On Gesture Symposium

Monday 12 August 2019

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On Gesture was a research symposium organised and hosted by Dr. Miriam de Rosa and Darren Berkland of the Coventry University Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC). They one-day event ran on the 17th of May on the Coventry Campus and featured a range of interdisciplinary speakers and artists engaging with the topic of gesture. The day’s proceedings were open, and created a space for fertile discussion on gesture through a variety of disciplines and subject-areas without settling on any one specific definition or formulation of the topic. Rather, the matter was kept unfettered and aimed to extend and complexify the vocabulary surrounding gesture as opposed to tying it down to a single characterisation.

The events of the day included speakers presenting research papers, an artist talk and concluding with a round table discussion. The speakers included Bonnie Evans (Queen Mary, University of London), Caroline Molloy (MPA, Coventry University), Tina Kendall (Anglia Ruskin University), and Darren Berkland (CPC, Coventry University). The visiting artist was Agata Mergler (York University, Toronto) who presented a talk and demonstration on the ‘haptic camera’ (developed in collaboration with Cristian Villavicencio). The final round table discussion included Sara Reed (C-DaRE, Coventry University), Tom Gorman (Media and Performing Arts, Coventry University), and artist Catherine MacTaggart. These contributors offered insight from a variety of disciplines including psychology, photography, media studies, dance, theatre and practiced based research: each bringing their own – and their disciplines – perspective on the subject.

The event was met with a very positive response and opened the conversation along avenues that were not anticipated. Importantly, the day demonstrated gesture’s role in the emerging postdigital landscape. Planning has already begun for a follow up to “On Gesture” that we anticipate will further elaborate upon the knowledge gained from the research day.

To listen to the talks, visit :

On Gesture: Tina Kendall Podcast

On Gesture: Darren Berkland Podcast

On Gesture: Bonnie Evans Podcast

On Gesture: Caroline Molloy Podcast

See photos and images from the event on Flickr