presents: dance as a way of knowing: interview with Alva Noë

Embodied Techne Series
Marlon Barrios Solano interviewed the philosopher of Alva Noë in his brief visit to NYC. He explains his line of inquiry on perception and action and why dance (and human movement) is relevant for the understanding and development of consciousness. He also talks about his experience with the Lisa Nelson's "Tunning Scores" joint workshop and how certain approaches to dance training and composition can collaborate with science and philosophy in generating knowledge from an embodied perspective.
He is the author of the book "Action in Perception".

Alva Noe's bio from his website:

I am a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley

I work principally on the philosophy of mind and cognitive science, with special interest in the theory of perception. I am also interested in the philosophy of art, the history of analytic philosophy, Phenomenology, and Wittgenstein.

I am member of the UC Berkeley Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and I am on the faculty of Berkeley's Cognitive Science Program. I am also a member of the new UC Berkeley Center for New Media.

During the 2007-2008 academic year I will be a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin).

From 10 August 2007, through mid-July 2008, I can be reached by mail at the following address: Alva Noë; Fellow; Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin; Wallotstrasse 19; 14193 Berlin; Germany.

Produced by Marlon Barrios Solano for

Views: 1710

Location: NYC (Show Map)


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Comment by Jeannette Ginslov on June 23, 2008 at 5:41am
Thank you Alva and Marlon
This video is indeed inspiring and made me think of my ravings a few months back about the "post-choreographic". I too have been grappling with the "stuff" that needs to be negotiated by dance, audience and creator. It is not solely the lines, structure or narrative that engages the audience but what rises as a kind of, dare I say it, "vapour", around the performance that interests me.

And you Alva, have just confirmed what I needed to hear. Embodied phenomenology! Great. An understanding of what is transforming in you and around you and the dance and environment, for all three participants.

As you know, the dancer is always aware of mind and perceptual flow, seeing in real-time but also seeing shifts in perceptual flow and shifts in
perspective, as if there is a constant dialogue within the performer between the different 'performative selves' - one is aware of the structure and responds accordingly, one is aware of the shifts and slight differences that occur at each performance, so cause and effect vary slightly at each
performance, one is aware of mistakes and therefore new ideas and
possibilities, one that is aware of audience and the desire to evoke an
empathetic response in them; making them as kinetically or emotionally engaged and in an excited/aware state, one that is always judging the performance as a whole within a cultural context aware of place in time and history, with one that is the personal and the other political. And of course the locus of the Body. All three are interlinked.

But above all my search is for the enactment of experience, the fleshing out of experience that should be negotiated by the audience who have come to "see" the show, in order to engage with a re-distribution or re-negotiation of experience according to the artist presenting.

There is in fact a co-authorship between audience, performer and choreographer (who might also be the perfomers). All three are in this "dance of landscape" together, re-negotiating an understanding of what they are dealing with, within that hour or so of performance.

best wishes


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