Autumn 2021
Seminar Imaginary Lab 4
A Being of Sensation: A Shimmering of Presence

An interdisciplinary event in the arts, visual culture, music and literature.

Noon: Time of the shortest shadow. Shimmering.


A Being of Sensation is the outcome of the Niezschean drama from his Twilight of the Idols Götzen-Dämmerung, or 'Twilight of the Gods', where he describes How the "True World" Finally Became Fiction. This event that struck with horror the popular imagination, took place in full light at the Great Noon, at the time of the shortest shadow. The epigram of our Imaginary Lab eloquently captures the stage of the dramatic demise of Western metaphysics. A shift of stage, and a change of the dramatization of light: one moves from Twilight of the gods into a new Dawn of a new world of pure sensible never experienced before. For it is in these circumstances, after the withdrawal of the intelligible, that the sensible is re-invented, opened for the first time to a fundamentally new vision, and a new being – a new sensing body – a Being of Sensation.

This fall, our Imaginary Lab will examine La chair du monde (the flesh of the world) – an intriguing post-Nietzschean Being of Sensation in Merelau-Ponty’s phenomenological version. As stated in the “manifesto” of our research group, Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology, a mode of thinking and being that exemplary came to replace metaphysics, is not subject to raw materialism, neither is it implicated as a philosophy of spirit, but as a kind of Wissenschaft to explore archaeologically the “pre-theoretical strata.” LA CHAIR du monde is not matter, neither spirit, nor substance. It is not a body, but rather a radiant sensation – a shimmering presence.

I suggest that we explore this paradoxical body as a paradoxical topology, the THIRD WAY to understand this new Incarnation of the world. An inverted stream in chiastic motion, at once visible and invisible. The Imaginary Lab will unfold throughout a series of symptomatic cases and modes of incarnation of image embedded in works of art. We grant priority not only to the visual, but to the poetic as well, and to all imaginative aspects of language, sound, and soma-aesthetics, especially the dance.

Revisiting Lucretius’s poem De rerum natura through Michel Serres’ The Birth of Physics, we explore the poet’s meteorology and his topology where atoms flow at uncertain places and uncertain times – which we recognize as a paradigmatic chôra space of potential visual and poetic images akin to la chaire. We test its potential space, as well as its constant virtual movement – the oblique laminar dancing clinamen (atomic swerve) borne in the flow of rythmos out of turbulence. Chôra, clinamen, chiasmus will help us define a conundrum of space-body and motion that will take us close to this inexorable Being of Sensation. Emblematic will be the chiastic vision of the dancer that melts with her vertiginous dance, suspended between visible and invisible. A tourbillon,” a “reversibility in irreversibility.” (Benveniste) Rapture: “I was in you, oh movement, outside of all things.”

Imaginary Lab warmly welcomes this fall the distinguished presence of the scholar-choreographer and dancer Alkistis Dimech to close this seminar, and share with us her imaginative visions and performance.



About this seminar

This seminar invites senior scholars, as well as MA and PhD fellows working with a problematic related to that of this Laboratory of research in order to share their own projects and contribute with short presentations and lectures and debates within a large forum of that will be inspirational for all. The intention is also to define the topic of the coming Spring conference in 2022 on a theme within Tropes of Impermanence of the Image. Provisory title: White Chorologies: The Diaphanous in Art.

The suggested literature for readings (and more) will be provided upon the registration. Contributions of participation in any form are most welcome. Please, send them to: Isar Nicoletta at

The meetings might be conducted online or in a hybrid form due to the eventual international participation of both students and guest speakers. If there are participants outside Europe, a new time for meetings will be negotiated to accommodate them.