symposium panel: ‘response/i/ablity’

24th March 2019, approx. 4pm

Invited speakers: Kat Austen, Gabriela Guasti Rocha, Kasturi Torchia

Response-ability is a key term for Karen Barad by which she defines agency as being settled on the possibilities of mutual response. Agency thus is not something that is solely possessed by humans or non-humans but is enacted. These intra-active enactments provide possibilities for re-configurings.[1] In this sense I am interested to explore from a human situatedness the realm of responses around us, and which occur due to our actions. Perceiving them incites a responsibility not in the sense of a strict right or wrong, but as ‘accountability for the lively relationalities of becoming, of which we are a part.’[2] These relationalities are threading human and non-human matter together. Responsibility is thus related to the ability to respond which emerges from affective resceptivity.
INTUERI (2018), Gabriela Guasti Rocha

Response/i/ability, written as a threefold tries to address the ability to notice a response received from somewhere, to act responsible, and the ability to give a response.

– response:                 searching for ‘unheard/neglected’/different responses
– responsibility:         what incites from this: empathy, ethics, adaption
– response-ability:     how to respond differently

The works of the invited participants address these conjunctions each in its unique way:

Kat Austen interrogates the boundary between what we think of as the self and other(s). Her work relates to redefining and enriching our relationship to the environment. Of particular interest for her is the role of borders to create dualities, the emotional connectedness of the self to other(s) and the role of affect and experience in this, and interrogating, contextualising and intervening in our current knowledge hierarchy as an action that affects our response/i/ability. 

 Gabriela Guasti Rocha designs e-textiles which pick up electromagnetic waves and translate them into signals. They have been presented in the performance “at the molecular level” and are on display during the exhibition. She conceives her contribution as being interested in response as to Listen / Respect, responsibility as Care / Time / Attention and, response-ability as Sense / Awareness.

Kasturi Torchia has a background in the movement practice of Parkour and also works on personal development. She will discuss how movement within an environment can trigger possible re-enactments of one’s past, often unconsciously, impacting on ones experience of themselves and others. Yet with some guidance responding to one’s environment could in fact shift their unconscious impacts on themselves and others, thereby eventually influencing people to alter their management of themselves, responding to themselves and the world ever so differently.

[1] “Matter feels, converses, suffers, desires, yearns and remembers” Interview with Karen Barad in Dolphijn, Rick; van der Tuin, Iris (2012): New Materialism. Interviews & Cartographies. [S.l.]: Open Humanities Press.

[2] Ibid: p.69

Kat Austen
INTUERI (2018), Gabriela Guasti Rocha
Kasturi Torchia