About SMRN

Substantial Motion is an international research network founded by Azadeh Emadi and Laura U. Marks for scholars and practitioners interested in cross-cultural exploration of digital media and philosophy. We come together around shared interests in media archaeology, the migration of Islamic aesthetics, international contemporary art, media theory, and connections between Islamic and Western philosophy. The Substantial Motion Research Network will be a site for online publications, symposia and exhibitions, as well as a place of international collaboration.

Emadi developed the concept and structure of the network from her doctoral research that brought together the Persian Islamic philosophy of Mulla Sadrā Shirāzī (1571-1641) with Western process philosophies to investigate the digital moving image. Sadrā’s theory of Substantial Motion (al-harakat al-jawhariyya) inspired the design of this network. In the Substantial Motion Research Network, despite the physical distances, scholars and artists with shared interests will be linked. Each member, through sharing research, ideas, and practices, will contribute to the development of other members and benefit from the input of others in return.

This online platform hosts the research in public and members-only sections. It provides a private forum for network members to share work, workshop projects, and collaborate. In monthly video-conference meetings (archived), members present works in progress, both scholarly and artistic, for feedback. On the platform’s public face you can see members’ research profiles, publications and artworks, and find out about coming events.

The Founders

Dr. Azadeh Emadi (Azadeh.Emadi@glasgow.ac.uk) is a researcher and video maker. Her work, informed by Persian-Islamic philosopher Mulla Sadra Shirazi, is placed in-between Islamic culture and Western schools of thought and new media arts. Her research has been addressing both academics and public audiences, through publications and international screenings and exhibitions. She is a lecturer at the School of Cultures and Creative Arts – Film and Television Studies, The University of Glasgow.

Dr. Laura U. Marks (laura_marks@sfu.ca) works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus. Her most recent books are Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image (MIT, 2015) and Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (MIT, 2010). Marks programs experimental media art for venues around the world. She is Grant Strate Professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

Azadeh Emadi & Laura U. Marks

Supported By

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Simon Fraser University, and School of Cultures and Creative Arts – Film and Television Studies, The University of Glasgow.