Dialogical practices for imagined lines

Listening, Interference, and (non) Straight



imagined lines, dialogical, listening, straight, interference


Imagined lines are proposed here as a phenomenon found in concepts, mental imagery, and metaphors. This essay has three parts to highlight the multimodality of imagined lines: a video, an audio track, and a written component. The writing introduces practices, frames the artistic works, and describes and considers the breadth of what an imagined line could be. The audio and video works give context to the writing and communicate in their medium the experience of imagined lines that appear in other modes. The body is used here as the starting point for examining its traces and how that helps us to understand ideas like straight, interference, and listening. This essay proposes that a closer examination of imagined lines can bring unrelated topics into proximity. Simultaneously, the work suggests there are benefits when paying attention to incorporating and using imagined lines in our thinking. By bringing what is often unnoticed into our awareness, we can make direct relationships between the intangible and tangible.

Author Biography

Michael O'Connor, Vrije Universiteit

Michael O’Connor, currently a PhD candidate in practice-based research, previously graduated from the DAS Choreography program in 2015 in Amsterdam and has a BFA in dance from University of Utah. Working at the intersection of cognitive science and movement, his artistic work attempts to recreate and articulate some of the basic building blocks of human perception as performative tools. He teaches creative practice and feedback to university students throughout Europe and is currently adapting dancer-based abstract thinking and collaboration skills for use in businesses. His piece TERTIARY was nominated for the Prix d’Jardin in the 8:Tension series at the ImpulsTanz Festival. His solo premiere work a waiting dog dies earned him Vienna’s ‘dancer to watch’ in BalletTanz Magazine 2008. He has also performed in works by Deborah Hay, David Zambrano and Willi Dorner among others.


Ammaniti, Massimo, and Pierfrancesco Ferrari. 2013. “Vitality affects in Daniel Stern's thinking-a psychological and neurobiological perspective.” Infant Mental Health Journal. 34(5): 367–375. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21405

Barad, Karen. 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham: Duke University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv12101zq

———. 2010. Quantum Entanglements and Hauntological Relations of Inheritance: Dis/continuities, SpaceTime Enfoldings, and Justice-to-Come.” Derrida Today 3(2): 240–268. https://doi.org/ 10.3366/E1754850010000813

Cienki, Alan. 1998. “STRAIGHT: An image schema and its metaphorical extensions.” Cognitive Linguistic 9(2): 107–149. https://doi.org/10.1515/cogl.1998.9.2.107

Deleuze, Gilles. 1992. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. London: The Athlone Press.

Emanatian, Michele. 1997. “The Spatialization of Judgement.” Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 151: 131–147. https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.151.11ema

Feynman, Richard, Robert Leighton, and Matthew Sands. 1964. The Feynman Lectures on Physics, vols 1-3. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Haraway, Donna. 1992. “The Promises of Monsters: Reproductive Politics for Inappropiate/d Others.” In Cultural Studies, edited by Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson, and Paula Treichler, 295–337. New York: Routledge.

Haraway, Donna. 1997. Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium.FemaleMan©MeetsOncoMouse™. New York: Routledge.

Harvard GSD. 2012, February 29. The Architecture of Cooperation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcXE4NEgLn8 [see 18:30-25:00]

Ingold, Tim. 2007. Lines: A Brief History. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203961155

Johnson, Mark. 1987. The Body in the Mind. The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason. Chicago: Chicago University Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226177847.001.0001

Lakoff, George. 1987. Women, Fire and Dangerous Things. What Categories Reveal about the Mind. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226471013.001.0001

Lemberger, Dorit. 2018. “Bakhtin and Wittgenstein on Dialogue as a Methodological Concept and Theme.” Journal of Dialogue Studies 6: 37–54. https://doi.org/10.55207/RVTO2437

Sennett, Richard. 2012. Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation. London: Penguin Books.

Sheets-Johnstone, Maxine. 2009. The Corporeal Turn. Exeter: Imprint Academic.

Sheets-Johnstone, Maxine. 2011. “The imaginative consciousness of movement: Linear quality, kinaesthesia, language and life.” In Redrawing Anthropology: Materials, Movements, Lines, edited by Tim Ingold, 115–128. New York: Routledge.

Shotter, John. 2007. “Wittgenstein and his Philosophy of First-Time Events.” History & Philosophy of Psychology 9(1): 1–11. https://doi.org/10.53841/bpshpp.2007.9.1.1

Shotter, John. 2015. “Worldly beings becoming human beings: Differentiations and articulations within our different ways of being.” Culture & Psychology 21(2): 231–242. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354067X15575797

Shotter, John. 2016. “James, dewey, and mead: on what must come before all our inquiries.” In The SAGE Handbook of process organization studies, edited by A. Langley and H. Tsoukas, 71–84. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781473957954.n5

Shotter, John. 2016. Speaking, Actually. Farnhill: Everything is Connected Press.

Sweetser, Eve. 1992. “English metaphors for language: Motivations, conventions and creativity.” Poetics Today 13(4): 705–724. https://doi.org/10.2307/1773295




How to Cite

“Dialogical Practices for Imagined Lines: Listening, Interference, and (non) Straight”. 2023. Performance Philosophy 8 (1): 62-74. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2022.72358.

How to Cite

“Dialogical Practices for Imagined Lines: Listening, Interference, and (non) Straight”. 2023. Performance Philosophy 8 (1): 62-74. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2022.72358.