Panel 1 : Postcolonial Encounters
Panel 2 : Mobility and Aesthetics
Panel 3 : Asylum and Refugees
Panel 4: Cinema of Borders
Panel 5 : Mobile methods
Panel 6 : The invisible city
Panel 7 : Creative Dis/Locations
Panel 8 : Travel Writing
The paper will extend and develop ideas from a recent essay (of the same title) which will be published in the online journal m/c (Spring 2009).
Referring to my collaboration with the artist-led project, Open City, I will investigate the (im)mobility of stillness as a creative strategy. I will explore the potential of an active and resistant – rather than passive or acquiescent – form of stillness that can be activated strategically within a performance-based practice; in turn producing conditions in which a radically dissenting – yet affirmative – model of subjectivity might be developed. Stillness is often presented as antithetical to the velocity, mobility, speed and freedom proposed by new technologies and the various accelerated modes by which we are encouraged to engage with the world. Stillness and slowness have been deemed outmoded or anachronistic forms of mobility, as fastness and efficiency have become the privileged terms. Alternatively, stillness has been reclaimed within a resistant – or at least reactive – “counter-culture” for challenging the enforced and increased pace that we are required to perform. Rather than focusing on a model of stillness based on the attempt to ‘opt out’ of the accelerated time-zones, mobilities and narratives of contemporary capitalism – the move towards a more spiritual or meditative existence by removal or denial of contemporary societal pressures – this paper will explore the potential within forms of stillness specifically produced in and by contemporary capitalism, by reflecting on how they might be (re)inhabited as sites of critical action. With reference to the writing of Gilles Deleuze – especially in relation to Spinoza’s Ethics – I want to explore how the asignifying or affective possibilities produced by the collective performance of stillness can be understood as a mode of playful resistance to or refusal of habitual social norms; additionally producing the germinal conditions for a nascent community of experience no longer bound by existing protocol, a model of “communitas” emerging from the shared act of being still.