“Experience, experiment & atmospheric things” – Derek McCormack (Oxford University)
What does attention to atmospheres tell us about the relations between experience and experiment? In this seminar, Derek Mc Cormack considers how the process of making atmospheres explicit – in both an affective and meteorological sense – also involves the elaboration of particular forms of experiential experimentalism. Central to this experimentalism is the allure of envelopment as both a technical process of fabrication and a condition of experience. In the seminar, Derek will foreground envelopment by focusing on the movement and capacities of a deceptively simple device: the balloon. Using a series of historical and contemporary examples of the deployment of this object across domains of expertise as diverse as meteorology and choreography, Derek opens up a discussion of the kinds of experimental experience made possible by devices for doing atmospheric things.
Derek McCormack is Professor of Cultural Geography in the School of Geography and Environment at the University of Oxford. He has written extensively on nonrepresentational theories, spaces of affect, and atmospheres. He is the author of Refrains for Moving Bodies: Experience and Experiment in Affective Spaces (2013) and Atmospheric Things: On the Allure of Elemental Envelopment (2018), both published by Duke University Press.