- Diego Gil
“Dancing ontopower” is a dance lecture performance
that by embodying concepts of process philosophy,
attempts to do instantaneous (and spontaneous)
research creation at the very moment of encounter
with the audience. Through talking and moving at a
continuous pace, the environment of perception
becomes a tensile fabric of experience for half
born thoughts to be held as a temporary collective
between performer and participators.
The concept of “ontopower” is researched through
the writings of the latest books of philosopher
Brian Massumi: “The Power at the End of the
Economy”, “Ontopower” and “The Principle of
Unrest”. The research is also complemented with
associated concepts by philosophers Alfred North
Whitehead and Gilles Deleuze.
In its basic sense “ontopower” refers to the power
to trigger emergent processes that give birth to
concrete perceptions through the body senses. Its
aim is to bring to the foreground of human
recognition certain types of knowledge disciplines
(by pushing to the background others). According
to philosopher Brian Massumi, in our contemporary
post 9/11 society, the dominant mode of ontopower
is “preemption”: the operation exercised at the
immanent moment in which a process begins to take
an actual perceivable form. “Preemptive power” is
used with more force in the military complex but
is found in each institutional structure of the
neoliberal system: politics, economy and culture.
By researching the concept of “ontopower” through
a mode of performative technique of physical
movement and talk, the attempt is to develop a
pedagogical tool - that ‘practices’ what it
‘theorizes’- and that offers a lived experience of
what affective experiences of counter dominant
powers could look and feel like.
This project has been supported by the Humanities
PhD program of Concordia University, Montreal.
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