Séminaire : Ambiances & Atmospheres in Translation, Royal Holloway, University of London, feb. 25th-27th 2013
After ‘Ambience and Urban Practices’, and ‘Ambience and Criticism’, this third meeting of Agence Nationale de la Recherche funded project «Sensory Enigmas of Contemporary Urban mobility”, is organized within the framework of the International Ambiances Network.
Kyran Joughin (University of the Arts, London), Derek McCormack (Oxford University), Jean-Paul Thibaud (Cresson, ENSAG, Grenoble).
Organizers of the seminar
Peter Adey (Royal Holloway, University of London), Paul Simpson (Keele University), Damien Masson (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, MRTE, Cresson), Rachel Thomas (researcher at Cresson CNRS, Director of Cresson, ANR MUSE research coordinator)
Many authors, from the second half of the nineteenth century onwards, have strug- gled to implement a sensitive approach to urban modernity. How to be attentive to changes in the urban world and the minute variations of the ordinary? From the aesthetic thought of Simmel to Goffman’s ecological approach, the philosophies of everydayness in anthropology, from Laplantine to Kracauer and White, to Wittgens- tein, Bégout, and Rancière, work has described, translated and called into question the role of ambiance and atmosphere in the construction of urban life. Coalescing around notions of ambiance or atmosphere, notable research trajectories have inter- laced disciplinary concerns within urban studies, cultural geography, sociology and architecture, especially in relation to interconnected concepts such as affect, place, aura, and ecology. Rarely, however, have these trajectories actually met or collided.
This seminar will develop a conversation between ambiance, atmosphere and trans- lation. But how to translate? If translation is understood as a practice of «linguistic hospitality» (Ricoeur, 2004), as an experience of transition and mediation (Wis- mann, 2012), what form might translation take? How might, in other words, the transition occur between the ‘daily’ word and the word of the ‘expert’, between that of the ‘living’ and that of the ‘foreign’? How to make shareable experiences beyond the singularity expressed in different languages and cultures? What media or combi- nation of media could help us achieve this?
This proposed move is particularly important for more than the usual reasons. Be- cause how can accounts sensitive to the urban emerge from attempts to translate ordinary sensory experience? Or formulated differently, how can the act of making clear and intelligible the experiences, feelings, sensations, of distinct research areas, help forward debates on urban atmospheres/ambiances? Finally, how might a work of translation put our convictions in crisis, to put to test our existing ways of thin- king, our relationship to the urban environment, and the plurality of modes of the city-dweller?
Amongst the many questions around translation, this seminar intends to address, notably practically, the issues of “installing”, “communicating”, “exhibiting”, “ex- pressing”… ambiances and sensitive/sensory experiences, thereby putting into ques- tion their controversial (i.e. capabilities of being put into public debate) “power”.
Venue – University of London, Senate House
13.00-13.30 Welcome coffee
13.30-14.00 Introduction of MUSE project, Rachel Thomas (researcher at Cresson CNRS, Director of Cresson, ANR MUSE research coordinator), Damien Masson (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, MRTE, Cresson) ;
Introduction of Ambiances & Atmospheres in Translation Seminar, Peter Adey (Royal Holloway University of London), Paul Simpson (Keele University)
14.00-16.00 Ambiances in translation into langage
Ambiance versus Ambiente, Rozenn Canevet (Professor of Art History and Theory at the University St. Denis-Vincennes Paris 8 and at the Esad of Reims)
Feminine agent for change: reading Cornelia Sorabi through the paradoxes of Kali and the Zenana, Paidma Maitland (University of California, Berkeley)
A relevant City and the symbolic resources of art and poetry, Robert Galeta (Bradford School of Arts and Media)
16.30-18.00 Ambiances in translation into techniques
From the heritage of the stone to the sensitive heritage, Nadia Edhifi (Enseignante Tunis)
The dynamic translation of sensorial and physical ambiences in architecture and urban spaces, Claude MH Demers (Groupe de Recherche en Ambiances Physiques School of Architecture, Université Laval Professor, M. Sc., Ph.D. (Cambridge))
18.00 Free evening
Venue – University of London, Senate House
9.45-11.15 Ambiances in translation into performance
Dancing with the sounds of birds: affect and atmosphere in transcultural performance, Martin Welton (Queen Mary University of London)
The affective atmospheres of nationalism: the case of London 2012 Olympics, Angharad Closs Stephens (Geography, Durham, UK)
11.30-13.00 Ambiances in translation into notation
The installation projection as a translator, Toumadher Ammar (ERA Tunis / Cresson)
A place-score: the temporal narratives of Fitzroy Square, Filipa Wunderlich (The Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College London (UCL))
14.00-16.00 St. Pancras experiment. MUSE Research Axis 3 ‘Surveillance(s) in public’ group, Peter Adey, Laure Brayer (doctorante Cresson), Damien Masson, Paul Simpson, Nicolas Tixier (maître assistant à l’ENSA Grenoble, Cresson)
16.30- 18.00 Visit of Gerard Byrne, ‘A state of neutral pleasure’ exhibit Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street
19.30 Dinner at Caravan King’s Cross, 1 Granary Square
Venue – University of London, 11 Bedford Square
9.45-11.15 Observer’s resttution and debate, Kyran Joughin (University of the Arts London), Derek McCormack (Oxford university, School of Geography and the Environment), Jean-Paul Thibaud (DR CNRS Cresson)
11.15-11.30 Break Reflections / Collective discussion