ERIN MANNING /// What Can a Body Do?


The multiplicity of mediums used by Erin Manning to address the Spinozist question of “what can a body do” certainly influences this conversation and its “start from the middle,” a Deleuzian notion of which she is particularly fond. Through fashion design, literature, dance and philosophy, we repeatedly explores how little we know of the body. This ignorance is however balanced by our certitude that all design/politics that consider the body in a normative manner rather than in its singularity will indubitably hurt it rather than work with it.

Erin Manning holds a University Research Chair in Relational Art and Philosophy in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). She is also the director of the SenseLab, a laboratory that explores the intersections between art practice and philosophy through the matrix of the sensing body in movement. In her art practice she works between painting, dance, fabric and sculpture. Her writing addresses movement, art, experience and the political through the prism of process philosophy, with recent work developing a notion of autistic perception and the more-than human.



– Erin Manning, Politics of Touch: Sense, Movement, Sovereignty, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.
– Erin Manning, Relationscapes: Movement, Art, Philosophy, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009.
– Erin Manning, Always More than One: Individuation’s Dance, Durnham: Duke University Press, 2013
– Erin Manning, The Perfect Mango, 1995.
– Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory, 1896
– Baruch Spinoza, Ethics, 1677