Laura Cull: A(n Interrupted) Lecture on Attention in 9 Parts | Sunday 13 April | 3pm 

13. Apr - 13. Apr 14 / ended Siobhan Davies Studios

£6/£4 each; £10/£7 for any two talks; £18/£12 for all four talks

Starts at 3pm

Talk | Multi-disciplinary | London

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© On Philosophy and Participation - Performance Research Journal

© On Philosophy and Participation - Performance Research Journal

Artists’ talk: Laura Cull

The annual WHAT festival is a platform for invited artist curators to ask questions of dance, and through dance. This year, the festival re-imagines itself through a public residency and guest lectures.

Four public talks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will look at the thinking body through different lenses: language, writing, philosophy, geography, education and performance.

Together, the talks develop a body of thought about how attention operates, how we direct ourselves and our thinking to ways of being full-blooded human.

The four guest speakers of the what_now festival: Derek McCormack, Caroline Bergvall, Joris Vlieghe and Laura Cull.

A(n Interrupted) Lecture on Attention in 9 Parts

"Well, what nature does from time to time, by distraction, for certain privileged individuals, could not philosophy on such a matter attempt, in another sense and another way, for everyone? Would not the role of philosophy under such circumstances be to lead us to a completer [sic] perception of reality by means of a certain displacement of our attention? It would be a question of turning this attention aside from the part of the universe which interests us from a practical viewpoint and turning it back toward what serves no practical purpose. This conversion of the attention would be philosophy itself." (Henri Bergson)

"The average person checks their phone nine times an hour." (International Digital Times, October 2013)

With Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s notion of attention as under siege in the back of my mind, in this talk I will share work-in-progress thinking on the concept of attention as it figures in the work of Henri Bergson and his sister Moina Mathers, Jonathan Crary, Allan Kaprow and others.
What is attention? Can performance and philosophy (or indeed, performance philosophy) produce ‘counter-forms of attention’ (Crary) or operate as an ‘education of attention’ (Bergson) in the context of the contemporary attention economy? And if so, what forms might these counter practices take? While Bifo writes of resistance in terms of ‘the self-organisation of cognitive work’ and ‘the global mind’, we will be working towards a notion of ‘thought’ as neither exclusively the province of the mind nor of philosophy (as a metaphysical kind of vision or knowledge), but an embodied perceptual practice available to all.

About Laura…

Laura Cull is senior lecturer in theatre studies and director of postgraduate research for the School of Arts at the University of Surrey, UK. She is author of the book, Theatres of Immanence: Deleuze and the Ethics of Performance (Palgrave, 2012), editor of Deleuze and Performance (Edinburgh University Press, 2009) and co-editor with Will Daddario of Manifesto Now! Instructions for Performance, Philosophy, Politics (Intellect, 2013). Laura is a founding core convener of the professional association Performance Philosophy and a co-editor of the Performance Philosophy book series for Palgrave Macmillan.

£6/£4 each
£10/£7 for any two talks
£18/£12 for all four talks
Booking is highly recommended , please call 020 7091 9650 to purchase your tickets.

Siobhan Davies Studios
85 St George’s Road

Other talks at what_now 2014:

Derek McCormack: Thinking and moving with atmospheric things | Friday 11 April | 7pm

Caroline Bergvall: Writing Gestures | Saturday 12 April | 2pm

Joris Vlieghe: BEING-ENTIRELY-FLESH | Saturday 12 April | 7:30pm

For more information about the residency and the guest speakers please visit

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