RC5 Understanding movement through moving


In this course, I will guide the participants through a series both interactive and solo movement exercises. The course will be designed to open up a space in which the group can freely explore and experience different qualities and aspects of ‘cognition in motion’. In concrete, the course is divided in an individual and an interactive session. In the individual session, we’ll start with some playful warm-up games to then get a sense for the scope of different ways of moving in open space. After that, in the interactive session, we’ll first co-creatively produce and perform spontaneous choreographies and close with a series of trust exercises, where we’ll work together to manage challenging constraints such as e.g. closed eyes.


As scientists, we spend a lot of time reading and writing about cognition – a process, that is increasingly being recognized and discussed as a complex structural coupling between an organism and its environment [1]. However, the autoethnographic dimension is somewhat underdeveloped but nowhere is it more directly available asin the observation of one’s own cognition as one moves through space. In this sense, I hope to enable the group to enrich their phenomenological knowledge with their own lived experiences. As we’ll balance between the cognitive and the conative, the course is also supposed to give participants a sense of what it – quite literally – means to move from reification to enaction. Other than that, participants should be able to derive some inspiration for experimental autoethnography.


  • VARELA, F., THOMPSON, E., and ROSCH, E. The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Cambridge: MIT Press. 1993.
  • VAN DER SCHYFF, D. Music as a manifestation of life: exploring enactivism and the ‘eastern perspective’for music education. Frontiers in Psychology. 2015, vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 345. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00345
  • MARGOLIN, Indrani. Bodyself: Linking dance and spirituality. Dance, Movement & Spiritualities, 2014, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 143-162. doi:10.1386/dmas.1.1.143_1
  • MORGAN, Patricia; ABRAHAMSON, Dor. Cultivating the ineffable: The role of contemplative practice in enactivist learning. For the Learning of Mathematics, 2016, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 31-37. Preprint Link

Course location

Forum 2

Course requirements


Instructor information.

Jakob Schneider


University of Vienna


Movement has been a central theme of my entire life, grounding my present understanding of myself in the world in an entirely active perspective. From early teenagerhood onwards I was always caught up in various – partially highly competitive – sports, among which flat water kayaking, artistic gymnastics, skiing and lindy hop and taiji quan are the ones I pursued most intently. Parallel to that, I had been learning the violin from a very early age on and later sought to improve my fine motor skills via many dexterity hobbies such as penspinning or tricks with poker chips and card decks. Certainly, years of meditation have also complemented my current bodily awareness. For three years now I have – together with a friend, who’s an actor as well as a imago therapist and theatre pedagogue – organized and instructed biweekly dance meditation sessions, where we guide people through the creative exploration of their bodies via contemporary dance, movement exercises and dance meditation.On the scientific and occupational side, I completed my first education in the disciplines of law and sinology at the university of Vienna, then spent three years abroad studying and working in England, China and Australia. Upon my return in Vienna in 2014 I took a job within a design agency as a copywriter, design strategist and brand consultant (and did an additional diploma in design strategy). I quit my job in 2017 as I was admitted to the eclective Middle European masters programme in cognitive science at the university of Vienna (again). Since then I’ve been mainly pursuing my research on the sustainable theory of human action as well as doing freelance creative work on the side and organizing cultural events around my neighbourhood as well as being active as a scout leader.