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From May to December - Online

First Tuesday of every month - From 14:00 to 15:30 (GMT-3)

Language: English/Portuguese

Each seminar will have simultaneous translation

Technologies of presence
in times of absence




Nowadays we associate the word technology with the so-called computational and digital technologies, a field that includes the development of digital devices, virtual objects and spaces, information technologies, internet and artificial intelligence that have quickly permeated different domains of our life. However, the word "technology" has a broader meaning. Considering the origin of the word –from the Greek téchnē, which means "art, technique or skill" and from the Indo-European teks, which means “to build”– technology can be understood as the set of knowledges, tools and practices that allow us to develop processes or build artifacts that modify the relationship we have with our environment, with others and with ourselves.


Taking this latter definition, we would like to use the word technology to refer to the set of practices that operate on the basis of the knowledge of the functioning of our body-mind in our attentional habits and that allow us to deepen our presence to our own bodily experience. More specifically, in this seminar, the notion of technologies of presence includes, but is not limited to, ancestral ways of relating to our environment and to our bodies; forms of psychophysical training linked to artistic practices and somatic approaches; practices of meditation and meditation in movement, therapeutic practices that promote sensoperception and also research methodologies that involve phenomenological approaches.


This heterogeneous group of practices shares the development of the ability to become aware of unnoticed aspects of our daily experience, especially with regard to our relationship with our bodies and our environment. In this way a sensory and sensual experience is revealed and we pass to inhabit it, to become familiar with it, to be present at it.

The appropriation of this experiential "space" has important consequences for the organization and reorganization of sensory-psychomotor patterns that participate in regulatory processes of our organism influencing our daily responses and behaviors. To name a few, conscious breathing influences the regulation of our heart rate and the modulation of the autonomic nervous system, thus bringing our body to a state of rest; greater awareness of our body's internal sensations participates in the processes of emotional self-regulation, expanding the resources available to respond to challenging situations. Most importantly, through body awareness we can overcome what Thomas Hanna calls "sensorimotor amnesia", which in the context of this seminar we could also call sensorimotor "absence". This expression refers to a state of conditioning resulting from continuous stressful situations. The "absent" regions cannot be felt or controlled, so we lose part of the repertoire of possible responses to a given situation. By being present to these "absent" regions, we can gradually regain skills, making it possible to expand our range of response.

Paraphrasing the words of Elizabeth Behnke, becoming present to one's own experience is a way of taking responsibility for it. 


This seems particularly relevant in current times. As societies, we face a series of global challenges: an unprecedented climate and environmental crisis, wars, humanitarian crises, energy crisis, among other global crises, that generate a stressful and intimidating context that threatens the most basic aspects of life. Besides, our way of life, increasingly mediated by computational and digital technologies, often generates a state of absence and disconnection, impacting our affective, motor, emotional, regulatory and cognitive abilities.


Recognizing the multiple benefits that these technological developments can have and how attractive it can be to create virtual worlds through artificial intelligence, it seems of great importance to balance these advances by encouraging practices and knowledge that connect us with our bodily experience, so that we allow our "natural intelligence" to become present and manifest as well.  

Thematic axes

Notion of presence

What does the state of presence imply in physiological, experiential, attentional and/or affective terms? What does this state teach us about the mind-body relationship? What are its implications in therapeutic, creative, educational, sociocultural and/or research contexts?

Practices that cultivate presence

What are the possible access routes to the state of presence? How do these pathways work? What do we know about the mechanisms that promote presence? What challenges or risks can we face when working with presence, in terms of making ourselves present to an often restless body and mind?

Epistemological issues

Do technologies of presence invite us to consider that we can find a source of knowledge by becoming aware of our sensory/sensitive experience and our corporality. What might this mean for traditional scientific approaches? Can technologies of presence provide us with ideas about alternative or complementary epistemological frameworks for the generation of knowledge?

Presence in times

of absence

What impact can these practices have on the biopsychosocial state of individuals? How can these technologies contribute to addressing some of the current challenges we face as societies?



Christine Caldwell.jpeg

Founder and professor emeritus of the Somatic Counseling Program at Naropa University, where she taught somatic counseling, clinical neuroscience, research, and diversity issues. Her work, called the Moving Cycle, focuses on natural play, early physical imprinting, fully sequenced movement processes, opportunities in addiction, and reliance on authoritative knowledge of the body. She has taught at the University of Maryland, George Washington, Concordia, Seoul Women's University, Southwestern College, and Pacifica, and trains, teaches, and lectures internationally. She has published more than 30 articles and chapters, and his books include Getting Our Bodies Back, Getting In Touch, The Body and Oppression, and Bodyfulness.

Christine Caldwell

Tim Ingold (1).jpg

Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. He has carried out field work among the Saami and Finnish peoples of Lapland, and has written on environment, technology and social organization in the circumpolar North, on animals in human society, and on human ecology and evolutionary theory. His most recent work explores environmental perception and skilled practice. Ingold's current interests focus on the interface between anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture. His most recent books include The Perception of the Environment (2000), Lines (2007), Being Alive (2011), Making (2013), The Life of Lines (2015), Anthropology and/as Education (2018), Anthropology: Why it Matters (2018), Correspondences (2020), Imagining for Real (2022) and The Rise and Fall of Generation Now (2023). Ingold is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2022 he was appointed CBE for services to anthropology.

Tim Ingold

Sabine Koch.jpg

Psychologist and Dance Movement Therapist, BC-DMT, Director of the Research Institute for Creative Arts Therapies (RIArT) at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences, Bonn; and professor in the Dance Movement Therapy DMT Master Program at SRH University Heidelberg, Germany; honorary professor at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Research on embodied cognition, evidence-based research in creative arts therapies (CAT), therapeutic factors of CAT, Kestenberg Movement Profile. Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Arts Therapies (JAT, GMS Open Access Online Journal for CATs), member of the International Research Alliance / NYU Creative Arts Therapies Consortium. 

Sabine C. Koch

Dani Lima.jpg

Professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and PUC-Rio. Artist and researcher of the body and movement, she has worked in the context of Brazilian contemporary dance for 40 years. She is a somatic educator with Body-Mind Centering (tm), a master's degree in Theater from Uni-Rio and a doctorate in Literature, Culture and Contemporary Art from PUC-Rio. She is a professor of the Performing Arts course at PUC-Rio and at the UERJ Arts Institute. She has run his company since 1997, with which he has made dozens of artistic productions. She has published the books "Gesto: Prácticas e Discursos" and "Corpo, politica e discourse na dança de Lia Rodrigues". She collaborates on various dance, theater, performance and visual arts projects, gives conferences and workshops throughout the country and writes articles for publications specialized in the body, art and education.

Dani Lima

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Professor at the Universidade da Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro-Brasileira (UNILAB). Doctor in Sociology from the Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio Mesquista/UNESP (2010), he is an undergraduate professor in International Relations, Social Sciences, of the Interdisciplinary Master in Humanities (MIH) of the Institute of Humanities and Letters (IHL) of the Universidade da Integração Internacional da Lusofonia Afro-Brasileira (UNILAB), collaborating professor of the Postgraduate Program in Social Policies and Citizenship (PPPSC) of the Catholic University of Salvador (UCSAL), coordinator of the Africa-Brazil Research Group: Knowledge production, civil society, development and global citizenship, associate researcher at the Center for the Study of African Cultures and Languages and the Black Diaspora (CLADIN-UNESP); from INTERSSAN/UNESP; of the Network for a Latin American Democratic Constitutionalism, Researcher and member of the International Committee of the UNESCO Chair Transformative Education, Democracy and World Citizenship, UQO, Canada and expert of the Harmony with Nature/UN platform.

Bas'Ilele Malomalo

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Emerita professor of Philosophy at the Mines-Télécom Institute and member of the Husserl Archives of the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris. Her research focuses on the dynamics of lived experience, which often go unnoticed, and on "micro-phenomenological" methods that allow us to become aware of it and highlight its essential structures. She studies the epistemological conditions of these methods, as well as their educational, therapeutic, artistic, ecological and contemplative applications.

Claire Petitmengin


Artist and anthropologist from the Serra do Padeiro village, located in the Tupinambá de Olivença Indigenous Land, south of the state of Bahia. She participates intensely in the political and religious life of the Tupinambá, getting involved above all in issues related to education, the productive organization of the village, social services and women's rights.

She was a teacher at the Tupinambá Indigenous State School in Serra do Padeiro. She has a degree in Indigenous Interculturality from the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Bahia (IFBA) and is currently pursuing a master's degree in Social Anthropology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). She was president of the Association of Tupinambá Indians of Serra do Padeiro, and was in charge of approving and managing projects aimed at strengthening the village.

Glicéria Tupinambá

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Assistant professor in the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Groningen. Her research aims to understand how, when, and why we mind-wander. She is also fascinated by how this mind-wandering process is adaptive--as in the case of creativity--and when it becomes maladaptive, as is the case for depressive rumination. She uses a multimodal approach that combines computational modeling, scalp and intracranial EEG, behavioral studies, and eye-tracking. In addition, she is interested in how meditation practice affects our cognitive system, and she investigates meditation in both Western practitioners and Tibetan monks. She was a member of the Young Academy of Groningen from 2017-2022. In addition to this academic career, she has been a practicing Tibetan Buddhist since 1998, and she also is a semi-professional classical ballet dancer. She very much enjoys projects were science, art, and contemplation meet.


van Vugt



Registration will open one month before each seminar

May 7th

Digitization and fingerwork

Tim Ingold




June 4th

Cellular presence

Dani Lima




July 2nd

Conscious movement

Christine Caldwell




August 6th


Glicéria Tupinambá





September 3rd

Time and Kitembo for emancipation

Bas'Ilele Malomalo




October 1st

Capoeira and Dance Movement Therapy: Practice and Presence

Sabine Koch



November 5th

Anchoring in experience as an act of resistance

Claire Petitmengin



December 3rd

Collaborating with Tibetan Buddhist monks to understand analytical meditation

Marieke van Vugt

Comité organizador

Organizing committee


Independent researcher, PhD in Cognitive Sciences from the Université Pièrre et Marie Curie (Paris), dancer, yoga teacher and somatic educator. She is currently doing a postdoctoral degree at NEPSIS (UNIFESP) with a CAPES PRINT scholarship, directs A MATHA, Escola de Phenomenologia Corporal in Arraial d'Ajuda (Brazil) and develops the project Multidimensional approach to presence: A research procedure based on art for the study of experience that includes the use of somatic and expressive practices. Her research focuses on the study of experience and body awareness.

Camila Valenzuela



Vice Coordinator of the Center for Research in Health and Substance Use (NEPSIS). Researcher at the Department of Psychobiology at UNIFESP, where she did a doctorate on the use of medications by students. She was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, evaluating the implementation of mindfulness in UK schools. She is trained in mindfulness, nonviolent communication, and other contemplative practices. She is the author of the FO-CO program, awarded internationally by Mind and Life Europe for its development, being the first Brazilian project to receive this European award.

Emérita Sátiro Opaleye



Graduate student at the Department of Humanistic Studies at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey, in Mexico. In his research he applies concepts and tools from cognitive science to the study of art and aesthetic experience. Specifically, it focuses on the experience of connection between dancers in contact improvisation, a postmodern dance style, through micro-phenomenological interviewing and analysis of behavioral and physiological correlates of the experience. He is also a teacher of contact improvisation and a performer of moving arts.

Esteban Fredin

Tecnológico de Monterrey


Lilian Urbini


Occupational therapist from the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP). Master in Neuroengineering from the Santos Dumont Institute (ISD). PhD candidate from the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) with studies in the areas of Mindfulness and Neurophenomenology. He has professional training in Mindfulness (MBRP - Instituto Plenatividad de Promoção à Saúde) and Compassion (MBCL - Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living) and is pursuing Certification in Micro-phenomenological Methodology (A MATHA, School of Body Phenomenology in conjunction with the International Society of Micro-phenomenology).

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