Performance and the Syneasthetic Field: Non-secular Thoughts on Senses and Absences
Gifford Room (Anthropology and Art Practice Building 221)
Abou Farman, Associate Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research
A defense of on-going mourning and a guide to mourning as practice, this talk will present mourning as a state of being in the afterlife, that is, of being or becoming with the dead, rather than overcoming an internal state of grief. As an afterlife practice, I propose mourning as both a sensual and ethical state to be cultivated. Here I focus mainly on the sensory field of the afterlife, using the notion of synaesthetics to draw out the myriad ways in which we are or might be in sensorial exchange with processes and forces that are not commonly acknowledged but that (even according to their own sciences) modulate a continuum of being, orienting us in significant ways to other planes and scales.
An anthropologist, writer and artist, Abou Farman is the author of On Not Dying: Secular Immortality in the Age of Technoscience (2020, Minneapolis: Univ. Minn. Press) and Clerks of Passage (2012, Montreal: Linda Leith Press). He is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research and founder of Art Space Sanctuary as well as the Shipibo Conibo Center of NY.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, with support from the SF Poetry Center.Download the flyer here