Civic Matter 2014-2015

This Faculty Research Group builds on the existing Civic Matter programme on the social, ethical and political work of infrastructure. The programme to date has focused on infrastructural design, (re)construction and maintenance, and on ‘matter’ as locus of staggered, juxtaposed and disjointed temporalities of the civic. Moving out from considerations of civic matter in respect of its spatio-temporal extension, this series examines the ‘matter’ of civic life (built, landscaped, public, aesthetic) as sensory, embodied, and resonant, in terms of the articulation of materiality with civic affect and sociability. In this formulation, civic matter is alternately fugitive and invasive, elusive and intrusive, as much personal as mediated and social, constituted precisely of what eludes systematic social scientific research and of what emerges in the nexus of affect and performance.

As such, civic matter is attractive, amenable, subject to, and constitutive of a range of novel performance and research interventions and enterprises across the arts, humanities and social sciences. The Faculty Research Group aims to articulate and consolidate converging methodological interests among organisers, speakers, and audiences at CRASSH in the materiality, context, violence, play and inequity emergent in the experiential dimensions of the civic and infrastructural, our subject matter in the 2013-14 series. This programme seeks to bring together thinkers from geography and urban planning, environmental history, art practice and performance, the anthropology of movement, and sonic arts and ethnomusicology to discern and interrogate the resonances and sensory life of civic matter, as it networks amid, constitutes and exceeds the infrastructural with which we have been hitherto concerned.

Re-Imagining the Sound of a Mining Landscape
13 October 2014, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building
Sarah Buckler (Robert Gordon University) at Civic Matter
Exposure, Ethics and Art-Anthropology in Post-Disaster Japan
10 November 2014, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building
Jennifer Clarke (Aberdeen) at Civic Matter
Skateboarding and the City
17 November 2014, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building (NB different day and time)
Ian Borden (UCL) joint event City Seminar and Civic Matter
Participatory Sonic Arts in Rio and Belfast
24 November 2014, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building
Pedro Rebelo ( Belfast)  Joint event Civic Matter and City Seminar