March 7

Luminous Hidden Images

Laura U. Marks

In the wake of the “bodily turn,” a tendency in thought attributes all agency to the body while dispensing with mind and spirit altogether, while another diminish bodies to just some of the particles banging around the universe. In contrast, this talk gently draws together body, spirit, and cosmos in a way that may sound old-fashioned but is actually beautiful, practical, and fun. Through embodied thinking, ecology, and the process philosophies of Mulla Sadra Shirâzî—who wrote, “What are perceived by the five senses,” Sadra wrote, “are luminous hidden images existing in another world”—and others, I sketch how we humans’ intimate sensory experiences can assist a creative becoming with the cosmos.


After the lecture Staci Bu Shea moderates a short conversation with Laura U. Marks and the audience.

N.B. The programme with Laura U. Marks is the result of a collaboration between Studium Generale Rietveld and Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons.

Laura U. Marks, a scholar and programmer, works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus. Her most recent books are Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image (MIT, 2015) and Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (MIT, 2010). She is Grant Strate Professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.