Jondi Keane

Dr Jondi Keane is an arts practitioner, critical thinker and senior lecturer at Griffith University. Over the last 25 years he has exhibited and performed in the USA, UK, Europe and Aus, most recently he produced the READING ROOM exhibition at the Slought Foundation, Philadelphia (April 2008) and Tuning Fork: Shopfront at the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Art (Nov 2008). He has published on embodiment, experimental architecture and practice-led research in a range of journals including Ecological Psychology, Janus Head, Interfaces, Text as well as in Gilles Deleuze: Image and Text (2009) from Continuum Press and a volume on Arakawa and Gins from Rodopi Press.



Embodied cognition is a special type of movement

The aim of this paper is to consider cognition as a special type of movement or movement-within-movement. I argue that, by tracking the filigree effects of movement-within-movement across the boundaries within and between the body and the environment, the performative nature of our everyday actions becomes more accessible for study and transformation. It is my assertion that combining the perceptual sensitivities of artists with the experimental ingenuity of scientists makes it possible to dilate awareness of one’s own cognitive processes and thereby initiate a ‘practice of embodied cognition.’ I discuss two tasks that arise from attention to movement-within-movement: a contextualising task, emphasising the interdisciplinary efforts and first-person perspective necessary to address the explanatory gap between neuroscience and phenomenological understandings of lived experience.

The second is a coordinating task, which involves devising a practice that integrates movement-within-movement back into our engagement with the world rather than isolates cognitive processes from their context. Three of my own installation works from an exhibition I organised, the Reading Room: experiments in posture, movement and comprehension (2008) serve as examples of creative research that joins experimental structures from cognitive science and ecological psychology with sensory and experiential strategies from art. Such an approach to the study of perception and action would allow a first-person science or a practice of embodied cognition to emerge, integrating reflection and observation to optimise the performative process of making.