Enacting Bodies of Knowledge

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Rea Dennis
Meghan Kelly


This article discusses a range of issues that arise when bringing together researcher-practitioners around the intersection of art and science, body and environment. Although prompted by the issues played out at the second international Body of Knowledge: Art and Embodied Cognition Conference, the article addresses over-arching concerns around transfer of knowledge that are played out at conferences, through exhibitions and performance, and in publications.

The researchers of embodied cognition and arts practitioners/performers share a fascination with the way cognitive ecologies emerge to reveal the modes of thinking, feeling, moving and making that enact features of our shared environment. While theorists explore how enactive theories of cognition observe and track these dynamic changes, practitioners tend to reflect upon the changes their practice initiates. The intersections of diverse research approaches amongst such common ground highlight the need for space and air to allow tensions, blind spots, opportunities and potentials for knowledge production to become perceptible; to spark productive conversations.

This article considers the conference as an instance of enactive research in which communities of practice gather in an attempt to change encounter into exchange. In this case, the organisational structure of the conference becomes a crucial design decision that enacts an event-space. Consequently, if the event-space is itself a research experiment, then conferral, diversity, inclusion and cultural practices become crucial qualities of movement to observe, track and reflect upon. The activities within and beyond the conference indicate the extent to which creative research platforms alongside embodied enactive research projects must collaborate to draw out the resonances between diverse modes of acquiring knowledge and co-constructing the environment.

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How to Cite
Keane, Jondi, Rea Dennis, and Meghan Kelly. 2020. “Enacting Bodies of Knowledge”. idea journal 17 (02):13-31. https://doi.org/10.51444/ij.v17i02.407.
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