Affect, ambiguity and encryption – Seminar by Susan Kozel at Stockholm UniArts, April 20

In this talk, Susan Kozel will trace an artistic research path through a large interdisciplinary research project called Living Archives with particular emphasis on the performance of affect using mobile technologies in conjunction with movement improvisation

This seminar is part of a series aimed for the research community at Stockholm University of the Arts to provide examples of various approaches for artistic research. The seminar series is hosted by the professors of the four cross disciplinary profile areas. Now part of the series is opened up for audiences from outside the university.

This journey charts a dramatic shift in attitude: from optimism regarding the expressive potential of using mobile media for deepening and disseminating affect, to vulnerability and the desire to be veiled or protected in the use of such technologies. This reflects Edward Snowden dramatic revelations that not only do we archive ourselves, but we are archived, even without our knowing it, at all times.

I will describe how the processes and experimentation of the AffeXity performances (2010-2013) led to its response, or its shadow, Performing Encryption (2015-2016), a workshop series with the goal of expanding a corporeal-political stance on the use of pervasive technologies. This response occurred directly out of dance and improvisatory practices within a system networked devices. These practices also contribute to a articulation of “somatic materialism” which is based on phenomenological reflections upon affective flows.

Recognising that our bodily movements and affective choices are increasingly traced, triangulated, and archived, whether we like it or not, this talk asks whether dancers and somatic practitioners may transpose their skills and experiences into strategies for ambiguity, obfuscation or affective play that can open up greater abilities to choreograph our own data and digital bodily traces.

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