Sentinel Attentions and Emergency Responses: A Participatory Embodied Choreography / ALICE


Event details

Date 23.05.2024
Hour 14:0017:00
Speaker andrea haenggi Estefania Mompean Botias
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
Thursday, May 23rd, 14:00-17:00
Along the banks of the Arve river in Geneva

We will send you the exact position a few days before the event.


In the late 1970s, during his lectures at the Collège de France, the philosopher Michel Foucault characterized the modern state as one that operates through the environment. Power left disciplinary methods to exercise a manipulation from environmental means, called "environmentality". Recent years have seen this power manifested through practices of the state of emergency (emergen-tality?), where actions are justified by climate urgency. This hypothesis resonates in responses to recent floods of the Arve River, where the river is perceived as a hazardous entity necessitating continuous monitoring and control.
Contrastingly, in 1996, writer Toni Morrison invited us to reconsider the language we have embodied from environmental procedures. She states, "Floods is the word they use, but in fact it is not flooding; it is remembering. Remembering where it used to be." This challenges conventional perceptions, suggesting that alternative ways of remembering, naming, and acting are feasible through imaginative and emotional practice. This leads us to think on the figure of the sentinel, as living being or devices that alert us of possible event that affect our daily life. But the sentinel not only "sens" but also generate senses, fostering emotional recconection with rapidly changing environment. 
By focusing on the notion of sentinel attentions, new tools to broaden the ways of being sensitive and making meaning beyond the human are necessary.  Thus, body-based interdisciplinary artist andrea haenggi will present methods of performative reimagining developed with spontaneous terrestrial and aquatic plants. Her research-based 'ethnochoreobotanic' practice has also expanded into co-founding the Environmental Performative Agency (EPA), a collective of artists and activists envisioning governmental agency beyond human-centric frameworks. Through artistic practices and workshops, EPA advocates for the participation of all beings in co-creating our environment, proposing practices of radical care and embodied science.

In this way, through the reading of "emergency briefings" on the Arve Floods the performative seminar aims to cultivate a better understanding of emergencies responses emphasizing the importance of nurturing sentinel attentions and exploring alternative modes of perception and action beyond human-centric frameworks.


Registration needed: 


andrea haenggi  @andrea_haenggi
Estefania Mompean Botias
In collaboration with EPFL Alice lab research team: Dieter Dietz, Lucía Jalón Oyarzun, Nagy Makhlouf, Fulya Selçuk, Eloïse Vo and terrestrial and aquatic plants at the Arve. 

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


flooding Arve Geneve sentinel emergency participation