WEDNESDAY 17 Feb 2010 16-18.00 at LJMU Academy, Duckinfield St.
Liverpool Biennial ‘Touched’ Talk
Professor Steven Connor examines the reasons behind why we fidget.
Fidgeting has a difficult reputation. It suggests a kind of restlessness, a vague, sourceless unease. I think we should be willing to see more in fidgeting than just this futile, fitful fevering. I will think about a number of fidgetable objects, including paperclips and elastic bands, to suggest that fidgeting is a process of searching for an ideal ‘thinking thing’, which conjoins tactility and reflection. When we fidget, we put ourselves into play, we use fidgetable objects to play with ourselves, even to play with our own play, seeking its possibilities and limits. The secret magic of such things is their capacity, as we give thought through and to them, to give our thought back to itself.