Speech: The Puppet as Metaphoric being. Retrieved from:
Melbourne Zoos. (2017). Fighting Extinction: Priority Native Threatened Species. Retrieved from:
Wickman, P.O. (2006). Aesthetic experience in science education: Learning and meaning-making as situated
talk and action. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Bios: Dr Shelley Hannigan is a practicing visual artist with research interests in artistic practice and
thinking, creativity, visual literacies and material engagement. Her Masters research explored
embodied metaphor in multi-modal creative arts therapies. For her PhD she researched her artistic
practice to inquire into the phenomenon of place and identity. Her work in education explores the
usefulness of art. She questions discipline spaces and boundary crosses through collaborative
research with science and mathematics educators and in arts-health. Her research in this field
unsettles place and space through interdisciplinary and exploring alternative place-based education
and education systems. Her work can be viewed at:

Dr Joseph Ferguson is a research fellow with interest in the multimodal nature of reasoning,
particularly when it comes to creativity in the science classroom. He is motivated by a desire to
contribute to efforts to establish reciprocal relationships between science and other disciplines in
the pursuit of genuine interdisciplinarity in the school and tertiary institute settings. Key to this is an
appreciation of the epistemic power of the body, and an acknowledgement of the challenges of
coming to understand this corporeal meaning making in its various disciplinary forms.

Russell Tytler is Alfred Deakin Professor and Chair in Science Education at Deakin University,
Melbourne. He has researched and written extensively on student learning and reasoning in science.

His interest in the role of representation in reasoning and learning in science extends to pedagogy
and teacher and school change. He researches and writes on student engagement with science and
mathematics, school-community partnerships, and STEM curriculum policy and practice. His current
interest is in interdisciplinarity leading to critical and creative reasoning.

Vaughan Prain is a Professor in Science Interdisciplinary Education Research, Deakin University. He
has extensive experience in researching innovative teaching and learning approaches in primary and
secondary science. He has focused particularly in recent years on students learning through
engaging with representational affordances within and across visual, spatial, linguistic and embodied
modes as students construct accounts of scientific processes and claims. This has led to
increased interest in the conditions, tasks, and learning sequences that support student multi-modal
and creative reasoning. This focus on diversification of problem-solving purposes and use of richer
resources has prompted awareness of generative synergies with arts practices, leading to further
curricular innovation.

Richard Helmer Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University
20 min paper

Inspiring performance: Linking Art and Engineering to Advance Bodily Knowledge, Enhance
Performance, and Share Skill

Wearable technologies offer an exciting array of sensors to shift the way knowledge and thinking
processes of performance are acquired, extended and distributed. As these technologies become
increasingly mobile, creative artistic insight and expression that drives engagement are required to
unlock new performance paradigms in health, sport, art and education. Engagement is key.
Engagement with performance is necessary to unlock insight into movement and for embedding
expert knowledge and translating skill. Creating fun meaningful experiences in the natural
performance environment requires both an appreciation of technical attributes and artistic flair that
excites the imagination. In the arts, wearable interactive systems (WIS) provide a rich playground for
self-expression, as well as surprising opportunities to observe how people learn in, through and
about their bodies. In sport, these technologies allow the exploration of peak performance in new
ways. Until recently, research on the influence of augmented feedback effects on sports skill
learning and performance was examined from two differing positions, generally reflective of two
core movement science disciplines: motor learning and biomechanics. There is a growing call for
much broader multidisciplinary research that embraces artistic imperatives driven by relevant
theory and methodological design to more comprehensively capture how feedback systems
facilitate the development of skilled performance. An example of this new way was demonstrated
with a WIS throwing sleeve to provide rhythmic biofeedback through a ‘disco analogy’ to augment
the goal shooting practice of elite netballers and provide a learning platform for novices in settings
with no expert guidance. An intervention study using this creative approach to skill transfer found
that the use of interactive freethrow sleeve and ‘disco analogy’ improved throwing accuracy relative
to the control. The presentation will showcase the journey from textile strain sensor to air guitar and
WIS impact in sport, health, and arts and includes a demonstration.

Bio: Dr Richard Helmer’s research interests embrace smart technologies, advanced materials, fibre
processing, multi-disciplinary applied research, and circular economies. Throughout his career
Richard has delivered many new advanced technologies for Health, Sport, Defence, Education and
Art. Highlights include his world famous ‘air guitar’, mobile technologies to support training for
current world records in elite swimming and cycling, and best thesis award for his Arts PhD student.
As Superinteractiv’s founding CEO, Richard commercialises cutting edge mobile interactive

technology for sport and entertainment: see He invents instruments,
develops software, and routinely performs, composes, records and publishes music, and contributes
to community initiatives.

Anne Helga Henning visual artist and atelierista
20 min performative presentation

The compass between us

“The compass between us” was initially developed for health workers and pedagogues working with
smaller children, as a reminder of how to be more sensitive towards the other person, be it a toddler
or a person with dementia. It has also been staged with children in kindergarten that needed
developing a sense of a “we” instead of a “me”, and at Nasjonalmuseet” in Norway for art teachers.
In 2017 I was invited to put it up at the Bastard festival at Teaterhuset Avant Garden In Trondheim,
Norway, for a general audience. It is now under development for architecture students at NTNU.
The main point with the performance is to become aware of how one respond to the making of a
physical ornament together without using vocal language. “The rules of the game”, comes as a very
short introduction to the performance, then a group of 8 persons attends “The compass between
us” on stage for approx. 15 minutes. A cameraperson will be filming details (hands, materials,
shapes that take place) during the performance, which will be shown as a livestream on a screen
above the stage. The participants will use certain fixed shapes of clay as material, and the final
expression of the performance will leave behind a clay ornament where all the individual acts are
united in one larger piece. After the physical part of the making, the co- performers will go into a
short conversation about how they experienced working together after the given rules. What kind of
thoughts came up, how did they feel, etc. Ideally this performance including the conversation takes
about 30 minutes, but I believe an audience might get an experience of the performance within 20
minutes. Link:

Bio: Anne Helga Henning (b. 1968) is a visual artist with a research in both social related projects and
a more private practice. Her research is has since 2010 been on the consequences of relating to the
participants of initiated social projects as co-researchers that brings the all involved into the
unknown, the becoming (def. ”becoming”: Deleuze). Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach in Italy,
whose artists working with children do so with a certain sensitivity non -forcing. Henning took in
2011-2012 a certified course as atelierista, a course for artists held by the Reggio Emilia institute in
Stockholm to develop abilities and understanding for these ways and methods of working as an
artist within social projects.”

Aaron Hoffman University of Melbourne
20 min paper

Final Room: encountering the body through absence

Final Room (2018) is the title of my installation, which was presented as the major component of my
Master of Fine Arts (Visual Art), practice-led research project. One of the principal aims of this
project was to produce an immersive installation in response to: transgenerational trauma and
collective memory. These themes stem from my personal lived experience, arising from the
experiences of holocaust survivors within my immediate family. This presentation will outline the
inception of my project and discuss the concepts that link the visitor’s embodied experience to
aspects of the body that constitute the agency of embodied cognition. My installation was presented

inside a large room within a gallery. Before entering, visitors were asked to observe a set of
conditions: touching the work and leaning against the walls were not permitted. The room was
brightly lit and appeared to be completely empty upon entry. But upon close inspection of the walls,
700 carefully interspersed hypodermic needle-tips, which protruded from the walls, would slowly
materialise into focus for the viewer. As the viewer took a few steps away from the wall, the needles
would become invisible again. The links between the viewers embodied experience and embodied
cognition will be examined through a step-by-step model of the embodied experience, bridging
together stages between perception and cognition in the form of a sequence. These stages will
examine areas of the body that are influenced by the controlled conditions of the work, and the
point in time and space at which the needles materialise and disappear from view. These pivotal
moments will reveal a series of affects performed inside the visitor’s body, manifesting changes in
behaviour and thinking once the needles are seen. The embodied experience of this time-based
work imparts its meaning through messages directly encountered by the body, the motor process,
perception and situatedness. This arc has become the analogy for the shaping of embodied

Bio: Aaron Hoffman is an artist based in Melbourne, Victoria, whose work incorporates sculpture,
video and installation. His art examines the human body in relation to absence, memory and trauma,
as well as embodied cognition that occurs when viewing images or materials that evoke pain. He
completed a Masters of Fine Art (Research) at University of Melbourne in 2018. Recent exhibitions
include Vent, Sutton Projects, 2017; Up Right, Blocked Out, KINGS Artist-Run, 2017; Ocean/Oceano,
Hilo Galeria (Argentina), 2016; Hatched, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, 2016; and Debut XII,
Blindside Gallery, 2016. Hoffman was awarded the Sutton Gallery Emerging Artist Award in 2016 and
the Art 150 Fellowship in 2018.

Ilona Jetmar Deakin University
20 min paper

Objects of Diaspora: Contemporary Art Practice and Cultural Heritage

My contemporary art practice involves an exploration of my cultural heritage as an Eastern
European born child of displaced parents – a child of diaspora. In my research I use my practice as a
fulcrum for exploring culture making, specifically asking how the painting process, and the
concentration on the archival image, can offer a deep insight into the hybrid identity of the diasporic
subject. In my experience, growing up in Australia after emigrating from Europe I have observed the
reification of cultural practices by those in the Hungarian diaspora. This acts as a key prompt in my
recovery and representation of objects and memories taken from family archival data, as my
practice looks to test the validity of memory and its interaction with a new place. In my work
I attempt to reconcile and connect with a lost heritage while revealing the dislocated cultural
practices of this diaspora. This not only works to test my own foundations in a lost culture but to
interrogate my belongingness in my adopted country. Through my research I have found a material-
based contemporary art practice has enabled deep contemplation and reflection of my own cultural,
ethnic and national heritage. It is within my art-making processes – engaging with family archival
data such as story-telling, transferred memory, objects and cultural practices – where I can
investigate themes of home and belonging. By connecting these intangible cultural elements within
a contemporary art practice I question issues of identity, place, placelessness and displacement. In
this paper I present an overview of my research. I will show my body of work as a visual narrative
that represents the outcomes of the processes I employ in my practice. The art-making process and
resultant artworks are intrinsic to the representation of the themes – where/what is home and
how might a sense of belonging be found through a material practice? In conclusion I posit that

material-practice that engages with intangible themes can critically reframe notions of identity,
place, placelessness and displacement.

Bio: Ilona Jetmar is completing her practice-led PhD at Deakin University in the School of
Communication and Creative Arts. She has taught in the SCCA for the past ten years at Deakin and
the past three years at Eastern College Australia in the Bachelor of Visual Arts degree. She has
exhibited her work at numerous galleries around Melbourne including Walker Street Gallery in
Dandenong where she explored themes of art and spirituality, the sublime, identity and culture.
More recently her PhD show at Tacit Galleries in Collingwood extended into themes of home,
belonging, diaspora and the unheimlich. Her work is held in private and institutional collections.

Todd Reece Johnson Deakin University
20 min paper

Materialist Photography in the Digital Age

How does analogue film materially interact with elements of environmental material phenomena
and can such inscriptions, entanglements and accidents produce new qualities of photography
itself? To answer this question, this presentation necessarily considers and puts to the test a
materialist form of photographic performance as the primary mode of presentation. This will take
place as a live slide-film projection, which will perform the materiality of the photographic image.
The photographs on display document numerous river systems and landscapes captured throughout
various parts of Victoria and Tasmania. Once developed, the film was returned to the discreet
geographic location and submerged in the water itself for durations of up to two months. The
resulting ‘materialist photographs’ testify as indexical links to a reality that is doubly inflected as the
landscape is registered on both a visual and physical level. Karen Barad’s concept of ‘intra-action’
will be employed to investigate the complex exchange between the indexical, pictorial and agential
entanglements as they relate to my own photographic work. Photography has undergone a period of
intense dematerialization over the last 150 years, and despite the increased desire for digital
perfection, the use of film, as a material used for photographic capture, remains an important and
viable medium through its unique indexical, auratic and physical presence. As digital continually
threatens to engulf film and commerce through its relative ease of capture, dissemination and what
Mary Ann Doane has described as a persistent ‘dream of immateriality’ (2007), it is important to
investigate the medium in relation to the past and present. This presentation considers
contemporary materialist photography, at least in part, in relation the way in which technological
images engulf our environment as we move swiftly through the digital age.

Doane, M 2007, ‘The Indexical and the Concept of Medium Specificity’, Differences, vo. 18, no. 1, pp. 128 -

Bio: Todd Reece Johnson is an Australian artist and educator who employs analogue techniques to
investigate the materiality of photographic images. His photographs result from a physical exchange
between the body, film and elements of the environment. Todd has exhibited his work nationally
and internationally, including the most recent Surfaces (2019) at Millepiani Exhibition Space, Rome
City, Italy. The Found Object (2018) at Praxis Gallery, Minneapolis, United States. Materialist
Photograph (2018) at Jarvis Dooney Gallerie in Berlin, and Fossils (2017) at Kaunas Photo Festival
(2017) in Lithuania. Todd lectures in Photography studies at Deakin University, Deakin College and
Australian Catholic University.

Frances Joseph Auckland University of Technology
Miranda Smitheram Auckland University of Technology
20 min paper

Performing Embodied Territories of Dress

The relationship between body and clothing has been regarded in terms of functional or symbolic
associations. While the development of smart textiles has extended the notion of dress as interface
between the body and its surroundings, this focus, based on HCI norms, remains anthropocentric.
The link between clothing and place, once closely related to specific geographies, local materials,
techniques and customs, has been eroded by the globalised fashion industry. In response to these
conditions, our project ‘Phenomenal Dress’, calls into question definitions of dress as a form of
human demarcation and challenges notions of territory as personal, commercial or governmental
possession. The human body and its associations with individuality and subjectivity is replaced by
the notion of a collective, terrestrial body that incorporates the material and natural world within an
ecosystem. This ontological shift moves away from a focus on the human subject to
interconnectedness through ‘the active materials that compose the lifeworld.’ (Ingold 2012: 249).
Informed by posthuman theory, New Zealand Māori perspectives and a speculative design process
that involves collaborative making, place is reconsidered as rich multi-agent habitat and collective
environmental expression. This approach recognises that holistic thinking based on indigenous
epistemologies foregrounds perspectives that seek to reposition the human as part of rather
separate from the world, and has increasing significance to environmental problems. The project
involves a process of making-with where agency is co-constituted and emerges within the complex
and changing relationships of human and non-human things. Matter is recognised as history and
narrative, bodies as individual and incorporated entities, and place as having both material and
metaphysical dimensions. Dress-like forms are created with and activated by localised phenomena
including human, biological and material agents in a critical engagement with issues of embodiment,
interconnection, materiality and place. The paper will discuss the outcomes of the project, based at
Karekare, a black sand beach near Auckland, New Zealand.

Bios: Frances Joseph is Professor of Design and Textility at Auckland University of Technology and
the founding Director of its Textile and Design Lab. She has a professional background in sculpture
and design for performance including puppetry. Her current research is focused on issues of
materiality, embodiment, making and intra-action across fields of art, material science, design and

Miranda Smitheram is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Auckland University of Technology, with a
research profile as a digital- physical material designer. She has a background in fashion and textiles
both in industry and education. As an interdisciplinary design researcher, she works with mediated
materials and surfaces, with a particular interest in making responding to theory and philosophy.

Takeshi Kadobayashi Kansai University Osaka/Japan == see Naohiko Mimura

Mariko Kida Ritsumeikan University Kyoto/Japan == see Naohiko Mimura

Hiroki Komuro Kansai University Osaka/Japan == see Naohiko Mimura

Gary Levy School of Education, Deakin University
20 min paper/ participatory presentation

Artful Attunement: Alexander Technique as Embodied Pedagogy

This paper offers a way of rethinking our relationship to our embodied selves via the work of F.M.
Alexander (Alexander, 1932; Dimon, 2015; Jones, 1976). In so doing, it looks at notions of
perception, responsiveness, engagement and expression. In particular, it focuses on the notion of
attunement, viz. the capacity we have to simultaneously regulate and monitor how we use our
embodied selves in our daily practices and interactions. The discussion of attunement functions as a
way of reframing experience towards a more accurate, open-ended, and experimental bodily
understanding. The discussion will trace the ways in which the Alexander work encourages less-
habitual modes of thought and an enhanced body awareness. It will take up McCormack’s (2013)
reading of Dewey’s “ethology of experience” in order to rethink the ways in which we might
approach the embodied activity of the musician, dancer, actor, or athlete. Attention will be drawn to
the subtle, barely-perceptible difference/s that might occur when deploying a freshly-attuned
corporeal ‘instrument’ to engage with a thought, an object, a connection, or an encounter. As an
actual hands-on, experiential component is integral to the Alexander work, I will attempt to impart a
fleeting sense of what a recalibrated corporeal instrument might feel like in this presentation. This
fleeting sense could be considered a “minor gesture” (Manning, 2016) towards something other
than what we already know, think, sense and feel as living creatures who also choose to pursue
educational, artistic, and/or research-based endeavours.

Bio: Gary Levy has been a qualified and practicing teacher of the Alexander Technique since 1992.
The principles underpinning this work inform all his daily practices. He is also a qualified primary
school teacher (2004) with a PhD in Education (2012). Alongside his private Alexander work, Gary
undertakes teaching and research at Deakin University in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy, pre-
service teacher education, and educational research methodologies. He draws on a variety of
critical discourses to frame his thinking and analysis.

Nancy Mauro-Flude School of Design, RMIT University
20 min paper

Embodiment and the Networked Assemblage in Twenty-first Century

This paper critically explores the drives, forms and structures of visceral systems and networked
assemblages. Application of deep machine learning algorithms acquire user profiles to model
emotional states, neuromarketing nudges us to serving the ends of others. If the body can be
defined as a vessel of infinite veracity, what is the depth of pervasive consumer behaviour
strategies? How are these physically inscribed, how far do these intentions go into the body? The
field of HCI design, digital optics, VR/AR toolkits (previously delegated to highly controlled
psychology experiments) have made inroads into marketing, apparati pushes us to dissolve links
with the substantiation of our very senses. The shaping of the digital unconscious found in the use of
our mobile computational devices are leveraged affordances in cognitive and non-cognitive
assemblages discussed by N. Katherine Hayles (2016), along with the theories of cybernetic-
existentialism posited by Steve Dixon (2016-7) are examined and extended upon. It is precisely these
unresolved gaps (and non-prescriptive but performative slippages highlighted by theorists, artists
and technologists) that the prominence of these are defined and problematised. Through case
studies of experimental art performances engaging in networked assemblages, creation of ‘artisanal
data’ subjective datasets for artistic purposes, the proprioception of ‘the user’ is described and

reimagined. Such transmissions include the repelling, mutating leaks, noise, digital obfuscation and
other strategies of endurance, that lend themselves to embodied listening, are examined as artisanal
products of adhoc networked assemblages.

Bio: Dr Nancy Mauro Flude is a writer and an artist who specialises artisanal networked systems; she
is interested in the demystification of technology, and the ‘mystification’ that lies in and through the
performance of the machinic assemblage. Represented by Bett Gallery, Tasmania, Mauro-Flude has
devised and curated extensively within the field of experimental art forms. Formerly, Assistant
Professor Communications and New Media Department, National University Singapore, she now
coordinates the Post Digital Culture aesthetics studio in the Digital Media Programme, School of
Design, RMIT Melbourne.

Vahri McKenzie Edith Cowan University
20 min performative presentation

Narrowcast: the wafer-thin version

Narrowcast: the wafer-thin version will offer a performative presentation of a forthcoming
durational live art installation that will see the artist install a radio studio in a gallery space and
‘narrowcast’ during gallery opening hours for one week. Scores will structure this improvised
speech-as-sound artwork, where content creation is secondary to an exploration of the practice of
improvised speech, and sharing the experience of placing this capacity under the duress of
durational performance. What is it that allows a person’s thoughts to manifest regularly and easily
as spoken words? At what point might this facility be considered a pathology, as in logorrhoea?
While Narrowcast will be the work of two artists, this miniature version will be presented by Vahri
McKenzie, who was inspired to make the work by the apparently superpowered loquacity of her co-
creator Siobhan Maiden. McKenzie’s work as an artist is frequently inspired by close observation of
others’ ordinary-yet-remarkable ways of being in the world, which she attempts to harness for
creative ends. In addition to a radio studio, Narrowcast will include a lounge where guests/
prospective ‘talent’ can sit and have a cup of tea, listen to the work, suggest topics for the artists to
address, and enter the radio studio whenever they choose in order to join the narrowcast; it is
hoped that this small slice will similarly invite participation. This performative presentation will
employ a score to demonstrate the forthcoming work, which aims to discover embodied techniques
to push improvised speech beyond narrative and towards speech-as-sound, and to reclaim
pathologies of prolix speech – cluttering, compulsive talking, gibberish, glossolalia – in order to
deploy them as creative strategies.

Bio: Dr. Vahri McKenzie is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts and Humanities at Edith Cowan
University, teaching and writing about creative arts. Vahri’s work as an artist encompasses theatre,
live arts and installation, and short fiction. Recent projects include a new version of Euripides’
Bakkhai (2018) commissioned by Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre and supported by Culture
and the Arts (WA); and Only the Envelope (2016), a live art installation that investigates the ways we
share personal information in the public sphere, for Bunbury Regional Art Galleries.

Sally McLaughlin Department of Design, Architecture and Building University of Technology, Sydney
20 min participatory presentation

Towards a peeling away of things, zones, and surfaces


"the movement of my eyes toward the thing both unifies the thing and places it within bodily space
…the thing continually ‘peels’ away from me … This becomes explicit when I move around the thing,
or it moves relative to me, and it stays detached …The thing thus surpasses me and demands a unity
in which its zones and surfaces peel back, envelop and consume one another in its own place."
(Morris, 2004, p. 123) David Morris develops a rich account of embodied space where our
movement with the world creates an inner envelope of space – a sense that I can place a thing (a
marble, a tree) within bodily space – and an outer envelope – where things have a sense of objective
depth, of being detached from us, of having their place. This larger space holds the body and the
thing together. It also grants the very possibility of a sense of separation of the body from the thing.
It allows the thing, its zones, and its surfaces to peel away. Morris draws on the work of James
Turrell, Stan Brakhage, and Michael Snow to show what happens when this sense of a thing in its
place breaks down. Space becomes abstract. Surfaces and landscapes rotate and float by. The works
cited by Morris are counterexamples. How might we turn this around? The phenomenon of interest
is the peeling back of a thing, along with the envelope of space that the thing demands. The aim of
the session is to share ideas about ways in which this phenomenon might be brought to the
fore. Participants will be asked to explore ways in which precedents drawn from art and design
practice may serve as catalysts for future practice, pedagogy or research.

Morris, D. (2004). The sense of space. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Bio: Dr Sally McLaughlin is a visual communication design academic. Her focus is on accounts of
sense making that foreground action rather than thought as our primary mode of engagement in the
world. She is interested in the interplay between explicit articulation, and the use of visual media to
activate styles of bodily comportment. Sally has published on topics including information design,
metaphor, design expertise and qualitative inquiry in design. She has supervised projects that
explore embodied experience as it plays out in the practice of making.

Shaun McLeod School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University
20 min performative/participatory presentation

‘Facing (m)other’

In this period of extreme disjuncture between cultural groups and political positions, the capacity for
opposing groups to find common ground has been thrown into question. At the centre of this
situation seems to be a lack of willingness to not only listen, but ultimately to ‘hear’ the opposition
(that is, to come to an understanding of the other’s situation from a position of empathy). This
would suggest a disregard for the other, a turning away, which also implies a physical act with
particular consequences – by turning away, we disengage from the process of interpersonal or
intercultural attunement. By turning away, we disengage our internal, neurologically-activated
process of kinesthetic empathy. The balancing act of attunement, as a result of empathic interaction
between different people and groups, requires effort and commitment. It requires participation. As
developmental psychologist Daniel Stern has shown, a capacity for empathic interaction originates in
infant development as the pre-verbal attunement between mother and child. In this relationship, a
dynamically contoured relationship of sounds and movements is created between the mother and
child, as the means for the child to test the ‘truth’ of the mother’s presence (Can I elicit a response
from her? Does she understand my intentions?). To establish attachment, the mother and child
engage in a nuanced duet in which attention to aesthetic changes over time (what Stern calls ‘vitality
affects’) determine the success or failure of the connection. This participatory experiment will
involve a group ‘tuning’ score of simple activities which respond to this context of a disrupted

capacity for empathic interactions in public life. By observing aesthetic qualities through internal
embodied attention (inherent in the mother-infant dynamic) in a public relationship (between two
different groups facing each other), this experiment will ask participants to observe the
opportunities for empathic connection between private and public and between us and them.

Bio: Dr Shaun McLeod is a senior lecturer in Art and Performance in Deakin University’s School of
Communications and Creative Arts. He is a dance practitioner, performance maker and researcher.
His interests include dance improvisation, site-responsive performance, participatory performance,
and theorizing affect for dance practice and performance. He is currently working on a community
project with artists of Indian origin in Melbourne’s western suburbs called Dancing Between Two

Olivia Millard School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University
20 min performative/participatory presentation

The uncovering of the body’s experience in the present of dancing

This dance improvisation presentation will take the form of a participatory performance.
Participants will have the option of taking part in varying ways and to various extents: through
dancing, watching and discussion. I will explore how participating or acting in my group dance
practice, developed over ten years, allows ways of thinking, understanding, experiencing, knowing
that exist only while or at least because of participation in this dancing. Among others, the term
‘action’ as suggested by Hannah Arendt in her book The Human Condition, will be used as a concept
with which to think through an experience in a shared practice. Tim Ingold’s discussion of ‘drawing
together’ will also be used to frame participating in dancing in a studio practice, and to articulate
how it is possible to observe and make sense of that participation, particularly in terms of the bodily
thinking and knowing that is generated. In my practice, I use what are often named scores. Scores,
as I define them are verbal propositions that enable or support, rather than direct, the dancing we
do. They also allow the sharing of a dance practice in which ‘meaning’ can be found in the present,
although it is constantly changing. Arendt asserts that through appearing or acting in interactions
with others, we reveal ourselves as individuals in the world, although we are not able to predict the
effect of our appearance. In dancing, watching and talking about our experience of dancing with
scores, I suggest that we are both uncovering understandings that can only be revealed in the
present of dancing, and participating in interactions that declare our individuality, albeit tacitly.

Bio: For the past 25 years, Olivia has worked as a performer, maker and lecturer of dance. She has
performed with companies and independent choreographers/directors in Australia and
internationally, and has created over 20 dance works, both funded and commissioned. Olivia taught
at WAAPA, Perth from 1999-2006 and her current position is Lecturer in Art and Performance at
Deakin University. Olivia’s PhD, from Deakin University was conferred in April 2013 and her current
research projects include various collaborative projects centred around improvisation in dance
performance including the AllPlay Dance project with Deakin Child Study Centre looking into the
benefits of inclusion in dance activities for children with disabilities.

Naohiko Mimura Kansai University Osaka/Japan
Hiroki Komuro Kansai University Osaka/Japan
Takeshi Kadobayashi Kansai University Osaka/Japan
Mariko Kida Ritsumeikan University Kyoto/Japan
Shared Panel. Four Sessions


Arakawa and Gins Now: Philosophy and Creativity, Part 1-4
The 47-year partnership between Japanese modern artist Shusaku Arakawa (1936-2010) and his
American poet partner Madeline Gins (1942-2014) explored painting, sculpture, poetry and film
before moving into the field of architecture. Proclaiming themselves “coordinologists,” Arakawa and
Gins integrated art, science, and philosophy to formulate the “architectural body”, a theory and
praxis that interrogates the relationship between the body and its environment in order to yield
(radically) emergent potentialities from it. This session, consisting of three talks and one
performance, “Arakawa and Gins Now: Philosophy and Creativity,” considers how we can develop
the creativity that “bodily knowledge” makes possible from four perspectives: 1) philosophy, 2)
theory of bodywork, 3) critical art theory, and 4) a dance performance.

Naohiko Mimura
20 min paper
Part 1: Philosophy: This presentation will propose Arakawa and Gins unique concepts “architectural
body” and “landing sites” that foster mutual interactions between the environment and bodily
actions to generate “meaningful” space. It will mobilize Gene Gendlin’s focusing-oriented
psychotherapy to clarify how and why our body that is feeling situations works as the primary
resource to create new value and meaning. Through this methodology, it will (tentatively) explore
further potentials for Arakawa and Gins architectural and heuristic practice.

Hiroki Komuro Kansai University Osaka/Japan
20 min paper
Part 2: Theory of Bodywork: Arakawa and Gins architectural works “the Reversible Destiny Lofts
MITAKA (In Memory of Helen Keller)” and “Bioscleave House,” are art works as well as houses in
which one can actually live. They use plenty of tricks to stimulate our senses, such as colorful walls,
uneven floors, oblique ceilings and completely spherical rooms. By receiving stimulations from the
environment of Arakawa and Gins works, we learn new ways of using our body, thereby acquiring
new senses of the body. However, the influence of these stimuli is not even among those who enter
the buildings. Observational research reveals some people greatly influenced by the architecture
and others who are not, even if they experience the building in the same manner. This presentation
aims to clarify this phenomenon from the viewpoint of body psychotherapies and body work.

Takeshi Kadobayashi
20 min paper
Part 3: Critical Art Theory: This presentation will examine how Arakawa and Gins art works embody
their philosophical discourse. Especially, it will focus on their specific use of the term “procedure,”
which is the main theme of Madeline Gins’ unpublished last manuscript Alive Forever, Not If, But
When (2013). Arakawa and Gins define their architectural works as “procedural architecture,” which
are often accompanied by “Manual[s] for Use.” For them, what matters is not their architectural
forms per se, rather the architectural procedures that embody their interactions within the bodies
that live in them. The procedure in this sense has a bodily as well as linguistic dimension, in so far as
it is written as an instruction or manual. This presentation will analyze this linguistic dimension as a
node or ‘nexus’ which connects their artworks to their philosophy. In addition, it will examine the
production “Puzzle Creature” by the contemporary dance company Neon Dance, as a
contemporaneous and creative example that similarly ‘embodies’ their philosophy.

Mariko Kida
20 min performative presentation
Part 4: Dance Performance: Mariko Kida is an internationally acclaimed professional ballerina and
contemporary dance performer. In 2018, she featured as guest dancer in the theatrical production

“Puzzle Creature,” inspired by the world of Arakawa and Gins, and produced by internationally
recognized dance company Neon Dance. In this presentation she will, from the perspective of a
dance practitioner and performer, discuss her own experience in the creative dimension of this
production via demonstration of some of the body movements that she developed for it. Through
these she will consider the creativity that the body (bodily cognition) makes possible, and in
particular, how Arakawa and Gins work both inspires and informs this creativity.

Bios: Naohiko Mimura is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Faculty of Letters, Kansai University. His
core focus is the mind-body duality problem outlined in Husserl's Phenomenology, and is particularly
interested in the “Theory of Experiencing” and the “Process Model” proposed by Eugene Gendlin,
founder of focusing-oriented psychotherapy. He currently leads the Studies of the Architectural
Research Program, with the grant from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science ($180,000 US for
5 years), for the study archival research of the legacy of Japanese contemporary artist Shusaku
Arakawa and American poet Madeline Gins.

Hiroki Komuro is Associate Professor of Educational Thoughts in Japan and Somatic Education,
Faculty of Health and Well-being, Kansai University, and received his master’s degrees in education
from The University of Tokyo. His work focuses on theories of body and mind in Japanese education,
in particular from the viewpoints of somatic psychologies, body-psychotherapies, bodyworks and
theater theories. He recently conducted a study on the architectural works of Arakawa and Gins.

Takeshi Kadobayashi is Associate Professor at the Department of Film and Media Studies, Faculty of
Letters, Kansai University, and received his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The
University of Tokyo. He specializes in media theory, epistemology, and studies of culture and
representation. He wrote the book Watcha doin, Marshall Mcluhan?: An Aesthetics of Media (In
Japanese; NTT Press, 2009) and many articles. His recent articles include: “The Media Theory and
Media Strategy of Azuma Hiroki, 1997-2003” (in Media Theory in Japan, Marc Steinberg and
Alexander Zahlten, eds. Duke UP, 2017) and “To Become Helen Keller: Arakawa and Synesthesia” (in
Japanese; The Horizon of Synesthesia, Sae Kitamura, ed. Denshi Shoin Saebou, 2012).

Mariko Kida is an internationally acclaimed dancer who has worked professionally with dance
companies in Canada and Sweden, most notably with The Royal Swedish Ballet as a principal
dancer. Mariko received the prestigious Prix Benois de la Danse and 42th Premio Positano Danza
Léonide Massine in 2014. She became a freelance artist in 2016 to dance for Tanztheater
Wuppertal Pina Bausch as a guest dancer, and in 2018 featured Neon Dance’s production “Puzzle
Creature.” With a degree in sociology, Kida is currently a student at the Graduate School of Core
Ethics and Frontier Science, Ritsumeikan University. She is also a certified GYROKINESIS® trainer.

Tharupathi Munasinghe Deakin University and University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
20 min paper

Shifting Identities: The Corporeal Simulation and Trans-contextualization in Sri Lankan Low-
Country Drumming

The aim of this research paper is to examine how the Sri Lankan Low-Country drum syllable sounds
variedly when repeating, according to the performance context and performer. The research focuses
on the relationship between the drummer, the drum, and the repetition of drumming and
philosophical notion of the drummer as a ritual specialist. This variation is brought about by
uninformed deviations to playing style resulting from the drummer’s interpretation of place and
occasion. While there are many types of drum performances categorized according to the geography

of Sri Lanka, this research specifically investigated how a Low-Country drum performer’s
interpretation of ritual-based drum sounds changes according to different performative contexts,
spaces, milieus and the engagement of performers, and how this interpretation affects the sonic
characteristics of the drum. Low-Country drumming is distinguished from the Up-Country drumming
according to the nature of the ritual and deity contexts and the kinds of drum used. The distinction
refers imprecisely to the different areas of Sinhalese settlement and to the various histories of
incorporation and independence from European colonial rule, which dates, for the Low-Country,
from the middle of the 16th century. The drumming tradition was associated with three principal
geographical areas – Matara on the south coast, Bentara on the west coast, and Raigama in the
interior foothills to the northeast of Colombo. The three regions associated with several areas of
bereva cast settlement. Three disciplinary areas of ethnomusicology, anthropology, and
performance studies were used to investigate the Sri Lankan Low-Country drummer’s performance
in two different performative contexts.

Bio: Tharupathi Munasinghe is currently a PhD candidate at Deakin University, Australia. He
completed his Master of Sound Design research degree at Melbourne University in 2012. He has
presented papers at international seminars and theatre conferences including Performance Studies
Melbourne and Australasian Association for Theatre Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA). He has
published and edited his research works in refereed journals and books. Tharupathi is an award-
winning composer in Theatre Television and Films. He is also a Senior Lecturer of the Drama &
Theatre and Image Arts Unit, Department of Fine Arts, University of the Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.

Maiya Murphy National University of Singapore
20 min paper

Framing practice-as-research in performance as enactive research into embodied cognition

Practice-as-Research1 in theatre and performance has been articulated in a variety of ways in and
beyond the academy. Many scholars (Nelson, Haseman, Kershaw, Barrett, and Bolt, to name just a
few) have contributed to an understanding of practice-as-research by formulating ways to explain
how practice and research may constitute, relate to, or inform each other in different contexts.
Shaun May has written about the resonances and incompatibilities between practice-as-research
and the “cognitive turn” in theatre and performance. This presentation investigates productive ways
that conversations between practice-as-research and cognitive approaches may serve artist-
researchers of embodied performance practices in particular. Different locales and institutions have
been more or less friendly to the validation of practice-as-research as a legitimate form of inquiry.
To nudge forward the more conservative viewpoints, I propose that the enactive cognitive approach
– as a dynamic, embodied paradigm of cognition which foregrounds the body-in-the-world – can
productively frame practice-as-research as always fundamentally research into human cognition.
While this may seem obvious to practitioners, seeing practice-as-research through Enaction may
serve to make the complex work in practice clearer to non-practitioners and traditional academic
bodies that resist the notion that research may be inherently, or at least in part, comprised of
practice. Therefore, perhaps as the “cognitive turn” continues to develop in the studies of theatre
and performance, it can not only interface with practice-as-research projects on the individual
researcher level, but also add to the ways of conceptualizing the value of embodied practice as
investigations into broader issues of human cognition stemming from individual and collective

For this abstract I am using this term in a way that is inclusive of practice-based research, practice-led
research, practice research, artistic research and other related conceptualizations.

Bio: Maiya Murphy is a researcher-artist interested in the intersections between movement, acting,
actor-training, performance, and the cognitive sciences. She is the author of Enacting Lecoq:
Movement in Theatre, Cognition, and Life (Palgrave Macmillan 2019), along with essays in Theatre
Survey, The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq (Mark Evans and Rick Kemp, eds.), The Oxford
Handbook of Dance and Theater (Nadine George-Graves, ed.), and Collective Creation in
Contemporary Performance (Kathryn Mederos Syssoyeva and Scott Proudfit, eds.). Maiya is an
Assistant Professor in the Theatre Programme at the National University of Singapore and makes
theatre with her collective, Autopoetics.

Jack Parry Deakin University
20 min paper

Kjennskap: A study of actants in enactivism

Kjennskap is a term used in Norwegian to explain the wisdom one can only attain by existing and
participating within a world. Actor network theory, widely used in anthropology and the social
sciences to comprehend and explain the behavior of complex associative systems, has as a central
concept the “actant”: an entity that influences the actions and behaviours of participating elements
of a complex social network. The actant, introduced by Latour for social science analysis, has
subsequently been reframed by Bennett to explain diverse phenomena such as climate change,
pollution and certain psychological disorders by making the actant an active inanimate
assemblage. This study examines the role of actants as inanimate assemblages in the context of
enactivism in creative practice. The study captures multiple parallel spheres of reality and
examines their influence on the acting organism and its capacity to perceive and interact within an
actant assemblage. The study compares creative practice of common neural network configuration
in three extremes of actant-assemblage: field work in the Norwegian arctic winter, field work in an
entirely virtual realm and the experimental control of the traditional studio environment. This
practice is showing how we can be influenced, perceive and create with the whole body, by
challenging the senses and the creative act by placing the entire creative organism within a
quantifiably active environment. The actant-assemblage can be the initiator of an action and
become the influencer of modes of perception.

Bio: Jack Parry is a lecturer in Screen and Design at Deakin University specialising in animation and
performance. He is currently also pursuing a practice led PhD on the role of actants in the creative

Simon Penny University of California Irvine
Keynote Presentation

Sensorimotor Adeptness: Making and Embodied Cognition.

The notion that there is a distinction between mind work and body work is deeply entrenched in
Western culture, philosophically rooted in the Cartesian mind/body dualism. The skill/intelligence
distinction is a corollary and is similarly axiomatic and ideological. Being axiomatic it does not
require empirical evidence. It is, like the mind body dualism, a belief. But that belief if false, like so
many of the axiomatic dualisms that structure Western culture. The (false) distinction between skill
and intelligence has directed the development of technologies (and specifically technologies that are
deemed ‘cognitive’), along paths that seek to minimize bodily engagement, dexterity, and physical
effort. Indeed, the rise of ‘information technologies’ – themselves rooted in dualistic beliefs - has

added fuel to this fire. I will argue that this is a dangerous path that has specific deleterious influence
in the arts – the separation between art and artisanality being symptomatic. I intend to illustrate via
case studies, the dimensions of this argument, and offer an approach to sensorimotor intelligences
that is corrective and seeks to mollify the ideology of dualism and provide a more holistic
appreciation of the nature of human cognition-in-the-world.

Bio: Simon Penny, Ograniser of Bok2016, has worked in custom interactive installation and robotic
art since the mid 1980s, (after training in sculpture at the South Australian School of Art and Sydney
College of the Arts). As Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon (1993-2000) he engaged VR
and AI, then went on to found the Arts Computation Engineering (ACE) graduate program at the
University of California Irvine, 2001-2012. His longstanding concern for embodied and situated
aspects of aesthetic experience, along with a critical analysis of computer culture has led to a focus
on what of he refers to as postcogntivist approaches to cognition – the focus of his book Making
Sense: Cognition, Computing, Art and Embodiment (MIT press 2017). He was director of A Body of
Knowledge: Embodied Cognition and the Arts conference UCI 2016, and An Ocean of Knowledge:
Pacific Seafaring, Sustainability and Cultural Survival at UCI in 2017. He was Labex International
Professor, University Paris8 and ENSAD in 2014; and was visiting professor in media theory,
Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media masters, University Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, 2006-2013.
More at

Lucía Piquero Department of Dance Studies, School of Performing Arts, University of Malta
20 min paper

Sound, Silence, and Embodiment: Experiences of Emotion in Contemporary Theatre Dance

This paper explores the relationship between the choreographer’s and the spectator’s experience of
emotions in Euro-American contemporary theatre dance. It proceeds through a dialogue between
philosophical views of the spectator’s experience and a particular focus on the analysis of
soundscapes in relation to movement. The choreographer’s experience, then, is conceptualised as
that of the first audience member, and guiding her/him to adjust and modulate variables during the
process. The study explores the experience of emotions in works of contemporary theatre dance as
neither raw—i.e. not intellectual—nor completely ineffable. The view adopted integrates the bodily
experience and the intellectual processing of information to create a composite approach, one of
embodied cognition. Moreover, the paper studies sound and silence in works of contemporary
theatre dance through careful observation and analysis of their relation to movement, and
problematises the intention of the choreographer through dance analysis and available
documentation on the artist’s process. Although other perceptual properties—such as spatial-
rhythm and movement qualities—are considered equally important in the experience of emotion,
the paper focuses on sound-movement relationships. The paper will propose that the experience of
emotion in Euro-American contemporary theatre dance is an embodied cognitive and enactive
perceptual process which focuses on the features of the work, but which integrates both the
background of the spectator and the context of the work and the performance. This perspective
allows for a comprehensive understanding of the experience of emotion in both spectator and
choreographer, also creating a bridge between the theoretical and movement analysis approaches
and between theoretical research and dance practice. One implication of this view is that it debunks
Cartesian divides still seemingly pervasive in certain practical dance environments.

Bio: Lucía Piquero is trained in classical ballet and contemporary dance, and holds a BSc on
Psychology and an MA in Choreography at Middlesex University. Her choreographic work has been
presented internationally, including festivals, commissions, and residencies. She recently
choreographed for ZfinMalta, the national dance company of Malta. Between 2015 and 2018 Lucía
co-directed the choreographic research project Estancias Coreográficas. She is a Dance Studies
lecturer at University of Malta and pursuing her PhD at the University of Roehampton. Her research
focuses on experiences of emotion in dance. She has presented in conferences in Hong Kong, UK,
USA, Spain, and Malta.

J Rosenbaum School of Art, RMIT University
20 min paper

Hidden Worlds

Hidden Worlds uses Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality to examine gender through the
lens of computer vision. These works use a computer trained on Greek and Roman statuary to
generate its own, which I interpret in my own way. I use another AI to write descriptive content for
each work and generated music to create a multi-media interactive installation. Can computers see
gender? Without being trained in traditional binary notions of gender what can they produce? And
how do we interpret the results? J. Rosenbaum is presenting Hidden Worlds, an exhibition of
Artificial Intelligence Computer Generated artworks using mobile Augmented Reality technologies to
see gender through the lens of computer vision. Rosenbaum’s last works used AI to interpret their
creations, this time the computer will be creating the art and Rosenbaum will create interpretations
based on the output. A Neural Network that has been trained in thousands of images of Greek and
Roman statuary attempts to create its own. Rosenbaum will then take the output and seek to find
the truth inside the computer-generated work and reveal that to the viewer. Another Neural
Network will look at the works and attempt to write poetry based on what it sees. This will be
incorporated into a soundscape inside the app. Viewers will see light boxes and watch them come to
life inside the app as the computer-generated work is transformed and reinterpreted by human eyes
and hands. The language will be alien, computer driven showing a collaborative effort between
human and machine. This highly experimental work invites questions about computers creating art,
about how machines see humans and gender and idealized beauty.

Bio: J. Rosenbaum is a contemporary figurative artist working in 3D modelling and exploring the
boundaries of technology and art. Their most recent work has been in exploring the nature of Non-
Binary Transness and their own genders and sexuality. Well known for being a painter of nudes,
Rosenbaum has completed a masters degree and changed focus to more technologically based
digital art using physics-based rendering, Deep Neural Networks and Unity to develop an Augmented
Reality mobile application. In 2019 they will continue their research into computer perceptions of
gender with their PhD at RMIT.

Philipa Rothfield University of Southern Denmark and La Trobe University
Keynote Presentation

Thinking with the Body

What is it to say that cognition is embodied? Does the notion of embodiment change the way we
think about cognition? And conversely, does the conjunction of body and thought change the way
we think about the body? This paper aims to approach the notion of embodied cognition through

two sets of practice – philosophy and dance. It will canvass two philosophical paradigms, which take
a very different view of the bodily nature of thought. The first view is phenomenological, arising
from the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Merleau-Ponty takes the body as his starting point for
phenomenological investigation, an approach which aims to capture our lived experience. For
Merleau-Ponty, the task of philosophy is to explicate experience. Embodied cognition is a feature of
that experience, the body implicit in our actions, perceptions and thoughts. The second
philosophical paradigm rejects the probity of experience for another mode of thought, located in the
relational play of force. Friedrich Nietzsche favours the body over and against experience. Embodied
cognition, in the Nietzschean account belongs to the body but not the subject of experience. This is
evident in Nietzsche’s claim that there is no doer behind the deed. For Nietzsche, the bodily nature
of cognition – in action – can be thought apart from consciousness, which is no longer the centre of
action. How do these ways of thinking embodied cognition speak to dance? I want to begin with
Yvonne Rainer’s claim that her work, Trio A, involved a mode of performance which “involves a
provisional or ambiguous self that is at once produced, erased and confounded”. I propose thinking
through this claim about the self in performance. Is there a sense in which the self – the one who
thinks – can be produced, erased and confounded? And if so, what might this suggest to notions of
embodied cognition?

Bio: Philipa Rothfield is Adjunct Professor in Dance and Philosophy of the Body at the University of
Southern Denmark and Honorary Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University, Australia. She is a
philosopher and occasional dancer. She was a member of the Modern Dance Ensemble (Dir.
Margaret Lasica) and has had intermittent opportunities to work with Russell Dumas (Dir. Dance
Exchange). She is co-author of Practising with Deleuze (2017, Edinburgh University Press), co-editor
of Choreography and Corporeality with Thomas DeFrantz (2016, Palgrave Macmillan) and co-editor
of the Dancehouse Diary. She is Creative Advisor at Dancehouse, co-editor of the Dancehouse Diary,
and co-convener of the Choreography and Corporeality working group (International Federation of
Theatre Research).

Claudio Schnugg independent researcher and curator
Keynote Presentation

Theory and practice of artscience collaborations

Collaboration projects in which artists start to work with scientists and researchers – or with
managers and workers on a production line – are aimed at creating influence on work processes,
outcomes, and learning processes. Although these initiatives as formal programs in organizations go
back more than half a century, there is still a lot to be understood how this cross-disciplinary
collaboration effects knowledge creation and working processes. One way of understanding these
effects is by looking at the collaborations through the social psychological perspectives that are also
employed by organizational research. Embodied cognition, learning processes, sensemaking and
adjustment to the physical and social environment within the organization play a major role there.
Looking at incoming individuals from other disciplines can foster changes and new insights, and
especially the arts are able to create new sensual experiences. Due to funding reasons, management
initiatives or opportunities created within single projects, these collaborations mainly take place
within organizations – scientific organizations, NGOs as well as corporate organizations. In
organizations structures and routines can hinder and leverage incoming ideas. How to argue for
artscience collaboration and deal with these processes on a day-to-day basis from a managerial
perspective is vital to make projects thrive and effective beyond single initiatives. In my talk, I will
present these two sides of my work to show how these interdisciplinary collaborations affecting

experience and processes of collaborating partners, and how to practically overcome challenges in
organizations in which these collaborations are embedded.

Bio: Claudia Schnugg is researcher and advocate of artscience collaboration, a producer and curator
of residency programs, and has been the catalyst for numerous artscience projects. Most recently
she was the first Creative Director of Science Gallery Venice. Previously she worked as Assistant
Professor at the Johannes Kepler University, and was Visiting Researcher at Copenhagen Business
School, the Art|Sci Center at UCLA, and ESO, Chile. She headed the Ars Electronica Residency
Network 2014-2016. Recent publications include her book: Creating ArtScience Collaboration –
Bringing Value to Organizations (2019, Palgrave Macmillan).

Joey Pei Ling Soh Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
20 min paper

Light(ł) Through Medium(m)

If a serendipitous encounter of an everyday phenomena (i.e. sunlight ray) invoke insights to become
aware of oneself(s), and one’s mind-brain-body interaction, would these insights garnered be the
same if encountered recursively? Or could these insights garnered be incremental? In the title
Light(ł) Through Medium(m), Light attempts to be a pun for the Age of Enlightenment and spiritual
enlightenment, and in this case mind-brain is the medium that can begin to perceive the spectrum of

Automated mechanism of the installation and the possibilities of the encounter to become
inferences to everyday life phenomena is principle to the intention of the work. The automated
mechanism removes the maker from the idea of deliberately induced serendipity phenomena, setup
audiences for harnessing potential insights. Ideally, these encounters must be synthesized into
insight that contribute to building an effective self-processing framework towards, mindful
awareness and thereby, self-transformation.

Optimistically, with practice or the recursion of the feedback looping process, we can develop
effective behaviour informed by these feedbacks in the form of repercussion and response by self-
correction and thereby rewiring our neurocircuitry to literally change our minds. The fine tuning of
our disposition in turn leads to the infinite learning process experienced during our human lifetime
Simply put, Light(ł) Through Medium(m) is also a metaphor for my inquiries into how we experience
the world and from perception that then dictates our behavior and interaction in the world, and
how that process can be enhanced. My installations are therefore conceived as intervention of the
environment that endeavors to produce perceptually guided behaviors to be encountered

recursively and thereby transform audience’s relationship to reality (Image 3). I exhibit installations
of this formula in different environments, and varying iterations where my ideas may be affirmed or

Bio: Joey.Spl / Joey Soh is an artist who creates interactive installations about mindful awareness as
inquiry towards an optimal sense of self. She believes that one can only begin to perceive and
comprehend the world and its condition when one is aware of oneself, and oneself in relation to the
world. Her works combine whimsical ephemerality with sensibility of electronical mechanisms. She
has been preoccupied with and compassed by the research and development of the Mind-Brain-
Body interaction throughout her practice. Joey is also currently an educator with Nanyang Academy
of Fine Arts (2010 -) and have been developing the New Media Art studies since 2016

Mandy Stefanakis University of Melbourne and University of Newcastle
20 min paper

Revelations of Composer Selfhood

Concepts of selfhood date to antiquity, however theories of composer selfhood have only recently
been explored. Researchers across a range of disciplines are increasingly of the view that, in part,
our interactions with music provide a unique way in which we come to understand our
phenomenological ‘self’. There are now tentative steps being taken to enhance knowledge of
composer selfhood from a multidisciplinary perspective. However studies specifically addressing the
sense of selfhood composers derive from the composing process are almost non-existent. There are
extensive narrative accounts of the composing process in addition to a number of neurobiological
accounts specifically relating to improvisation, but the focus has not been on what composers might
define as the identifying features of their works and how these may contribute to their sense of
composer selfhood. The study I am currently undertaking therefore seeks to investigate the concept
of composer selfhood through a mixed methodological approach. Part of this approach involves
interviews with composers where they reflect on two selected pieces of their music, which are
perceived by them as representative of this concept. They compare these works with others in their
oeuvre and discuss their motivation to compose and their composer process. This paper will present
an outline of the study’s conceptual framework and initial findings from the interviews,
demonstrating how these findings may relate to, and assist to elucidate, current phenomenological
and neurophenomenological understandings of concepts of composer selfhood.

Bio: Mandy Stefanakis lectures in music education at Deakin University and was previously Director
of Music at Christ Church Grammar School. She has taught music at all levels of education. She is a
Life Member of the Association of Music Educators, Assistant Editor of Loudmouth and has
contributed to the writing and dissemination of curriculum over several decades. She authored ‘Turn
it Up!’, Books 1 and 2, music education texts published by McGraw-Hill and has published many
other articles. She has conducted extensive interviews for the NFSA. A composer, her PhD is
investigating the phenomenology of the composing process.

Prue Stevenson School of Art, RMIT University, School of Psychology, Deakin University
20 min performative presentation

“Stim Your Heart Out” - “Syndrome Rebel”

“Stim Your Heart Out” is a set of concepts and beliefs that advocate the benefits of the autistic
culture of 'stimming’, a repetitive physical action that provides enjoyment, comfort and contributes
towards self-regulation of emotions. The project workshops facilitated the exploration of
contemporary movement in the context of ‘stimming’ and self-regulation. The workshops generated
a series of movement scores, culminating in a patented choreographic system of ‘stimming’
performances documented at the website and film. “Syndrome Rebel”
utilises this choreographic system as performed at the MCA February Artbar. I embroidered my new
‘stimming’ symbology/language around the edge of a circular blanket, and interacted with the work
to create an integrated movement score performance. The work continues the conversations of Civil
Rights and Feminism, using textiles, language and performance to challenge the use of deficit
language by the medical academic fraternity, aiming to protest against social behavioural norms,
and the stigma that medical and educational practitioners, and society associate with autistic
behaviours, due to their medicalised perspective of cure. It advocates for autistic people to be able
to celebrate and practice their autistic culture, while sharing the self-awareness of our sensory
perception and neuro-perspective with the rest of society. The project and performance directly
addresses the prevalence of mental health conditions among autistic people, and picks up on the
BoK2019 Conference themes, raising the discussion of art as a process of social cognition and
addressing the gap between descriptions of embodied cognition and the co-construction of lived

Bio: Prue Stevenson is an artist completing a Master in Fine Art at RMIT University Melbourne, a
third-dan black belt in taekwondo, and an autism self-advocate working as an autistic consultant for
Amaze (formerly Autism Victoria), I am also the founder of the project.
My project mental health stakeholder is Professor Peter Enticott, Professor of Psychology (Cognitive
Neuroscience), Associate Head of School (Research and Research Training), School of Psychology at
Deakin University, who have endorsed the project. “Stim Your Heart Out” has also created a
relationship with the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Australia at: “Don’t fear the meltdown”
Article and “Artist Talk”.

Fleur Summers RMIT University
20 min paper

Making Sculpture in the Dark: Touch and the Embodied Studio

As a phenomenological event, the experience of making art in complete darkness opens the artist up
to a range of different possibilities. In the light filled ocular-centric world, objects and bodies are
visually separated from each other. In darkness, new opportunities, affects and vulnerabilities
emerge. As edges and borders become porous and unstable, touch and haptic sensations become
heightened and experience becomes extended throughout the body and into the hands and fingers.
This paper describes and discusses the embodied process of making sculpture in the dark using wax,
which is then cast into bronze. Working with wax in the dark employs deskilling as a conceptual
strategy by interrupting the hegemony of the eye-hand connection. This disruption is aided by the
receptive nature of wax, its impermanence and potential for endless change. Wax modelling is also
reliant upon the transfer of body heat from the hands, which breaks down the boundaries between
the body and the work as the wax softens and merges with the pores of the skin. Once cast in
bronze, the work responds to touch as the oils on the skin react with the surface of the bronze
allowing both the creative practitioner and audience to experience the work in an embodied, direct
and affective way. Touch has a long history in sculpture from the earliest small hand held amulets,
traditional bronze or stone public works to more contemporary participatory practices. This paper
will present a project that privileges the haptic both in the creative process and in audience

reception. It will also consider this in relation to cognitive science and philosophy with a focus on the
sculptural encounter.

Bio: Fleur Summers is a Lecturer in the School of Art at RMIT University and currently teaches in the
Sculpture Studio. Fleur has over ten years teaching experience in sculpture practice and has
exhibited in Australia and overseas producing installation, video and object-based works. She has a
Bachelor of Science from the University of Queensland and is currently nearing completion of her
PhD entitled Making Connections: The Sculptural Encounter as an Embodied, Neurocognitive
Experience at RMIT University.

Susanne Thurow University of New South Wales
20 min paper

Digital Technologies as Conduit for the Communication of Indigenous Australian Heritage

Indigenous cultures in Australia have been practised and passed on throughout millennia via
complex performative channels, encompassing closely integrated oral, visual, musical and
choreographic storytelling, that have favoured embodied knowledge transfer. As a consequence of
colonisation, the pressure on this culturally determined transmission framework has been mounting,
severely impacting and endangering the preservation and cultivation of Indigenous knowledges and
ontologies. Amid other factors, epistemological and concrete oppression as well as the introduction
of a competing value system privileging the written word and disembodied knowledge transfer have
been standing in the way of protecting and revitalising Indigenous knowledges to date. The advent
of advanced digital technologies that allow a sophisticated audification, immersive visualisation as
well as spatialisation of information opens up exciting possibilities for articulating an integrated
aesthetics that can help conceptualise more appropriate frames for the assertion of Indigenous
heritage in contemporary exhibition and performance spaces, thereby making it experientially and
intellectually available to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous audiences. The proposed
presentation will critically consider the strengths as well as the limitations of such technologies for a
culturally appropriate affirmation of embodied knowledge transfer by discussing the National
Gallery of Australia’s landmark exhibition Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters (2017/18). Following
a brief description and contextualisation in regard to cultural siting and production process, the
paper will reflect on the adopted aesthetic approach and technological implementation, querying
the affordances of each medium used (incl. VR and MR) and their performative effect on knowledge
consolidation and distribution that activate multiple sensory channels. The configuration of
interfaces here activated the entire body as a conduit for knowing and learning, tying the audience
into a co-constitutive bind that traversed material as well as virtual environments, presenting
Indigenous cultures – against pervasive reductive representational trends – as multi-layered
knowledge systems closely connected to Country, people and spirit.

Bio: Since 2017, Dr Susanne Thurow has been a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of New South
Wales’s iCinema Centre, where her research focuses on performative aesthetics as opened up by
advanced digital technologies. She holds a PhD from Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
(Germany), which explored culturally determined production processes and hybrid aesthetics of
contemporary Indigenous Australian theatre – to be published by Routledge this year. Her
professional background in the past ten years has been further consolidated by work for institutions
such as Thalia Theater (Hamburg), Big hART Inc., UNSW’s Nura Gili, the Universities of Melbourne
and Sydney, as well as Goethe Institut.

Maurizio Toscano Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne
20 min paper

Science and the paths to human perfectibility

This paper examines two trajectories along our scientific advancement towards human perfectibility.
The first of these trajectories is shaped by developments in artificial intelligence and the prospects
for developing computational analogues or substitutes for human consciousness; including the
possibilities for the coupling of human and non-human bodies with ‘machines’. The second pathway
is characterized instead by the application of genetic and bio-chemical technologies towards the
re/engineering of human and non-human living beings. Moreover, the paper explores the
ontological ground of these scientific and technological trajectories by bringing them into dialogue
with the metaphysics of both scientific and also religious conceptions of perfectionism. This paper
uses as it starting point an artwork exhibited by the author in a recent art-science exhibition:
Perfection, Melbourne Science Gallery, 2018. The artwork in question, Ark of Imperfection, was an
interactive piece that invited participants to offer written accounts of their imperfections along with
biological samples (saliva). These contributions were deposited in a wooden ‘ark’ for the duration of
the exhibition: the premise being to preserve imperfections for a time when, and if, dissatisfaction
with a utopian world necessitated the recovery of such human imperfections (in both
genetic/biological and informational forms). What this artwork instantiates, and what is explored
and questioned in this paper, are the points of convergence and divergence between the
metaphysics of science and religion that are brought about by the existential promises and threats
arising from computational and biological technologies. This calls for an examination of human
perfection in light of the onto-theologies of science and religion, respectively. That is, at once the
ontological (what is) and theological (what matters) that grounds each discipline. In undertaking
such an examination, this paper also speaks to the possibility of art as a means of revealing such
aspects of science.

Bio: Dr Maurizio Toscano’s research concerns the intersection of art, science, philosophy and
education. His research focuses on the metaphysical foundations of science and art, drawing in
particular upon the works of Heidegger, Nietzsche and Sloterdijk, amongst others, in order to
examine the nature of contemporary science education. Maurizio comes from a research
background in astrophysics, as well as having research experience in the humanities and social
sciences. He has often collaborated with artists, curated art-science exhibitions and exhibited his
own works, which examine the relationship between art, science and philosophy.

David Turnbull Deakin University
Keynote Presentation

Movement, Multiplicity, and Monuments: Narratives of Embodied Orientation and Collaboration
from Prehistory to the Present

The term Body of Knowledge has a double meaning implying a unified assemblage of knowledge as
well as embodied cognition. But knowledge is not naturally unified, as was apparent in the first
‘Body of Knowledge’ conference where the internalist neurosciences were clearly divided from the
externalist performing arts. Assemblage across such divides takes embodied, collaborative social and
technological action. The paper argues for that to happen the dimensions of what Hutchins has
called a ‘cognitive ecosystem’ need to be extended to include a complex multiplicity of culture,
history, and exchange, and emphasises the central importance of narrative and movement,
multiplicity and orientation. Building on the talk I gave at BoK16 the paper weaves together

narratives of movement, multiplicity, collaboration and cognition in recent reticulated accounts of
how hominims moved out of Africa; how we can now understand heterogeneous cartographies in
the chart drawn for Captain Cook by Tupaia the great Polynesian navigator; how social collaboration
has emerged in monument building; how narrative links navigation in topographical and conceptual

Bio: David Turnbull / research fellow at Deakin in CES in ADI. Prof Turnbull has written on a wide
range of social and cultural issues from the point of view of Anthropological inquiry through the lens
of movement which involve Socio-cognitive Technologies of Human Movement, Knowledge
Assemblage. These approaches impact upon the understanding of and Approach to for example,
wayfinding and emergent mapping through Performativity, Hodology, Distributed Knowledge in
Complex Adaptive Systems. Further, these studies open discussions on Futures for Indigenous
Knowledges, Boundary-Crossings, Cultural Encounters and Knowledge Spaces in Early Australia, and
critical issues of Land claims and terra nullius in relation to Western Desert Land Claims, The
Tordesillas Line and The West Australian Border and Narrative Traditions of Space, Time and Trust.

Annalu Waller University of Dundee
Keynote Presentation

Who am I? Dancing our Stories…

Our identity as individuals is shaped by the way we tell and re-tell personal stories within
conversations. We are our stories! Conversational narratives do not exist in isolation but emerge as
we continually reform our understanding and expression of ourselves by engaging in conversational
dance with others. The skills needed to dance (i.e., to take turns in leading and responding; to adapt
and reform our telling; to choose what and how to share experience) begins early as adults scaffold
conversations for young children. This natural development of communication is disrupted when
children have little or no functional speech due to severe speech, physical and/or intellectual
disabilities. Intelligent computing provides potential support for children to experience the flow of
the dance, being caught up in the creative movement of telling and shaping who they are. The inter-
disciplinary and design challenges of harnessing innovative technology that allows individuals to be
active dancers instead of passive observers will form the basis of this keynote presentation.

Bio: Annalu Waller is Professor of Human Communication Technologies. A chartered rehabilitation
engineer, she manages a number of interdisciplinary research projects developing intelligent and
multimodal technologies within the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and
is director of the Dundee AAC Research Group ( She has worked in the field of
AAC since 1985, having established the first Assistive Technology Assessment Centre in South Africa.
She is passionate about leveraging “intelligent computing” to develop communication support for
individuals with severe language and communication needs. Her primary research areas are human
centred computing, natural language processing, personal narrative and assistive technology. In
particular, she focuses on empowering end users, specifically disabled adults and children, by
involving them in the design and use of AAC technology. Her recent research has used natural
language generation and sensor-based data-to-text technology to automatically generate jokes and
narratives to support language acquisition and communication development for nonspeaking
children. She co-directs two unique interdisciplinary MSc degree programmes: in AAC with
Psychology; and in the Design of Healthcare and Assistive Technologies with Biomedical Engineering
- both at Dundee. She has spearheaded the integration of AAC into undergraduate and postgraduate
teaching in computing, education, medicine and dentistry. She is on the editorial boards of several
academic journals and sits on the boards of a number of national and international organisations

representing disabled people. She was awarded an OBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List for
services to people with Complex Communication Needs and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal
College of Speech and Language Therapists.

Margaret Wertheim independent writer, artist, curator
Keynote Presentation

Mathematics as Material Play

We are used to thinking of mathematics as a system of symbols and signs, learned through
equations and textbooks. But all around us things are doing mathematics. Corals and nudibranchs
construct in the fibers of their being hyperbolic surfaces that human mathematicians long thought
impossible. Sound waves bouncing around a concert hall enact the mathematics of the Fourier
Transform, which is also realized in the patterns on a holographic plate. Light enacts the
mathematics of wave equations and subatomic particles enact the complex equations of quantum
mechanics. I will argue in this talk that mathematics has both a symbolic and a performative
dimension. In this respect it may be seen as akin to music. While music can be written down in
symbols, most music is unscripted and most musicians throughout history have not written or read
music. Music is quintessentially a performed experience and so also mathematics is performed by
material things. This embodied view has important implications epistemological, but also for how we
go about teaching and relating to mathematics in the social and pedagogical spheres. Hyperbolic
geometry can be taught via crochet; fractals can be taught through origami techniques; and many
other concepts in math can be engaged with through material play practices more commonly
associated with the arts. Material making can thus become a window into the very foundations of
mathematics and offers a resource for rethinking what it means to “know” this too-often feared

Bio: Margaret Wertheim is an internationally noted writer, artist and curator whose work focuses on
relations between science and the wider cultural landscape. The author of six books, including The
Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet, and Physics on the
Fringe, a sociological study of outsider science, she has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles
Times, Washington Post, Guardian, Aeon, Cabinet and many others. Wertheim is the founder, with
her twin sister Christine Wertheim, of the Institute For Figuring, a Los Angeles-based practice
devoted to the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science and mathematics – Through
the IFF, she has created exhibitions for the Hayward Gallery (London), Science Gallery (Dublin), Art
Center College of Design (Pasadena), and Mass MoCA (MA). The Wertheims’ Crochet Coral Reef
project is the largest participatory art & science endeavour in the world and has been shown at the
Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), Museum of Arts and Design (New York), Deutsches Museum
(Munich), the Smithsonian (Washington D.C.), and elsewhere. Through an unlikely conjunction of
handicraft and geometry, the Crochet Cora Reef offers a window into the foundations of
mathematics while also addressing climate change and our capacity for positive action in the face of
ecological tragedy. Margaret’s Reef TED talk has been viewed more than a million times and
translated into 22 languages.

Anne Wilson School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University
20 min paper/ performative presentation

A ghost in the machine?

By unpacking push and pull between humans and machines over 5 days in a studio environment that
shaped a recent project, I will reflect on how AI measures, communicates and engages with humans
and what it is to be human in a digital culture. With three performers, a director and two AI
specialists in a partly improvised partly choreographed performance for an imagined audience I
started with the premise that subjectivities experienced while dancing cannot be measured as data. I
hoped to frustrate the programming of an autonomous airborne drone by distinguishing between
movement and dance to emphasise the subjective. Initially I attempted to video a dancer’s multi-
dimensional visual memory of choreographic sequences, however this idea became subsumed by
the presence and behaviour of the drone. I then recorded dance sequences showing an
anthropomorphic partnership emerging between us with a mechanical eye. Relationships evolved
emotionally, gaining momentum – anger, playfulness, fear, love, and suspicion shaped each
performance. The paper will draw on Evan Thompsons’1 articulation of imagination and
embodiment and Felix Stadler’s ‘Stop Making Sense’2 lecture at ‘The New Alphabet’ in which he
explores differences between how humans make meaning and AI uses data. Both philosophers
define subjectivities in terms of embodiment. Using their thesis as a starting point, the paper will be
a 20-minute video showing the evolution of the project from diverse perspectives.

ISCS 2016 - Closing Keynote - Evan Thompson,, accessed
25th January 2019 and Dr. Evan Thompson: "Waking, Dreaming, Being" | Talks at Google,, accessed 23rd January 2019.
Stadler, F., ‘Stop Making Sense’ part 2, lecture presented as part of The New Alphabet currently underway at
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin Germany,

Bio: Anne Scott Wilson is an artist, academic and sometime curator who sustained a live
performance career before studying at university. Transitioning from performance to visual art, her
practice explores what it is to be in a body through a lens of dance, studio practice (visual arts) and
years of live performance. She explores the dichotomous relationship between movement and
meaning experienced within a transition from performance to the performative in curation and solo
practice using video, sound, photography, AI and installation in public and gallery contexts.
She has received several public commissions, grants and residencies in Australia and overseas and is
currently exploring artificial intelligence in artistic practice supported by the Australia Council and
ARS Electronica Australia. Her works are held in public and private collections and she is
represented by Conny Dietzschold Gallery in Sydney, Hong Kong and Cologne.


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