Inflexions 10: Exhaustion


Edited by: Erik Bordeleau, Christoph Brunner, Halbe Kuipers, Nguyễn Nam Chi ,Toni Pape
Designed with LM Plumb, Matisse ApSimon-Megens, PopFabRadPed


Minor Movements Begin!

read more event details here Minor movements are not ours to make so much as ours to attune to:   *see event listing Minor movements are not ours to make so much as ours to attune to –      A curatorial process for the activation of minor movements requires an attunement to the conditions that select for artfulness –  An attunement to artfulness opens the work to its more-than –      The more-than is what is curated –      An environment is activated, an enlivening of an ecology...

Reading Group – July 19 4:30

Hi everyone! We will finish Glissant on July 19 at 4:30 EST. We are reading the section called Poetics, pp. 131-182 in the English version, and Poetics pp. 183 and pp.197 in the French version.

Reading Group – May 23, 4:30pm

We will continue reading Poetics of Relation by Edouard Glissant thursday May 23rd. We are reading the section called Theories, pp. 131-182 in the English version, and Théories, pp.149-194 in the French version.


The SenseLab is a laboratory for thought in motion.

Based in Montreal, the SenseLab is an international network of artists and academics, writers and makers, from a wide diversity of fields, working together at the crossroads of philosophy, art, and activism. Participants are held together by affinity rather than by any structure of membership or institutional hierarchy. The SenseLab’s event-based projects are collectively self-organizing. Their aim is to experiment with creative techniques for thought in the act. The SenseLab’s product is its process, which is meant to disseminate. The measure of success is the creative momentum that spins off into individual and group practices elsewhere, to seed new processes asserting their own autonomy. The SenseLab makes no claim to ownership, operating as much as possible on the principle of a gift economy. Erin Manning founded the SenseLab in 2004 out of a desire to build a supportive environment conducive to new modes of encounter and expression. Her premise was that concepts are never pre-programmed. Rather, they are experimental effects of an on-going process which emerge in the doing, and merge with making. The concepts and techniques collectively arrived at over the first ten years of SenseLab actvities are explored in “Propositions for Thought in the Act” (in Erin Manning and Brian Massumi, Thought in the Act: Passages in the Ecology of Experience, University of Minnesota Press, 2014). The SenseLab has adopted the term “research-creation” to describe its activities, with the goal of fundamentally rethinking “theory” and “practice” in a way that overcomes the all-too-common antagonism between the two. What distinguishes the SenseLab’s approach to research-creation is its emphasis on philosophy as a creative practice in its own right, and its sustained dedication to live experimentation with new forms of transdisciplinary collaboration. SenseLab projects engage in the process of thinking by doing, always with the understanding that concepts are made in and through the event. They practice philosophy as a catalyst to other modes of creative endeavour, never their judge or master. SenseLab collaborations take the form of punctual research-creation events supplemented by ongoing, year-round activities. Anyone is a member who feels him- or herself to be one, and projects and activities may be initiated by any member. There is no formal decision-making process. Projects garner momentum, or fade away, depending on their own creative force and force of circumstance. Projects grow, rather than being directed. The idea, however, is not “anything goes.” Core members (a perpetually emergent, ever-shifting group including energetic newcomers) exercise an orchestrating or orienting influence designed to ensure the continuation of the SenseLab’s project in keeping with the ethos it has developed of affirmative creative exploration rigourously engaged in developing techniques for creative relation, uncontained by the disciplines between which it works and unsubdued by the institutional structures on which it draws. The SenseLab does not exist as an entity apart from the self-propelling process of its projects. A continuing thread of SenseLab activities has been a long-standing central reading group exploring process-oriented philosophy, along with a proliferation of off-shoots from it. The collective reading practices impart a conceptual impetus to activities in other modes, which continue the movement of thought in their own register of embodied experience. These include movement experimentations, writing activations, materials-based explorations, and spatial/environmental assemblages. These relay back into the reading practice, and other specifically language-based activities, to challenge and enrich them, forming a “research-creation” circuit among modes of thought and action. Activities are self-organizing, often initiated by a “pop-up proposition” that can be launched by any participant. Remote participants regularly join Montreal-based activities by Skype. An international partnership grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2013-2020) enabled the SenseLab to solidy its collaborative network. The partnership formally extends to 19 universities and 20 community arts partners worldwide. Semi-autonomoius local SenseLab “hubs” are active in Europe, Brazil, and Australia, networking with each other and the Montreal hub through Basecamp and other distance collaboration tools. The SenseLab produces an online multi-media journal entitled Inflexions: A Journal for Research-Creation (an Open Humanities Press journal). The goal of Inflexions is to experiment with new modes of the dissemination of knowledge that fully avail themselves of the potentials offered by the internet. A book series was also started at Open Humanities Press entitled Immediations encouraging explorations into concept-making and collaborative process, including projects that push the concept of the book to its limit. The Immediations book series is continuing at Puntum Press under the 3Ecologies Books imprint. Titles are open access, available in print form or as a free pdf. In its first ten years, the SenseLab hosted a series of international events under the rubric Technologies of Lived Abstraction. Our first event, Dancing the Virtual (2005), focused on the “movement of thought” as embodied relational movement. Housing the Body, Dressing the Environment (2007) was composed around “platforms for relation” activating constellations of thought in the in-between of the body and the built environment. Society of Molecules (2009) invited far-flung groupings in a number of countries to plan a remotely coordinated set of local art interventions germinating from “seeds of process” gifted between groups. Finally, Generating the Impossible (2011) explored the concepts of an “emergent attunement” out of chaos, and of the “transduction” of one process into another, moving between a remote forest location and the inner city. Since we ended the Technologies of Lived Abstraction event series, we began a new phase, broadly called Immediations, which explores techniques that create emergent collectivities. The events organized have included Into the Midst (2012), Three Mile Meal (2013) and Enter Bioscleave (2013), Anarchiving Precarity (2014), Fugitive Planning (2015), Distributing the Insensible (2016), The Affect-o-meeting (2017), and a series of Minor Movements (2018-2019), among others (see the “Events” tab of this website). As the Immediations phase comes to a close, we are working to spin off from the universitty an autonomous platform for creative-relational research called the 3Ecologies Institute. At the heart of the 3E project is a concern for neurodiversity and experimentation in alter-economic practices. More information can be found in the “3 Ecologies” tab of this website. A concise description of the project is found on our Patreon page. Everyone is welcome.


Le SenseLab est un laboratoire pour la pensée en mouvement.

Basé à Montréal, le SenseLab est un réseau international d’artistes, d’universitaires, d’écrivains et de créateurs provenant d’une grande variété de domaines et travaillant ensemble à la croisée de la philosophie, de l’art et de l’activisme. Les participants sont liés par affinité plutôt que par une structure d’adhésion ou une hiérarchie institutionnelle. Les projets-événements du SenseLab sont collectivement auto-organisés. Ils ont pour but d’expérimenter des techniques créatives pour une pensée en acte. Le produit du SenseLab, c’est son processus, voué à la dissémination. Son succès se mesure au momentum créatif qu’il génère en son sein et qui se prolonge dans d’autres pratiques individuelles et collectives, ensemençant de nouveaux processus affirmant leur propre autonomie. Le SenseLab ne revendique aucun droit de propriété. Il opère, dans la mesure du possible, selon le principe d’une économie du don. Erin Manning a fondé le SenseLab en 2004 avec l’envie de créer un environnement accueillant et propice à de nouveaux modes de rencontre et d’expression. Sa prémisse de départ était que les concepts ne sont jamais programmés à l’avance. Ils constituent plutôt les effets expérimentaux d’un processus en évolution continue, toujours en train de se faire, à même la pratique. Les concepts et les techniques collectivement formés au cours des dix premières années d’activité du SenseLab sont explorés plus en détails dans « Propositions pour une pensée en acte» (Erin Manning et Brian Massumi, Thought in the Act: Passages in the Ecology of Experience, University of Minnesota Press, 2014). Le SenseLab décrit ses activités en termes de « recherche-création », dans l’optique de repenser en profondeur les catégories de «théorie» et de «pratique», et d’ainsi remettre en question la situation d’antagonisme à laquelle elles sont trop souvent rivées. L’approche du SenseLab concernant la recherche-création se caractérise par l’importance accordée à la philosophie comme pratique créative, et son intérêt soutenu pour l’expérimentation de nouvelles formes de collaboration transdisciplinaire. Les projets du SenseLab s’engagent dans des processus de pensée par le milieu d’un faire, en gardant toujours à l’esprit que les concepts se fabriquent dans et à travers l’événement. Les membres du SenseLab pratiquent la philosophie comme un catalyseur pour les autres modes d’activité créatrice, jamais comme juge ou maître. Les collaborations du SenseLab prennent la forme d’événements ponctuels de recherche-création, ainsi que d’activités diverses qui ont lieu tout au long de l’année. Est membre du SenseLab quiconque se sent y appartenir, et les projets et activités peuvent être initiés par tous les membres. Il n’y a pas de processus formel de décision. Les projets génèrent un momentum ou disparaissent, en fonction de leur propre force créatrice et de celle des circonstances. Les projets se développent à leur guise plutôt que d’être dirigés. Néanmoins, l’idée n’est pas de laisser libre court au « tout et n’importe quoi ». Les membres porteurs (un groupe en constante émergence et ouvert aux nouveaux arrivants dynamiques) exercent une influence orchestrale qui oriente les projets du groupe, en accord avec l’ethos d’exploration créative et positive entretenu par le SenseLab au fil des années. Il s’agit ainsi de préserver l’engagement rigoureux du SenseLab pour le développement d’un ensemble de techniques relationnelles et créatives qui ne se confinent pas aux limites des disciplines avec lesquelles il travaille, et qui maintiennent un esprit d’insoumission à l’égard des structures institutionnelles auxquelles il participe. Le SenseLab n’existe pas comme une entité séparée du processus d’auto-propulsion de ses projets.   Les activités en cours comprennent un groupe de lecture actif de longue date (les récentes discussions ont tournées autour de Whitehead, Arakawa et Gins, Deleuze, Guattari et Nietzsche); des sessions d’expérimentation de mouvement bi-mensuelles; des activations hebdomadaires d’écriture; ainsi que deux séries d’événements mensuels publics, Nœuds de la pensée et Mouvements de la pensée (en collaboration avec le centre d’art transdisciplinaire Usine C). Des participants à l’étranger se joignent régulièrement aux activités montréalaises du SenseLab par Skype. Depuis 2008, le SenseLab s’est aussi constitué comme lieu de résidence. Nous accueillons des chercheurs et des créateurs qui souhaitent développer leur pratique et leur pensée dans des directions inédites, au sein d’un environnement collaboratif, processuel, ouvert et solidaire. Une subvention de partenariat récemment octroyée par le Conseil de Recherches en Sciences Humaines du Canada (CRSH) a permis au SenseLab de consolider son réseau de collaborations, qui inclut officiellement 12 universités et 20 partenaires d’art communautaire en Amérique du Nord, en Europe et en Australie, ainsi que des connexions vibrantes et informelles avec une constellation de collectifs en tout genre. Le SenseLab produit une revue en ligne multimédia intitulée Inflexions : Un Journal de recherche-création (Open Humanities Press). Le but d’Inflexions est d’expérimenter de nouveaux modes de dissémination des connaissances qui tirent pleinement profit les potentialités offertes par le web. Le SenseLab dirige également une série littéraire à Open Humanities Press intitulée « Immediations », qui encourage les explorations de processus collaboratifs et repousse les limites du concept de livre. Durant ses dix premières années d’existence, le SenseLab a organisé une série d’événements internationaux sous la rubrique  Technologies de l’abstraction vécue. Notre premier événement, « Danser le Virtuel » (2005), a porté sur le « mouvement de la pensée » conçu comme mouvement relationnel incorporé. « Habiter le corps, Habiller l’environnement » (2007) a été construit autour de « plates-formes relationnelles » pour l’activation de constellations de la pensée dans l’entre-deux du corps et de l’environnement bâti. « Société des molécules » (2009) a convié des groupes provenant de différents pays à planifier un ensemble coordonné d’interventions artistiques locales mais à distance, initiées (« semées ») à partir de « graines de processus » échangées entre les groupes. Enfin, « Générer l’impossible » (2011) a exploré les concepts d’une « harmonisation émergente » du chaos et de la « transduction » d’un processus à un autre, opérant entre un site en forêt éloignée et le centre-ville de Montréal. La phase Technologies de l’abstraction vécue est maintenant complétée. Une nouvelle phase a commencé, Immediations, dans laquelle il s’agira d’explorer les techniques qui créent des collectivités émergentes. Les événements organisés dans cette série jusqu’à présent inclus « Du dôme au milieu: immersion, émergence » (2012), « Bouffe sur Trois Bornes » (2013) et « Entrer dans le Bioscleave » (2013). Tout le monde est bienvenu!   Pour les visiteurs internationaux qui souhaitent effectuer une résidence au SenseLab ou participer virtuellement à nos activités, s’il vous plaît communiquer avec ici.  

Recent Events

Minor Movements Begin!

read more event details here Minor movements are not ours to make so much as ours to attune to:   *see event listing Minor movements are not ours to make so much as ours to attune to –      A curatorial process for the activation of minor movements requires an attunement to the conditions that select for artfulness –  An attunement to artfulness opens the work to its more-than –      The more-than is what is curated –      An environment is activated, an enlivening of an ecology...

Reading Group – July 19 4:30

Hi everyone! We will finish Glissant on July 19 at 4:30 EST. We are reading the section called Poetics, pp. 131-182 in the English version, and Poetics pp. 183 and pp.197 in the French version.

Reading Group – May 23, 4:30pm

We will continue reading Poetics of Relation by Edouard Glissant thursday May 23rd. We are reading the section called Theories, pp. 131-182 in the English version, and Théories, pp.149-194 in the French version.

Reading Group March 22, 4pm

We will continue reading Poetics of Relation by Edouard Glissant this coming Friday, March 22nd at 4pm. We are reading the section called Paths, pp. 89-130 in the English version, and Chemins, pp.101-142 in the French version.

Reading Group – Edouard Glissant, Friday, February 22 at 4pm.

Hi everyone, The next reading group on Edouard Glissant will be held on Friday, February 22 at 4pm. We will continue reading Poetics of Relation. We will read the second chapter – pp. 45-89 of the English translation, 55-102 of the french. Let us know if you want a digital copies of the text. A Skype link will be soon posted if you wanted to attend from afar. See you...

Stirring the Pot with Noa Haran and Mali Ka, December 11th, 2-4pm

Please join us for a Stirring the Pot session on sound/listening experimentation with Noa Haran and Mali Ka at the SenseLab on Tuesday, December 11 at 2 pm. 2pm: Noa Haran will lead a workshop around the idea of ‘modes of listening’, an invitation to explore them together through vocal improvisation – previous experience in vocal improvisation is not required! A ‘mode of listening’ is a perceptual state of the listener when they focus their attention on certain aspects or details of the sounds or consciously assuming a specific context or intention to the sound. For example, we can decide to listen to a certain sound as if it speech, or focus our attention only on the production of a sound; to the air and pressure involved in it. In free improvisation, modes of listening can be practiced together and then be reflected in the music that we are making. By putting the focus on “how do we listen” rather than “what do we sing/play” we may find it easier to tune in to each other on the one hand, and stay open and inclusive toward any kind of sound on the other. Noa Haran is a vocalist and composer based in Montreal, originally from Jerusalem, Israel. Beside holding a M.MUS is composition from McGill University, she has been involved for many years in the scene of vocal improvisation. She is a co-founder and member of ABRA – a vocal performance quartet, who performed at a diverse range of venues in Israel and Europe, released an album and gained recognition both in the new music and contemporary performance scenes....

Schizo-somatics: The Social Protocol and the Body Derivative, December 5th, 5-7pm

The Social Protocol and the Body Derivative Can we ever escape the problem of governance? Economy and governance, as it has been noted in different ways, are the two sides of the same token. From the Undercommons, we have learned that governance was a form of expropriation, a provocation into display: display of interests, of legibility, of convertibility into value. But for those who have been experimenting with blockchain-based alternatives (schizo)economies, it is perhaps necessary to recognize that “governance is not a dirty word, but rather one that is internal to the logic and protocols of self-organization” (Lovink and Rossiter, Organizations after Social Media). This workshop is about collectively exploring this enduring, body derivative tension. It is the second iteration of the “Schizo-somatic workshop for an Extra-Economical Body” series, facilitated by Erik Bordeleau and Diego Gil (with the participation of Csenge Kolozsvari, Joel E. Mason, Mariana Marcassa and André Fogliano). *** To what are we dedicated if not to those problems which demand the very transformation of our body and our language?” (Deleuze, Difference and...

Schizo-somatics: Geological Packages, November 7th, 3–5PM

In the next schizo-somatic session we welcome you to play with geological packages prepared by Csenge Koloszvari, Ramona Benveniste and Diego Gil. Geological packages are propositions choreographed with and through architectures, machine-like objects, images and process philosophy fragments. They are a call to experiment with qualities vectoring at the tip of the sensible and as a topological play, one in which a subjectless subjectivity (a more-than human event) epidermises its passages of form taking. We hope to see you there, Ramona, Csenge and...

Spinoza Reading Group – November 1st, 2-4pm

We will be reading 20 more pages of Spinoza, Thursday at 2pm at the SenseLab. The English (Curley): pages 537-557. and French (Misrahi): from XXVIII – p. 271-302. Everyone is welcome.

Schizo-Somatic Proposition, October 31st, 3-5pm

On Halloween, October 31st from 3 to 5 pm, Catharine Cary proposes to “open the present “ of pure nonsense – welcome to the Nonsense Lab. Starting with elements of her “Upside Down Protocol”, she will activate a session of continual movement (during which you may sit down), offering nonsensical ways to jump into the synaptic divide, fall off the liminal edge, dip our toes into that indescribable soup, smell the bigger body, eat into the space inbetween, or the void, or the now, or the moment. Two hours of fitting in and fitting out, cutting to the chase, finding an interval or the relative pitch — a breaking of habit. “Techniques open habit to its potential undoing as much as they make apparent habit’s stubborn place in our life.” Erin Manning  (The Minor Gesture, p. 125) The fact that it’s happening on Halloween, the night that spirits fly before they are nailed down for another year on All Saint’s Day, must have some implication. We will perhaps find out together. Catharine Cary is interested in the spider web of embodied improvisation as a guidebook for the daily. By practicing improvisation, can we turn on it’s head everything we think we know, provoking play and joy in a mind and body subtle and supple enough to see the ‘upside down’ of things? And act in consequence. After running big complicated urban development projects in New York City, including brushing wingtips with Donald Trump, yikes, she gave up the American dream to paint in Paris. Twenty years later, she has moved her practice to the plastic; her PhD at the...

Schizo-Somatic Proposition, 24th of October, 3-5pm

Please join us for the next schizo-somatic proposition, this time activated by Hanako Hoshimi-Caines. I like dancing I like dancing I’ve been looking for a way to dance and a new way of thinking my way into dancing. I’ve tried not thinking as the way to get free in dance – because for me working on dancing seems to involve working toward and through degrees of freedom or access to freedom, which seems to come hand in hand with power and the unconscious. But either not thinking is a total illusion, or I cannot operate without it: I need a frame, cause I can’t pretend that I feel totally there, all at once. Maybe this is the structure of my fragmenting kinda-mostly-white western brain-being. But this situation, this commitment, is not a choice, so I work with it. The frame/thinking (the sledgehammer) is the process of entry into what I’d call a “real” dance, and what I mean by real is that it is a dance that destroys and creates all at the same time. It’s powerful and slippery, sludgy and sharp, and goddamn if anything is not allowed in it. I am testing out the truth to see if it might be a temporary access/frame/pass to a break/make dance. Hanako Hoshimi-Caines is a choreographer and dancer based in Montreal. She is committed to an emo-critical engagement with dance, choreography and philosophy as a way to see, feel and love better. She has danced for a lot of choreographers here and in Europe. Her solo and collaborative works have been shown in performance and music festivals as well as...

Schizo-Somatics meet Stirring the Pot, October 17th, 4-6pm

This iteration of Schizo-somatic meets Stirring the Pot is an invitation for Grasiele Sousa and Lucio Agra at the intersection of these two ways of sharing; by schizzing and by presenting a practice in an active way. From Lucio and Grasiele: We would like to make a conversation about performance art in Brazil starting from our own experience and trying to contrast this with a collective imaginary constructed around this topic. To get to this point, we would like participants to bring anything they imagine/perceive as part of Brazilian performance art – words, materials, names, objects, sounds, gestures, images, flavors, etc. We then will arrange this cartography live. It will be like a “provisional museum” of Brazilian Performance Art, made together. Of course, there is no intention to be exhaustive; a speech act which is also an « in promptu » collage of fragments of what performance art could be in Brazil. If you don’t have any ideas, try to imagine. Lucio Agra and Grasiele Sousa are performance artists in Brazil. Grasiele holds a MdA in Studies of Subjectivity at Catholic University of Sao Paulo and is formed in Arts by Universidade Estadual de Sao Paulo. Lucio is PhD in Communication and Semiotics also at Catholic University with several essays published in the area of Performance Studies. They both were involved in the production of the seven editions of Perfor, an international festival in the city of Sao Paulo and nowadays they live and work in Bahia. Their work deals with questions around feminist trends, the place of performance art in so called peripheral countries, the politics of difference...

Schizo-somatic workshop, 3rd of October, 3-5 pm

Please join us for the next schizo-somatic workshop iteration, this time activated by Sybille Muller and Erin Robinsong. Polymorphic Microbe Bodies is a research invitation into the manifold self, through experimental meditation, choreography that is knitted in your mind and movement that might come from that, with our not entirely human bodies. Our bodies will lay still but our thoughts will move. We will explore the ecosystems of the body. We will play with scenarios from scientific research about microbes: What if we don’t own our bodies? What if our only reason to exist is to be a vessel for microbes? They were here first and they will be there last. We want to relax discomfort and disgust. We want to stimulate your microbes, your bodies, your minds via sauerkraut. We want diverse gut...

Schizo-somatic workshop 19th September, 3-5pm

Hello Everyone,   The schizo-somatic workshops are continuing,the first one of the season with André Fogliano this coming Wednesday, the 19th of September between 3-5pm in the room next to the Senselab.   Practicing the schizz with capoeira The proposition of this workshop is to move and play with two concepts that capoeira has to offer: ginga and roda. Through these moving-concepts it is possible to experience how capoeira as a anticolonial way of living raised in the undercommons (in portuguese we could call it quilombo) of the colonial plantocracy system of Brazil creates an afrosomatic practice (ginga) that maliciously and fiercely plays against and with – smiling and dancing – the major trends of Brazilian necropolitics body. It’s poetics of relation, it’s rituality sets a zone of contact (roda) in which we might be able to feel and dance intuitively with the minor tendencies, the infra-cracks, the unperceivable cuts that under normapathy conditions we would miss completely. In this sense, perhaps capoeira could be thought as a healing technique which weaves an arena of encounter where it is possible sometimes to choreographically practice the schizz, decolonize our habits, and dance the aesthetics of the sociality of blackness that surrounds us, always. The idea is to work with some very basic movements of capoeira as a lure to compose with it’s potencialities. Please come with a comfortable paints and...