"What moves straightaway captures our attention; it is consistently at the focal point over what is not moving. This focal tethering to movement is no less first-nature to other creatures than it is to ourselves. We are all attuned to the animate over the inanimate; we are alive to movement from the start. Indeed, animation is at the core of every creature’s engagement with the world because it is in and through movement that the life of every creature—to borrow Husserl’s phrase from the first epigraph—'acquires reality.'"
—Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, The Primacy of Movement
Dancer, choreographer, and philosopher Maxine Sheets-Johnstone will lead a discussion over dinner on the primacy of movement in perception and our fundamental understanding of aliveness. A topic rarely acknowledged in the history of western philosophy and science, Sheets-Johnstone will examine how our understanding of space and time is fundamentally conditioned by our experience of movement. Observer Effects invites thinkers to present their highly integrative work in dialogue with the fields of art and science. This lecture series takes its title from a popularized principle in physics that holds that the act of observation transforms the observed. Outside the natural sciences, the idea that the observer and the observed are linked in a web of reciprocal modification has been deeply influential in philosophy, aesthetics, psychology, and politics.