Building Bridges

I presented a paper this weekend at the University of Toronto's Building Bridges in Kinesiology, Physical Education, and Health: An Inter-and Multi-Disciplinary Conference. In a session on Body and Movement, I spoke about the "The Art of Work in the Age of its Mediated Simulation". My co-presenters included Linnet Fawcett of Concordia University, who spoke about "In-Between Spaces in Sport: Corporeal Re-creation and the Trick Skater", and Rae Johnson of the University of Toronto, who spoke about the "The Politics of Embodiment: Social Theory and Somatic Practice?"

Linnet's appeal for a sense of body movement that is in the moment resonated strongly with me, particularly given her allegory of skaters who leave the art of their lines on the ice only to be erased a short time later by droplets of water.

Rae told an anecdote from the body awareness and creative movement seminar she leads of a woman who was beaming with pride because it was the first time in decades that she had raised her arms above her head — the reason being that a lifetime of an abusive father and other cultural conditioning factors had made her feel vulnerable anytime she was expressive with her body, particularly in lifting her arms above her head.

These very positive stories of body movement set up my closing paper on The Art of Work. But it wasn't until the question period that I realized how relatively dystopic my work actually is. I promise I'm not this brooding nihilist in person, honest!

Thanks to the crew at U of T for putting on a very professional event that certainly exceeded my expectations.


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