CI Science Day
The relevance of contact improvisation goes beyond the domain of performative arts or aesthetics. People engaging in CI often experience a heightened sense of connection with one another and with themselves. CI becomes a social practice where basic themes of human interactions and sociality are exhibited, perhaps more vividly than in everyday situations. For these reasons, it draws the attention of researchers wanting to study topics such as somatic and embodied communication, interpersonal coordination, social cognition, empathy, closeness and togetherness, group dynamics or looking for effective educational, therapeutic and social interventions.
During this meeting, we would like to approach CI dance as a laboratory situation, creating opportunities to study the foundations of human connection. We invite dancers, researchers and scientists to join us for a full day workshop/seminar exploring this topic.
The programme includes:
- Keynote: Dr Nita Little: Touching our Relations
- Workshop: Mini introduction to the PRISMA (Julian Zubek & Klara Łucznik)
- Round table discussion on methods to study social phenomena through dance/performative arts.
- We invite proposals for sharing/presentation and activities from participants.
Dr Nita Little
Keynote Lecture: Touching our Relations
Two things change the lived meaning of human touch significantly – our attentional practices of time, and our physical actions of conception, the ground of which lies in our imagination and our ability to tap the creative powers to conceive something that is not present to us in the moment. Time skills allow us to be in communion with our partner. Discovering the physicality of our imagination allows us to recognize what communion can be and so be moved by it. Both of these gifts offer to us an ability to move beyond responsive participation with our partners and to gain a practice of what Thich Naht Hanh called “interbeing” and what Karen Barad calls reconfiguring “intra-actions” of being. Touching is most meaningful when it orients our dancing relations toward communion – the root of which means “sharing.” However, I wonder if that term goes quite far enough into grasping the entangled nature of our engagements. This presentation takes us through conceptual levels and onto practical ones in an offering that studies our relational practices.
Keywords: right relations, tactile attention, co-creation, emergence, intra-action, interbeing
Keynote Workshop: Right Relations: what we bring to touching
This workshop will introduce students to a critical understanding of the value of attentional practices in our touching relations. Following from the keynote address, our dancing will focus on the impact of our time practices and our conception of individuation, difference, and the flesh in the formation of our moving contact. Our work aims to enhance the quality of our somatic communication through developing the physicality of our tactile attention. We will come to understand communication as communion, question the limits of our cultural models, and engage with creativity, not as something achieved, but as something already present and ready to be activated.
Workshop: Mini introduction to the PRISMA (Julian Zubek & Klara Łucznik)
PRISMA is a method for studying the embodied aspects of social interactions. It draws from the phenomenological tradition and somatic practices. During the PRISMA experiment researchers use their own experience of embodied interaction as a tender instrument for studying intersubjectivity.
De Jaegher, H., Pieper, B., Clénin, D., & Fuchs, T. (2017). Grasping intersubjectivity: an invitation to embody social interaction research. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 1-33.
This workshop is co-hosted by Dr Julian Zubek and Dr Klara Łucznik.
Dr Julian Zubek is a research fellow at the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Warsaw, a Human Interactivity and Language Lab member. He researches the border between psycholinguistics and artificial intelligence. He is fascinated by the dynamic aspects of interpersonal interactions and explores people’s ability to coordinate on many levels and time scales. He treats movement coordination that occurs spontaneously between people as the key to understanding the basic social mechanisms that determine the formation of language and culture. He dances CI and practices Chinese martial arts.
Dr Klara Łucznik is a research fellow at the School of Psychology at the University of Plymouth (UK). Her research interests focus on how people collaborate, exchange ideas and inspire each other while creating together. She uses open-score group improvisation structures to learn about spontaneous group dynamics. Having a strong background in psychology, cognitive science and dance, she has developed an eclectic, multiple disciplinary approach to her studies, as she seamlessly shifts between being a researcher and a dance practitioner.
Media patronage: Avant
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952324.