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Making Sense

Merging Theory and Practice

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Bandy Lee and Lorna Collins

This book is a collection of essays and creative expressions, written and produced in response to the second Making Sense colloquium, which was held in 2010 at the Centre Pompidou and the Institut Télécom in Paris. The contributions to the volume represent the ongoing aim of Making Sense: providing a voice that is at once theoretical and practical, scholarly and inclusive, a bridge between modes of thinking and modes of doing, especially within the contemporary context. The book draws together thinkers and practitioners engaged in the worlds of art, aesthetic philosophy and contemporary theory, to form an interface between artistic creation, theoretical debate and academic scholarship. Critical essays sit alongside images and articles that present shorter bursts of ideas and generate a sense of the installations and performances in which they originated. Several chapters focus on the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler, the keynote speaker at the second Making Sense colloquium, whose contributions to this volume outline his own interpretation of Making Sense.

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Bandy Lee Prologue

Extract

Making Sense as a movement formed when Lorna Collins and I came together, as theorist and practitioner, to address a fundamental problem that we see in all modes of contemporary inquiry. We might define this problem as the divide between theory and practice, and between practice and actual need. We no longer ‘make sense’ – other than to ourselves, that is to say, to our own circles. A consequence of this is that practitioners consider theory to be irrelevant to practice, and clients or patrons con- sider practice to be unconcerned with their needs or desires. We see this in almost every field, from the art world to healthcare delivery. We have ceased to talk to each other, let alone work together to solve our common problems. Now the need has become urgent: from individual alienation to intergroup conf licts to environmental devastation, many preventable problems of the world seem beyond our reach. We find ourselves in a world where potentials are lost not because great ideas and talented abilities are lacking, but because dif ferent perspectives are rarely brought together for a common understanding and ef fective application. We feel that the time is ripe for a collaborative, creative conversation among thinkers and doers who are concerned with the status of our intel- lectual, cultural, practical, and emotional existence. The goal is to address this contemporary condition from the very level of civilization. As inte- gration occurs, and we as a single human race gain in integrity, many of our...

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