The Thoughtful Body: A Speculative Study of Somatic Practice and Technology presents the research gathered by Agnese Cebere for her independent study in Spring 2018 at The New School, as the culmination of her MA in Media Studies.

The impetus for this study was the perceived relationship between the acts of thinking and moving. I have considered the body as a vehicle for thought, and different techniques and technologies as extensions of body and thought both. How can the body itself be thought of as a primary technology? How are technological devices such as cameras then integrated into the body schema? By changing what we can see or perceive, we also change what we can do and how we interact with our environment, and vice versa: interacting with the world shapes our worldview.

I have looked at the body and thought in philosophy, dance studies, the cognitive sciences, and the emerging field of screendance studies, as well as somatic practices. Dance-making is understood as a special way of thinking, a knowing rather than a knowledge, because of its processual and ongoing character, involving the study of attention and awareness. The weekly Movement Lab that the dance artist and scholar Sasha Portyannikova and I directed in spring 2018 has been instrumental for my own research.

Documentation and methodology, and their epistemological consequences, have been guiding concerns throughout the project. How can we incorporate the wisdom of the body in academic research? What are the resistances we face in attempting to facilitate a mutual understanding between two ways of meaning-making that occupy such different timescales? My specific interest has been in seeing what I can do with technology to draw out the affordances of the camera/body coupling. As such, this project enacts a media studies with the body.
Agnese Cebere 2019 All Rights Reserved