Always More Than One

Individuation's Dance

Always More Than One

Book Pages: 328 Illustrations: 33 illustrations Published: January 2013

Author: Erin Manning

Contributor: Brian Massumi

Cultural Studies, Theater and Performance, Theory and Philosophy > Critical Theory

In Always More Than One, the philosopher, visual artist, and dancer Erin Manning explores the concept of the "more than human" in the context of movement, perception, and experience. Working from Whitehead's process philosophy and Simondon's theory of individuation, she extends the concepts of movement and relation developed in her earlier work toward the notion of "choreographic thinking." Here, she uses choreographic thinking to explore a mode of perception prior to the settling of experience into established categories. Manning connects this to the concept of "autistic perception," described by autistics as the awareness of a relational field prior to the so-called neurotypical tendency to "chunk" experience into predetermined subjects and objects. Autistics explain that, rather than immediately distinguishing objects—such as chairs and tables and humans—from one another on entering a given environment, they experience the environment as gradually taking form. Manning maintains that this mode of awareness underlies all perception. What we perceive is never first a subject or an object, but an ecology. From this vantage point, she proposes that we consider an ecological politics where movement and relation take precedence over predefined categories, such as the neurotypical and the neurodiverse, or the human and the nonhuman. What would it mean to embrace an ecological politics of collective individuation?


"Through inventive language and a deep engagement with continental philosophy, her authoritative text pushes thought to the limits of expressibility, and presents to the reader a world that shimmers with potential." — Megan Bridge, Dance Chronicle

"In using a process-oriented philosophy of individuation, Manning has succeeded in creating a text that utilizes the methods she proposes to create a compelling illustration of how autistic perception can rework the ethics of relation." — Joe Grobelny, Itineration

"Erin Manning's book offers a philosophy of neurodiverse perception, encouraging us “not to begin with the pre-chunked.” How ironic, then, that the impulse to categorize and to pathologize is generally seen as evidence of the normate’s proper functioning. In Manning’s splendid book, autism comes to signify not a disorder but a relational “dance of attention,” one that refuses to strand any entity at the margin of our concern." — Ralph James Savarese, coeditor of Autism and the Concept of Neurodiversity, a special issue of Disability Studies Quarterly

"In Always More Than One, Erin Manning produces a truly original choreographic thinking. I don't just mean that she writes about choreography. She thinks how the body moves, and moves her writing in step with that thinking. She performs an expanded choreography, developed in dialogue with dance, putting dance in dialogue with other practices. A must for dancers who think - and philosophers who wish they could dance." — William Forsythe, Choreographer and Artistic Director of The Forsythe Company

"In this book, Erin Manning takes us on an amazing journey. It is a journey of philosophical thought, to be sure; but it is also a journey of bodies in motion, through landscapes that are enlivened and transformed by their passage. Always More Than One is a book about the vitality of the in-between. It presents a vision of life adding to life, whether in the simplest everyday encounters, or in the densely articulated webs of works of art." — Steven Shaviro, author of Post Cinematic Affect


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Erin Manning is University Research Chair in Philosophy and Relational Art and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University. She is the author of Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy and Politics of Touch: Sense, Movement, Sovereignty and coauthor, with Brian Massumi, of Thought in the Act: Passages in the Ecology of Experience (forthcoming).

Table of Contents Back to Top
Prelude / Brian Massumi ix

Acknowledgments xxv

1. Toward a Leaky Sense of Self 1

Interlude. When Movement Dances 13

2. Always More Than One 16

Interlude. Dancing the Virtual 30

3. Waltzing the Limit 41

4. Propositions for the Verge 74

Interlude. What Else? 91

5. Choreography as Mobile Architecture 99

Interlude. Fiery, Luminous, Scary 124

6. The Dance of Attention 133

7. An Ethics of Language in the Making 149

Interlude. Love the Anonymous Elements 172

8. The Shape of Enthusiasm 184

Coda. Another Regard 204

Notes 223

Bibliography 257

Index 267
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5334-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5333-1
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