Week 2023

An online artist presentation

Sally E Dean “The Somatic Costume Dressing Room-  Connecting through Sensorial and Material Agency”

Description: The Somatic Costume Dressing Room is an artistic research practice and portal into material and sensorial connection.  As an online or live meeting place, often in home environments, Sally E Dean guides wearers through the transformative potential of wearing-dressing-making with simple materials.  These haptic focused processes of embodying materiality become ´embodied conversations´ (Osmond 2020), through the somatic method of ´processual attention´ (Bacon 2019); attending to the non-verbal/verbal and the unstable assemblages (Deleuze 2006, Bennett 2009) of bodies (designers, performers, materials). 

Examples from the Somatic Costume Dressing Room will demonstrate how haptic experience can serve as a bridge of embodied reconnection: to materiality (bodies and materials) and the multi-sensorial – widening and high-lighting our intimate experiences of the world (Pallasmaa 2012).  This approach also challenges how we connect and construct meaning.  By designing starting with the ´present effects´ (Gumbrecht 2004) of the sensorial and material experience, what ´meaning effects´ (Gumbrecht 2004) are activated? How does this differ from connection starting through the semiotic? 

This research builds upon embodied costume design practices/theories: Barbieri, Monks, Bugg, Østergaard, Trimingham, Osmond, Fortin, Smith/Karstens, Entwistle, Costume Agency Project as well as The Somatic Movement, Costume & Performance Project led by Sally in collaboration with Lacunza/Rieckhof.  Sensorial design (eg. Pallasmaa) and sensorial anthropology (eg. Ingold, Classen) are also key influences. 

Work Group

Objective Enactive
This online lecture-demonstration unfolds the term ´Poetic Materiality´ within the context of designing and choreographing with Somatic Costumes. Through critiquing and applying the somatic practice of Skinner Releasing Technique, the poetics of philosopher Gaston Bachelard and the materiality of anthropologist Tim Ingold, this talk begins to map poetic and material agencies between bodies-costumes within the design-performance encounter.

Artist Talk

Objective Enactive

This talk will focus on the first outcome of Glitsch(ening) Ci(rculari)ty, a tripartite site-specific, where I am pursuing a speculative exploration of the ecology of the city, between the urban and the biological, unfolding its layers and materiality of time. The talk will end in a conversation between fellow researchers and artists in the collaborative project Urban Ecologies, where Glitsch(ening) Ci(rculari)ty, is generated from.


Polyvocal Tongue The presentation will focus on relational ethics and polyvocality in performative text. It will also explore the use of plural languages in a play, looking at how a polylingual praxis can open up new aesthetic potential in playwrighting and in artistic research in general.


TRANSPOSITIONS— JAR, Mette Edvardsen and modular diaries At the start, the idea for an artistic research conversation with Mette Edvardsen did not spring out of the topics shortlisted for the conference—hospitality, vulnerability and care—but a book that she had co-edited, and dropped in my shelf.

Panel Discussion

The Ethics of Vulnerability and Artistic Research

Any ethical framework must take account of the vulnerability of the human condition. This is significant in all creative endeavours – especially in artistic practice and the teaching of it – since the very act of creating something and putting it out into the world is an expression of vulnerability.