Underground Sensings


Session Title:

  • The Ecosophic World: Explorations of Natural Sentient Environments

Presentation Title:

  • Underground Sensings



  • The analysis of space has been historically dominated by a horizontal imaginary that privileges notions of wayfaring and planar geometries. Forging a new assemblage of performative, somatechnial and techno-choreographic approaches, this paper reflects on an art & anthropology project that examines the theoretical, phenomenological, artistic and political implications of thinking about space volumetrically and kinaesthetically, calling attention to the geopolitics of volumetric space. The project’s field work probed underground water movement, paleogeologic cave formation and industrial/built undergrounds as case studies, proposing to challenge the relation between practices of inquiry in the human sciences and the forms of knowledge to which they give rise. Its basic premise is that knowledge is not generated through an encounter between minds furnished with concepts and theories, and a material world already populated with objects, but emerges from the crucible of our practical, biophysical engagement with the world around us, while at the same time using recording and capturing technologies which, inevitably, remediate the biophysical, sensory aggregates and immersive sensation. Combining practices and insights from science, anthropology, and media performance, the project asks for expressions of sensings that are narrative as well as choreographic; narrative imaginings (based on fieldwork) are translated into collective multimedia explorations of underground space combining photogrammetric modeling (AR/VR), digital sound and film processing and choreography.