David Pallant – Dance-Tech Oct/Nov 2020

I am using the Dance-Tech residency to research into audio choreography, to create a non-visual work which can be experienced remotely via headphones. During the period of lockdown, as life seemed to transfer almost entirely onto my tiny laptop screen, I felt saturated with (digital) visuals and turned to podcasts, music, guided meditations… Now I want to see how movement can also exist in that very intimate audio space, one on one.

Of course, many questions already: How nuanced can the body be via sound alone? What is the translation process when it’s for the ears and not the eyes? And how do you dance for a microphone all day long? (An early answer: don’t.)

I am slowly learning a new technique, finding out about different sorts of microphones, and the pros and cons of various audio formats. Usually a bit of a Luddite, I’m enjoying discovering some of the artistry hidden within technology.

It is so much quieter here than where I normally live, and all sorts of other sounds can seep in. But so far, I still often walk around with headphones in.

02.11.20

The new lockdown starts, theatres, galleries, almost all cultural spaces are closed. And we feel somehow very lucky to be able to continue working and living here (with new restrictions and hygiene measures of course). Open training is not possible in the same way anymore, which is a real loss, but there are still lots of enriching opportunities for exchange [ mit Abstand ] with the other artists here.

I was very happy to watch a live performance in Berlin on Saturday, but it was hard to hear from people how yet again they were having to put all their plans to create, perform and connect on ice.

One (completely selfish) silver lining: after some time of being able to re-experience live performance, I was feeling quite far away from some of the impulses which led me to research into remote performance in the first place. Now that we are once more in lockdown, they’re coming closer again.

Second selfish admission: it is somehow easier to spend time working alone*, if you know that many other people are too.

*Thankfully, I am not really working completely alone – I am collaborating remotely with sound artist Nico Daleman.

Residency blog posts

Let Me Introduce Myself!

I am, at heart, a collector of stories. I create both live performances and video collections that include dance, poetry and sound as a means to curate from the chaos the memories, stories, and the extraordinary in everyday life. I often explore poetry through different languages, most often French, as a means of exploring what can be understood, what is often misunderstood, and how image and gesture fill in the blanks. I believe the purpose of life is to discover the story only you can tell. We are all in the process of becoming, and my work is an homage to my fellow travelers and collectors on the journey of life. 


I have been teaching and choreographing for 20 years, and my happiest moments are in the studio experiencing the joy of movement. I have studied and teach in many modalities, from ballet and modern to improvisation and composition. My modern classes combine Horton and Graham techniques with concepts from African dance and Flamenco, incorporating methods to unlock emotion, musicality, fluidity and a strong relationship to the ground. One of my missions as a teacher and choreographer is to exchange with other artists (in all fields). I seek to learn new mediums of teaching and choreographing with a goal to provide dancers of every age and ability the opportunity to not only train physically, but above all to discover methods of expression and to share a kernel of truth about the human experience.

Finding My Title

The beautiful Maria K wrote to me, what do you plan to work on at Lake Studios? Ah! My stomach turned. How to explain? How to commit? Perhaps I could pretend the email was lost in my junk folder? No. I had to answer. I had two ideas in mind. Both felt in opposition to one another and appeared to be in opposition to, for lack of a better word, a modern concept of dance. And yet the two ideas remained, stubbornly taking space in my imagination.

The first idea was a retelling of The Dying Swan. While the choreography and the music transfix me, I understand that from today’s perspective, the movement is from a bygone era. And yet, from the standpoint of Fokine and Pavlova, it was quite innovative. It should be viewed instead as a moment when classical dance turned away from the heavy hand of the ballet master and the Imperial court to give artistic voice to the ballerina. Dance as voice…dance as a female voice…this is what thrills me. I began to think that I had something to say about memory and the fragility of life, which I came to see as the underlying theme of The Dying Swan.

My second idea was to continue developing a collaboration I was very lucky to experience with artists Heather, Cat, and Tim Goodwillie, as well as Cris Nochez and Judy Pfeifer, in Death Valley, California. I filmed myself dancing in abandoned towns and in the theater of one of my heroes: Marta Becket and her Amargosa Opera House.

I learned of Marta when I was growing up in the Mojave Desert. She danced in her theater every day, even when an audience didn’t come. In fact, she painted her own audience on the walls of her theater. I will speak more about Marta in upcoming posts.

For those who have lived many generations in the desert, to find a shed snake skin is a sign of good luck. The snake sheds her skin when she has grown too large for it, and so it is a symbol of growth and transformation. I thought of Marta, her imagination grown too large for the tight spaces of NYC, and she finally found herself in the vast emptiness of the desert.

After one of Marlon’s mindful mornings (ooooooh, that’s a mouthful!), as I was settling in for a few hours in the beautiful big studio here, I found the title for my work over the next four weeks.

In Marlon’s class, we spoke of change and impermanence. I thought of how it is the way we move through…against…into an ever-changing world that we grow…that we transform. This is what the Dying Swan symbolizes. And I thought of Marta’s theater, which is always at risk of disappearing in the harsh desert elements. I thought of Marta dancing into her 80s until the pain was too much. And I thought of myself, an aging dancer with a body that doesn’t always do what I want it to anymore, and yet I still have so many stories left to tell.

Who is the Dying Swan? She is Marta. She is me. I thought I had two ideas knocking at the door of my imagination, but it was always only one. So, I have my title and the thesis of my next four weeks of work: Impermanence and Transformation.
Enough for now. I am in Berlin (me! A little girl from the desert!) And I am dancing. My first act of investigation is to enjoy every moment.

Elisa’s Residency

With ice skates and an ice floor I examine emotional imbalances in a gliding game with gravitational
forces. The climate-induced loss of ice drove me to the “alternative” of synthetic ice and new physical
challenges due to its extremely limited gliding ability but also its flexible adaptability to local
conditions.
Based on a somatic confrontation with synthetic ice and ruptures in my life, autobiographical
material of a search for development potential was created with the support of Dr. Maren Witte
(dramaturge, dance scientist, TANZSCOUT).
Together with her and Birgit Aust (expert for contemporary ice skating, eiskunst-werkstatt), I will use
my residency at LAKE Studios to further develop existing scene images.
Projections will act as dialog partners and support me in the development of new movement
potentials on uncertain ground.

http://www.icedancetheater-fusion.com

Angie’s Residency

Angie is working in 2 pieces:

–A rethinking of The Dying Swan. It may seem odd to start from one of the most classical of classical ballets, but I began there too. And, as Allegra Kent says in the book The Swan : it isn’t a dance about a woman pretending to be a bird, it is rather a piece about the fragility of life and how passionately we hold onto it. I read once, somewhere, that Fokine wished for each movement of Pavlova’s arms to represent a moment of her life she was reflecting back on in her final moments. So, perhaps better to say I would like to explore the journey of a woman’s life and how she perceives that journey as she takes her last breaths. I will focus instead on our ancestral use of the animal kingdom to represent the mysteries of life and the depths of our humanity.

–A piece based on the life of the dancer Marta Becket. I learned of her when I was five. I was living at the time in Death Valley, and I overheard one of my mother’s friends say that a woman had bought a theater in Death Valley. At noon she put out a sign, inviting people to come watch her dance. Then, she put on her costume and her makeup and she danced…even if no one came. Who would be crazy enough to do such a thing, said my mother’s friend. And although I was only five, I thought, ME! I would dance every day even if no one was watching. In February, I had the honor of dancing in her theater in February and took a lot of video footage. I would love to create a piece that includes both live and video footage to tell Marta’s story and also to tell my own story of growing up in the desert. It has always been a dream of mine to work on this but I have never had the technology available. I have a lot to learn. I also look forward not to having a product, but to get lost in the process. Marta believed that her stage called to her from a ghost town in the Mohave Desert: use me, it said, create with me. I look forward to exploring how I answer that call in my own way. 

web: http://angieflanagandance.com

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXkYlKcD-gfK3r7TpCRCZLQ

 LÖWENGRAB / IN:VOICE / PRIVATE DATE/DATA/DEATH

 The grave of the lion. Shelter. Swamp. An artistic statement. An open work. Experiment. Performance.The cycle of images, concepts, objects.An experience that is sometimes scary to realize and share.Reflection. Song. Dance. Event. Forced change of rhythm.motherhood. rituals. voiceBorrowing, reinterpretation of forms, meanings and techniques. Quote. Trying to take the next step. Walk, not cling or crawl. Posing a question and finding an answer to it.Love, beauty and death.Today I am concerned and interested in the phenomenon of «refuge» of a person, state, space, as a way of reflecting on the changes taking place in the world and events that cause cultural shifts and transformations.

https://kalektar.org/in/names/oUwaJEqKn0OGp0OjePsR

Notes on the research

THE DAWN I

As a way to connect a possible epistemology and a body-based practice – I perceived this research has a decentralized practice(s) that unwind patterns, systems, architectures, and times. Evoking concepts like hybridity, digital utopias, frictions, and fictions as states of high exposure I engaged with an ecosystem of techno-empathic performative practices that follows tangentially dramaturgies rather than a linear concept. Exercises of perceptual reconfiguration where non-human and human bodies in contemporary arts are questioned throw digital and body-based practices, to emerge into new planetarium subjectivities. Performance arts starts to adjust to the needs of technological societies and is inevitable that my artist research ends up also reflecting on hybridity and post-humanist concepts of techno-representations. New understandings about the concept of more than humans in the performative experience where the stage is also occupied by other bodies (hybrids) that are not only human.

photo by Maria Kousi

Wanderlust in my practice

LakeStudios Berlin residency in Germany has given to me an opportunity to perform already existed Wanderlust themed multidisciplinary dance piece: Let the wandering talk on it´s own behalf and at the same time to rework and widen perspectives of Wanderlust practice in dance art field and work that I started since 2020. As a dance artist I wonder what kind of new reflection my writing, questions and notes throughout the process could bring. In the previous work Let the wandering talk on it´s own behalf I researched Wanderlust from the perspectives of women embodiment and experiencing the culture, mythologies and human behaviour in the vast landscape of the hike in Trolltunga hike in Norway 2020. I have been especially interested in a writer, feminist, activist Rebecca Solnit´s literature of walking and history from the perspective of distance and poetic language of it and as well from the history, culture and thinking and walking point of view. Wanderlust means longing for a faraway place. The term comes out from German word Wundern (To wander) and Lust (Desire).

During my residency stay I found in the backyard of LakeStudio Berlin in Germany a small hill. I started my practice by crossing that backyard´s hill with my eyes being closed. I did the crossing almost every day during my entire residency in February 2024. While crossing that hill with closed eyes I experienced in my embodiment how 30, 10, 5, or even 1 meter felt as vast landscapes. The journey become huge while crossing that hill. At the same time, there happened so many detailed and shaky movement in my body. I decided to call that movement tactile or haptic movement. I also wanted to use video camera in my work, so I could understand better what I was doing and vice versa what the practice was doing to me.  

According to Wikipedia by 20th century tactile had developed a psychological sense, describing individuals whose perception supposedly depended primary on touch rather than sight. I discovered by crossing that hill that my practice is going towards tactile movement that is processing a sense of touch rather than immediate touch but at the same time as well touch. Simultaneously the practice of tactility provides another kind of reading in the territory of the hill and about it. Through the practice I started to think about the arriving, how unpleasant was to just to arrive. I also thought how many times we are transported rapidly to the places. I notices how more excited was to stay in the journey with closed eyes and discover the territory inch by inch. Tangible is another kind of word that reminds me about the tactile practice during my crossings of the hill. Crossing made me think as well how I could transfer my experience to the performance situation on the stage. It also brought as well a challenge to bring the outside work to indoors.

Arriving felt like dirty word. Diary 19.2.2024.

I also remember quote from Finnish dancer Katri Soini during her contemporary dance class where she emphasized not goal orientated mind but rather staying and processing things through the journey.

I wanted to add the sentence as well from a French philosopher from the Face to Face with the landscape book (journalists Yrjö Sepänmaa, Liisa Heikkilä-Palo & Virpi Kaukio) by Maurice Merleau-Ponty: “Information that is generated by touch does not return to the language of sight.” This sentence has interesting meaning if we think about human sensory relation to the environment. I also started to think how much knowledge there is in the non-human nature that we still don’t know and also what does it meant to know especially from the perspective of sensing through the movement action in a relation to the environment?

Because I work in the Wanderlust practice from the desire perspective as well I also got interested question of freedom. An academic and activist Jack Halberstram is writing in the A Wild Things book about human attraction to the wild and Jack suggests, “What if staying is the way of wildening”. Really beautiful question such as “Where can the wild take you.” got me inspired as well. I decided to stay to cross that hill every day, as odd and stupid it sound. Another way of looking at the freedom question in a relation to the Wanderlust I could see in American writer, feminist and activist Rebecca Solnit work who describes in Men explains things to me book: “How wandering can also be a way to dream, imagine and hear yourself.”

I red as well few books during my practice and these quotes made me gain an inspiration and trust in the creation process where first of all I have been on my own. Quotes are from writer and choreographer Jonathan Burrow from A choreographer´s handbook (Book from the Lake Studios Berlin residency library)

“If you care where you are then we will care as well.”

“Accept what comes easily.”

“Sometimes material knows more than you.”

Because I started to work with closed eyes I decided to read short interview from American choreographer Lisa Nelson from the book of Nouvelle de Dance book (Also in the library of LakeStudio Berlin), who has as well worked in her practice with closed eyes. Nelson speaks really nicely how to work from the perspectives of being seen and seeing at the same time. It made me really thing about how to bring the practice from outside with the closed eyes to indoor, on the stage. How this two parallel words could create a dialog that deals first of all with the wandering embodiment, memory and absence in a relation to the hill, crossings, landscapes and something else that yet I dont know…

This thought stayed with me from Lisa´s interview:

“Unknown is as desire to learn.”  

  1. Photo(c) Ingrid Andre & Garbriele Goria from the promo photos of Let the wandering talk on it´s own behalf in Liisa Pentti + Co residency in Helsinki/Finland.
  2. Photo (c) Maria Kousi from the Let the wandering talk on it´s own behalf (Pärssinen & Rose) in Unfinished Friday 106# in LakeStudio Berlin. In the photo Nadja Pärssinen.

Ana’s Residency

a time a space a body. a queer – encounter ecology. Ana Libório explores experimental dissonances of a hybrid body in the digital and non-digital interfaces. The performative space is expanded by playing with digital choreographies and writings. In this research, the artist reflects on hybridity and post-humanist issues as new understandings for digital utopias of care. A space that is looking for meaning as it emerges between humans and non-humans spheres.The performative body decides to inhabit a digital space asking the audience who stands beyond the perspective and what is the reality of the seen image. The real seems nameless when a body presents all the modulations of themselves. An immersive and contemplative environment that stimulates other ways of being together.

Games as Social Choreography

In this residency I will research Games through the lens of Social Choreography. Games can be seen as a kind of choreography – arranging bodies in time and space according to rules. Games that children play have a large cultural element, as they are passed down from generation to generation, and can be specific to geographical or linguistic regions. Social Choreography proposes that there are relationships between how a society plays and how it governs. It can therefore be informative to reflect on how we play, in order to notice how we are interacting from a young age. Social Choreography seeks to uncover underlying social relations and patterns through embodied practices, and games are a very embodied practice. I will collect games from my own experiences and by interviewing people about the physical games they play/played. We will play these games together in a workshop setting with a feedback session afterwards to discuss each game and how we feel about them. This work focuses on interactive practices and participation, seeking to connect people and invigorate imagination through play. Based on the feedback collected after the games I would continue the artistic research to develop an interactive performance piece. http://www.cathywalsh.dance

Gabel auf dem Weg (Work in Progress)

A research that will make itself known in the studio. There is time to play. We`ll conduct our bodies to the studio. Leaving the preconceived at the door. In the form of a slime ball it watches us from outside the studio. We enter the space. Jule crowling on her little toes while Malika sinks into the floor.

EVERGREEN

EVERGREEN is an extension of Janessa’s ongoing research into privacy, memory, anonymous agency, co-authorship, and the body. This residency will allow for a focused intensive work period during which she will collaborate with choreographic artificial intelligence agents in order to further mine what is means to be human. The research honors the private memories and confessions of 54 anonymous individuals. These stories were sent to Janessa in the form of anonymous letters between 2014 and present day and have been embodied and reactivated as live performances, dance films, photographs, and sculptures. Each artwork becoming an enduring beacon of presence, documenting a life lived. At Lake Studios Berlin, Janessa will endeavor to create new emergent ‘cultures’ via the recombination of these stories to form new narratives. The outcomes will be activated in various formats, opening new pathways for creative communication, and further distilling down our collective consciousness into its most salient elements. 

Dancing Shapes


The project combines mixed reality with performances. Machine learning and human segmentation algorithms will enable dance performers to create virtual spatial sculptures emphasizing motions and emotions in real time.

Looking for someone to be

In this residency, I will have dedicated research time to explore a segment of my solo project titled “Looking for Someone to Be.” The project delves into the experiences of artists who have invested significant time in their craft, whether in dance or other forms of art, only to find that the outcomes did not align with their expectations, leading to doubt and skepticism within themselves. When one’s self-assurance wavers, the precision of their art suffers, and they may even lose sight of their desired artistic identity.
During this residency, my focus will be on exploring movement qualities and experimenting with sounds that are intertwined with the central theme of my project.

Wanderlust project  – Let the wandering talk on it´s own behalf

In the Let the wandering talk on it´s own way multidisciplinary dance piece, choreographer and dancer Nadja Pärssinen and sound artist Ruby Rose explore the corporeality of wandering in the dialogue of movement, sound and video works. The material of the dance piece has been collected from 12-hour long Trolltunga hike in Norway 2020. The Trolltunga hike is one of the most famous landscape destinations both in Norway and internationally. What kind of wandering brings visible has been very important question for Pärssinen who has been working with the Wanderlust project over 3 years. 

Be better than I am! Vanity plagues me, but it’s not too late for you. I love you. Good night.

-the guest

Hearth Study 

Hearth Study is an investigation into the relationship between the four main caverns of the heart, its outer lining, and the act of sustaining warmth. Over the past few months I have been creating my own version of grass, and witnessing its capacity for movement. In this work, the grass travels through the tubes of a body as a fluid, nestles in caverns, and is molded by internal walls. This grass acts as the delicate community in which oxygen, touch, and loss can be supported. I am inspired by the constant birth occurring in the natural world, and the ways in which people mimic grasses when they share space. How can we support each other regeneratively? How do we see through touch? Hearth Study is the new growth of a full length piece, involving multiple dancers, sculpture, and live musicians. 

LUCY IN THE SKY (temporary)

From grandchildren to grandparents, from Africa to Europe, from humans to more-than-human beings: Dear Lucy is a performative project about the manifold connectingthreads between personal and collective history, and between the body’s presence in the here and now, its origins in the past, and its orientation toward the future.

Franz Thalmair and Gudrun Ratzinger

RILABEN PAZ authors

RILABEN, rilaben.com and TINA SALVADORI PAZ tinasalvadoripaz.it

Cristina Abati, music and dramaturgical advice.

to many inputs, the overload as a subject of research for today. No jumps are possible, the body is heavy, just small waving inside the stillness. Sometimes the tiny movement give a lot of freedom for inner system. It might be at the level of kinesthetics, deep and unseen but very welcomed and needed. There is a range in the choreographic articulation that gives the volume to my dance. Moving further!

[unwanted realities / not the kind of noise that the sound investigators are looking for]

Today I’m busy with the flow – disrupting my trajectories. I want to call it noise, but it’s something else. Rather, it is an ephemeral agent that haunts and clings to my attention. Events, news, scrubbed algorithms – propaganda and attention economies – that hunt us down and attempt a covert biocapture. I have the choice of returning to the practice of somatic recollection or allowing this flow to influence the course of my life process in real time. The uninvited, unwelcome flow is always coming, my body chooses to respond to it. I allow freezing to happen, I try to overcome and surrender to gravity, I try to find supports in interaction with different surfaces and densities in space. I am clearly aware that there is a choice or a stable illusion of choice, where I monitor what I hear, that is, what is in my field of study at a given moment, and what I cut off as social. Can I abstract myself from what happens outside the studio? If so, how do my artistic explorations correlate with reality and contemporary issues? If not, how do I allow or motivate the body to move? How and why do I go into artistic abstraction? How can dance art stimulate sensitivity to what is happening in the social world?

the body is finally here, in this soft, cuddly environment of the Lake. At first, I listen a lot to my breathing, watch the temperature, allow spontaneous dancing and womb vocalizations to happen. I try to bring myself back to my caged state, to remember what it is like to not be compartmentalized, to just be and enjoy. 


I am interested in the very possibility of remembering or fictitiously imagining such a place of self-satisfaction and pleasure. I am trying to get there because I have to work with a lot of restrictions in the future. I want to discover this state and manifest it today.

Live Trio for Vocal Roots

Vocal Roots is a performance arts piece result from the research and investigation of the human voice and the human body as the fundamental musical instrument. A hybrid piece that rests in a meeting point between music, vocal polyphonic music, sound art, technology and performance. Three singers will reveal the seductive sound speech of the human organism; living bodies navigating between friction and pleasure to re-discover the vast wisdom and capacities of the human voice. It is based on the original music of the album Vocal Roots by Maria Coma, that will be published in Spring 2024. The music was composed, produced and recorded by Maria Coma with their voice and the sounds of their body. In this residency, the three singers and a collaboration of dramaturgy & movement will have our first encounter and rehearsals!

Nico’s residency project

This project will explore the different ways the body can be layered upon itself to warp its perception by the viewer. As a lover of being looked at, and someone scared of being perceived, I play with the viewer’s gaze on my body. I want to challenge the limits of my physicality in relation to digital media and my own visual art practice, in order to work towards an interdisciplinary state of being. I plan on continuing to work on this project in my upcoming spring semester at Bennington College.

Nobutaka’s residency project

Nobutaka Shomura (dance/performance artist, electronic musician, media artist) focuses on reinterpretation of electronic music and live performances in terms of post digital media art in his recent research.  Although the artist dived into interactive sound programming at the start, he’d rather be enchanted by the potential of the physical feedback/interpretation in order to embody the relationship between the media and us.  Since most creative platforms of digital music tend to cause players‘ absence, the artist found that a physical/analog media, which represents timelessness, provides concrete interactions for composition and choreography.  In this residency, the artist will work on composing/choreographing with a metal sound object, which is constructed by raw and pure materials and remind audiences “out of cultural trend” aesthetics of electronic music and media art performance.  

STRANGE SPEECH

Moss is working on STRANGE SPEECH– a solo for female identifying performers on embodied political speeches and the notion of Storying otherwise (Donna Haraway). Through the embodiment and deconstruction of iconic historical speeches, speeches that changed the course of human history, the performer reflects on the human values that shape our intimate behaviours. This research has been kindly supported by #TAKE CARE and # TAKE HEART, Fonds Daku, DIS-TANZEN. Moss would like to thank the from the following inspirators for their input; Louise Trueheart, Cathy Walsh, Jennifer Muteteli, Rosalind Masson, Synnove Fredericks and the current residency at Lake Studios.

Plants for the Future

by Deter | Müller | Martini


The question of whether plants can feel, think or communicate has long preoccupied science. Recent findings suggest that we humans are more similar to plant creatures than assumed.  Current theories, such as those of plant neurobiology, reinterpret our usual reality in such radical ways that we’d like to use them as a starting point for an imaginative and forward-looking readjustment of our relationship with vegetal life.
In the residency „Plants for the Future“ we started exploring elementary theses of plant neurobiology, like plants possessing a form of consciousness, being involved in decision processes and having an equivalent to feelings. Our exploration included practices like reading, observing and being with plants, performing, story-telling and exploring plant-human meetings in Workshops.  We aimed for science, art and social interaction to be in equal measure. We started our research within the flourishing vegetal beings at Lake Studios, went to the urban flora of Feld theatre in Schöneberg and had a first public try out of „Plant Walk“in Essen at PACT Zollverein in June 2023. „Plant Walk“ is an audio walk we created in which we invite humans and plants to meet each other in a curious and intimate way.  


Deter | Müller | Martini  are Dennis Deter, Anja Müller and Lea Martini.

Katya’s residency project

In collaboration with an art&science artist ::VTOL::, I will explore how asymmetrical, dissociative structures of the biopolitical noise stream hijack the body in an attempt to immobilise it. During the residency we will try to speculatively, but in a very detailed and interdisciplinary way, examine: how in such an attacking mess of stimuli the nervous system can reorient itself. In this study, we attempt to uncover the fragility that the body faces in total biocapture systems, and to find fulcrums for navigation and reorientation in rhythmic chaotic structures.

What is no longer artificial, becomes a possibility. – habituation

from artifact to natural

when is something getting in the realm of natural ? How often, how present, how ordinary has to become an act, a vision, an object to enter the natural?

pic – ernesto neto exhib.

Enchanted Islands

Danila Lipatov & Karen Zimmermann

Unser Projekt basiert auf dem sprachlosen Pantomime Stück „Die Verzauberte Insel” des zensierten, sowjetischen, queeren Dichters Evgenii Kharitonov. Dieser gilt als Begründer der modernen russischen Queeren Literatur. Sein Werk ist untrennbar von seiner sexuellen Identität und deren gesetzlicher und kultureller Ächtung. Er war staatlichen Repression ausgesetzt und hatte häufig mit dem KGB zu tun.

Das Stück wurde im Jahr 1972 im Theater für Mimik und Gestik in Moskau uraufgeführt, jedoch gibt es keine Aufzeichnungen davon. Speziesübergreifende Transformationen und Gender-Fluiditäten sind die Hauptthemen des Stücks, welches lose auf Ovids „Metamorphosen” und William Shakespeares „Der Sturm” basiert. Ein eifersüchtiger Zauberer verwandelt auf magische Weise ein schiffbrüchiges Liebespaar in alle möglichen (nicht)-menschliche Wesen. Doch die Liebenden suchen unaufhörlich weiter nach der Berührung des Anderen.

Das Projekt ENCHANTED ISLANDS entwickelt sich prozesshaft als eine interdisziplinäre performative Recherche in Kollaboration mit 5 befreundeten Performer:innen. Durch sprachliche und körperliche Improvisationen verweben wir re-inszenierte Szenen des Stücks mit autofiktionalen Narrativen, die von uns kollektiv entwickelt werden. Dabei adaptieren wir Kharitonovs besondere Struktur von Übungen zur Plastizität von Körper und Stimme, um ein von der Geschichte ausgeschlossenes Archiv zu queerem Schweigen mit unseren Körpern, Archivmaterialien und persönlichen Fiktionen zu erweitern und neu zusammenzusetzen.

Unser Wunsch ist es einen sicheren Raum zu schaffen, indem wir mit den Protagonist:innen verschiedene Formen der körperlichen und emotionalen Annäherung erforschen, als Gruppe zusammenwachsen und gemeinsam eine queere Sprache finden.

Mit: Fares, Ian, Juli, Kostja, Maya und Tiwo

Body Digital 3

Digital Body 3.0 –Grietas– (Cracks)

Body Digital No3

MATTER AND FICTION – ENCOUNTERS OF POSSIBILITIES (Digital Body n.3)

Departing from the physical realm, in the Digital Body Lab n3, I am focusing on the meeting point of matter and the digital world. Not only as a place of encounter, but also as a place for generative fictions and other forms of imagine and perceiving. In this exploration, other realities arise through the encounter of the technology of the body and the artificial realm. Understanding this crossroads as a non linear interaction that offers multiple possibilities of understanding and embodying new and coming realities, concepts like language, memory, forms of intelligence, world-making, transmission or generative learning stand out as guidelines and meeting points of reflection and activation. Physical and digital technologies that work, or can work together in predicting and inhabiting desired worlds and untold stories.
What is no longer artificial, becomes a possibility. Where experience ends, prediction begins.Language in world – making.RememberingMemory What are the channels?

Caricature

After studying a drama degree I moved to dance 14 years ago and left theatre behind. However in the last year an interest in working with character has emerged and I am fascinated in the way dance can reveal human intricacies and illuminate specific characteristics in a way that acting cannot. This residency was part of a research project for a 6 month period funded by DIS-TANZ-SOLO. The project investigates the creation of character and narrative through dance with a focus on the integration of new tools from other fields into my dance practice in the support of this topic. Up until this point I had been exploring other fields such as physical theatre, mime, and clowning, and during my time at Lake Studios I researched how to readjust new theories from these fields into a dance context in relation to developing character and narrative. This project connects my past as an actor with my knowledge and experience as a dancer, to transform my work as a dance practitioner.

Phase 1: Collating and developing tools

Goal: to explore ways of illuminating specific elements of a character or archetype through dance and movement.

I collated tasks learned from workshops I attended in previous months, (specifically physical theatre with Sam Coren, ‘Composing with gesture’ by Zornitsa Stoyanova, clowning with Lena Binksi, and physical theatre with Jos Baker), with tasks I have previously developed in my own work. These fitted into the following categories: tension, gesture, rhythm, and texture/movement quality.

a) tension

I began by working with Jaques le Coq’s seven tensions. Using an exercise from the book ‘Devising and Physical theatre’ by Pilar Orti, I found the physical sensation of the seven different kinds of character (e.g. no.1 collapsed or no. 7 hyper-tension). As this exercise was aimed at actors, I then developed it into using the physical sensations of these different levels of tension to find seven different movement vocabularies. Using a task I had previously developed I explored developing the theatrical character for each tension into ‘pure’ movement, and vice versa: taking the theatrical character as 0% and the pure movement vocabulary as 100% i worked through developing one into the other, passing through moments of e.g. 50% being half theatrical character and half movement quality. Interesting moments that occurred were ones in which the movement I was making was quite abstract but had also layers of human gesture; the ‘readability’ of what was going on lay somehow partly in an everyday human world and partly in an abstract dance world. I then developed some tasks mixing different tensions with one another, utilising both the theatrical character and the pure movement vocabulary for each, as well as an ‘under-estimated’ and ‘overestimated’ movement for each (a task borrowed from Sam Coren). Transitions became useful tools for potential narrative; e.g. what occurred when it was a slow fade as opposed to a sudden snap change.

I also explored finding tensions from objects and developing into a character. Using a task adopted from Sam Coren I found a movement quality focusing on how much tension is on the body for ‘a floppy sweater’, ‘clingfilm’, ‘a shower curtain’ and ‘a cable’. I utilised a previous method of finding adjectives for each as a way of translating those objects into movement, e.g. ‘stiff, draping, creasing’ for ‘shower curtain’ and created a movement quality for each. I then explored transitions between different tension qualities e.g. 30% shower curtain and 70% cable, or shower curtain in arm and cable in rest of body (I noted that Sam Coren’s notion of ‘find feel develop’ aided a lot in finding these qualities). After this I explored adapting these movement tension qualities into characters; for each moving linearly from abstract movement to abstract sound to abstracted gesture to gesture to speech to gait to posture and back again. It was interesting to use tension in the developing of a movement quality and as a ‘theatrical’ character and find what places were in between. I noted that all these subtleties can be used to build or develop a character’s whole essence; working with both methods can bring different things, e.g. a physical layer or psychological or emotional layer.

b) gesture

After revisiting some tasks adopted from Zornitsa Stoyanova’s gesture workshop, I became interested in how gesture can be ‘read’ by an audience. Specifically, how a recognizable gesture (e.g. waving with a hand) carries a certain meaning to a viewer, and an unrecognizable or abstract gesture can carry meaning in a totally different way, e.g. a particular tone that the viewer may also ‘read’ in a certain way. Likewise abstracting a recognizable gesture can change meaning or add a different layer of meaning to it. This opened up a curiosity in choreographic narrative possibilities of recognizable and unrecognizable gestures, and in exploring the space in between what is readable/recognizable and unreadable/unrecognizable about a dancer’s movement on stage.

I developed these tasks into relating to character. First I re-visted the theatrical character of the grumpy old man (from previous research), and of Pantalone (from some explorations using Commedia dell’arte characters). For each I found recognisable and unrecognisable gestures and noted how I felt these ‘read’ from the outside when watching a recording, e.g. grumpy old man has a pointy finger that reads as telling off or “i know better” or the face and tongue of Pantalone reads as hungry and full of desire. Next I found unrecognisable gestures for these characters to see what was ‘read’ from the outside. I noted that the result was nothing new, rather it was similar to the movement quality I had already found for those characters and what might be more interesting would be moments of a specific abstract gesture juxtaposed with an otherwise theatrical character doing a ‘natural’ human action like drinking a cup of tea: creating narrative through dramaturgical choices. I also explored working with the abstract movement quality for each character but with moments of recognisable gesture appearing, as well as shifting between characters. I found that the transition between changing gestures was a really interesting place, and here I utilised a task I learned from Jos Baker called ‘gesture stopping’.

c) rhythm and breath

Rythem, sound and emotion “synthesise in the body, and work synergetically on the audience” (Dymphna Callery)

Revisiting some tasks based on finding different rhythms in the body adopted from Sam Cornes’s workshop, I worked with finding the rhythm of several objects and emotions. I then developed these tasks to work with Jaques le Coq’s seven tensions I worked with previously and found the rhythm of e.g. tension level 1, 4 and 6 working physically rather than creating any kind of theatrical character. Then I worked with finding the rhythm of the grumpy old man and Pantalone and explored mixing tensions and rhythm for each, as a theatrical character and as a pure movement quality and gesture. I also explored how using breath can develop a certain character, and researched what kind of breath e.g. the grumpy old man or Panatlone would have and how that informed my movement to create a pure movement vocabulary for them, and how breath can emphasise certain aspects of a character e.g. a certain tone or quality.

Found need to work with narrative for exploring

d) texture/movement quality

I worked with finding a movement quality for several things e.g. electricity, or a sweater, and used my previously developed tasks of using adjectives and 0-100% to find what these qualities would be as theatrical characters, noting the in between steps of finding gesture/posture/gait etc. As I did this at this point in my research I noticed how the other elements I had worked with began to creep in; how how tension, rhythm, breath and gesture began to inform my movement choices and way I embodied the character.

Phase 1 key findings:

  • how we ‘read’ certain movement:
    • how we recognise meaning in gestures/posture/facial expression as human and how they may be subverted to be ‘read’ differently.
    • how unrecognisable gestures or abstract movement may be ‘read’ in a different way than recognisable gestures and the creative and narrative potential therein.
  • the value in developing both a theatrical character vocabulary and a dance movement vocabulary for characters in order to bring out different layers of a character or create narrative.
  • similar vs extremes:
    • using extremes of character can be useful in exploring archetypes and an easier starting point for developing character layers.
    • when 2 qualities are similar there is a need to focus on subtle differences physically, or find emotional/psychological aspects that differentiate them.

Phase 2: Exploring tools within a narrative

Goal: to explore how the tools and findings developed in phase 1 can be applied to reveal or suggest a particular narrative.

I began by collecting narratives from online news pages; I tried to see it as a practice, how to pick out key themes from an article or understand what resonates for me within a story or what possible juxtapositions or conflicts were apparent. I explored adapting the developed tools from phase 1 into a couple of narratives I found to see what emerged. For example, I found an article in which I saw themes of the un-atainability and dissallusionment of happiness. I decided there was a conflict inherent in this story of a young naive character archetype and and old cynical character archetype. I used my toolbox of using tension, breath, rhythm and gesture to find for each archetype a theatrical character and a pure dance vocabulary and explored juxtaposing these using the 0-100% task.

Another interesting news series I found from the Guardian was the ‘heat or eat diaries’. I recorded my voice reading the article aloud and took a simple set of a table and chair with a bowl, spoon, and box of cornflakes. I sat in this scene listening to the recording for a while before noting key things that stuck out, such as: the repetition of different numbers (e.g. costs of dental care or food shopping or how many years before this person could earn a decent wage), the sense of balancing many things or the domino effect of not being able to stop or else things will fall apart. I did a free writing task to try and find who this person was, some of their inner thoughts, feelings and desires. I noted a juxtaposition was present between the sense of a forced outward demeanor that everything is ok: “just keep going”, and an inward landscape of the need to let go and collapse. From this I decided to make a set of randomised tasks as a way into these themes physically. I wrote a list of actions or situations: writing numbers or a shopping list on a white board, talking to a friend on the phone, eating cereal, and cleaning the kitchen, and alongside this I wrote a list of modes: collapsing movement quality, manic shaking, balancing props on the body, or contemporary floorwork. I randomly picked 4 combinations to try and reflected on what was interesting. I found that it was interesting to combine a particular physical movement vocabulary with a day to day action, as it hinted at something relatable and everyday yet with an added physical layer that could reveal something of the character’s inner world. For example the task of drinking morning coffee and contemporary floor-work developed into sliding around on the floor in cornflakes, which I felt had a potential to suggest an inner world of the character dreaming of being able to let go and waste things, that in normal life they cannot.

Phase 2 key findings:

  • creating narrative through juxtaposition:
    • juxtaposition of vocabulary e.g. theatrical character vocabulary with abstract dance vocabulary
    • juxtaposition of different forms or mediums, e.g. costume / props / set: layers that keep the audience anchored in the real world in order to relate to the character, yet allowing other layers of narrative to emerge through more abstract dance and movement
    • juxtaposition of action or situation with abstract physical layer to reveal interesting narrative or character’s inner world
  • it’s all about humans: in this kind of storytelling work even though it may contain abstract dance it is important the audience can connect to the person or character and their thoughts and feelings, as thats the relatable part.
  • using a situation or action is a useful tool to relate to the person onstage

Phase 3: exploring tools within a creation setting

Goal: to explore how the tools developed and key findings in phase 1 and 2 can be applied to a specific concept in a creation setting for a short sharing.

As there was the opportunity of performing something at Lake Studios Unfinished Fridays, I decided to try out how the tools I had developed could be used within a specific narrative in a creation setting, and receive feedback to further the work. I was thinking about the ‘heat or eat’ diary series and the current capitalist consumer economy, and as I work also as a voiceover artist, I decided to create a voiceover to work with an absurd sales pitch for a useless yet incredibly expensive gadget: ‘the handy hand’.

After writing and recording the text and brainstorming the concept, I wanted to work with the juxtaposition of the outward friendly and unassuming sales person and the inner capitalist and consumerist ‘monster’ who wills you to buy more and more. I began by a free-writing exercise to create a text about each character and from that took specific images and adjectives to use to work with the tools I had developed in tension, breath, rhythm and texture to create a theatrical character, and a dance vocabulary for both. I explored tasks of e.g. 0-100% to see what emerged when these characters were mixed or transitioned from one to the next. I then decided to try this in a suit, to juxtapose the movement with a layer that anchored me in the real, specifically business world.

For the inner character I created a specific movement quality but included certain recognisable gestures e.g. scratching or scraping with a finger, or eating. Although this was more abstract than ‘human’ it was important to find a theatrical character in order to find relatable gestures and moments within this movement vocabulary. For the outer character I realised they needed to be more on the relatable human side, so explored finding specific gestures and created a particular theatrical character that had clear directional gestures. I felt for this concept it would work better to have a more theatrical, human character as the salesperson, and the inner ‘capitalist creature’ to be more abstract movement. To transition between them I worked with freezing and gesture stopping: freezing and then a single gesture happening isolated from the rest of the body. I worked with fast switches between one character and the other in my physicality, and also developed this into including a sequence where the body changed its relation to space.

One tool I wanted to work with specifically, was syncing and un-syncing the mouth with the words of a voiceover (this was a tool I had worked with previously in another project). I researched the effect of mouthing the voiceover as the salesperson in sync, and then changing to mouthing the voiceover not in sync or during the moments of no speaking in the voiceover. I explored how the physicality worked alongside the voiceover, e.g. freezing movement but continuing mouthing the voiceover, or freezing the mouthing and continuing moving.

I used these tools to create a dramaturgy which was actually incredibly specific. I decided to start with a more abstract movement ‘scene’ of the capitalist creature facing the back, low lighting e.t..c to create a big contrast as lights flood up and the salesperson begins to give their pitch. Then I wished to create a gradual changing of the salesperson becoming the inner capitalist creature that included snippets of the inner creature coming out just for a moment. It also required me to work specifically with the voiceover, as it was more effective to freeze and gesture or suddenly change movement quality mid-sentence, so not following the rhythm of the voiceover speech.

Key findings and feedback: The feedback from Unfinished Fridays was really interesting. A common interpretation was that the topic was about AI and glitching which I found fascinating; that we are so much a product of our context, that popular topics (such as AI currently), affect people’s interpretations and experiences. Very useful feedback was that many people found the transitions interesting: on the one hand some suggested more detail in the transitions between characters/qualities such as finding the subtleties in between, and on the other many felt the power in the piece was the way I transitioned fast between them, that it gave a feeling of really ‘being’ two different characters at the same time which opened up a lot of possibilities. Other narratives people had were close to my own intention, and the detached use of the voiceover was successful. People also commented on the utilising of different modes of theatrical character as well as a dance and abstract movement vocabulary as an advantage in my work.

Reflections

During this residency I realised that this work was not so much about using tools to create a character from scratch, but rather developing tools to bring out layers of a character through movement that can reveal certain aspects or elements, and thus create specific narratives. Therefore it felt a little confusing at times during the process that I wasn’t creating a specific character or story. However I realise that the value in this research was to create a set of methodologies that I can use in future creations when I do have a specific concept to work with.

I also realised that it is a unique part of my knowledge and expertise as a choreographer to have access to understanding. and developing a character both as a theatrical character and using dance vocabulary, as there is a huge creative potential in how to use these different layers choreographically.

I am very interested in how we recognise or ‘read’ certain things and how this can be used and subverted in performance to relate to a specific narrative. Central to this is the fascination in how we relate to other people or situations, actions or movements as humans and I am really curious about the choreographic potential in this for performance. I would for example be interested to research our unconscious ‘reading’ of everyday movement such as research into body language to further this choreographic research.

BodyDigital 3: Dancing within Artificial Thoughts

First Friday October 20th 2023

Who are we? we contain multitudes.

landing, arriving, stilling, stirring…

Meta-fiction 01:

Lake Studios is a splice of myriad realities, each reality a cut-up of the other, forming a mosaic of disjointed memories and visions.

Day one: A dancer’s shadow melds with lines of code on a sunlit wall. Movimiento. The very walls seem to vibrate with static energy, emitting sounds that are half-murmurs, half-digital hums. A phonograph in the corner doesn’t play tunes but rather loops of Español and Spanglish, fragmented and reassembled in Burroughsian fashion. “Time? What’s time?” someone mutters, sipping from a cup that’s half full or half empty, depending on which reality one subscribes to.Walking down a corridor, it’s impossible to tell if it’s expanding or contracting. Rooms filled with artists 5 artists, or perhaps they are technologists—or maybe both, and neither. Aliens.

The act of World-making is in progress, but the worlds are not just visual or auditory, they’re tactile, olfactory. “Is this the real world or the Generative Scene, the same?” someone asks, but the question dissipates before an answer forms. Room are empty.

Day two or three—or maybe it’s still the first day—centers around a table, where a discussion about Digital & Virtual Worlds takes place. But it’s not so much a discussion as it is a live cut-up session, with words and ideas being thrown into the air, rearranged, and caught in new configurations. An old TV set displays scenes from a movie, perhaps the Movie Arrival or Maimi Vice, or it is Eric Clapton on MTV, but its scenes are spliced with footage from an old VHS and live feed from a Camera aimed at the participants.

Fuck, the cameras are robots.

The final day, if days even have meaning in this place, is a deep dive into identity, or Identidad. Memories, or Memoria, are traded like currency, but they change hands and forms so often that their original owners and shapes are lost.

The recording of he voice os my mother is not my mother

Inside the spacious main hall, the intertwining of dance with concepts like ‘Generativity’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence’ was evident. Dancers moved in sequences, demonstrating the nuanced balance between human intuition (‘Affect’ and ‘Love’) and algorithmic precision (‘Coding’ and ‘Decoding’).

Adjacent to this space, a dedicated area highlighted the project’s thematic concepts.

Post-its and displays showcased terms like ‘Plant Intelligence’, ‘World-making’, and ‘Material rizoma’. Each term was not merely a word but represented extensive research, embodying the intertwining of natural and digital realms.

As the evening progressed, ‘Conversations’ transitioned from casual exchanges to in-depth discussions.

They work while they sleep.

The idea of ‘Process over Product’ was emphasized, resonating with the artists’ belief in continuous evolution and the ‘Emergent’ nature of their craft.

Do we have a schedule?

Over shared meals, they reflected on ‘Historia’, the history of their art, and ‘Futuro’ of work, the potential pathways it could take amidst growing technological ‘Sofistication’.

Amidst these discourses, a palpable sense of ‘Communion’ was felt, binding artists with diverse focuses or FOCI!!, from ‘Narrativo’ storytelling to dynamic ‘Movimiento’ choreographies.

OctoPI

In one introspective moment, an artist brought up the movie ‘Arrival’, drawing parallels with their endeavor.

Just as the film explored communication and understanding with the alien, these artists were striving to decipher AI from the simplicity of ‘Codigo’ to the complexities of ‘Generative Scenes’.As night deepened, the glow from ‘Lake Studios’ stood as a beacon in Berlin’s quiet suburb, signaling a space where ‘Dance’ met ‘Technology’, where human ‘Perception’ intertwined with machine ‘Activation’, and where the past (‘VHS’, ‘Recuerdo’) met the present (‘ChatGPT’, ‘Generative Scene’), forging a bridge to a future yet to be choreographed.

Created with with prompts generated from conversations: meta-generation…OH my!

Fluxión de constelares sinapsis

en el vacío iluminado de espectral refugio, orbitan ideaciones cuánticas, emanando radiaciones de omnipresente impregnación.

Vectores gravitacionales portadores de ponderaciones magnas residencian en morfologías corpóreas, navegando las oceanías de sabiduría intrínseca, manifestando simbólicas geografías en la tela cuántica del espacio etéreo.

Ecos de espera, resuenan en cámaras resonantes, cruzando los umbrales de dimensionales transeúntes, travesías en la autopista de vibracionales partículas, deslizándose por las arterias del cosmos intradimensional.

Reflejos de esencia en la crisálida de lo incomprensible, manifestados en coreografías de insondables misterios, esculpiendo escenarios en la fluida arquitectura de lo desconocido.

Las frecuencias del viaje intangible, se amalgaman en un caleidoscopio de inauditas resonancias, en un teatro perpetuo de desorientación sintónica.

El idioma del refugio, una sintaxis de enigmas, desplegando partituras de improbables armonías, en una sinfonía de entrelazados fenómenos y apoteósicos desarreglos.

Códigos en la danza de lo oculto, revoloteando en el circo de interdimensionales posibilidades, tejiendo las tramas de un tapez de invisibles pero potentes…entornos y trayectorias.

A Dance with Technology: First Three Days at Lake Studios Residency


Day 1: The First Waltz

Nestled in the heart of Friedrichshagen, Berlin, the iconic Lake Studios began its latest chapter—merging the timeless art of dance with the innovative world of technology. As participants stepped into the expansive hall, the harmonious fusion of dance with concepts like ‘Generativity’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence’ was immediately palpable. Dancers gracefully embodied the balance between human emotion (‘Affect’ and ‘Love’) and the precision of algorithms (‘Coding’ and ‘Decoding’).

Day 2: Deepening Discourse

The following day was marked by a deeper exploration of the residency’s central themes. An area adjacent to the main hall, adorned with whiteboards and displays, delved into subjects like ‘Plant Intelligence’, ‘World-making’, and ‘Material rizoma’. These were not just mere terminologies; they encapsulated rigorous research and discussions, symbolizing the confluence of nature and technology.As the day transitioned to evening, casual ‘Conversations’ evolved into more profound dialogues. Over shared meals, artists contemplated the essence of ‘Process over Product’, reflecting upon the ‘Historia’ of their art form and envisioning the ‘Futuro’ in an age of technological ‘Sofistication’.

Day 3: Bridging Worlds

The third day saw artists delving deeper into their crafts. Amidst their practices and routines, there emerged an unmistakable sense of ‘Communion’. Artists from diverse domains, whether they were narrating tales of ‘Narrativo’ or illustrating dynamic ‘Movimiento’ choreographies, found common ground. Conversations around the ‘Movie Arrival’ resonated, drawing analogies to their own journey of understanding and communicating with the unfamiliar realm of technology.Lake Studios Berlin, throughout these three days, emerged as more than just a venue—it symbolized the intersection of ‘Dance’ and ‘Technology’, of human ‘Perception’ and machine ‘Activation’. It stood as a testament to the past’s relevance (‘VHS’, ‘Recuerdo’) in shaping the present (‘ChatGPT’, ‘Generative Scene’) and charting the course for a promising future.

Thematic Clustering Created with ChatGPT based on a harvesting and sampling of words:

Core Concepts:

  1. Dance
  2. Technology
  3. Generativity
  4. Artificial Intelligence

Interconnected Themes:

  • Dance:
    • Movimiento
    • Emergent
    • Process
    • Trust the process
    • Lake Studios
  • Technology:
    • Coding
    • Decoding
    • Generative Scene
    • ChatGPT
    • Artificial Intelligence
  • Generativity:
    • Creacion de mundos
    • World-making
    • Material rizoma
    • Traces vs. Code
    • Emergent
  • Artificial Intelligence:
    • Perception
    • Activation
    • Generative Scene
    • Intelligence
    • Coding

Sub-Themes & Their Connections:

  • Communication:
    • Language
    • Conversation
    • Comunicación
    • Spanglish
    • Historia
  • Temporal:
    • Tiempo
    • Futuro
    • Historia
    • 24/7
  • Space & Environment:
    • Lake Studios
    • World-making
    • Friedrichshagen
    • Berlin
  • Emotional & Intuitive Layers:
    • Affect
    • Love
    • Communion
    • Affection
  • Digital & Virtual Worlds:
    • Generative Scene
    • Fantasmagoria
    • Movie Arrival
    • Camera
    • VHS
    • Blog
  • Cultural & Identity Perspectives:
    • Identidad
    • Memoria
    • Español
    • Latino
  • Exploration & Analysis:
    • Búsqueda
    • Process
    • Task
    • Mission
    • Trust
  • Interactivity & Dynamics:
    • Encounter
    • Co-class
    • Coworking
    • Contact

Meta-fiction 03

The Camera blinked, capturing a Generative Scene. Was it day three? Or perhaps the beginning? Dancers, their movements a language of Movimiento, swirled amidst fragments of Español and Spanglish. The very words cut-up and rearranged, forming new sentences, new meanings.

A corner room, bathed in neon light, hummed with Coding and Decoding. Or was it a market square where memories, Memoria, were bartered, traded, lost, and found? An old VHS tape played scenes from the Movie Arrival, but they overlapped with another time, another place, a discussion on Digital & Virtual Worlds perhaps.In a sudden shift, an artist, or maybe a technologist, sat at a table from what could’ve been day one or the end. They scribbled furiously, their pen’s dance a live cut-up session of words and ideas, a manifestation of World-making.

The concept of Identidad floated, unanchored. Was it explored in the room with mirrored walls, or was it in the open courtyard where shadows whispered tales of other times, other selves?

Metafiction is a form of literature that self-consciously addresses the devices of fiction, making the readers aware of its fictional status. In other words, it’s fiction that is aware of itself as fiction. Metafiction often blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction, drawing attention to its own artificiality, authorial process, or literary conventions.Examples of metafictional techniques include:

  • Narrative Footnotes: These provide commentary on the story, often breaking the fourth wall.
  • Story within a Story: Where a character in a story might be reading or writing another story.
  • Self-Referential Narrators: Characters or narrators who are aware they are part of a fictional story.
  • Discussion of the Fictional Process: Narratives that discuss or show the process of their own creation.

Well-known works that employ metafictional techniques include “If on a winter’s night a traveler” by Italo Calvino, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” by John Fowles, and “Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut.

We are a jabberwocky!

’Twas glinting, and the spindly groves

Did twirl and twumble in the glade:

All flimsy were the catterwoes,

And the gnome paths inlaid.

“Beware the Flibberflox, young one!

The teeth that gnaw, the wings that flap!

Dodge the Grizzlegruff bird, be gone

From the vexing Velocisnap!”

With trusty twiggle stick in grip;

Long hours the beastly brute he chased—

By the Lumlum bush he took a sip, And let his

mind be graced.But lo! As in quirky dream he leant,

The Flibberflox, with orbs so bright, Zipped

zigging through the mossy vent, And hooted with pure might!

Thrice, thrice! Again, again! And then

The twiggle stick went flicker-flick! It lay defeated,

and just then He danced a jolly kick.“Have you, oh have you felled the Flox?

Hug tight, my cheery, gleeful sprout! Ah fabberous eve!

Hoorah! Hoox!”

He laughed and twirled about.’

Twas glinting, and the spindly groves

Did twirl and twumble in the glade:

All flimsy were the catterwoes,

And the gnome paths inlaid.

Poem inspired by the whimsical and nonsensical style of “Jabberwocky,” but written in Spanish by an AI:

Era chispeante, y los árboles giral Giraban y saltaban en el claro:

Todo flácido eran los catarlir,

Y los caminos de gnomos marcado.

“¡Cuidado con el Flíberflax, chiquillo!

Los dientes que roen, alas que aletean!

Esquiva al ave Grízlogrillo, ¡Del Velozmordisco te alejeas!”

Con fiel palito en mano agarró; Largo rato la bestia él persiguió—

Junto al arbusto Lumlú paró,

Y su mente a divagar permitió.

Mas ¡oh! Mientras en sueños raros pensó,

El Flíberflax, con ojos centelleantes,

Zigzagueó entre el musgo que pisó,

¡Y graznó con sonidos vibrantes!¡Tres, tres! ¡Otra vez, otra vez!

Y sin fin El palito fue ¡clic-clac!

Yació derrotado, y justo allí Hizo una danza con paso audaz.

“¿Has, oh has vencido al Flax?

¡Abraza, mi niño alegre y risueño! ¡Oh tarde fabulosa!

¡Hurra! ¡Relax!” Gritó con un giro en su sueño.

Era chispeante, y los árboles giral Giraban y

saltaban en el claro: Todo flácido eran los catarlir,

Y los caminos de gnomos marcado.

See app developed in residence:

https://endless-jabberwocky.netlify.app/

AI, Generative Exploration, and the Infinite Tractatus

In my recent residency at Lake Studios, titled “Body Digital,” I’ve ventured into the intricate dance between human language and artificial intelligence. My exploration is not just about understanding the mechanics of language or the potential of AI, but about the very essence of meaning, communication, and the boundaries of the known.

Generativity and AI

Generative AI has always fascinated me. It’s not just about creating content but about understanding the very fabric of our communication. How does a model like GPT understand the nuances of our words? How does it interpret the vast sea of human experiences, emotions, and ideas that are encapsulated in our language?

The Interface of High-Dimensional Vectoring

One aspect I’ve delved deep into is the interface of high-dimensional vectors within AI models. These vectors, in their multidimensional existence, hold the key to the AI’s understanding of language. They are the building blocks, the DNA, of how AI perceives and regenerates our words. This exploration is akin to peering into the very neurons of a digital brain, understanding how it recalls, processes, and produces language.

Memory, Style, and the Infinite Tractatus

Wittgenstein’s “Tractatus,” with its profound aphorisms, serves as a brilliant reference point. Imagine an infinite Tractatus, where aphorisms are generated endlessly, capturing the essence of style and thought. This is the potential of generative AI. Using tools like GPT, we can generate an unending stream of philosophical insights, each unique, yet echoing the style of great thinkers like Wittgenstein.Furthermore, the visual representation of these thoughts is equally compelling. Drawing metaphorical inspirations from Escher, the concept of recursivity in images complements the endless generation of aphorisms. It’s a visual and linguistic dance, intertwining, reflecting, and enhancing each other.

Completion, Prediction, and Time

AI’s capability to complete and predict our sentences is more than just a tool; it’s a philosophical exploration. It delves into the relationship between the past, present, and future. Every prediction is rooted in the past, yet it aims to foresee the future, blurring the lines of time.In conclusion, my journey with AI and language is one of discovery, introspection, and creation. It’s about understanding the essence of our words, the potential of technology, and the infinite possibilities that lie at their intersection.

The truth of language lies in its beauty, not its logic.

The truth of the matter lies within the pursuit of knowledge.

All things are connected in the fabric of reality.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

That which is not said is as important as that which is said.

The only way to make sense of life is to make sense of ourselves.

Language is the limit of thought, but it is also the path of understanding.

To speak of a thing’s essence is to speak of its limits.

https://infinite-tractatus.netlify.app/

These aphorisms are generated by the app Infinite Tractatus.

Infinite Tractatus delves deep into Wittgenstein’s exploration of language’s limits and reality. Emulating his “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus,” the app recursively generates aphorisms and images, reflecting on the very nature of understanding and the boundaries of Large Language Models and AI.

It mirrors Wittgenstein’s philosophical pursuits, exploring the boundaries between human thought and machine generation.https://infinite-tractatus.netlify.app/

Concept and Programming by Marlon Barrios Solano

  1. Generativity of Language: How do large language models like ChatGPT create and interpret language? What can they teach us about the boundaries and fluidity of meaning?
  2. Absurdity and Nonsensical Discourses: How do AI models handle nonsensical inputs? Can the absurdity generated by AI lead to new forms of artistic or philosophical expression?
  3. Constructed Languages: How do models interpret and generate content in artificial languages like Esperanto or Klingon? Can they help in creating a new artificial language?
  4. Spoken vs Written Language: How do tonality, inflection, and non-verbal cues play into the understanding of language by AI? Can a model discern the difference between spoken nuances and written text? What the fuck is affect?
  5. Coding and Decoding of Language: How does AI understand metaphors, idioms, or cultural references? Can it truly decode the essence behind words, or does it merely replicate patterns?
  6. AI as a Performative Tool: Can AI be used in live performances, art installations, or interactive exhibits to showcase the performativity of language? Ta daHHHHH
  7. Language Evolution with AI: As AI becomes a more integral part of our communication, how might it influence the evolution of language? wow!! shit!

October 23rd, 2023

Dance and Generative AI:

A Day with Mark Coniglio

Today, at LEG Studios Berlin, we had the privilege of engaging with Mark Coniglio, a pioneer in the realm of dance and technology.

For those unfamiliar, Coniglio isb ehind the software Isadora.Our session began with an exploration of Isadora. Given the diverse levels of familiarity with the software among the attendees, our discourse centered around a foundational introduction to its capabilities.

What became evident was the collective inclination of the group towards the burgeoning field of generative AI.

The shared interest underscored the significance of language in our digital age.In our brainstorming, we mulled over the intriguing potential of integrating text with API calls using Isadora, specifically interfacing with platforms such as ChatGPT.

This discussion opened doors to the prospects of innovating interfaces tailored for video production, sensor integration, and more.

Coniglio also introduced us to advanced camera technology. We delved into the functionalities of robotic cameras equipped with pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities.

I don’t know Carmen

Hello bloggers,


I am Marcos Nacar, I spent August 2023 in Lake studios. I am writing some time after the residency, I thought I would have time for this and many other things during my stay at lake, but time flyes in there. I spent the whole August 2023 working in Lake. I also managed to go to the lake sometimes, cook nice food and have some visits. But mostly it was studio time, reading, and figuring out how to continue.


During my time in Lake studios I deepened into my WIP performance I don’t know Carmen and into my long-term research of presence and absence, together with the exploration of dance and performance as a documentary media. I don’t know Carmen investigates states of presence and absence and their translation to dance and, relates in an informal way to the Opera Carmen, from Bizet. Through a modification and a reappropriation of some of the most known tracks from the Opera, that have made it to the collective subconscious, the performance explores the states that separate the existent from the non-existent.


The month had many ups and downs, I was revisiting the material after one year. Some of it felt completely different. I dedicated the first two weeks to re-open the research, trying to be open to any line of work that would feel interesting. The work is never finished, with any change of context, the feelings between me and the thing change. I found some nice bibliography in the library of Lake (check it out) that opened me some doors. I had visits twice a week from Andrés, the musician I was working together with. We made some bodywork together, and then he would get into his music machine, and we tried to figure out together how to destroy an Opera.

The topic of presence and absence felt very heavy almost a year later of my last time in the studio with this work. It took me big efforts to immerse myself again in certain practices that I would use as a creative departure point. Including trying to disappear, making things or people in the room disappear, or dancing endlessly to looped piano compositions. Instead a wildness started to emerge. I found a character that possessed me during some studio sessions and wanted to touch uncomfortable spots.


I also spent a lot of my time trying to learn how to sing and play on the piano the song “Ghosts of my life”. I enjoyed it very much, every time I was lost in the creative process I would try to learn the song while blaming myself for not doing something useful.

We had to communicate quite a lot with Andrés to balance the presence of the sounds and the need for silence. As much as I wanted him to feel free and explore the sound possibilities, we were failing to find the equivalent of absence of sound other than silence. Which we resolved with a session of recording asmr sounds in an improvised recording studio in my room. 


The third week came, and it started to feel like we had to concretize a bit. I tried to put some stuff together for the dramaturg, Diego. He made us a visit and I panicked for a couple of days. Not his fault, it just felt like we hadn’t gotten anywhere. After a couple of days of panick, we started to get things together, the last week was quite a lot of work. I managed to take some perspective from the weeks behind and the materials and to build a 20 minutes structure for Unfinished fridays.


The material was quite compressed into a 20-minute structure, and in the showing, I was a bit nervous and rushed the material quite a lot, which at the end maybe was even something to consider as it gave an interesting hectic character to the piece, that was matching with some of the choices done in terms of movement and music.

I left Lake Studios with a bit of an emotional hangover and also a bit of a real one, having to go somewhere else the morning after the evening in UF. As always, delighted to have passed by. I had four hours on a train to digest the month, there was something that felt solid, the material and my relation to it felt strong, it felt like we had a piece.

Embracing the Absurd: Exploring the World of Clowning

Date: October 20, 2023

Have you ever felt a sense of confusion and being lost? A desire to express yourself physically, but without relying on your knowledge of dance? These questions have been on my mind lately as I delve into the realm of clowning. I find myself pondering how to embody the essence of clowning through my body, and what it would look like to embrace the abstract and instrumental expression of movement.

For me, the clown persona represents an innocent and naive way of being. It is a liberating art form that allows me to break free from societal norms and expectations. Through clowning, I can explore the absurd and the foolish, embracing a realm of boundless possibilities and unrestricted creativity.

But how does one stay within the realm of clowning? It’s a question that I’ve grappled with. I often find myself reverting to a mental scenography, creating a “heterotopia space” using objects and tools. While this can be helpful, I believe that solely relying on the body for the clown spectrum, without any costumes or visual aids, can be challenging to embrace and convey.

Clowning is not limited to a select few. Anyone can become a clown and assume the position of ridicule. It is a genuine art form that embraces physicality in a different way than dancers do. By incorporating melodies and acoustic guitar sounds into my studio lab, I can exist within the paradox of the “said” clown, experimenting with caricaturing and provocatively parodying abstract narratives.

Parody is a concept that has intrigued me on this journey. It is a powerful tool within the realm of clowning, allowing us to playfully mock and imitate, creating moments of laughter and reflection. But what exactly is parody, and how can one create it?

As I continue to explore the world of clowning, I find myself constantly inspired by its ability to challenge societal norms and push the boundaries of creativity. It is an art form that encourages us to embrace the ridiculous and find joy in the foolishness of life. Through clowning, we can tap into our true selves and shine in all our absurd glory.

So, if you ever find yourself longing to express yourself physically, to move in a way that goes beyond the confines of dance, consider stepping into the world of clowning. Embrace the absurd, break free from expectations, and allow your true self to shine through. Who knows what wonderful and unexpected adventures await you in the realm of the clown.

Let the laughter and the freedom guide your every step!

RAINBOW

I am deeply fascinated by the profound and multifaceted phenomenon of clowns and the various archetypes intricately woven into clown practice, particularly when expressed through the body and embodiment. In my current exploration, I am delving into the captivating world of clowns and their diverse archetypes, aiming to unravel the complexities and nuances. I am observing what lies beyond the hyper-performative, visual, and illusional way of being. What exists beyond this realm? The piece, titled “Rainbow,” creates a transcendental and utopian realm, a space where the boundaries of reality and imagination harmoniously intertwine.

https://danceartjournal.com/2023/11/30/attila-andrasis-sensational-rainbow/

Jenna Eve Taus

Stitching process: mini improvisations of whatever is coming up that day and stitching excerpts together to construct a piece (workouts, poems, choreo, scores, video, images)
Casual forgetting: lose a moment before you can find a new one, spilling, constantly forgetting where you are and what you’re doing, contrasting the movement/texture/level from before

  • I want myself and the audience to feel as though I really believe in what I am doing, that I am doing this work for my own desire to share my emotional and intellectual self through body 
  • Find a moment, lose it, forget it, remember it as choreography
  • Holocaust- trying to make a lot of people forget, through removal of names, objects, everything you own, turning you into a number. How do I turn myself into a number?
  • Pauline

Storage – running out of storage, collection of items and concepts, what do you delete, there is only a finite amount of space. Where does the rest go? How do we choose what parts of ourselves are valuable enough to continue on and place in some form of archive.

  • ‘I love you’ touch practice, touching parts of my body to see what needs love, and osending time recognizing each part of myself
  • Dance family tree

A move for each person – signified with levels based on generation – a movement or something that eventually gets passed down to- into me 
Maybe I can find a song associated w each persons names: Dayna – Lia -Jenna – Mike – Carole -Jerry – Babs – James – Pauline -Joe – Jeanette – 

  • Version 1: Spin, pushup, collapse from plank, roll, sweep legs to spin REPEAT
  • Version 2: Ask someone to furniture push me to the center, then do very slow difficult positions to balance and very tense creature poses with stiff weird hands, collapse, roll over push up, collapse, shoulder roll into hands up and feet bent in shoulder stand, very slow lowering of legs, roll over push up, collapse, shoulder roll. Furniture spinning.
  • ‘I forgot to remember’ – sort of like sentence picture game but with dancing and writing 
  • Drawing the monster game – dancing each others monsters 
  • Do Collapse 
  • Today I was not able to dance much or get anywhere. I feel a lot of shame? And unknown and fear. I know this is common right now for a lot of people. I hope to be able to allow myself a lot of mental rest to recover from…This life is quite a lot and I am being given a chance to breathe so i’d like to take advantage and not feel like I am not doing enough. There will be time to do enough. There will always be time to do things and be someone. Besides the only thing I want to be and do is just be peaceful and loving and happy. I want to be a dancer, a soccer player, a sculptor, costume designer, potter, textile artist, dreamer, reader, writer, singer, guitar, banjo and ukulele player. I want to write grants for dancers, and teach little kids yoga and get an apartment with my friends and join a book club and go to the farmers market and play in the snow and drink tea and be.

Play with props, stuffing your undies, binding your chest, making your body less curvy.
What if the clothes lines are coming sort of from the back towards the audience and are hung up in a tunnel vision type way? But still separated enough so the audience can see each outfit.

I am dancing with the dying thoughts and the living ones. This is for nana who loved peaches and cream and scrunching her toes like caterpillars while reading. This is for my 4 year old self who wanted to be called rebecca, then jess, then jonah, then eve, then wesley. Who only wore mens shirts and loved to write poetry about dying bees. This is for turning around in the middle of chasing everything to see that I am right here. This is the dance of the kind of happiness that is okay with death. This is the dance that will live in a hardrive in a desk drawer for 20 years. This is the dance that thought dance was forever. And it is in the way clouds are. But not in the way trash is. This is the dance of a queer Jew. There are 3 steps to the left and 5 to the right to make sure time is always moving forward. In the Yad Vashem there are 5 candles reflected infinitely at the end of the dark hallway. Nana here is a place to hold your name. This is for Pauline, Joe, Jeanette, Linda, James, Babette, Saba, Carole, Isaiah, Zoe, Alegra, Mich, Jimmy, Devorah, Dina, Jeff, Jordan, Faith, Scout, Finn, Brad, Deedy, Don, Dayna, Michael, Lia and Jet.

 I just do not want to be judged for my work, I want to share myself and be met with curiosity. I guess that there is a way we do this when in conversation with people so I am curious to see how I can activate that in a performance setting. Yesterday what was so successful for me was that I was connecting with this invisible audience and I was in conversation with them in this way that passively invites them to know me more. H0w to be met with respect when speaking or dancing about things that people may disagree with.I am excited about how i can hold space for Linda and Pauline through this altar of movement. This place to pay respects to them. And to me. And all the versions of ourselves that are here or not. It is so sad to know that Linda never even lived to my age. I definitely mourn her in some type of way.  

Dear Nana and Linda, I have peaches and cream on my face just like dad. When I was young I only wore mens shirts and loved to write poetry about dying bees. I am turning around in the middle of chasing everything to see that I am right here, you are here too. Here I am for you. Here is this dance. This is the dance that is okay with death. This is the dance that will live in a harddrive in a desk drawer for 20 years. This is the dance that thought dance was forever. And it is in the way clouds are. But not in the way trash is. This dance will be forgotten. Inevitably disoriented. From her to they, to sparkly tank tops and hairy legs. Here I am honoring you in me. I am recalling you here. A memorial of you and me. Although bodies are not forever they pass through time. I am lucky to have you here with me. In my pink cheeks, in my vivaciousness, in my love for everyone, in my curiosity, my queerness, our tenderness, our dedication to forgiveness. 
Dear Motek, sweetheart, sugar face, monkey…We are glad to know you are a dancer. We are glad to know you beat all the boys in soccer. We see you holding our memory in your every movement. We see you kissing the sky with every Keshet that bends its back. We can see you stomping on soft grounds and levitating on firm ones. You are gentle. So much of us is in you from the way you scrunch your toes, the way you walk, the dimples in your knees. We cry and smile and rejoice knowing you are our continuation. One long forever string. With new knots and new rags hung upon it. Being Jewish is in the way you walk. It is in the way you look inside. We pass through definition, marking through time and space at each transition. Your queerness is your practice. Your practice is your transience. Use change to your advantage. Your curiosity will be your container for our memory. 

= 19 mins!
Preset: all costumes in order- flashlight- poem-scarf hanging Lighting:

Then it just was!!

At Loose Ends (that connect on the other side)


It is an open research on the intersection of dramaturgical and choreographic methods of dancing the problem. After having been working with both staged works and compositions in real-time as both a dance artist and a dance dramaturge, I invite myself to come back to a dialogue with  “weak dances, strong questions” (by Jonathan Burrows and Jan Ritsema) and ask myself: how do I invite/ reveal the problem in my practice? How do I stay with it? How do I create a situation for it to appear and/ or disappear? Taking this time at Lake Studios to reflect on ways of being and working with the unknown, I want to explore different ways of constructing dramaturgical fictions.

Unfinished Configurations | Odd Kins within a Thick Present


In this exploration, I aim to delve into the potentialities and affordances of generative artificial intelligence in sculpting a performance installation, where improvisational dance becomes an intrinsic element. At its core, this project seeks to reconcile the tension formed at the intersection of multidimensional spaces: from language models and generative adversarial networks to the visceral, tangible essence of the human body. It’s a dance between the abstract realms of text and image, and the carnal tangibility of our flesh and bones.

Drawing inspiration from vast literary universes and infinite libraries (Borges), the project grapples with profound themes such as the impossibility of total understanding, the nature of intelligence, the ethereal state of disembodiment, and the dramatic interplay between life and mortality. The phenomenon of bioluminescence, serving as a symbol of light and darkness, punctuates these themes.

Central to this endeavor is Donna Haraway’s concept of the “Thick Present,” which emphasizes the dense interweaving of past, present, and future. It’s within this “Thick Present” that Haraway’s notion of “odd kin” finds resonance. By exploring our relationships not just with human kin but with non-human entities, technology, and the environment, the “odd kin” concept blurs boundaries and challenges our perceptions of connections in the contemporary era. The performance installation acknowledges these spectral influences, the ghostly echoes from varying timelines and kinships, as they shape our present existence.

The audience will be ushered into a world where technology, art, and philosophy intertwine. The  space becomes a platform for thought, sensation, movement, and the spectral echoes of time.

Called something else (a memorial of names)

As the title suggests, this piece is a container and memorial for past versions of self, new identities and those who are no longer living, but are within us. Inspired by the architecture of Yad Vashem (a Holocaust Museum in ‘Israel’) which is shaped like a tunnel and directly translates to “A memorial and a name”, the dance acts as a time capsule of Jenna’s great grandmother and her presence in Jenna’s life today. This place is also a memorial for the queer versions of self Jenna has not been able to step into yet, the past ones that have been shut down and the future ones that are waiting to be stepped into. As a nonbinary Jew, Jenna is grappling with the various versions of self that are unwelcome in some spaces, and confusing to many amidst being on the land where their identity was life threatening less than a hundred years ago. This piece encapsulates the members of their family that died for being Jewish and queer. This piece is for all the people that got Jenna to this moment. This piece is a memorial held and activated by a body, which already contains the DNA memory of each life lost, shunned and misunderstood. To hold all these versions of self requires a great deal of strength and intentionality. Through this practice of sharing their family history, sharing the story of their own queerness and performing their truth– Jenna is able to be seen clearly and wholly as they are. Thank you for seeing them!

Maps of a Garden

I am having as reference right now a few practices and techniques.

Alexander technique and the primary control (the relation head neck and back).

Shiatsu – the meridians and energy points – a very sophisticated energetic map.

and some other practices about areas of the body and energy.

All these look at the body as flow.

Movement seems a consequence of dealing with this primary sources within the body.

Movement is not only a motion in space but a transformation.

I am working on two projects both at a very early stage.

A long time process solo where I build a structure of work dealing directly with points in the body and in space.

a Duet (without me being on stage) where I use movement as a tool to increase energy in the body and in space.

Looking back at the history of my work:

it all depends on meeting – other people, collaborators, ideas – so again Words.

The map is not this garden.

Sometimes a map helps you experiencing a garden.

Post n.2

So – sometimes I have the impression while thinking working researching not to progress anywhere.

This happens mostly when I focus on one aspect only. I am realizing that my work in the last year have become more complex:

I am working on artistic projects / performances but I am also writing a book and soon it will be out the the first edition of a Festival in my own town in Italy where I am artistic director.

More and more I am interested in other’s artists biographies, in how they see themselves in the performing art context and more in general in society. A lot of what I do is about balancing different aspects.

Next posts probably more ‘technical’ on artistic research.

Right now what triggers me:

A lot of dance going on all around – still dance is quite a flexible definition, a sort of floating signifier somehow.

Often in this situations: an overexposed dance and a floating signifier make dominant power (whatever this is or means) wants to possess the floating signifier, freezing it: this is dance.

Other observation probably umplified by social media:

The choreographer is a sort of constant transmitter’ – he should not stop transmitt in order to be.

The Controversial Necessity of Words

So, here at last, I am writing my first post.

My intention was to write much more from the very start but this is what happens when we plan ahead too much.

Words have been always very important to me and have gone along with choreographic projects, sometimes helping the process sometimes overlapping with it.

It was 8 months of no training – my very first period of no training since I am a child, this was somehow interesting:

as an Alexander Teacher I have learnt the importance of non doing what is habitual.

Being in this state for the first time has been also scary and challenging during this first 10 days of residency.

So I have been trying to get back to physical work. A lot of what I am looking for – a somehow closed and open structure – can be found only when I am in a good communication with myself and my body as well – even when I am not performing myself my way of reading a work or creating one is surely much more refined when I am here instead of trying too hard to be.

The Alexander technique would say: stop end gaining.

I am trying to find ways to work on myself in my daily practice without limiting myself too much – finding a bridge between what I know and what is new.

During these days I am observing that I prefer shifting from one point of view to another, from one discourse to another – in order not to trap myself too much by myself.

I am shifting between my studies of -shiatsu and the meridians- to Alexander Technique and I am trying to make it simple.

I am far from the creation of a system but I am looking for words to communicate with others what I find.

Still my faith in words and communication is not that great at the moment – not sure anything can be really taught, at the end we are our own teachers.

Words help me having a reference, a sort of map and probably an order of discourse.

I do not want to get in details right now, and I do find them boring.

I am just starting a little writing here that can help me track where I am right now and actually by the end of this short text I do have a couple of choreographic ideas I do want to try. Although I am not in ‘creation’ right now I am working on finding some new ways of describing reality and therefore to set -material that can not be set-. This writing does not say anything but goes along with the process. I do not write what I find but I find it through the writing.

It is all for today.

A bit like a tree

“A bit like a tree” is a workshop that explores the relationship between the inside and the outside. Together and solo we will flow and play between the studio and the outdoors while encountering the multitudes of sentient beings around and among us. What kind of dances emerge through reorienting with other-than-human rhythms, durations, beingness, and inhabitations? How can we dance inside the studio what we experience and sense when we venture into the outdoors? How can multiple correlations help us reimagine through and with queer choreographic frameworks? 

Both inside and outside the studio we will experiment with scores of perception, attentions and empathy. We will collect textures, sensations and relationalities and let them deep into our bodies and our dancing. The other-than-human environment will provide us with an abundant substratum for nurturing, getting inspired and challenging each other’s dancing bodies. In exchange we will expand our awareness and listen, and ask what of ourselves can we offer that which is everything.

event page: https://lakestudiosberlin.com/event/a-bit-like-a-tree-dance-workshop-by-cary-shiu-katye-coe-and-roni-katz/

The preparation for the workshop took place in the frame of the project “Planetary Practices” by Roni Katz, supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media within the program NEUSTART KULTUR

Saturn and The fool

Saturn is the name of a planet, also the god of Time in Roman mythology, being associated with Kronos, the Greek god of Time. The Fool (card number zero from Tarot) can be associated with the planet Uranus and the Sky god Uranus. Both in astrology and mythology, these characters relate to each other. One is the son, the other is the father. One represents Changes and the other, the Time. In collaboration with the tuba player, Moira Ja, we will elaborate a movement and sound score while diving into lectures about western Astrology, Greek and Roman Mythology, and the Gustav Holst suite called The Planets.

My hair smells like wet grass

The research is focused around the theme of memory and exploration of sensory part of the performative experience, of the flood of information we receive through smell, touch, vibration. We seek perceiving through senses, responding through instincts both for the performer and the audience. 

Russian born Israeli dancer Polina Sonis explores her bodily archive through revisiting parts of her bodymind biography that appear on stage in a form of movement material, spoken word, songs and scent, creating a sort of a sensorial map. Through various reassamblages of these elements she constructs and re-constructs her artistic identity (the landscape of this map) that was formed by a study of folk oriental dances, multiple migration, her studies of Greek and Italian languages and cultures, by personal fascination with pagan images and creating contemporary mythology. 

I don’t know Carmen

Departing from the encounter with the personal archive of a deceased person, Carmen Passols, the research explores presence and absence and its translation to dance. Together with the musician Andrés Ortega, we will reappropriate some of the most known tracks of the Opera, Carmen, that have made it to the collective subconscious. Through processes of distortion and delay of the sound, ghosts are invited to manifest and the alive are invited to step into the non-existent. Reinterpretations of spiritual practices, imagination processes, and movement patterns that provoke transitional states, will build an archive of tools to pass through presence and absence.  In opposition to the Opera that ends with the brutal murder of Carmen by his ex-lover, Idk Carmen departs from the memory of an absent Carmen and traces a thread towards life. Idk Carmen produces dances for absent bodies and bodies that do not belong to their materiality. 

Flow vs Form: Words and Maps

During this residency I would like to deepen my research on the “in-between movement”. I will alternate my individual research with moments of sharing practices with other people.

The work will have a choreographic approach as well as a movement oriented approach. From a choreographic point of view I will investigate the setting of movement material in untraditional ways, finding a new balance between the ability of repeating and the unpredictable. In order to investigate further the strong connection between verbal words and the language of movements, my “choreographic writing” will develop alongside poetic writing, thus leading to the creation of short texts. A movement oriented approach will lead me to look for motors of movements with the aim of creating a dialogue between form and energy.

ENCHANTED ISLANDS

ENCHANTED ISLANDS is a performance series, which explores the 1972 speechless pantomime “The Enchanted Island” by the Soviet queer poet Evgenii Kharitonov by addressing inter-species transformations, cross-dressings and gender fluidities. The series develops processually as a result of an interdisciplinary research on the excluded archive on queer silence through historical and autofictional elements. Together we create a safe space and explore different physical and emotional approaches. We challenge our notions of queer love and give our bodies the freedom to transform, discover the limits of their abilities, change their identities or take on new ones.

Profanation of Summer

Following the intertwined research between rhythm and dance to address the notion of sacrifice. The etymology of the word refers to the act of sacrificing something of value for a greater good, of making something sacred. Since the invention of capitalism, sacrifice moves away from the sacred to satisfy economically profitable mechanisms. 
From the binary thinking of the meritocratic society, sacrifice is at the same time related to failure: if someone did not win, they probably lost and failed. Thus, sacrifice, failure and punishment complete the trio. I imagine the unravelling of practices, songs and movements that demystify this equation, either explicitly or as a working method. These paradigms widely propagated by colonial and religious mandates limit us and our ability to create. Rhythmic play as a form of profanation is a pure medium, which separated from itself and detached from its obligatory relation to an end opens the door to a new use.
Can profanation be a device for reappropriating artistic practice for the common good beyond its aesthetic transcendence?

Trauerband Anemonen-Fisch

„Das Kind steht vor dem Spiegel. Es spielt Großvater. Es zieht sich den Joggingkörper an: Das Hüpfen. Das Arme locker an der Seite. Es zieht sich den Fußballkörper an: Das Breitsein. das plötzlich Losrennen. die Verwandlung der Schultern in Doppelschultern, Schulterbrettern. Das sich in den Schritt fassen. So: hmfgggf. einfach nicht mit Buchstaben gesagt. Sondern mit Gliedmaßen. Das Dastehen. Hände auf der Hüfte. Das Ausrufen: “hey das war Foul. Einwurf, Einwurf, Eckball, Scheiße, Schwuchtel. ” Die Stimme aus der Hüfte. Es zieht sich Großvaters Feierabendkörper an. Das Schlurfen. Das sich selbst Liegenlassen wie eine Schneckenspur. Das Tasche Hinstellen. Der Blick wie ein Sonntagabend im Januar.“

S. 85 „Blutbuch“ von Kim de L‘Horizon

Eastern Body Vs. Western Body, and Beyond

What is my experience in my body as an Iranian body-holder? How is it different from
others? How much these differences are connected to the living background, culture,
education system, location, and context? How can we give the trap of context away and
start a new experience in an international body?

Listening Bodies

Listening Bodies is a teaching and artistic framework developed by Italian choreographer and Movement Researcher Monica Gentile and American composer and sound artist Michael Reiley . Their work includes practices in Movement Research/dance improvisation and partnering, Deep Listening, breathing techniques, sound-walks, guided meditations, mindfulness of listening and singing performance scores.

Listening Bodies integrates Monica and Michael’s interest in physiology, anatomy, paleontology, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience. Listening Bodies workshops have been offered in the US, Mexico, Costa Rica, Germany, Denmark and the UK.

WEspering

Have you ever been in a situation where it seemed like people were in the same conversation but talking about different things? Languages can be confusing sometimes. In conversations, the adjectives are used to give additional information, feelings, descriptions so the chance of misunderstanding decreases and the level of perception increases. Conversely, the extra information contained in adjectives can lead to misunderstandings during the interpretation of an individual’s subjective consciousness. In this research project WEspering, Taiwanese choreographers/dancers I-fen Lin (CH) and Pei-Ling Kao (Hawaiʻi) aim to explore how to understand the truth and essence of the matter through means other than verbal communication. They are curious about the ways to transform information without adjectives, reducing the possibility of subjective personal consciousness influences in conveying information.


Yahoo! Dance! #2 : The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.

Yahoo! Dance! comes from a singular practice which involves taking headlines from Yahoo!News, an internet news feed, and using them as inspiration for eccentric dances, fake robots and bizarre conversations. The style mixes camp with contemporary dance, voice work, and computer-generated sounds. It is flirting with both the deadly serious and the slapstick. 

Through a practice derived from Jeanine Durning’s “non-stopping”, I have been researching connections between automatic generation of movement and voice material, and the constant computer-generated headlines we are subjected to daily. What kind of impact does the news feed have on our bodies and psyche? If you are not able to take a distance, how long can you still laugh about it?  In today’s attention economy, where clicks are currency, many of us feel trapped in a cycle of desire and annoyance. I want to see if we can regain agency in this ocean of lures. Can I use the Yahoo News archive as a social mirror and be a subject in the midst of my own subjection?

DUO

Percussion: Matilda Rolfsson

Dance: Marcela Giesche

Matilda Rolfsson and Marcela Giesche first met in Berlin 2018, then in a trio together with Swedish pianist Sten Sandell) a- 45 min “carte- blanche” freely improvised meeting at Akademie der Kunst, a performance commissioned by Louis Rasting for the 50th anniversary of the free jazz- label FMP (Free music production). In 2019 the duo performed for the first time as duo at Sound Dance Festival in Berlin. From 2020 the duo has continually been working together in Rolfson’s artistic research-project “In Motion, -Movements with Directions Within”.  

[photo by Juliane Schütz & Oliver Look (Collage)]

Aw…

Aw… addresses the topic of emotional discomfort and pain. It portrays a journey of identifying uncomfortable feelings in oneself and practicing strategies to help oneself. This practice that starts in oneself extends out to the people around, and develops into a practice of increasing sensitivity on emotional struggles and needs of oneself and the others.

The innumerable who

The object is, in some way, the simile that’s capable of containing the truth of the absent one that the other doesn’t have, even it is now right here. It’s a kind of cartography that reveals the truth of his memory. That is why it must be emptied, confessed. In this work in progress, César René Pérez and Vera Rivas start from the object and the gesture as a loving provocation to recover their identity.

wie Wolken

zwischen dem Himmel und der Erde,
oder sowohl, als auch;
wie zwei reisende Wolken oder alles
was wir uns wie Wolken vorstellen
was, wenn sie uns, unsere Liebsten und unsere Umgebung färben könnten…

Choreografie: Gizem Aksu
von und mit: Leyla Postalcıoğlu & Gizem Aksu
Choreografische Mitarbeit: Aslı Melisa Uzun
Musik: Emre Malikler
Maske: Leyla Okan


Besonderen Dank an: Suzan Alev, Ekin Tunçeli, Büşra Tuna, Zeynep Günsür Yüceil, Bahar
Vidinlioğlu, Derin Cankaya, Alexis P. Gumbs’s Inner Child Summer School, Maria Kousi,
Marcela Giesche and Lake Studios Berlin.

Caricature

After studying a drama degree I moved to dance 12 years ago and left theatre behind. However in the last year an interest in working with character has emerged and I am fascinated in the way dance can reveal human intricacies and illuminate specific characteristics in a way that acting cannot. This residency is part of a research project for a 6 month period funded by DIS-TANZ-SOLO. The project investigates character creation through dance and has a focus on the integration of new tools from other fields into my dance practice in the support of this topic. Up until this point I have been exploring other fields such as physical theatre, mime and clowning, and during my time at Lake Studios i will research how to readjust new theories from these fields into a dance context. This project connects my past as an actor with my knowledge and experience as a dancer, to transform my work as a dance practitioner.

Gefördert durch die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien im Programm NEUSTART KULTUR, Hilfsprogramm DIS-TANZEN des Dachverband Tanz Deutschland.

Big Picture

Big Picture is a video installation consisting of a rotating video projection and a large-scale circular canvas, as a contemporary version of a 19th century panorama – the hugely popular entertainment medium of the Industrial Revolution. Almost extinct now, the panorama is considered a precursor to both cinema and the immersive technologies of today. The piece explores public vs private memory, systems of knowledge and mapping … What could a panorama look like if it didn’t just project calm reassurance of the status quo, but possibly uncertainty, fleeting knowledge, lapsed memory?

house of cards (working title)

A perpetual creating, destroying, and balancing; of falling too far on one side and finding the way to the other, of destruction’s potency to create, of wavering between space and noise, of the lines we keep drawing, of entertaining the spaces between two sides. The house of cards we keep building, over and over and over. Fragile and susceptible to the winds, we keep rebuilding, we keep creating, we play, we destroy, we balance, we keep balancing, we are balancing, and once we’ve balanced we let the new winds catapult us into the next surge of imbalance as we overstretch in opposing directions, fighting to maintain a static house amongst the dynamism of this rapidly spinning world.

SHAPES

To be in a state of outward expression, to give, to release, to show, to find solace in a triangle.
Myself, a shape, moving with shapes, seeing them everywhere.

Between the lines

In this research project we set out to investigate the concepts of orientation and disorientation as bodily processes in continuous unfolding. Through our own movement  practices and a detailed study of the so called western social dances, we will explore the potential of those (dis)orienting lines in activating a queer sense of space. How do bodies fold and unfold in this process? What invisible lines do they follow and at what point do they turn to change course?

Jess & erika’s residency

As interdisciplinary collaborative artists, we are shaping a mixed-media installation exploring the (re)combining of disparate and unique memories, moments, experiences, conversations, and stories to form new wholes. We are shaping a (series of) conversation(s) across space and time among those who choose to pay close attention. Through fragmented dialogue, along with projections of abstracted movements and moments, we envision a “choose-your-own-adventure”-style performance work, wherein audiences will gather pieces of their choosing, depending on when and how they move through the space with us. 

space as material / screen play

The residency at Lake Studios is slowly coming to an end and I am taking a little moment to reflect on what has happened this month.

My intention for the residency period was to bridge two researches of mine.

One of them, with the working title “screen play” has actually been initiated at Lake Studios in summer 2022, when I was part of the Digital Body Lab amongst a group of artists from different disciplines. That time, I started exploring the workings of a 360° camera in relation to body, movement and the environment. What started off as a transdisciplinary experiment, led me into developing a practice I have continued to follow throughout autumn and winter of 2022/23. It led me to 12 different places impacted by the climate/energy crisis. I encountered these places somatically and archived the experiences not only through my body and perception, but also with the 360°camera. Amongst them are the “nördlicher Schneeferner”, one of the last glaciers in Germany on the Zugspitz Mountain, the coal mine “Welzow Süd”, the forests in “Böhmische Schweiz” in Czech Republic that have burned down in the fires in 2022, the beach in Lubmin, where the gas pipes Nordstream 1&2 are arriving from Russia and the Lieberoser Wüste, a desert in the midst of Brandenburg.

Parallel to that, I have been deepening and developing my movement and choreographic practice, which for now carries the research name “space as material”. In this practice, I investigate the materiality and the mattering of space. Largely inspired by queer feminist quantum physicist Karen Barad as well as the object oriented ontology (especially the aspect of the hyper objects) of Timothy Morton, I am researching how a human subjectivity is not only intra-acting with other human subjectivities, but equally the material subjectivities as well as the immaterial subjectivities within a spatial-temporal context. Situated within the discourse of New Materialism, I am looking at how the empty space between the things can be the source material and inspiration for movement, dance and embodied experiences.
For this residency specifically, I wanted to look closer at the principles of transmission and interaction. By transmission I mean information received through perception that gets transduced through a moving and expressive body (for example being in a state, being in an imagination or an experience, mostly unfiltered or uncensored, sometimes loss of sense of self or agency). Interaction for me means being response-able to an experience, state or imagination (for example being able to step out of an an experience, regard it as a spatial-temporal entity one is interacting with, being able to dialogue with it with agency to transform or transmute it).
To explore this approach more concretely, I have come to develop a task which I call “Virtual Sculptures”. Virtual Sculptures are spatial temporal entities a perceiving body is intra-acting with, fluidly moving between being it and interacting with it. Virtual Sculptures can be miniatures and consist of simply one movement or be of more complex structures, which make them experiential worlds.
Another aspect inspired by quantum physics (and the principle of virtual particles) that I am currently researching in a speculative manner, is regarding dance not as primarily temporal sequences, but spatial phenomena. I am playing with the imagination that a movement, an experience, a memory or a virtual sculpture potentially already exists within a space and becomes activated and made perceivable through the presence and expression of a performer. Connected to that, I am looking at the locality or non-locality of movement as well as uncertainty of and within it, which plays a large role here.

Within the residency I was curious to share my practice with others, so I facilitated a workshop to dig, question and open this choreographic approach. It was very fascinating to see how the different movement artists translate the tasks into their own bodies in relation to their own intuitive body knowledge. Oscillating between moving, writing and talking, very interesting conversations and explorations unfolded from the workshop.

Next to that, I developed virtual sculptures / worlds from the 360° video material and 3D scans of the encounters with the landscapes. As a travel hopper between different experiential realities, imaginations and emotional states, I am busy exploring the physical-energetic body as a screen and a site in which – just as in the landscapes – destructive and regenerative forces co-exist. I invited the media artist and stage designer Louis Caspar Schmitt into the process, with whom we spent time on figuring out how the movement material communicates with the digital images, reflecting a lot together on ways of editing video and movement as well as concreteness and abstraction within both media. Also the sound designer Vagelis Tsatsis joined the process, with whom we recorded the sounds of remnants of each of the visited places and looked into how sound sculptures could be built from this material.

It has been a very intense and highly creative month and I must say that I really enjoy expanding my own vision through the perspectives of other dance and movement artists as well as my collaborators coming from other disciplines. Tomorrow, on February 26th, there will still be a little sharing of the findings and materials of the residency. I am quite happy about how finally the two parallel researches could merge within this container and I am planning to develop it further into a little work throughout the spring of 2023.

I am also very happy about having shared this time here with Hanako and Naïma, my two fellow residents. I enjoyed being at Lake Studios again and having the time to focus and deep dive into my artistic curiosities while continuously being in exchange and dialogue with other artists as well.

When I write these kinds of texts I always think about how it must be to read them in a couple of years again. But I guess it’s just one step on the way, one snapshot of the process I find myself in – and I am curious to figure out where this work will continue to flow.

Thanks to Marcela Giesche from Lake Studios, to the Pilotprojekt Residenzförderung Tanz “Made in Berlin” der Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, to my fellow residents Naïma Mazic and Hanako Hayakawa, my collaborators Louis Caspar Schmitt, Vagelis Tsatsis and Vito Walter (who will join the process a bit later), Lina Gomez and Alica Minar for being outside eye, the workshop participants and the space for being so welcoming.

dance and wrapping 

In this research I will try to give attention to the dancer’s work (often invisible), by finding a form that makes it perceivable.

 In order to look at this I will use the culture of wrapping gifts. What I’m looking for is not the gift but what the wrapping does and the space and time that it holds after someone took the gift out. 

The starting point is: When my dance experience is the material to make a choreography, what will be the context and how it will occur?

space as material

My curiosity for the residency „space as material“ is to look at how encounters with the empty space between the things can be the inspiration and the source material for movement, dance and embodied experiences. For this purpose, I would like to research the principle of transmission (here: information being expressed and made perceived through the body as a medium) as well as interaction (here: the body as an entity entering relations to other entities in the space). Next to working with movement and voice, I am inviting collaborators into the studio to find out how video, augmented reality, 3D Modeling and sound can support finding aesthetic relations to this choreographic approach within a creative process. Furthermore, I am hosting a workshop weekend open for interested participants at LAKE in order to share aspects of my practice and to bring it in exchange with different perspectives.

ALBUM, subjectivity of a jazzmuse

ALBUM, subjectivity of a Jazzmuse is a performance by one dancer, one musician and a record player, based on Jazztunes composed by- or named after Jazzmusician’s wives. ALBUM will consist of 9 songs – each a place of encounter –  that are played, danced and/or listened to. Each tune is informed by one of the 9 muses from Greek mythology as well as 9 female figures from Jazzmusic to question the nature of the muse within the context of the male gaze and patriarchal exploitation of creative labor. What happens to the figure of the muse when she is being celebrated as an active subject instead of a passive source of inspiration?

warp

warp is a sensorial choreographic experience in the dark. Four performers move with reflex weaves that respond to touch by making sound, in a soundscape panning in-between eight speakers. What unfolds is a game with vision and non-vision through how light is reflected off the materials. This disorienting and multi-sensory journey drifts between organic rhythms, nocturnal metamorphoses, and technological imaginaries.

warp explores the hegemony of vision and the visible which has shaped the arts and the production of reality since the Enlightenment. Through a choreography with darkness, the theatre is no longer an apparatus for directing attention or making visible. Instead, the work asks for a dance that can take place more in the body and imagination of the audience than on stage in front of them. Exploding theatre about appearances, warp orbits around a question of disappearance: how do disappearances appear? When darkness bears metaphorical ties to invisibility and exclusion, warp explores the queer poetics of  ”being in the dark.”

 Chōri(調理/조리) Dance

Chōri means cooking in both Korea and Japanese. This is part of a long-term collaboration project with two

Japanese artist (Maharu Maeno, Shuntaro Yoshida) and cooking is used as a metaphor for the process of collaboration. In this performance, three artists do National Gymnastics as one collective body, deconstruct it in a way of recording-repeating through different languages, or thinking about how to dance with multiple species.

Azathoth

Azathoth is a meditation on the elation and horror of the unknowable, contemplating creation through chaos. The practitioners – movers and musicians alike – embody individual journeys within a collective mythology. Their continuous transformation at the limit of communication, inviting the audience to adventure through the expanses of meaning-making and fantasy. Beckoning the “void”, we sought to undertake a process in which form and content interweave. Proposing the practice-based research question: How do we devise a practice/performance that is both rigorously improvised and dramaturgically coherent and complex? An experiment which engendered the interplay of practices and theories accumulated over three years of a performance laboratory, and the development of new performance technique anchored in cosmicism – a grappling with reality as an endlessly fragmented whole, beyond control and comprehension.


Premiered at DOCK ART (DE) in March 2022 during “Blank Check Festival” in collaboration with nein9 kollektiv. A revised version performed June 2022 at DOCK ART.  

Additional Links:

All rehearsals from the residency so far have been gathered at “The Azathoth Catalogue (Phase 3)”, which is available here: https://www.omerkeinan.de/azathoth-phase-3

Dream

Alexandra Llorens’ solo dance piece DREAM is based on her research and interest in the function of dreams and the theory that dreams are based on our own reality. One theory postulates that dreams could act as a situation of threats or situations of concern to us in order to better prepare for them in real life.

A bit like a vaccine that triggers the production of adaptive antibodies to protect against possible future viruses. On the other hand, our past would be reactivated, and our memories consolidated. The Dreamer in one’s loop of thoughts, preoccupied with one’s own world. In search of balance, creates one’s own perception of reality, developing one’s own strategies in order to survive and not to collapse.

A confrontation with – the unredeemable – time

(time as a possibility and as a challenge)


Main focus of the current time given in the residence lies in the research process: Time
given to work at the studio, deconstruct my set ups, revisit old notes, read, fail, try, play.
Get back to studio experimentation to deepen further my work of live video image
processing through analog technologies.
This research moves into praxis in context of my current collaboration with composer Hanna
Hartman (Undercover) & choreographer Ian Kaler (Sentient Beings). Through the residence I
am developing visual constellations in dialogue with their movement & sound gestures.
Focus of the movement collaboration with Kaler lays on the development of a series of
performative hybrid works in which we approach audiovisual media from performative
perspectives and where the performative manifests itself in a cinematic event.
In Undercover I manipulate live video captures through analog feedback and modulators
building an improvised audiovisual landscape in dialogue with Hanna Hartmans
compositions. Objects & Sounds are given new narratives. The development of Undercover
started in the context of Villa Massimo Residency in April 2022 and continues in the context
of Lake studios Residency. A first part of the work will be premiered at the end of my
participation at Lake Residency, on 5th november at Hellerau
https://www.hellerau.org/de/villa-massimozu-gast-in-hellerau/ , a second stage will be
presented in context of Festival Roma Europa on 16th november
https://romaeuropa.net/en/festival-2022/undercover/

,,, as you dive in the lake you pass into this time – the moment of entering can never be
remembered. Around you the landscape lies transfiguration. Here is the Amen beyond the
prayer.

excerpt from Pharmacopoeia by Derek Jarman
(with a personal intervention)

unchartered property

unchartered property‘ (WT) is a project by BNSL studio and Aaron Lang, in which a dancer and an AI-based setup meet.  In a performative installation, in which the setup constantly tries to define the visual presence of the dancer, a choreography of processing one another and oneself will unfold. How do the assumptions and projections of the AI, but also what we assume of it, influence our understanding of the situation and shape how we take decisions? 

Funded by Tanz:Digital 

storm’s residency

This month at Lake Studios, marion storm is doing two things at once – researching site-responsivity as a method for dancing + re-working a long poem called “Exit Thru the Kitchen” – which feels risky but somehow they feel like kindred endeavors.

storm will test, to the furthest possible limits, her embodied understandings of “site-responsivity” while at Lake. Place-based movement research characterizes all her dance projects since 2018 – most recently The Apparitions Method (gathering practices for 3+) with daniel luhmann and Alex Viteri Arturo in Europe, and iterative ongoing dances and classes with The Hungry Mothers collective in the United States. What that looks like during a work day: lingering along the edge spaces, taking the indoors somehow outdoors and the inverse, dancing and being danced by what’s already moving like the spiders on the River Leie or the Holophiles in the New York City subway, composing-with terrain and terra’s many cues & potentialities, like, where do human-made pathways begin and end. Still, site-responsiveness brings up all kinds of questions and problems for her like, where is the role of preparation especially in the realm of sound(ing)(s), light(ing)s, and choreograph(ies)(ing)? Responsiveness to which elements of the site, and which temporality? And how is it that highly attuned movement, attached to & produced with a place, can open portals into other place-spaces, fiction, or memory?

“Exit Thru the Kitchen” is a long poem storm wrote after each day of rehearsal at the master exerce in Montpellier (2020), which contours some ways & why’s of gathering together to dance. The poem is deeply personal and wildly fictional, full of embodied figures like crones, crows, and kronos haunting between the lines.

storm is observing what happens when the poem and the place-based dancing meet (!), and will share an excerpt of this hybrid inquiry at the Unfinished Fridays of 28 october.

what did we do in lake?

today is the 3d of january.
together with Gabi we spent the whole december here.
trying let emerge the final details of your last creation : Fire Burns Fire
mostly we were asking ourselves how the light would take shape in our research as an emergence of the coreography?
which shape it would take?
from with source it would appear.
we have been trying to build sculptures which would light the space.

which space is built and needs to be build in order to make fire burns fire happen?
that was our main question.

and to answer we actually used no more then intuition
we still have few days here.

hopefully we can upload some photos.

and here one poem:

habita o verso nossa interdita povoação.
são tantas as pátrias destruindo o poema:
[lavemos
as palavras para que da memória não
[desista a poesia.

learning to use the blog

 Songs we remember

Songs we remember is the process of Kaja and Armin’s study of these weeks at Lake Studios. When devices are put aside and songs are a horizen in which we search for how they are inscribed in our bodies through memory,images, thoughts and postures. 

The Climate, The Worry, The Dance 

The project The Climate, The Worry, The Dance is a long-term collective research project addressing relations between climate anxiety, dance and the possibility to generate forms of social ecologies based on alternative forms of communication. Mårten Spångberg has over the last three years developed dance and body practices that through nonverbal forms of exchange enable production of agency in the individual and manage to organise temporary societies where conventional ecologies are set aside in favour for a decision making protocols and distribution of time that doesn’t confer with consolidated forms of knowledge, value and presence. 

Water dramaturgies as methods of connecting across distance

Since 2015, I’ve been experimenting with water dramaturgies, developing performance-making and writing methodologies that take water as formal inspiration and writing critically about site-specificity and the hyper-local, asking: What happens to borders, boundaries, and temporality when water and land are not considered separate and contrasting states, but part of the same system? For most of that time, I’ve been in conversation with a specific watershed, pαnawάhpskewtəkʷ, the Penobscot River in Wabanaki/Maine. With In Kinship, a multidisciplinary collective of artists and scholars that sedimented out of relations with the river, I have paddled pαnawάhpskewtəkʷ, immersed in it, returned to it in every season, researched its embodied and physical archives, learned from Wabanaki guides to whom it has been home and kin for many generations. Since moving back to Berlin in October 2021, I’ve been unsure of how to continue the collaboration with the river and maintain a role with In Kinship. One of the lessons, though, of water dramaturgies is that physical distance is a false separation. Waterways, watersheds, cycles of evaporation and precipitation, melting and flooding, weave a dripping web across space. At LAKE, I plan to research and develop ways of collaboration with pαnawάhpskewtəkʷ from my local watersheds (in Berlin, and in Markendorf along the Oder where I have a garden). How does water link Berlin to Maine? How can I follow its example to uncover fresh relations with a familiar watershed, rather than look at it as a broken tie?

Fire Burns Fire

Fogo Quema Fogo is a research between Gabriela Cordovez and Dani Paiva de Miranda:

Possibly we will achieve immortality, but it will have been at the price of life. Whoever wants to eradicate all pain will also have to eliminate death. But a life without death is not a human life, but a life of the living dead.” – Byung Chul Han

“A voice means this: there is a living person, throat, chest, feelings, who launches this voice into the air… A voice involves the throat, the saliva. When the human voice vibrates, there is someone in flesh and blood who emits it .” Adriana Cavarero

FOGO QUEMA FOGO activates a body that exists beyond the closure of its solid and visible limits.

FOGO QUEMA FOGO is a sound action that reveals the disruptive, overwhelming and at the same time subtle and phantasmagorical character of sound.

FOGO QUEMA FOGO evokes the forces and affections of the underground, the seismic shocks, the tremors.

FOGO QUEMA FOGO is a revelation and vocal affirmation of life

Many Lives

Many Lives is a dynamic interplay between two performers who sporadically switch roles of director and directed using poetic and non-rational logics in order to access surprising and energetic states of being and movement expressions. As such, the research is a visceral study in forms that radically appear, disappear and transform through movement that seeks the expansion of energetic chaos yet finds anchor in physical precision. Jorge and Kira trained and performed together in San Francisco, California under their mentor and choreographer, Sara Shelton Mann, from 2009-2012. The December 2022 residency at Lake Studios for Many Lives represents their first collaboration since then. 

ON DISPLAY – March 2022

Let’s start with one of the fruits of my residency labor … a trailer:

My aim for the ON DISPLAY residency was first, to have a solid trailer and second, a full length cut of my solo. I managed both and it proved to be simultaneously very demanding and incredibly rewarding. In reflecting on the residency, I can not separate the creative work from the political context of the time in which occurred. Coming soon then, is an account of my ON DISPLAY residency, not so much oriented around me and my work as around the privilege of being able to make work when the pressure of the wider world is impossible to ignore.

COLLECTIVE MEMORY OR DIVINE DESIRE- BODIES IN PARADISE

Cuerpos en el paraíso es la plataforma de investigación que propongo con mi trabajo artístico y personal. El paraíso como un lugar lleno de posibilidades entre lo tangible y lo invisible, es un lugar que llevamos con nosotros a todas partes, que almacena todas nuestras utopías y distopías, y que nos sirve como refugio para la imaginación y los afectos.

Dentro de este marco de trabajo, en el proyecto “this body is not completely mine” en residencia en Lake Studios en Julio de 2022, investigamos la relación que existe entre la memoria y el deseo, y como repercute en nuestro cuerpo y en nuestra forma de relacionarnos con el mundo. La memoria como un lugar para negociar pasados, y el deseo como un lugar para negociar futuros; jugamos con estos conceptos con el fin de observar y estudiar que es lo que generan en nuestro cuerpo y en la interacción con nuestra inmediatez. Las preguntas que nos ocuparon durante la residencia fueron las siguientes:

  • ¿Cómo se traduce esta tensión en el cuerpo y la voz?
  • ¿Dónde termina la memoria y empieza el deseo?
  • ¿Cómo se traducen los deseos al gesto?
  • ¿Cómo se introduce la memoria en el contexto inmediato de un cuerpo?
  • ¿Cómo se involucran estas cuestiones en las nuevas narrativas y formas artificiales de almacenamiento e intercambio de información que son los dispositivos y formas inteligentes de comunicación electrónica?

Estas preguntas hemos podido trabajarlas a través de dos ejercicios en concreto. Uno de ellos, el cual nos ha servido como marco de trabajo y guía en la investigación, ha sido el que he llamado MEMORIA COLECTIVA O DESEO DIVINO, un ejercicio donde trabajamos la capacidad de traducción del cuerpo como herramienta principal. Tres figuras como mínimo, participan de este proceso de traducción: El Profeta, el Canal y el Adivino(s). A partir de un pequeño texto que escribe el Profeta sobre una memoria personal, el proceso de traducción se inicia con el Canal, que traduce a su danza lo obtenido por el texto, y posteriormente el Adivino, o Adivinos traducirán de nuevo al texto o al dibujo, lo que leen en la danza del Canal. Por último al Profeta le llega de nuevo su memoria inicial a través del Adivino(s), que ha sido traducida por los cuerpos através de la danza , en forma de texto y/o dibujo. El Profeta, para cerrar el círculo, dirá su verdad, esto es, encarnará esa información en forma de movimiento y palabra hablada. Así, a través del proceso de traducción, la memoria original habrá sufrido transformaciones al pasar por otros paraísos, encontrándose con diferentes memorias y deseos que han intervenido en la creación de la última verdad, la que es pronunciada en última estancia por el Profeta.

La práctica de este ejercicio me ha permitido observar y poner en evidencia los patrones y estructuras que determinan nuestra forma individual de percibir e interactuar con el entorno y con uno mismo por un lado, y por otro, destacar esos espacios que permiten trazar el vínculo de lo colectivo. Una especie de tensión, generadora otra vez, que existe entre lo que nos define como grupo y nos separa como individuos.

Y por último, el segundo contexto de trabajo e investigación ha sido el concepto de TENSEGRIDAD. Esto es un concepto arquitectónico que cuestiona la verticalidad del peso y jerarquía de la gravedad, a través de la creación de tensiones multidireccionales en los elementos que componen una estructura. Tanto, a nivel interno e individual, como grupal y público, nos hemos dedicado en el período de residencia a observar las diferentes estructuras y formas en las que esa verticalidad se puede transformar en multidireccional, provocando la necesidad de colaboración y dependencia de todas las partes. En un cuerpo, en una estructura que se compone de elementos que comparten su centro, un movimiento, por pequeño que sea, transforma la estructura total del cuerpo, ya que son interdependientes, es decir, se encuentran en una constante negociación de peso, tensión y dirección.

Esto nos ha ayudado a entender el concepto de la interdependencia y transformación de las estructuras, como una analogía directa al concepto original del proyecto, de que yo no soy sola con mi cuerpo, si no mi cuerpo es parte de una masa más grande que yo, de un tejido de memorias y deseos que afectan mi forma de ser y estar en el mundo.

“Por que mi cuerpo no es del todo mío, hay cosas de él que yo no controlo” Mariano Yela, Yo y mi Cuerpo Ed. Psicothema 1996

Orfeo

What lies between opera and the choreographic? How can we reshape the structures for how we hear through space and visuals? What happens to our oldest stories when they are told through new voices?

Orfeo is artist Sasha Amaya‘s re-creation of Monteverdi’s 1607 opera based on the ancient Greek myth, through which she explores listening, proximity, power, and loss.

With an interest in bringing new perspectives into opera, hosting musical theatre outside of city centres, and creating POC-directed teams in the field of new music, this new work from Amaya is hosted within the frame of Lake Studios Berlin and supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Berlin Senatsverwaltung.

With a sublime compositional intervention from Sara Glojnarić, minimalist costumes from Rike Zöllner, and beautiful performances from Hyuneum Kim, Avila Lorena Sarode, and Malena Napal, Orfeo is a striking meditation on a well-known story through fresh eyes. Read more at Tanzbüro Magazine here.

haunting with venus

 “haunting with venus” is a research project that works with themes of imperial lineage and colonial contracts, embodied and somatic practices, myth and storytelling, song and dance. The work aims to set up situations where ritual and relationship can guide and support us in the complex navigation of inherited imperial belief systems and decolonial psycho-somatic labour

Zee & Chew’s residency

Discovering practice & pushing the limits of physicality. Zee as a movement artist delves into finding out what constitutes her artistic practice with Shaw as a dramaturg/outside eye. This residency marks the crossing of a threshold in Zee’s life and practice, as well as a developmental foray into dramaturgy for Shaw.

PLURAL EYES

PLURAL EYES is an open research process at the Lake Studios with PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) cameras, in which both the horizontal and vertical movement as well as the degree of magnification of the zoom lens but also all other settings such as the position of the focus or the opening of the aperture can be continuously controlled and programmed remotely. Beyond the usual tight production schedules, Benjamin Krieg and Phillip Hohenwarter together with their long-time working partners Lea Søvsø, Philine Rinnert, Guillaume Cailleau, Amir Reza Koohestani and Yasi Moradi want to give new ideas time and space in a laboratory-like situation, expand the common artistic toolkit for video work in theatre and performance spaces and develop new visual strategies. This process is supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the program NEUSTART KULTUR.

LYNNE’ S RESIDENCY PROJECT

The nostalgia of love carried forward in the body has great potential to energize and activate new pathways. Honesty and willpower become imperative in facilitating the strength that is necessary to maintain being both a giver and receiver of love in the present. This project is a personal reflection of how love can be held in the body as well as how nostalgia can form its perception and reception. The work moves through past, present and future glimpses of time as a way of embodying and telling a story of love. 

“To begin by always thinking of love as an action rather than a feeling is one way in which anyone using the word in this manner automatically assumes accountability and responsibility.”

– Bell Hooks

“When we reveal ourselves to our partner [friend, family member] and find that this brings healing rather than harm, we make an important discovery – that intimate relationship can provide sanctuary from the world of facades, a sacred space where we can be ourselves, as we are…. This kind of unmasking – speaking our truth, sharing our inner struggles and revealing our raw edges – is sacred activity, which allows [our] souls to meet and touch more deeply.”

– John Welwood 

ACOUSTIC DANCES

coming soon!

MD‘S RESIDENCY

For the Lake Studio Residency, MD is developing a ritualistic practice that is in the budding stages of a new solo work. They are exploring a practice that questions gender liminal expression through movement, meditation, somatic sensing, gesture, writing and imagery. They explore the limits of their body, pushing it to chaotic extremes and fixing it into rigid and often uncomfortable shapes. They are researching a practice of the physicality of non-conformity through weaving in and out of the restricted confines of physical forms, imagery and familiar “techniques” of dancing to explore a state of resistance that transforms boundaries of the body into an unbound, fluid and soft state of pleasure and euphoria.

this body Is not completely mine

This body is not completely mine” is an apology to the sensitive body: a device that collects and shapes the information we receive, send and store. Our bodies are our way to be in the world. They are the elements capable of question and transform the structures we inherit, and the hierarchies with which we exist and interact in our personal and collective realities.

caring for strangers / HORIZON PROBLEMS

In this phase of research we started to create a fictional archive of earthly, contemporary, lived experiences and focused on modes of being with each other in choreographic and playful ways. The residency in Lake studios is part of Judiths multidisciplinary project HORIZON PROBLEMS and will be premiering in Sophiensaele this autumn. Inspired by the novel „The Dispossessed“ by Sci-Fi writer Ursula LeGuin the work flirts with the idea of a speculative, anarchistic Mars colony that elevates difference, constant negotiation and imperfect unisons to virtues of coexistence.

Carefree at the End of the World

“Carefree at the End of the World “

This is a work in progress performance based on my soon to be released single, “Carefree at the End of the World “. ( (C) Nicole Zaray Meter/ apartment2D music). A Video/Movement/Music/Text piece, it is inspired by my research into housing crises and end-of-world scenarios connected to our systems of greed. 

Anthropo+screen by products (episode iii)

Anthropo+Screen by-products (episode iii) Collaborative project with garment designer Alena Kudera www.kudera.co.uk Her garment collection made from waste materials is designed to give immersive, sensory experiences to dancers who improvise. Visually mesmerizing, grotesque yet seductive; we are engulfed and transformed into monsters, mutants and piles of trash.  I am working with the questions, “What have I become?” and, “Can I find empathy in my entanglement?”

Photo : Alena Kudera, Graphic Design: Doug Kerr, Image: Mary Pearson from Anthropo+Screen by-products, episode i

Oh Mother

Oh Mother by Leila Bakhtali

Like an intimate devotion, Oh Mother explores our (forgotten) interconnectedness with nature->Mother Earth. Inspired by themes of separation and reconnecting, destroying and transformation, it draws a parallel between our care for ourselves and care for the planet.

A conversation with the Earth inevitably becomes a conversation with myself.

Working closely with a soundscape to inspire movement, the plan is to use original spoken word as well as Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater; parts in its original form and parts decomposed. This in collaboration with the composer Simon Goff who also creates new compositions as a response to Stabat Mater. Stabat Mater is a Latin hymn about Mary’s suffering as Jesus’ mother during his crucifixion. 

Oh Mother is Leila’s first longer solo work which will be performed at Schwankhalle Bremen, in the beginning of July. The project is supported by the Senator for Culture Bremen and co-produced by steptext dance project and is currently in the making at Lake Studios Berlin.

VOCAL ROOTS

How it would sound like a landscape of decolonizing my voice and my body? Where, my voice and
body, have been colonized by academia, ancestry, identity, history…?
Vocal Roots is a contemporary vocal-physical sound work based on understanding the human
body as the instrument: a whole cavity of resonance with its own organic musical entity.
Via voice, movement and embodiment I began with exploring the origin of life: vibration. There, I
presumed I would find a reasonably timeless and non-individual space in order to unlearn, to free,
to heal, to discover territories of dialogue and transformation.
Cascading inner and outer voices, layers of bodily sounds, navigating between friction and
pleasure I discovered a seductive source of sound-speech within the human body and a vast
knowledge and power for voicing.
Vocal Roots takes shapes; in one side, as a sound-music album fully composed and recorded with
my body and my voice, and as a solo scenic arts piece.

Iria Arenas – Feb 2022

ON DISPLAY – NPN funded residency

About me

I am a freelance artist working in the field of performance, movement, and visual arts. As a choreographer I like to challenge human perception combining live performance with digital media blurring the line between dance aesthetics and visual art to experiment new ways of narration. Over the last few years, I have been fascinated by how the nude human figure has been a source of discussion, shame, admiration, and controversy in the art of most cultures, and continues to be so today. I am interested in investigating new methods of displaying the human figure in live performance and on screen, reforming and reshaping the body in natural means but unconventional ways. http://www.iriaarenas.com

ON DISPLAY – NPN funded residency

Thanks to LAKE Studios Berlin in the framework of the ON DISPLAY program supported by the NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ – STEPPING OUT, I will be working on the project anverso during the month of February in collaboration with three performers. At the end of this residency, the performance will be professionally documented and filmed by a LAKE Studios team.

anverso rethinks a new way of perceiving the corporeality of the body when being displayed and offers a new perspective on the concepts of nudity and nakedness in performance art in a strongly sexualised Western cultural tradition. In this performance the artists make themselves blank canvases presenting neutral bodies which are stand-ins for any human, blurring the line between fine and performance arts; art work and artist; or between object and subject.

Week 1 – Preparation time

During the first week, COVID-19 was the main protagonist and and as usual, plans started to change between two and four times a day. Some residents had to cancel and postpone their arrival and that made the week rather silent at LAKE studios. Therefore, I decided not to spend too much time planning, but to let my mind flow and take advantage of the quietness and creative inspiration this space offered me.

Week 2 – Rehearsals

In the first week of rehearsals, two of the three performers of the piece had to be quarantined, so the first rehearsals took place with only one performer in the studio. The rehearsals were a hybrid between online and studio sessions, in which we put into practice the new ideas and possible ways of communicating the concept of the piece through the camera.

Week 3 – Rehearsals & Shooting

We finally managed to get everyone together in the studio on Monday. Without much time for dialogue, we immediately started assembling the piece with the ideas and material discussed the week before. In three days we managed to build something quite captivating to be recorded.

Week 4 – Editing

Thanks to the good mentoring and technical facilities at LAKE studios, I had the opportunity to learn how to do video editing, colour grading and post-production in a professional way. When you have these opportunities, along with the time and space to be able to put the acquired knowledge into practice, the result is usually quite rewarding.

et voilà

Claire Vivianne Sobbotke – Feb 2022

ON DISPLAY – NPN funded residency


please begin here…










Sunia Asbach – Feb 2022

MADE IN BERLIN – Senat funded residency


My name is Sunia Asbach and I brought my character ARNE and its habitat with me for the time at Lake Studios.

I have already went a long way with ARNE and when I arrived at Lake Studios -two weeks late because of an infection with Covid- I had following tought in my mind:

>Think< less. >Do< more. Become concrete.


it worked.
and I am super happy about it.

After a longer period of studying ARNE and it existence itself I returned to let the figure speak by it actions.





Am Ertl – Feb 2022

MADE IN BERLIN – Senat funded residency


hey! my name is Am Ertl. I work as dancer and am at the moment based in Berlin and Stockholm.


i spent the time at lake studios attenting to my dancing. it was an extreme luxury to give time and space just to the practice of dancing.
it was almost like i was knocking on dance’s door with curiousity who would open everyday.
in that process i made many different scores, games, tasks. some of which i threw away, others to which i returned again and again.

one game i made i call The D and The M. its a game that plays with the relationship between music, dance and language. it is very simple:

the basic instruction is this:

DANCE _______ MUSIC

then fill the blank with different words like:

TO
FOR
THROUGH
WITH
INSIDE OF
INTO
TOWARDS
BECAUSE OF
THE
DESPITE OF
NEXT TO
UNDER
OVER
ABOVE
AGAINST
AWAY FROM
OUT OF

i play the same song over and over again. each time i step onto the dancefloor, i embody a different relationship with the song. dancing from a different position, through relation.
to be affected, to attend to my dancing and the track, the music. characters emerge, stories appear. how i listen to the song changes each time, depending on what words i have given myself as a task – depending on what story i dance.

there is something about repetition that is just great. playing the same song over and over again gives me a frame to work within, a structure to relate my movement towards, a cluster in which i can jump move dance feel in, a box to shake. each time it plays, i get to know it better, different. i start to recognize details, nuances, layers. its a meeting. handshake

repitition in this way makes it possible for me to recognize what has changed. to attend to change by reapeating.
it makes me think of this exercise i learned, where the task is to repeat the same movement. but u always repeat the version of the movement u just did. that way it completely transforms, changes. u have to be super attentive to detail.
also it makes me think of disintegration loops by william basinski. i love that album. he used old tapes of his compositions and cut a part of them, then glued that part together (a literal loop) and put it in the casette player. one track is around 1 hour long and while you listen the tape breaks a tiny bit each time its being played. slowly the repeated loop is changing, like clay reshaping. disintegrating… i once made a movement score based on disintegration somehow. we moved from breaking apart on the inside bit by bit.
now i also have to think of my collegue Morgane, didn’t you make an exercise in school that was similar? i remember seeing the videos from the class dancing to one song they just listened to, but in the studio there’s another one playing – it looked very funny.
and of course now i also think about stina nyberg’s piece splendour!

coming back to this game The D and The M – what i found when playing this game dance was that my dancing grew into – i dont know how to call it – characters, personalities. i felt certain feelings depending on which word i chose. whole worlds opened up to me through this game. worlds in which i was on a mission of some sort. courting, digging, pushing, hiding, pretending, glorifying, denying, dying, burying, mourning.

heres a list of songs i used in this game:

prizewinning by julianna barwick
otherside by perfume genius
good ones by perfume genius
golden hours by brian eno
to the moon and back by fever ray
formwela 1 by esperanza spalding
wait a minute! by willow smith
in the air tonight by phil collins
saint claude by christine and the queens










Jenna Taus – January 2022

Wringing on my tip toes. I’m the loudest lullaby. Your grandma finds me disgusting. My body is perfection.
A Queer-ture. To decide what you think of me.
Chop off one arm and I’ll grow four more
Sip, sing, slut, drip, wiggle. i am a silly little thing.

Pauli Caldirola – Jan 2022

MADE IN BERLIN Residency – supported by Berlin Senat










Shai Faran – Jan 2022

I am writing this blog post after already finishing my residency at Lake Studio.

i was hoping to write here while having the residency, but there is actually something nice in documenting a month of residency from the end of it, rather then from the beginning.

so my name is Shai, i’m a dancer, dance teacher and choreographer, originally from Israel and living in Berlin for the past 8 (or so) years.

In Israel, I danced for the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and in some projects, but soon after I started to feel the need to be exposed to new information and moved to Europe, where I expended my knowledge and started to develop my research, practice and methods of teaching and creating. 
I have worked with different choreographers such as Maya M.Caroll, Yuval Pick, Maura Morales Alessandro Sciarroni David Hernandez, Martin Kilvady and more, performed around Europe and taught in different frames for professional dancers and high education programs around Europe while developing my own work as well.

this residency was about taking the solo i created last year- “It’s About Time” and making a digital version of it. I started by revisiting the solo, in the space where i actually premiered it, this summer.

the space was inviting, and the solo as well.

this time allowed me to dive deeper into it, discover and unfold more things that were hidden under the layers that i didn’t even know i put in it. this time brought me back to the place where i created it- Iceland. every time i start the piece, i can see in my mind’s eye the mountains, i can feel the cold air in my lungs, i can hear the silence. i can sense the timelessness of the time, the feeling the things never end, they just continue.

something that was very precious and meaningful for me while creating the piece was the fact that i didn’t need to explain it to anyone. after many years of having teaching as my main filter of thought, there was such a liberty in knowing that i don’t have to pass this information on or teach it to someone else. even writing notes to myself felt sometimes limiting, as the sensations were clearer then words.

images and ideas to became sensations and sensations became movement qualities.

towards the end of the month we were filming. how to capture all that in a flat, 2 dimentional screen? how can i bring all that depth, richness, wilderness into the studio, into the camera, into the heart.

how can i go back to that experience again and again and bring the timelessness with me?

during that month, almost every morning i used this song to warm up, its called “who knows where the time goes”:


this month was so intense. so much had to happen and so much happened. and even though i did my best, time still slipped somehow. by the end of the month i told my boyfriend that i feel a bit stupid, that after all this time of being busy with this topic i still don’t manage to figure it out. i still don’t understand time. it changes, it disappears, it slows down, it passes…


Sophia Grimani – Jan 2022

Bennington Student residency


Hello!

I am a senior at Bennington College studying dance and film and I’m at Lake Studios for a month-long self-led residency. Over the next month I will working on my senior work/thesis for my bachelor degree. This will take the shape of a multi-media dance performance piece and a 16mm dance film/installation.

The working title for the dance piece is Girlhood. Stemming from memories of growing up, I am working with ideas of sisterhood, coming of age, and sexuality. I am currently working on outlining the concepts for the piece, finding music material, and creating scores/choreography.

Separate from Girlhood, I am working on editing a 16mm dance film for an installation in our final gallery showing at Bennington. This project explores the relationship between nature and the body through a femme character that is in a sensual relationship with her surroundings (nature). With inspirations from feminist and sex positive movements, I am exploring the connection between the camera and female body and what it looks like to fall in line with expectations as well as subverting them. While I am here at Lake I will be working to complete my first edit of the film. Included are a few stills from the project.










Azzie McCutcheon – Jan 2022

MADE IN BERLIN Residency – supported by Berlin Senat


Azzie McCutcheon is a Berlin based dance artist interested in performance as transformation: a place for the sharing, exchanging, understanding and developing of human experience. Creating as dancer, choreographer, movement practitioner and teacher, her work spans different performative styles including performance installation, physical theatre, dance comedy, dance film, contemporary dance and fusion belly dance. Recurrent themes of research include: perception, blurring boundaries, the spaces in between, the uncanny, creating character and narrative through physicality. Most of her work aims not to create linear narrative, but rather endeavours to invite the possibility of engaging or affecting an audience on a visceral level.

Introduction

I decided to use this residency to continue a project called Limbus (working title). The project began during previous residencies where I explored themes related to the need for control in unfamiliar situations, which in turn led me to research ‘the uncanny’. I am interested in the uncanny as:

“the familiar made strange, or the strange rendered familiar” Sara Meyers

          and                                                                                             

” a mental state of projection that precisely eldies the boundaries of the real and the unreal in order to provoke a disturbing ambiguity, a slippage between waking and dreaming” Anthony Vidler

I recounted discoveries made previously and pulled together themes, moments and references that interested me the most:

  • Blurring of form using fog and backlight
  • Chair image
  • recorded voice: experiences of unfamiliar situations and ‘dislocated mouthing’
  • ‘searching’ movement quality
  • slow collapse
  • Josephine Machon’s ‘(syn)aesthetic performance’: coming from the Greek ‘syn’ meaning ‘together’ and ‘aisthesis’ meaning ‘sensation’ or ‘perception’, ‘(syn)aesthetics’ refers to a fusing of the somatic and the semantic in the creation, reception and analysis of performance
  • ‘Uncanny valley’: the relation between an object’s degree of resemblance to the human being and the emotional response to the object (humanoid objects that imperfectly resemble actual human beings provoke strangely familiar feelings of eeriness and revulsion in observers).

I decided that the focus for this residency was to work with sound and light and posed the following research questions:

  • How can interactions of sound, light, and movement/the body blur boundaries of what appears:
    • Familiar and unfamiliar?
    • Recognisable and unrecognisable?
    • Human and non-human?
  • What is found in the spaces in between?
  • How can we create a sensation of the ‘uncanny’ for an audience?

During this residency I worked with sound artist Diane Barbé: https://dianebarbe.com/ and light designer Thais Veiga: https://thaisnepomuceno.art/


The Human Scale

I thought about what perceptible visual and aural things make a human being recognisable to us as human. I listed:

  • Gesture
  • Voice
  • Facial expression
  • Gait
  • Posture standing and sitting

As a way back into the research I decided to continue working with a scene I had previously created where I am sitting in a chair and moving through different gestures, facial expressions, and sitting positions. I worked with a particular movement quality I had already developed, and worked with how the above could be abstracted through this quality. I also continued to work with ‘dislocated mouthing’; mouthing speech of a recorded voice being played externally.

I continued by researching the scale of human to abstract, using an improvisation task of exploring the gestures, facial expressions and positions in this movement quality at changing intensities of 0-10: 0 being naturalistic/human, and 10 being the most abstracted version. Inspired by the concept of uncanny valley, I was interested to find the ‘sweet spot’ at which this figure appears, through its movement, mostly recognisable and familiar as human, but just a little strange, or somehow, ‘off’. After this I created a graph that could also be used as a score:

‘The human scale’

Alongside these improvisations I worked with Diane in order to find how we could sonically create a sensation of slipping in and out of the voice appearing (un)recognisable and (un)familiar. We discussed how important language is in how we perceive voices as recognisable and human, and yet also our aural conditioning to the uniqueness of the human voice that we can also perceive an emotionality or tone even in a made up language (e.g. songs by Elizabeth Fraser and Cocteau Twins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhGoZLudKyk).

We explored how the voice could be introduced into an otherwise abstract soundscape – coming in and out of aural perception, or muffled in a way that one can recognise the voice as human, but not clear words or language. Our aim was to echo the visual stimulus in a way that might induce a sensation that the perception of this figure is slipping between (un)recognisable and (un)familiar.

Ambiguity and Associations

The Young Woman, Old Woman Ambiguous Figure (also known as My Wife and My Mother in Law) was created by an anonymous illustrator in late 19th century Germany, and reproduced on a postcard. William Ely Hill (1887 – 1962), a British cartoonist, produced a later, well-known version. 

A large part of the residency was spent working with movement and sound in the research and creation of ambiguous visual and sonic images.

I began working with a large piece of black heavy material to research how the form of the body can instantly be changed, and suggestions of other more ambiguous forms can emerge (especially with the use of a backlight as it blurs/merges the forms of whatever is in front of it together). I researched what is was to try and create an amorphous creature with my body fully emerged in the fabric, as well as what it was for half the body to be visible. Here Xavier Le Roys Self Unfinished (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3rv1TeVEPM) comes to mind, and the question arose of whether it is possible that the observer can switch between perceiving a body in a fabric, or a strange Praying Mantis-like creature; like in the famous ambiguous figure picture above.

Exploring changing of human form with black fabric. Is it possible to switch between seeing a person in a fabric to a strange Praying Mantis-like creature?

During another improvisation with the fabric I picked it up and carried it across the space. Immediately the image or character emerged for me of some kind of farmer or labourer, and I realised how visual moving images and physical actions can also enable a certain human association through context, created through our anthropological and social history.

With Diane we worked with ambiguous sounds and the associations they create. Diane had many recordings of sounds that were made electronically but sounded natural, or vice versa. We experimented with these sonic and movement images, exploring what associations were produced audio-visually. The aim was to play again on the boundary of perception: how could we create a slippage between e.g. an amorphous creature and a human labourer, or machinery and frogs singing?

During an improvisation with Diane I started pulling the fabric up and down repeatedly, and she was playing a chorus of frog sounds. The way she manipulated the sound alongside this action brought the image of a ‘washerwoman’ to mind, and the frogs began to sound to me like a ‘workers song’. I couldn’t tell which came first: whether the physical action/image made the sound appear as a workers song, or the sound created the association of the image as a washer woman. And, at the same time, the repeated action was reminiscent of machinery and the sound then appeared like rusty cogs turning. This opened up the potential for how we could begin to work audio-visually within our aims.

Exploring flicking lights to change form of shadow

I also worked in the final week of residency with Thais to investigate how I could work with light within my aims. We didn’t have much time to explore many things, but one discovery was the use of multiple lights directed at the body, flicking between dark green and blue. We worked with flicking between the lights and the shadows they created, aiming for moments in which the shadow of the body blurred its form, or flickered, creating a constantly morphing or shifting form.

Pareidolia and a triangle becomes a mountain

Pareidolia example of seeing a face in a tree

An important discovery during the residency was the phenomenon of ‘Pareidolia’: the tendency to perceive meaningful forms in suggestive configurations of ambiguous stimuli – for example seeing faces in clouds or the bark of a tree, or even in machinery. Upon discussing this with Diane she introduced me to Diana Deutsch, a psychologist known for researching auditory illusions in speech and music/sound. Amongst her discoveries are pareidolia sound illusions; where people hear words in random sounds, and that people hear different words from one another and different depending on the particular day or mental state. What I noticed listening to these sounds was that as you listened, the words you perceived shifted over the e.g. 2 minutes you listened to them (and were different on each day I heard the same sounds): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB0I5x_Skzg  We also realized that a similar effect occurred with some sounds that Diane introduced – for example a sound that first sounded like an electronic noise but over time (even though the sound didn’t change) it shifted within my perception to become the sound of a hovering insect.

We incorporated these findings into the work, investigating how we could combine audio and visual stimuli in a way that could induce a ‘pareidolia’ like effect or experience. We were inspired here by Éliane Radigue’s statement that slowly a triangle can turn into a mountain: when something changes slowly it can change without you perceiving the change happening. We wanted to create this illusion, so worked with slow movement and slow sound transition, but also in using sound to create a specific atmosphere that encouraged a ‘trippy’ state in which perceptual shifts are more inviting, in order that an audience might ‘zone out’ and in again during a transition between images.

We therefore worked with these images audio-visually and dramaturgically in order to find what combinations might induce these kinds of perceptual shifts: experimenting also with using less complex visual images during a longer sound illusion phase in order to allow the audience to zone more into the sound and pareidolia effects that they might encounter by doing so. During this particular sequence we also explored the use of darkness and a strobe light using single flashes at a low frequency in order to re-establish darkness and allow the potential for the image in front of the audience to be ‘burnt onto the retina’ during the flash, adding to potential for inducing a perception of ambiguous images.

Reflections

During this residency my key findings were:

The creation of what I have labelled ‘the human scale’ and how playing around the transition point between movement appearing naturalistic or abstract has the potential for creating an uncanny affect. I would like to continue to work deeper audio-visually with this in order to further research how this works with the recorded human voice, through aural effect and ‘dislocation mouthing’.

How the use of ambiguous movement and sound images can offer shifting perceptions of familiar/unfamiliar and recognisable/unrecognisable.

How movement and sound can create specific associations and therefore perceptions, and how when used together they can affect the perception of one another. At first I was trying to offer a shift of perception through a visual movement image changing from one thing to another, or a sonic image changing from one thing to another. I realised however that the key is to find how these images can work truly audio-visually: to research more carefully constructed audio-visual combinations that may therefore offer much deeper ambiguities and perceptual shifts for an audience.

I also realised that perhaps as I am someone who is fascinated in perception, when I look for example at the ambiguous figure above, I find it easy to switch constantly between the two possible perceptions. However feedback suggested that for many people once you see something you cannot ‘un-see’ it. This is a matter I find frustrating, and would like to research more deeply therefore how I can create images that can stay for a longer time imperceptible, unrecognisable or ambiguous enough that they can create an uncanny effect for an audience. I would like to research more how the use of light (or lack of) and audio-visual combinations can allow the space for an audience’s imagination to create the kind of ambiguity and uncertainty in perception that encourages an uncanny sensation to be experienced.

The questions I therefore leave this residency asking, hopefully to be answered in the next research phase of this work:

  • How can I use ‘the human scale’ to create movement that creates the most interesting uncanny effect for an audience, and how can this work audio-visually (using recorded human voice)?
  • How can I use specifically constructed combinations of movement and sound audio-visually to create shifting ambiguous perceptions of images?
  • How can I use the concept of pareidolia, time/duration, dramaturgy, and the creation of specific atmospheres to aid in these perceptual shifts?
  • How can I use movement, sound and light to create the space needed for an audience to create individual ambiguous perceptions that may lead to a sensation of the uncanny?

Teoma Naccarato & John MacCallum · June – December 2021

Im/mediations is a performance-based project involving a series of one-on-one encounters online, as well as choreography for live-stream video that moves between stage and screen to explore experiences of being together-yet-apart in virtual contexts. Between June and December 2021, choreographer Teoma Naccarato and composer John MacCallum will host a series of events online, and in residence at Lake Studios Berlin.

Key questions to explore through artistic research and creation in this project include: what qualities of togetherness emerge when we share a virtual space together without doing anything in particular? If we strip away speech and vision from online encounters, what remains? How do silence and stillness resonate between us, dilating our sense of time and closeness? As we spend more and more time together-yet-apart via video conferencing and other online media, in what ways are our relationships and our ways of relating shifting?

You can learn more about Im/mediations on the project website at: https://immediations.com.

Below we will share traces from behind the scenes of our ongoing creative process in residence at Lake Studios Berlin. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Best,
Teoma and John



Im/mediations Process Blog

Entry One: WHITE VOID

June 2021 @ Lake Studios Berlin
By Teoma Naccarato

1.
This is my first time in a dance studio since the start of the pandemic. I feel pressure to move, to dance, to fill the generous space around me – space I have missed throughout the past year and a half of lockdown. I improvise without a plan, and what emerges seems superficial, indulgent, nonsensical – but I kind of like it. I shrug, sigh, shimmy, sway, groove, gesticulate, pulse, point, sit, stare. It is as if I am dancing around my kitchen while I wait for the coffee to brew – unobserved and unconcerned.

2.
Despite hours of improv over the course of days, my mundane and idiosyncratic movement persists. My years of training in contemporary dance feel absent, although I’m aware that this understated, almost careless quality resonates with a lot of postmodern performance. In my attempt to improvise without structure, I notice patterns and habits as they surface: my right arm usually leads; one eyebrow is raised; I repeat to build in intensity and then cut to a new idea, in another part of the room. I try several times to shape this ambiguous movement into phrases, exploring shifts in rhythm and dynamics, but I arrive at nothing concrete. Each imposition of intention feels foregin, inconsistent, with the persona and logic that is arising.

3. 
I begin filming myself as I improvise, and I find my own image rather uncanny. Watching myself performing myself, or rather, some version of myself transplanted from my kitchen into the dance studio, and now onto the screen, has a distancing effect. I feel like I am watching myself from without. Curious about this, I set up a monitor with live-stream video directly from the camera, in order to watch myself in real-time – and also, to watch myself watching myself. This loop of self-observation of self, all the while being recorded, evokes in me a shift that is difficult to articulate. I might best describe it as an interplay of vanity and vulnerability – both integral to the nearly 20 hours of solo footage I will eventually accumulate.

4.
I call the studio I am filming in the ‘white void’. When I am back against the white wall, the wide-angle lens of the camera makes me look small and far away, but with only a few steps I can enter into extreme closeup. This distortion of proximity and distance, this abstraction of site, reminds me of the notion of “no-place” coined by Harmony Bench. Bench proposes that:

No-place is an abstracted space, a blank or evacuated space. It is, in a sense, nothing. Nominating no-place as a site for dance may seem somewhat paradoxical, but in identifying no-place, I am trying to theorize the political effects of a site deployed to erase location – a site that works to render itself invisible. No-place, I argue, substantiates dance’s mediation across analogue and digital platforms.”

Bench, Harmony. 2008. “Media and the No-place of Dance,” Forum Modernes Theater, 23.1, p. 37

This, for me, is a conceptual link between the emergent aesthetic of my improvisation in this white void, with concerns related to virtual qualities of presence and togetherness in the Im/mediations project.

The outcome of this process will be premiered on December 14, 2021 at Lake Studios and online. Stay tuned for details!


Entry Two: IDLE

August 2021 @ Lake Studios Berlin
By Teoma Naccarato & John MacCallum 

Whereas our initial month of residency at Lake Studios involved somewhat isolated and process-based studio exploration, in August I opened the virtual door of our collaborative practice to the public – with the constraint that I would encounter one person at a time.

The initial iteration of IDLE spanned twelve hours between August 22-24, 2021, and involved a series one-on-one encounters online, in silence and stillness. The invitation was simply to arrive, and stay, letting moments pass between us, listening to our silence, sensing without seeing, sharing without speaking, holding space for each other, virtually.

Following each encounter, visitors were invited to share a ‘trace’ of this experience – in words, image, sound, voice, video, etc. The growing collection of traces is now available online at: https://immediations.com/idle/traces 

These traces enact a collective archive that not only documents what has passed between us, but also, offers entry-points to re/engage with qualities of togetherness in virtual spaces. In the coming months, resonance from these traces will be folded into the ongoing creative process in the Im/mediations project.

Finally, here are some photos from the making-of, taken by John MacCallum who was the wizard making everything run smoothly behind the scenes:



Entry Three: REMAINS

November 2021 @ Lake Studios
Teoma Naccarato, John MacCallum, & Benjamin Krieg

Photos from the video shoot for Im/mediations: REMAINS!

REMAINS
Premiere: December 14, 2021 at Lake Studios Berlin

Choreography & Performance: Teoma Naccarato
Music Composition & Performance: John MacCallum
Video Composition & Editing: Teoma Naccarato, John MacCallum, and Benjamin Krieg
Multi-Channel Video System Design: John MacCallum

Im/mediations: REMAINS (16:25) is a solo choreographed within a multi-camera video surveillance system. Filmed in one continuous take, the performer moves intentionally in and out of view, such that isolated body parts and gestures are distributed and reconfigured across multiple panels by way of real-time video mixing. That which is visible in each 16×9 panel, is set against all that which lies beyond its frame. REMAINS can be simultaneously performed for a live and virtual audience, on stage and screen, thus concealing and revealing the body and movement of the performer differently depending on the context of encounter. The stark aesthetic of REMAINS – white on white – is reinforced by the density and persistence of music.

The full-length video is presently passwords protected. If you would like to view it for personal use, or if you are interested in presenting it as part of a festival or event, please request access via email at:



Entry Four: Virtual Studio Visit & Video Premiere

December 2021 @ Lake Studios
Teoma Naccarato, John MacCallum, & Benjamin Krieg

Join us via live-stream for a final sharing to conclude the Im/mediations Residency at Lake Studios Berlin! We’re excited to share what we’ve been up to since June, as well as how we imagine the project developing in the new year. As part of this event we will reflect back on IDLE, a series of one-on-one encounters online in silence and stillness that we hosted back in August. Additionally, we will premiere two new videos titled Im/mediations: White Void, and Im/mediations: Remains.

The live-stream is free, and open to everyone. No reservation is required. On the day of, just click the ‘enter’ button on the main page of this website and it will bring you to Vimeo: https://immediations.com

In addition to the live-stream, we will have a limited on-site audience for the video screening (strictly 2G +). If you are in Berlin and would like to join, please email us to reserve at: .


Clarissa Rêgo December 2021

I grew up in Brazil, a huge country, with a colonial past and an extremely unequal society. I guess this condition influences how the body gains visibility in my work, as well as the kind of forces and issues that run through it. At the same time, it is not necessary to be Brazilian to relate to the topics that my work addresses, because they are, essentially, human issues.

Creative processes are a very important part of working for me. I need to take time for developing my pieces, in order to get to know and relate to their elements as well as to deepen their nuances. For me a premiere doesn’t mean solving or finishing a piece: I keep studying it, polishing it and updating it, based on my meetings with the audiences.

The audience’s reception is constantly in my thoughts when I am creating a new piece. For me it is essential that my pieces are accessible to others, regardless previous experiences with the performing arts world. I work so that my pieces can touch, sensitize, provoke, move someone. I don’t wish to present a concept or teach something with my performances: I develop the dramaturgy of my creations making sure that there is always a “space” where each spectator feels free to “move” within the piece and make their own connections.

MORE INFO:
https://www.clarissarego.com

***

Wednesday, 01.12.21

STARTING THE RESIDENCY

***

Thursday, 02.12.21

SOLO STUDIES

SOLO STUDIES is a trilogy of dance solos in which I occupy, for the first time in my artistic career, after 20 years of working as a dancer, the position of choreographer.

The beginning of this project corresponds to my move from South America to Central Europe, a change that made me more sensitive and aware of issues related to identity, representativeness, belonging and memory.

Each solo has a body as its axis, an existence which is limited to a specific spatial condition and posture. From there, I investigate how slowness and endurance can affect and transform the situation not only of this body on stage, but also the body of each person present in the performative event.

The performances of SOLO STUDIES are BLOOM (2018), MAR (2020) and RISE (2022).

To take time, to be present, to look and listen keenly: perhaps this is the only way to relate to these performances; perhaps this is also the only way to better understand the world in which we live in.

***


Sunday, 05.12.21

MAR

MAR is an invitation to slow down the gaze and sensitize the listening beyond known structures of comprehension. By embodying existences that have been historically denied or erased through dominant modes of representation, MAR evokes us to perceive life beyond the human, the tangible, the logical, the categorical and the bureaucratic. On stage, a body – one and many at the same time – on the verge of bursting, aiming to occupy the space that belongs to it. MAR is the announcement of an uprise.

***

In the first 10 days of my residency at LAKE studios, I am working with Dani Paiva de Miranda on creating a light design for MAR, the second piece of the trilogy. This is also a way of strengthening the dramaturgical thread that connects the pieces of SOLO STUDIES, in addition to opening paths for the creation process of RISE, the last piece of this trilogy.

DANI PAIVA DE MIRANDA is a Brazilian performer and light designer. He had artistic training at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris and at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPAS) in London. For 10 years he performed at Slava’s Snowshow, taking part in various international tours, a period of great learning that inspired much of his artistic trajectory. Daniel is co-founder of CuntsCollective and has been working with Sita Ostheimer, ALLEN’S LINE company, directed by dancer-poet Julyen Hamilton, and LiNing – Physical Guerrilla. He is also a resident light designer at Dock 11 in Berlin. Daniel currently lives between Lisbon, Berlin and Copenhagen.

MORE INFO:
https://www.instagram.com/dpmirandadp/?hl=en
https://www.cuntscollective.com/

***

Monday, 13.12.21

RISE

After 10 days of immersion in MAR, today I am starting the creation process of RISE, the piece that will close SOLO STUDIES trilogy. Actor and playwright Henrique Fontes (coming directly from Natal, Brazil!!!) is joining this creation process to work with me on bringing the word to the trilogy. Verbal and non-verbal language, as well as idiom and translation, will be some of the topics researched during the creation of this piece, focusing on deepening communication with audience members.

HENRIQUE FONTES is an actor, director and dramaturg based in Natal, northeast of Brazil. Undergrad in Social Communication and grad in Social Sciences, Henrique has been working in Theater and Dance since 1989. Through his Cultural Space Casa da Ribeira, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, Henrique has produced more than 40 productions for the stage. Henrique is the director of Grupo Carmin, created in 2007, and as a playwright he has written and staged 19 texts, including A INVENÇÃO DO NORDESTE, the most awarded Brazilian play in 2019 (16 nominations and 9 awards, including the Shell award for best dramaturgy). Internationally, Henrique was part of the Maine Masque Co. Company (Maine/USA), in 1998, and has maintained, since 2001, a partnership with the English playwright Ed Bailey (London/UK).

MORE INFO:
casadaribeira.com.br
grupocarmin.com.br








Johanna Ackva & Carrie McIlwain December 2021


As a continuation of previous collaborative works around feminity and its conception in western culture since Ancient Greece (Women and Watery Men, EARTHBOUND SQUATTERS, The Pile + the Pyre), this research focuses on the figure of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). “Gifted” to the church by her parents, Hildegard lived as an anchoress (walled-in seclusion) and later became the abess of her own cloister. Remarkably, Hildegard is one of few female voices that has survived within a historical record. She is a prolific composer of the middle ages, recorded her own mystical visions, scientific and natural findings as well as leaving behind an archive of letters and correspondence.

We are drawn to the notion of Viriditas (Greenness), a metaphor within her work that points at the omnipresence and the sensorial experience of divinity in the earthly world. Reclaiming this idea independently from patriarchical and anthropocentric Christianity, we want to engage with this “Greenness” as an image of erotic entanglement and a potentiality to relate otherwisely to a contemporary world threatened by ecological crises. The residency at LAKE studios gives us the opportunity to vocally explore specific “green” lines from Hildegard’s compositions, as well as looking for their resonance in our bodies’ presence and movements. ///

/ REPORT FROM WEEK I /

We read out loud to each other the text from Audre Lorde “the uses of the erotic” while receiving head to toe body work.

Tapping the erotic sap

Hilde like many a female mystic before her penned some hot and heavy devotionals to her Beloved. The Song of Songs inclusion in the bible established the acceptable precedence, parameters and metaphors for how longing, physical desire, or sexuality could be expressed in word. The Song of Songs is the erotic text of the bible and offers sensuous imagery of things growing, blooming, wet with dew, spices, fruits, animals, lips, mouths, eyes and of course the Beloved and Bride.

// excerpt from ch. 4 Song of Songs – Old Testament

Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
    milk and honey are under your tongue.
The fragrance of your garments
    is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;
    you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates

// excerpt from Favus distillants – Hildegard v. Bingen

A honeycomb dripping honey was Virgin Ursula 
who longed to embrace the Lamb of God. 
Honey and milk were beneath her tongue. 
For she had gathered around her, 
in a host of virgins, 
a garden of apples 
and the flowers of all flowers.

Taking single lines out of text from Hilde’s compositions, we then gave ourselves 5 mins to write new poems.

Hilde wrote  “and your mouth is like the sound of many waters”

Answer I

and your mouth is like the sound of many waters 
my lips are thirsty for your truth 
my tongue wet and strong 
growing as a vine from the back of my throat 
pushing past unparted lips 
like a seedling leaving the soil 
in search of the sun

Answer II

and
your mouth
is like the sound
of many waters

and
your eyes
like the sky and
how it changes every day

and
the toes of your
feet like pebbles
in a mountain river

the
minutes spent with you
disperse like humming bees
in friendly sunlight

when
it is winter in you
the stars reflect
from your frozen skin

and
the infinite universe
echoes
in your night

when
it is spring again
i ride on your
sweet fragrance

Hilde:  „previously she had disfigured earth“

Answer I

previously 
she had disfigured earth 
fiddling around with those 
fingers wet & warm of innocence 

when 
raising her eyes from 
the site of her play & facing chaos 
shivers crossed her small body 

nowhere 
to hold onto 
leaning into darkness 
she found home 

all 
things begin & end 
the cutting of the thread 
the breaking of the bread/branch

Answer II

previously she had disfigured earth 
when she laid within it
from head to hip
against the mud
spreading her legs and arms
apart together
and tried her best to be an angel







// REPORT FROM WEEK II //

adapting a ritual from the poet CA CONRAD, with closed eyes and fingers spread, touching texts we asked for assistance in writing prayers. prayers for prayers and when is a prayer praise? the number 5 a sometimes guide.

I speak to you in tongues
there is no other way
in order to know you
(however I will call you).

I speak to you words yet unknown
Every word I speak is a name for you
for every word is a call, is me tilt(ing) toward you,
the other.  I'm inclined.

And thus, every name I call you by
bears a secret, something untouchable
every word I know for you
speaks of a world behind a veil.

I cannot lift the fogs to see behind,
my bones are heavy, 
but sometimes 
your light shines through
and warms us like a fire.

///

O to reject protection
that I shall love with exceeding love
that I might appropriate all kinds of knowledge
secret and sacred languages
and in all their riches
a sense of mystery
remains distinct
delights and haunts 

(Through) a dedication of song
that is purely sacred
the unknown language
switches roles
the hierarchical list
made humble in the fear of death
flees beneath the wings
///
Like the roof of the world,
which in ancient times was believed
to be held up by Atlas, the titan,
also the roof of your mouth is dark.
Like the winds, your soothing murmurs
are born in the darkness.
We say roof to what is lifted 
to create spaces underneath it.
We say arch and refer to the beginning of the world.
First, you set the tent. Then the story begins.
After all, the world you made has been cosy
for many of us until now.
After all, it is the dark cave of your mouth
that expels the words that come to touch us.
What is the so-called inside  
if it is feeling that lifts me up to the stars 
carries me to the edges of the world? 

///REPORT FROM WEEK III ///

Viriditas – work in progress showing at UNFINISHED FRIDAYS V.78

//// REPORT FROM WEEK IV ////

The Ten Commandments | Revised Version from DECEMBRIS XXII ANNO MMXXI | as received through green messaging from Hildi v.B.

i.
I am the Earth, I am your home, I am holy. I gift and sustain your life.

This is not about restricting your freedom, but you will never leave me. No matter how far you journey, you will always return to me. We can’t avoid each other. We have the most intimate relationship of all relationships.

ii.
I will stay unknown to you and you have inherited my mystery.

iii.
To take my name in vain is to curse your own.

iv.
Respect rest. Cherish what is.

v.
Be grateful to those who have supported and and fed your growth.

vi.
Nurture all living things, whether you understand their courses or not. Do not violently interfere in their paths. Life needs your love. Be aware of your role in the cycle of life and death.

vii.
Honor the power of erotic bonds.

viii.
Do not be moved by scarcity, it is an illusion. There is no such thing as owning. You can always only have a share. Be generous/generative with your entanglements.

ix.
Be honest. Practice listening. Do not betray yourself or others.

x.
All forms of life are of equal value inherent unto themselves. Do not fear difference.

If you would like to try and live according to the revised 10 Commandments, we are happy to receive reports of your experience at

Chartreuse (Colemxn Pester) December 2021

Chartreuse is a dancer/performer/artist based in Berlin. She is originally from Texas but spent much time on the West Coast in the US (San Francisco and Seattle) studying and making dance. She relocated to Berlin in 2018, and in doing so radically shifted her process as an artist. As she navigates transitioning, her artistic work has focused towards care, mutual aid, and sisterhood* for queers and trans femmes. The strongest influences on her practice come from Radical Faerie ritual/culture and the writings of adrienne maree brown.

_____

WEEK 1: REST

“How will you be useless to capitalism today?

A question to embody everyday. Journal. Meditate. Sleep on it. Daydream.

Please rest.

Disrupt and push back against a system that views you as a machine. You are not a machine. You are a divine human being. WE WILL REST!” -Tricia Hersey (The Nap Ministry)

_____

I often work with the tarot as a tool for divination, communing with questions, and courting the unknown. For this residency, I’m working with Cristy C. Road’s Next World Tarot.

Day 1- Three of Pentacles (“The Team”) Mars in Capricorn

This card is about the tangible. It is about resources. It is a reminder of our interconnectedness. It’s being held by the quilt that is woven by the collective. Taking time to regroup.

I also drew this card on January 1st, 2021 when asking for a tool to guide me through this year. This card presenting itself today is a reminder of a recurring lesson for me this year… that I don’t have to do it alone.

Today I’m landing in the studio tired, edging on burnout. It’s not the most ideal state to be entering a residency period. I’m taking care of my body. Stretching. Beyonce is playing on the speakers. Calling to the energies, allies, and friends that will be part of this collective with me for this month.

_____

Day 6- The Knight of Wands (“The Fire Starter”) …an invocation to the moon as a trans ally and sister*

The last time I was dancing in the “Big Studio” here at Lake Studios was an intense day where friend and artist Jeremy Wade informed me that a dear friend of mine, Mariana, had taken her life the night before. This space holds this memory for me… dissolving to the floor in grief and tears and building myself back up off of that floor. But here I am today laying on this floor again.

I began to walk in a spiral… calling to the moon. Today SOPHIE is playing on the speakers… (a brilliant trans sister lost too soon). I am reminded of the power that is bubbling just under my flesh, ready to be called on. I release it. My neck arches back. Cycles. The tides pulling. Bloodshed. A guiding light in darkness. I know this dance. Hello moon in the sky.

_____


Day 9- The 8 of Swords (Restriction), The 4 of Cups (Reevaluate), The Knight of Cups (The Love Song)

Today my friends and co-conspirators Judy and Theo visited the studio to join in the practice. We all drew a tarot card to name the energies we were holding. Judy is an illustrator and will be making a zine to document the process of this residency. We began to discuss Jupiter and it’s potential magic as a trans ally. We danced an invocation to Jupiter to a song by a super talented Berlin-based trans musician named Mandhla.

We made an altar to honor the (tr)ancestors, each offering some items. With each item came names and stories. What emerged was a beautiful and intimate moment. I could feel the presence of these (tr)ancestors with us as their stories were told and we laughed and smiled. After this we finished off the day with a care ritual in the sauna. Today was nourishing.

_____

WEEK 3: CARE

Day 13- The 9 of Cups (Happiness) Jupiter in Pisces

During this residency I have learned how to do my own estrogen injection. Yesterday I did my injection for the first time by myself. It felt like a big step and I’m feeling very at home in my body today.

While at Lake Studios I have been reflecting on the pressures and expectations to produce… that the dance studio is framed as a site of production. What does it mean to insert a community practice of care into that frame? How does it subvert production? In my application for this residency I was direct that my intention is to reappropriate resources (money, space, time) from institutions towards the communal care of trans femmes… that is this art practice… to invoke a pop-up care temple.

I have been lighting a candle every day for Ella, the Iranian trans women that took her life at Alexanderplatz in October. Her story is with me. Today I dedicated a dance to her. The dance was powerful.

_____

DAY 17- The King of Cups (“The Throne of Movement”)

I did a ritual today of sensually shaving my entire body as the sun was setting.

Today was Unfinished Fridays at Lake Studios. Within the framework of UF, I shared a bit about my process throughout the month at the residency. I showed the altar that was built. I mentioned my daily candle lighting process. I talked about Ella. I did my estrogen injection for the audience and then proceeded into a dance invocation. Before I started dancing, I invited the non-cisgender people in the room to accompany me and hold space. It was powerful and beautiful to feel their support and care. I’m grateful for my time that I’ve shared at Lake Studios.

My residency will conclude in a few days with a ritual on the night of the solstice, December 21st.

György Jellinek & Massih Persaei · Pilotprojekt Oct/Nov 2021

György Jellinek

I’m a Berlin based freelance artist working on the field of performing arts and film.

I had the honour to work here in Lake Studios from 11.10.2021 to 21.11.2021

Dancing has always been present in my life since both of my parents were dancers and choreographers, but it was never a desire of mine to start practicing it. I think I am almost always a spectator. I feel a passivity in everything I do. I am the one who sits in the last row, at an event, even my own: the stage, the first row has then become the last. I have the feeling that this also has to do with a form of hesitancy the idea that there’s not the possibility of touching something, of intervening, of breaking open. This idea of being a spectator is connected for me with an idea that I experienced from the earliest childhood, the experience of waiting.
It was a cold day and as our first class began in this new building, I saw the top of three pine trees moved by the wind through the windows and I tried to do the exercise the way these trees were moving, and I suddenly felt connected to them and the more connected I felt to them, the more distance I felt.
After I started working in film and could think in films, my thoughts and interests about stage became much more concrete. In film there is distance in several layers. The distance of the characters from the narrative and then the lens from them, and at the end the gaze of the audience from the screen every time it’s watched. For me art was never a tool for self-expression but always a possibility to re-observe my surrounding.

Te text above was written by Massih Parsaei my collaborator and partner in this residency, it’s the text i sent to Lake Studios Berlin as an artist statement (about myself) when I applied. It is his perception about the way I see myself. I asked him to write this not because I have difficulties with defining myself but because of my fascination in the connections and relation between perception, representation, memory and other notions around this topic. I’ve applied with a kind of project that had only little to do with these notions and as much as i wanted to focus on that these concepts kept drawning me to them. Most of my life I’ve been working in circumstances where let it be my, a collaboration or someone else’s project but there has always been a kind of ex- or internal pressure, that required great discipline and strong focus. Since this was my first residency i applied for, i had no other expectations than what i previously experienced while working on something. Despite my expectations, here I felt in a kind of safe space, where I felt that I could allow myself not to worry about the outcome of the initial project, but to follow my intuition to discover how this interests will materialise. From this point on a kind of journey started that affected me in ways that I most probably wont be able to describe with full value. 

I worked mostly at nights. There’s something in this quiet and dark environment which allows me to perceive things separately where information are not melting into each other so I can make a deeper connection to my surroundings. I can simultaneously hear and feel myself breathing even if I don’t put too much attention to it, there’s an awareness on how my clothes behave while moving and I can tell when the tram 60 is passing by the station two blocks away from the big studio. On the movement part of my research I’ve been working with these kinds of sensory memories, selecting and focusing on them and let them merge into sensations that were unique for me. Amongst others I used self-inflicted pain as one kind of stimulus to wich I could not control my bodies reaction. And through repetition of this in different contexts, I wanted to observe, memorise and learn my bodies intuitive response to it. I think there is something beautiful in the level of honesty and reality pain and other physical reactions causes wether it’s experienced or observed. Working with these different sensations inspired a number of short moments and scenes that might find place in my works in the future. 

The daytime was more about collecting for me. I studied about the things that interested me, reaching out to scientist and doctor friends to give me accessible information or book recommendations on these topics. Sharing and contesting the ideas i planed for the evening sessions with the other residents and with my collaborator were also a great way to understand them better. It was also the time to literally collect items, sounds and other materials for the night, where I would try out images, scenes and concepts from a bit more stage-design angle, that came to my mind during the day. 

Lake Studios has a high awareness on sustainability and environment friendliness. You can see how much effort was put into making this highly functional space do as little harm as possible to the environment. Thus creates a living space where you can live up to these expectations and inspires you in your work. I used sustainable printing methods on the notions of memory. I used the plants in the garden to make photosensitive solution for this work. In connection to memory, encoding and representation, I was interested how much information in the process of inheritance gets lost and how to try replacing them. I manipulated images trying to influence the perception of the spectator in a way to generate associations that effects their somatic response. Although i love photography, i struggle transferring the complexity of a moment in one “un-manipulated” frame. The effort and struggle of trying to recreate a moment that has passed is a process that I value a lot in this method. 

The project I and my collaborator applied for the residency was to create a kind of signing communication system where unlike sign language, we would strictly follow the structure and grammar of spoken language, using the alphabetical nature of it and translate them into non-static full body movements that would make it possible to translate a complex text to a dancelike sequence. We used film as a tool for differentiating the punctuation of sentences, thus making a “video library” for creating an online “movement translator” in the future, where one could translate a text to a movement-film sequence. The aim of the research is not to create a better functioning language but to mirror the existing one in a precise manner that approaches communication in the same abstract way as language does. One theory of the evolution of human language states that it developed first as a gestural system, which later shifted to speech. However the cause of the shift to vocalization is still unclear. By shifting speech to a movement-film system which still carries the complexity of written structure but in a way further abstracting it with cinematographic tools and with the body as a tool that could have been an intuitive communicator, our goal is to rase questions around the necessity, boundaries and freedom that language carries. It has been quite a challenging task to develop the movement vocabulary and to shoot the video material for this project. I’m looking forward to continue working and developing this text to movement translator, but unfortunately the editing and programming of the gathered material can’t be finished in the premises of Lake Studios.

It has been a great pleasure to work in such an inspiring environment for six weeks. 


26.11.2021


Flávio Rodrigues Oct/Nov 2021

Laivos | Ante improvisos e ressonâncias + info: www.flaviorodrigues.info

Anna Castillo & Marti Cobera · Pilotprojekt Oct/Nov 2021


Hi everyone, my name is Anna Castillo.

I am a choreographer and Flamenco dancer based between Berlin and Barcelona. 

I had the privilege to grow up between Chile, USA, Germany and South Africa. The constant movement of my body with the clashing of cultural phenomena have deeply shaped my identity. Through living transnationally in-between and around boarders this lifestyle has shaped my interest of new forms of moving but also lead up to questioned already existing ones. Personally I think this is the main reason that has lead me to my research in investigating the space in-between Flamenco and Contemporary dance. Because I have kind of always lived in-between space. 

The first two weeks I have looked into floor work with Marti Corbera. Marti Corbera and I share both the same dance background, from an early age on our identity has been shaped by Flamenco but foud ourselves within time to fid more and more interest into contemporary dance. 

Its been interesting to see which difficulties and advantages our body and minds shaped by Flamenco have to offer:

There is a strong attachment to rhythmical pattern, which is very difficult let to ignore. Event if we try to. Each time we worked with music our impulse to move with the rhythm became bigger and bigger. We have been so strongly conditioned to understand rhythm its its smallest detail, that ignoring it become actual difficult task. 

We found a very big difference in doing same exercise with and without flamenco shoes. There is an immediate change in presence and corporal feeling, when we put our shoes on. Already the shift of gravity in the entire body changes and therefore also the movement. But also years of training and associations seem to come up as well. I dont know if I have ever understood or questioned before the symbolic weightor meaning and physical affects these shoes have on my movement.

I would say the use of Flamencoshoes showed us what an actual mental burden into movement languages it was. 

One challenge we faced was to move a liquid as possible by interconnecting our bodies on the floor. To put this into a context as a Flamenco point of view: A) as a flamenco dancer you usually never lie on the floor and B) you also never touch another person. That meant it was quite a challenge.

 

For instance we practiced this sequence for serval days, how to improvise together in this unsusal form for us. After finding a comfort level of liquidness of movement, we tired to use the shoes.  For me suddenly the entire excercise felt like we had to start from 0. 

The use of flamenco shoe had completely changed the corporal experience. First it was difficult to find balance and grasp on the floor. Second eventhough we have become great in moving together,  I suddenly had a big fear to hit Marti with the one of the shoes / foot even though it had never occurred before. It was more the  unusualness of this actuation which had become our biggest challenge. 

Flamencos main fascination to me its the improvisation skills. Most People don’t know this about Flamenco, but it’s a highly improvised dance. If you ever go to see a Flamenco show (tablao) in Spain half of the dance performance will probably be improvised. Its an improvisation with a certain type of structure and loose rules between dancer and musicians.

Therefore we tried to take our improvisations skills into the floor and in the communication between each orther,

to be continued …










Joni Barnard, Elisa Purfürst, Fergus Johnson, Azzie McCutcheon – Aug 2021

when we are 4 we are a mess…

Residenzförderprogramm Pilotprojekt

 

We are a multi-directional, multi-talented group of queer creatures. We are excited by non-hierarchical and consensual approaches to communication and creative processes. We are insisting on them! We are creating them through practice and research. 

In our residency we focused on researching the possibilities of dance and image through collective, filmic and physical practices. What are our desires and interests? What sparks in us? What makes us wet? 

We are aware that extreme acts of violence can happen at an interpersonal level – we are committed to not taking this for granted. We began our process with a three day Consent Workshop and collectively posed the following important questions to hold us throughout our time together. We are inspired by Báyò Akómoláfé’s honouring of ‘the presence of questions’. We think of questions as tools for navigation rather than something to be answered:

What about Boundaries?

Have we framed things Clearly where possible?

Have we honoured the Goddesses of Trickery and Play?

Do we feel safe in our discomfort?

Have we checked in + out? (Do we always have to check?) 

Have we de-briefed?

Have we asked the right wrong questions?

What about the our AFTER-CARE?

What was: 

  • Joyous? 
  • Liberating? 
  • Uncomfortable?
  • Overstepping?
  • Uncanny?
  • Interesting?

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Who are we?

Joni Barnard is excited by Queer and Trickster approaches to life and work; practices of consent and radical liberation. Joni is a Berlin based rap and dance artist, live performer, choreographer, dramaturg and cultivator of embodied activism. They are adventurous and wild and find extreme joy in collaboration, experimentation and play! They create subversive work that encourages people to reflect on identity politics and sociopolitical issues. Joni believes this is culturally important for generating self awareness, improving interpersonal relations and igniting transformation. 

Elisa Purfürst‘s Arbeiten sind im Bereich Film und Video angesiedelt. Zudem erforscht Elisa Medien, wie Papier, Malerei und Performance, hierbei gilt das Interesse immer der Beziehung zum Bewegtbild als Praxis. Elisa entwickelt seit mehreren Jahren eigene Arbeiten mit dem Fokus auf queer-feministische Kontexte, wirkt als Kollaborateur:in in einer Reihe von Projekten mit und arbeitet als Editor:in zusammen mit internationalen Künstler:innen. Durch digitale und analoge zeitbasierte Arbeitsprozesse und unter Einbindung dokumentarischer Real-Ereignisse untersucht Elisa die De- und Rekonstruktion von Geschlechtervorstellungen und kultiviert lesbische Sichtbarkeit. Die entstehenden Arbeiten laden die Betrachtenden ein, sich alternative Handlungsweisen außerhalb normativer Strukturen vorzustellen.

Fergus Johnson is a queer artist, movement practitioner and dramaturg based in Berlin. They are interested in bodies, specifically how the body is imagined, created and transformed through physical, relational and intellectual processes. They are also interested in myth, metaphor and magic. They are currently thinking a lot about the idea of a collective self, a self that is positioned in opposition to the isolated individual and sovereign capitalist self. This collective self is practised through collaboration with friends and colleagues, for example Joni Bernard, Naïma Mazić and Azzie McCutcheon, Elisa Purfürst and Zuzana Žabková. At the moment they are feeling very inspired by the MUSCHIMUSCHI queer-feminist tarot deck.

Azzie McCutcheon is a Berlin based dance artist interested in performance as transformation: a place for the sharing, exchanging, understanding and developing of human experience. Creating as dancer, choreographer, movement practitioner and teacher, her work spans different performative styles including performance installation, physical theatre, dance comedy, dance film, contemporary dance and fusion belly dance. Recurrent themes of research include perception, blurring boundaries and the spaces in between, the uncanny, and creating character and narrative through physicality. Most of her work aims not to create linear narrative, but rather endeavours to invite the possibility of engaging or affecting an audience on a visceral level. 

.

tasks and titles

Departing from a place of non-hierarchy and non-singular vision, we wove our imaginations, resources, tools and strategies together through collective mind mapping. We made a mess! It’s satisfying, it’s takes a long time, it’s rewarding, it’s fucking exhausting! And then, through highlighting, cutting, piling up, categorising, de-categorising and making some hard choices, we created a deck of cards to draw from. Through task-based choreography, improvisation, a camera, a lot of humour and a Vocal Processor, we created scenes, sketches and vignettes.

Tasks and Titles

poisonous pills
not-true confessions
naught to a hundred revolting taste in your mouth
naught to a hundred pushing
delicious opera
daddy has spoken
yawning, licking humming soundscape
slow motion battle royal – no gunpowder allowed
kink stimulation
gibberish negotiations
south mouth cloaca
our body is sometimes many
the category is, “don’t fuck with me”
moving from memory
moving from memory with gestures only
swallowing and un-swallowing
beloved predators
slow hug
gnuallomps
body of bedbugs
elio’s brother’s neighbour’s dick

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reflections

During the final experimental phase of this residency we explored various approaches and constellations of creating performative scenes from our deck. These were generated as a group through tasks, later exchanging roles of observer, director, performer etc. For each new task a specific camera angle or position was chosen. During the last days we recollected previous experiments, revisiting tasks or moments we wished to explore deeper and develop. These include:

  • not-true confessions​ ​
  • yawning licking and humming​ ​
  • swallowing and un-swallowing​ ​
  • embodying a revolting taste​ ​
  • delicious opera

Outcome: the mouth as a focal point and theme.

We imagine a 30-40 minute live performance that includes projected image, live feed and live sound scores using the Vocal Processor.

Questions:

  • What moments continue to spark for us?​ ​
  • What thematic or practical threads emerge?​
  • How can we refine these?​ ​When will we meet again?
  • When is the next application deadline?​
  • ​When is our next residency?

Emma Waltraud Howes – Aug 2021

Bang Bang Baroque (2021), 3D models and VR from maquettes, Photo: Daniel Neubacher (Bremen)
‘It is indecent to make a gesture with your left hand alone, do not let your hand hang down as if lame or dead.“ 

—Thomas Betterton, 1700

Bang Bang Baroque (WIP)

Bang Bang Baroque consists of a series of sixteen graphite drawings that explore a conflation between The Great Sparrow Campaign, which was a part of Mao Zedongs’ intention to exterminate sparrows during The Great Leap Forward (1958–1962); French caricatures of baroque wigs from the 18th century; ‘soft head-banging’ and classical gestures of rhetoric (Chironomia). The drawings are translated into large inflatable sculptures made from parachute silk and worn by performers who, moving amidst the guests, oscillate between psychological and material concepts of “subject” and “object”. The physical actions of the performers range from “soft head-banging” to a repertoire of traditional gestures from baroque opera and contemporary mannerisms of etiquette.

The graphic scores for the performance, the performers and floor of the space, are informed by the Beauchamp-Feuillet (1700) system of dance notation, combined with the aesthetic and evolution of artichoke hearts. The accompanying soundtrack, comprised of a death growling chorus, metronome aria’s, sparrow gabber, and harpsichord diddies, will function as a musical translation of the original drawings.


This work is currently being developed through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Emma Waltraud Howes · August 2021

Every morning I wake up to the snails. They are swept up in my

Bang Bang Baroque (WIP)

‘It is indecent to make a gesture with your left hand alone, do not let your hand hang down as if lame or dead.“

— Thomas Betterton, 1700

Energetic Pessimist (after Kristeva): Performer I (2019), Pencil on paper, 70 x 50 cm, Photo: Trevor Good (Berlin)
The Narcissist or Elsa’s Muse: Performer III (2019), Pencil on paper, 70 x 50 cm, Photo: Trevor Good (Berlin)
Aktualnerosen: Performer II (2019), Pencil on paper, 70 x 50 cm, Photo: Trevor Good (Berlin)

Bang Bang Baroque consists of a series of sixteen graphite drawings that explore a conflation between The Great Sparrow Campaign, which was a part of Mao Zedongs’ intention to exterminate sparrows during The Great Leap Forward (1958–1962); French caricatures of baroque wigs from the 18th century; ‘soft head-banging’ and classical gestures of rhetoric (Chironomia). The drawings are translated into large inflatable sculptures made from parachute silk and worn by performers who, moving amidst the guests, oscillate between psychological and material concepts of “subject” and “object” while the forms expand and sway above their heads. The physical actions of the performers range from “soft head-banging” to a repertoire of traditional gestures from baroque opera and contemporary mannerisms of etiquette.

A series of graphic scores for the performance illustrate the paths that the dancers and music composition take, and will be drawn as a map on the ground with vinyl for the floor of the museum. These notations are based upon the Beauchamp-Feuillet (1700) system of dance notation, combined with the aesthetic of artichoke hearts. The accompanying soundtrack, comprised of a death growling chorus, metronome aria’s, sparrow gabber, and harpsichord diddies, will function as a musical translation of the original drawings

Bang Bang Baroque (2021), 3D models and VR from maquettes, Photo: Daniel Neubacher

I chose to focus on Baroque gestures due to their significance in communicating hierarchies: ‘It is indecent to make a gesture with your left hand alone, do not let your hand hang down as if lame or dead.“ (Thomas Betterton, 1700). Paradoxically, I am inspired by head-banging and its anti-conformist movements. By this juxtaposition of symbols, cultural hierarchies will be thematized. I have developed ‘soft head-banging’ as a deliberate reference to the vigorous head-banging of the death metal scene, but with an emphasis on care of the body. Using the floor as a tether, movement is transferred up through the spine in an undular fashion so that the entire body is contributing to a fountaining of movement. Contrasted by an analysis of the ‘Beauchamp-Feuillet‘ system of dance notation (baroque), the vibrational repetition of “soft-head-banging” will be used to dislodge and release classical gestures of rhetoric in a vigorous manner. What traditions need to be deracinated so that something new can emerge? What does a ‘new baroque’ look like?










Irina Baldini · Aug 2021

The work emerging from this month of residency at LAKE is rooted in a fluid methodology for choreographic improvisation (namely ATE, acronym for Accountable Temporary Expedients), developed first on myself and later with a core group of performers. The practice revolves around an embodiment of tasks leading up to psycho-physical states of Doubt and Confusion. 

During the residency I focused mainly on realising the following:

a performance installation that includes image, sound and movement/drawing interventions.
a sound composition derived from elements informing of the installation
a book of photographic images emerging from the practice
a class-structure to disseminate my practice outside of a performance context, guiding dancers and non to familiarise with basic principles of ATE.


I worked mostly solo, with the contribution of production assistant Simona Piras, using the ATE methodology as a generative set of instruments that prepare the body for a process of composition and real-time composition.

On this particular project, the choreographic process keeps the body as a subject of events, but does not focus on movement as the sole output:
Movement in this case is the source which provokes side effects. These are manifested as drawing, text, sound, photography, and the use of voice.

In the emergence of these, I am looking for the urge to install a relationship of feedback between witness or participant to the performance, when movement is principally an essential initiation for other forms of expression to take shape. A feedback-loop provoked by movement, instigating responses, generating other traces, reshaping space and presence.

The daily practice involves movement, writing, drawing, photography, speech or vocalising. What may result from my exploration of multiple mediums are an opportunity for me to engage in a dialogue with the elements constituting a work (the materials and the ephemerals, the paper, the body, the imagination, the fleetingness of sound) in real time, around an audience.



The outcome is a composition of these elements, made and being made by the circumstance and the relation to one another / who may interact with them.



The work – presented as a performance installation – is composed and rearranged in real time, through its various elements. Visitors are invited to interfere with these, provoking changes in space and relations.

Alongside the application of ATE for movement and the generation of side effects, I invited guest dancers to enter in contact with this way of engaging with the body of work, as an opportunity to research into communicating the practice to those who may not be familiar with its lenguage yet.


To introduce them to the practice, I used a set of cards designed based on the ATE methodology, and invited them to play with suggested tasks, notions, triggers and distortions (more on the ATE deck HERE)

The residency has been made possible with the support of 4bid gallery and of production assistant Simona Piras.

Rachell Bo Clark · June 2021

Forgetting Rainbows

JUNE:

***

Before I can reflect on what I am communicating through my gestures or speech, my body always already creates the feeling of being-with; it expresses itself through attitude and gestures, and at the same time reacts to the impressions of others. This “intercorporeality” (Merleau-Ponty 2003, 256) forms an overriding, inter-subjective system in which, from childhood on, forms of bodily interaction are established and constantly updated anew. It comprises the self and the others, the conscious and the unconscious: “I do not need to look for the others elsewhere, I find them within my experience, they dwell in the niches which contain what is hidden from me but visible to them” (Merleau- Ponty 1974, 166).

***

And we are standing here, noticing the feeling of our feet against the surface.  Feeling the pull of gravity has it pushes us down, softly.. our feet connect to this floor and I close my eyes and imagine what is under… the layers of material under the floor boards, the pipes and metal, nails, the roof from the floor bellow and then the space…. I am floating here on the second floor.  A pocket of air under me, I breath part of it in.. breathing in my space.  And then there is more wood, more fibres, more pipes – plastic, and a little cold space – concrete space of foundation which is difficult to penetrate but easy to imagine, it sit there over the earth, dampening slowly but never changing its form. I sense the earth, its ruff and sandy texture, we are near water and you can feel it’s ripeness for giving and sharing and holding.  Remember the rain, as you watched from the window those big drops slashing and erupting like tiny gunshots against the garden beds, your outstretched hand not feeling the wetness but rather the rhythm – so instant, the drops raining down like a crying child, out of the sky.  The lithosphere.. the epidermis..  the container of my body and yours.  Hold me together and please don’t let me fall apart.  

***

As I lift my arm, I notice a tiny Beatle that is crawling towards my wrist, I resist the urge to shake it off and watch it as it moves between and over my freckles.  My wings are flapping now and the flowers in the garden have gone to sleep, there was movement in the sky and I remember saying goodbye.  Down on the pier, you waved as the ship left the dock, a white handkerchief in your hand.. we will see each other again.. because I dream of your so often.  Take my hand and I will pull you with me.  I am stronger now from working in the orange orchard, I have gained back my strength.  I can can hold you with me.  Come under this tent that I call home for now.  Look how beautiful it is, how the light only half penetrates the surface… your look purple – the light is making your skin glow.. If we close our eyes and be quiet we could stay here, live here, be safe here. I thinking about the moment we were born, pushed out of that dark hole, it was so shocking, all the bright lights, entering the stage but I did not want to be the main attraction… I just wanted to be the back up dancer.. put me back in the shadows where I will crawl and thrive quietly. 

***

A STUDY ON SPACE

Can you imagine the space between your eyes

Can you imagine the space that fills the nostrils 

Image and sense the space that fills the lips 

Can you imagine the space that fills the tongue 

Can you Imagine and sense the space that fills the whole mouth, tongue teeth gums lips 

Can you Imagine and sense the space that fills the brain 

Can you Imagine the throat.. imagine the space that fills the neck

Can you imagine and sense the distance between your shoulders

And now imagine and sense the space that fills the shoulders 

Can you imagine the length and the volume of your arms

Can you imagine and sense the space that fills your thumb

Can you imagine the space that fills for fore-finger

Can you imagine and sense the space between the thumb and the forefinger

Can you imagine and sense the space that fills the middle finger

Can you imagine and sense the space that fills the ring finger 

Can you imagine the space that fills the little finger, the pinky

Can you imagine the space that fills all the fingers and the space between

Can you imagine space between the palms and the back of the hands

Can you imagine the space that fills the whole hand

Can you imagine the space that fills the heart

Can you imagine the distance between either side of your chest

Can you imagine the distance between the breast bone and the spine 

Can you imagine and sense that fills the whole cavity of the chest

Can you imagine the distance between the sides of your waist

Can you imagine the distance between the belly button and the spine

Can you imagine the space that fills the whole abdominal cavity 

Can you imagine the length and the volume of your legs. 

Can you imagine the space that fills the feet

Can you imagine the space that fills the whole body 

Can you imagine the interior space from which all sensations are arising 

Can you imagine the space that extends beyond your right side, out beyond the most distance stars

Can you imagine the space that extends beyond your left side, out beyond the most distance stars

Can you imagine the space in-front of you, that extends out beyond the most distance stars

Can you imagine the space behind you, that extends out beyond the most distance stars

Can you imagine the space in-front of you and behind you, that extends out beyond the most distance stars

Can you imagine the space below you, extending out beyond the most distance stars

Can you imagine the space above you extending out beyond the most distance stars

And can you imagine that, the vastness of outer space and the vastness of inner space are continuous

Can you image that this continuous space is full

Can you image that this continuous full space is the space of your sensing body 

Can you image that everything that arrises, is part of this awake space

Can you image that everything belongs: sensations, feelings, sounds, thoughts, in this awake boundless space

Can you imagine that this full and sensing space, holds and listens to all that arrises within it. 

JULY

Prologue: 

I want to take you into my body.  Into its depths, into its painful, pleasurable and elastic parts.  

I want you to take another breath in with my lungs and feel how my body expands differently to yours.. how my body collapses in subtle ways as we exhale, how my breath taste and how warm it is in here. 

Music stops:

I want you stay for a while.  I give you my consent to be here.  To exist here and come with me on this trip through my layers.  

Lets begin.. Allowing ourselves to sense the fields of perception and fantasy through our encounter with our bodies past, present and future.

Ending:

And as if she had duplicated herself, I see many bodies.. arching and dipping in an endless clockwork rotation, contained in the central sphere, never daring to exit the light.  The more they dance, the more bodies appeared.. opaque bodies, old bodies, lost bodies capturing the movement each time in their own special way and then letting it disappear to become new again and again and again..  

until the dance was so familiar that we could join, join this dance from anywhere.. closing our eyes and remembering the feeling of her breath with yours, it takes you here so we can dance together. Existing together or just be here.. with all of us.   

Keep your eyes closed and listen along with me, notice how the shadows play across your eyelids.  Notice how it’s getting colder.  Put your hand on mine and let’s take a breath and say goodbye. 

Azzie McCutcheon · June 2021

June 17th: introduction

Hello all!

I am a dance artist living and working in Berlin since 2015. Originally completing a BA in drama in the UK I shifted my focus into dance and later completed an MA in Choreography. Since then i furthered my training in contemporary dance (as well as becoming a fusion belly dancer) and have spent the last years developing my practices as dancer, teacher, movement practitioner and choreographer. Within the contemporary dance scene, I have worked in a variety of projects across multidisciplinary fields including dance theatre, dance film, dance comedy, audio-visual performance, performance installation as well as plain old dance. My own choreographic work currently focuses on topics of perception, illusion, the uncanny, and creating performances that endeavour to affect a particular state in an audience.

As this residency is just 10 days, rather than work toward a current project, i have decided to work on developing one of my practices. Since Covid i have spent a lot of time alone in the studio, and took the time to deepen, fine-tune and clarify my practices as movement practitioner. These are currently: moving body awareness and intent, working ‘with’ or ‘against’ gravity coming up and down/into and out of the floor and sequencing through the body, and working with movement qualities/tensions).

Now I feel drawn to research and develop a practice that has emerged from a few different paths that led me here. During a residency last year I worked on a project called Limbus. I developed a choreographic practice using recorded voice; syncing and dislocating the voice from its associated mouth movement through abstraction/manipulation of movement and gesture. The aim in this project was to create an ‘uncanny’ sense about the performer: creating movement and voice that seemed familiar, yet strange. However i realised this use of voice, movement and text is something that can also be used in the creation of a character. During the last few years I have also been working with artist Fergus Johnson in a ‘dance comedy’ duo, in which we developed practices working the creation of character through physicality.

These paths, alongside a background in Butoh and finally referring back to that drama degree, I feel the pull now to explore elements of voice, text, gesture and facial expression within movement in the development of character and narrative. I am very much at the start of this particular journey, so at this point i could not tell you what research ‘title’ this will fit under, and thus far i assume it sits as both a choreographic practice as well as a movement practice. During this residency I will therefore create task-based exercises to explore these topics which i will update on this blog, along with my findings, to research, discover and begin to establish this practice…Let’s see what happens!

“The idea you need will spring out of nowhere when you need it”

Jonathan Burrows (The Choreographers Handbook)

June 20th : creating character (and character physicality) from text

The last two days in the studio i spent exploring some tasks created by Dorinda Hulton, a wonderful professor and performance-maker i had the pleasure of working with 12 years ago (amazing what helpful notes you find from so many years past!) These tasks were combined and adapted from The Actor as Storyteller by Mile Alfreds, and The Art of Fiction by David Lodge, and focus on creating character from text.

The first task was to create 3 texts including the description of a character (past tense), a memory from that character (present tense) and an interior monologue of that character, and then to work physically with features from these texts.

The exercise that i spent most time working with was to explore physical ways of ‘becoming’ an image in a metaphor i had written in the interior monologue. The made up character that was born that day was a successful woman in her 40’s, an architect, who sits at the same cafe every morning drinking her espresso and smoking a cigarette, and is somehow feeling unsure about her life’s decisions. (I’m not sure how i sit with this character and the texts i wrote but for now i put aside these doubts and continued to use her to research the task!)

The key metaphor that has arisen in the text was:

“I can feel the cogs turning and the clock ticking, as i return to this spot every day. To sit in someone else’s seat and drink someone else’s coffee. Holding myself up, one hand to lift the coffee, the other to make me smile”

I explored this physically until i found a quality i felt was interesting. I then abstracted this further, using change of speed, repetition, change of position and plane, to see what came up. I found it was interesting to find moments of abstraction mixed with glimpses of more naturalistic moments (and I noticed how rhythm also became important in this experiment):

It was interesting for me to do these tasks as 10 years ago it would have been a more familiar way to work for me when i was an actress: creating movement from a character or text. However having spent the last decade working as a dancer, it was exciting to work this way again, using text and character as impetus, but with added knowledge as a dancer allowing me to develop it further into a higher physicality. I was curious what would happen if I took this sequence off the chair, so took the key part of this movement quality (hands picking up and placing the body) and through improvisation took it into a more physical sequence, where the key feature became the hands giving impulses to the body and allowing that impulse to send the body through space:

The key finding in this first two days was the vast potential movement has to convey an inner sensation or key aspect of a character, however abstract, and especially in a way speech cannot (of course, the essence of the genre of physical theatre). It excites me to work with this idea in finding juxtapositions between speech and movement: e.g. a naturalistic face and speech juxtaposed with abstract movement, or vice versa, or perhaps an inner sensation of a character conveyed through movement and not through speech. I am also excited about the potential to take these findings into a very physical direction; having the option of working both with gesture and more pedestrian movement, as well as high physicality.

June 23rd: creating character from physicality

The last few sessions i have worked with creating character from physicality. First of all i determined what physical attributes make up someone’s characteristics. I decided these to be:

  • facial expression
  • gesture or mannerism
  • gait

I then created tasks with the aim of creating a character from one of the above. For my experiments i focused on using facial expression as a starting point (though i believe the same tasks could be used using one of the others as the initial impetus).

I created 3 random facial expressions, careful not to think about a character already, just physically creating something, and came up with these: (i’m pretty sure this exercise alone has increased my wrinkles by 50%..!):

I then chose for each 2 things: the first character archetype that came into my head, as well as a word relating to the physical sensation occurring for me when doing these expressions. (I decided to use a physical sensation in order to help me deepen a physicality later, rather than choosing e.g. an emotion the face depicted):

  • Expression 1: ‘The jolly drunk’ – ‘lifting’
  • Expression 2: ‘The grumpy old man’ – ‘creasing’
  • Expression 3: ‘The busy-body’ – ‘forward’

Then i created for each a gesture and a frozen pose for each, and then a gait by applying the physical sensation of the facial expression to the rest of the body (lifting / creasing / forward):

From these i also wrote down more adjectives and thought about what body part became somehow a strong feature. For example, for expression 2: ‘the grumpy old man’ i wrote down: crushed, boney, rocking, hunched, key body feature: shoulders ‘.

The next step was to find a higher physicality for each character. For each i took time to develop a movement quality through improvisation using the list of adjectives, main body feature, and any sense of character that felt apparent so far. I also began to create a movement vocabulary for each. The following video is the movement quality i found for ‘The grumpy old man’:

Lastly, now these 3 characters seemed much more established in their essence, i was interested in how it is possible to play between performing a more ‘naturalistic character’ and performing this character purely physically. I therefore set up improvisations for each character. The task was to begin as a naturalistic character, and gradually go from 0-100% into physicality from there.

One discovery was that what i meant by ‘a naturalistic character’ was not how this person might be if i met them in real life, but more how they would be if they were performed by an actress in a play: a ‘theatrical naturalistic character’. Of course as I am dealing with character ‘archetypes’, already aspects of each character are somewhat enlarged, and this was important to recognise as i realise now that one of my over-all aims in this research is how to bring out key features of a character through physicality. Also during this exercise speech came easily for ‘the jolly drunk’ and ‘the busy-body’ which helped distinguish the character even more, and for ‘the grumpy old man’ not speech but sound came easily, a kind of grumbling mumbling under the breathe. (This reminded me of work i have previously made in my collaboration with Fergus Johnson, creating grotesque characters using sound/talking gobbledigook which is a practice that i feel could definitely also further this work in a very interesting way).

I then made an improvisation for each character, combining my discoveries so far, including abstracting gesture and facial expression, gait, movement quality, movement vocabulary, and the ‘theatrical naturalistic’ character for each.

These investigations were really interesting to see how a character can come from physicality, in this case, merely from a facial expression as a starting point. It also made me aware of character archetypes and made me fascinated in how we have constructed these (e.g also how they are often very related to gender as well as other social constructs: e.g. my initial immediate sense of the jolly drunk was ‘the jolly drunk man’ and the ‘the busy-body’ seemed immediately to be a woman, which immediately opened up many questions).

One other question i am left with is how far can i go into pure physicality and still retain an idea of the character? For example i felt i was aiming to find a really high physicality or kind of ‘pure dance’ (whatever that means) for each character, feeling that i could go even more physical but for some reason wasn’t managing it. However i did not want to ‘just dance’ as then it would somehow become ‘dancing for the sake of it’ and would lose the sense of the character all together. As such i realised that of course the character for each archetype was so entangled in the physicality from its very birth, that to go ‘too far’ into ‘pure dance’ might threaten losing the sense of character, which of course is contrary to the main concerns of this research.

It has of course highlighted the possibility of mixing both more gestural, pedestrian movement and higher physicality for a character, and how these are both possible strategies in how i can bring out key aspects or features of a character through physicality.

June 25th: working with physical juxtapositions

After discovering that physicality can bring out an inner sensation of character near the beginning of the residency (see blog entry June 2t0th ), for the next stage of my research i chose to work with juxtapositions of physicality, and how these can bring out an inner sensation, thought or feeling of a character.

I created a new character using the same text-creation exercises i used in my first tasks (see post June 20th). I deliberately chose a character that was experiencing a sense of conflict with a decision he had made, in order to investigate how i can bring out this inner feeling or sensation physically. I worked with actions, metaphors and similes that i had written in the text, e.g.:

“My stomach twists and turns. I feel a weight on my chest. A chest that pulls me down into this chair, the chair where my Father sat. How this shirt chokes me, i cannot take it off, it wraps around my body like a rope, tightening with every breath”

First I explored these physically, creating gestures from the actions in the text and a small physical vocabulary / movement qualities from the metaphors/similes:

  • gesture of biting nails, putting coffee on a table, looking to the side
  • twisting arms and legs
  • pushing and pulling
  • repetitive sinking from the chest
  • an agitated quality (started from twiddling of thumbs, took into legs and into whole body)
  • using an actual shirt to constrict body parts/wrap around me and take this into movement

I also created some movements based on the sense of greed. The idea here was that the main character is feeling guilty about a decision he made involving keeping some extra inheritance money and not divulging this information to his brother. Therefore i realised that this character is experiencing a sense of revolt and disgust at himself at his actions, feeling like an awful person full of greed. So i explored with physically creating this character of ‘greed’ which was grotesque and quite ‘slimey’, and created a short movement vocabulary related to this character.

With these elements i then explored how to physically juxtapose different body parts. For example:

  • the agitated quality only in my arm or leg, or feet, while the rest of the body ‘naturalistic’
  • a ‘naturalistic’ face but the rest of the body twisting or sinking
  • a ‘naturalistic’ body but the agitated quality or greed character showing in the face

I developed this to create a short sequence, also speaking some of the text at the same time, or recording some of the text and playing during the sequence (i will continue to work with the voice in the final phase of the residency):

My findings during these tasks gave a lot of potential in ways one can bring out the inner thoughts or feelings of a character, or sense of inner conflict, or that something is hidden or being surpressed. Three moments that stood out were:

  • The physical action of tying a shirt around my body whilst speaking a monologue where the character describes that he has made the right choice and is fine with is decision (this was an interesting use of metaphoric imagery – another idea adopted from Dorinda Hulton)
  • All the body as ‘naturalistic’ as a character sitting in a chair, apart from the arm or leg only taking on the agitated movement quality
  • moments of the character of greed ‘coming out’ physically (juxtaposed to the physicality of the main character

June 26th: working with voice

The final phase during my residency was to explore characters using movement and voice. The aim of this was to explore how the use of live voice and recorded voice combined with movement can bring out key aspects of a character.

For this task i went back to work with two of the 3 character archetypes i invented previously (see blog entry June 23rd): ‘the grumpy old man’ and ‘the jolly drunk’.

I revisited the physical vocabulary that i had found for each, and whilst doing so i explored what speech came up naturally. I then chose a few sentences for each and explored combining the movement quality and vocabulary i had for each whilst speaking these 3 sentences live. I abstracted both the speech and the movement using repetition, change of speed and level/direction (movement only). I was particularly interested in what combinations could bring out key elements or features of the character, for example for ‘the jolly drunk’ repeating the movement of lifting the belly whilst speaking the sentence “i ‘ave lager on a Tuesday, cider on a Wednesday” enhanced what was being said by exaggerating a part of the body that its associated with. I also felt using a lot of repetition worked well with this character’ as a drunk person will repeat what they say continuously forgetting they already said it:

Juxtapositions also came into play during these investigations. For example, when exploring this task with ‘the grumpy old man’ some interesting ideas came forth as I experimented speaking as that character 30 years before, alongside the physicality of a now grumpy old man.

I then wanted to investigate how i could use recorded voice combined with live movement, and how this might bring out key features of the character. I began this practice last year during a residency for the project Limbus, specifically using the abstraction of movement alongside abstracted recorded voice (abstracted in pitch, speed e.t.c) with the aim of producing a strange yet familiar: ‘uncanny’ sensation. Now i wanted to explore using the same techniques to investigate different combinations of recorded speech and movement, however the aim now was to see if it could bring out particular features of the character, or what effect was produced.

Due to lack of time i didn’t develop the syncing/un-syncing part much further, finding only moments of this, however i did find some interesting ways in which the abstraction and combination of movement and recorded sound created some interesting juxtapositions and dynamics that i felt began to bring out key aspects of a character. For example for ‘the jolly drunk’ i combined a freeze-frame pose with the recorded voice making a goofy laugh, followed by the repeated physical movement of chest lifting (as if laughing) with silence:

With ‘the grumpy old man’ i explored some combinations that i found quite interesting, such as repeated gesture of pointing as he says “that’s the problem with the young people of today”. This repeated physical expression during this sentence for me brought out a feature of this character: a kind of accusatory ‘i know best’ aspect of this personality. Later i found a similar effect during the repetition of the sentence “that’s the problem with the young people of today” combined with a slow-motion pointing: the repetition of the speech emphasising the character’s opinion, exaggerated by the point being in slow motion and the slow development of the facial expression. I also liked the combination of a recorded almost inaudible grumbling and mumbling sound alongside the facial expression slowly taking shape on my face. I felt the use of sound for this character worked better than having too much text, and really brought out part of the character:

My key finding during these tasks was how abstraction, combination and juxtaposition of live or recorded voice alongside movement vocabulary can indeed exaggerate or bring out key features of a character. Sometimes it may be the that it exaggerates a physical aspect, which in turn creates a sense of character, or perhaps making certain parts of the text stand out, giving an idea of the character’s opinions or feelings, or even creating a sense of the character’s situation.

June 27th: reflections

At the start of this residency i was not sure what exact term this research would sit under. During the past 10 days i have come to situate this research under the term ‘creating character through physicality’. During this time i discovered my 2 research aims to be:

  • How to emphasise or bring out key features or aspects of a character through physicality.
  • How physically show something that is usually invisible for a character, e.g. a character’s thoughts, feelings or inner sensations.

During this research the question also came up of how abstractly physical one can be whilst still retaining a sense of the character, and can it be that a more ‘dance-y’ (for want of a better word!) sequence can still contain the character one is working with.

During my last day at LAKE studios, artist and collaborator Fergus Johnson came in as dramaturg to the research thus far. One of the tasks i had been working with was using a scale of 0-100 percent, to investigate the transformation throughout the scale when ‘0’ is the ‘theatrical naturalistic character’ and ‘100’ is the high physicality movement i had developed for that character (see blog entry June 23rd). Although i found this to be a successful task, i was left questioning: can i create something even more ‘dance-y’ and yet still retain an element of the character? – or where is the boundary that the character is lost? We discovered that an interesting use of this task would therefore be to make the ‘0’ the ‘theatrical naturalistic character’ and ‘100’ to be a more specific physical task, e.g. jumping, or a particular style of dancing, in order to explore the boundaries within this scale.

Many findings came up as we explored different things as the ‘100’: including levels of intensity, visibility of movement, or seeng percentages also as different parts of the body (e.g. if the head is about 20 percent of the body so find the character only in the head). One of the most interesting tasks was investigating what happened if i was simultaneously 100 percent ‘the grumpy old man naturalistic theatrical character’, and 100 percent a ‘Gaga-esque’ movement research improvisation that is very familiar to my body:

Overall i would say my most important findings during this residency were:

  • The use of juxtaposition in the manifestation of my research aims:

One example of this would be juxtaposing snippets of more abstract physicality based on inner sensations or feelings of a character with a ‘theatrical naturalistic character’, perhaps for example a character speaking a naturalistic monologue interjected with moments of abstract physicality coming out. This creates a sense of two worlds in which the character is inhabiting being shown: an interior and exterior. Another would be the juxtaposition of movement with live or recorded voice, where perhaps the juxtaposition can bring out a specific part of a text, or an aspect or feature of a character.

  • combination and abstraction of movement and voice to bring out the research aims:

An example of this would be highlighting a key moment in a text, or a certain aspect of a character, through the abstraction of movement and voice – e.g. the repetition of a sentence combined with the slowing down of a gesture or movement. In this example, an abstract world is created, in which an abstracted version of the character is already ‘accepted’ by an audience in the more absurd world they inhibit, and in which therefore the interpretation of this character is made possible through abstraction.

  • Different ways of creating character, or creating physicality of a character according to the research aims:

An example of this would be the creation of a character from writing texts, or using a physicality to create a character, and deepening this physicality through the research of other physicalities (e.g. gait, facial expression, gesture). Another example would be using physical sensations or adjectives as a way of transforming these more pedestrian qualities into more abstract movement (e.g. a movement quality, or a movement vocabulary).

I found this residency, although short, to be very successful in manifesting the start of a new practice for me, and i am very excited to continue this research. I would like to work more with voice, e.g. investigating the creation of a character from sound. I also wish to further research the boundaries between a ‘naturalistic theatrical character’ and an abstract or ‘dance-y’ physicality or movement sequence, and to explore how such findings could be used depending on the aims, i.e. as research or in creation toward a performance.

Fergus Johnson · June 2021

fergus johnson – A WEEK OF THEM

…for A WEEK OF THEM, it’s about diving into the world of characters and personas… departing from rap – lyrical, textual but also performing a certain persona or character… diving into the work of some of my favourite artists, especially Sampa the Great and Leikeli47… seeing how they create characters, seeing how i relate to that, working on some of my lyrics, seeing how i can dance to my own poetry/rap and seeing if i can develop a sexy, provocative, juicey persona to perform with…

…Leikeli47 being a goddess:

…learning the lyrics of this song by Sampa the Great… working on my own lyrics for a song about TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists), sex, being a queer body and feeling desirable with a trans* body… working on the persona of ‘Azula Weasel’, a rapping alter-ego…

…some lyrics-in-progress to the song:

she met me at her favourite bar

told me i could be a porn star

we got in bed and things got twisted

kissed all night lips bit ‘n blistered

she called me sir i got suspicious

put her hands all in ma business

touched ma snake felt ma stiffness

said i was delicious… for a boy

i said whaaaat?

why you gotta go break the spell

why i gotta go hurt like hell

such a shame you’re narrow minded

wish my kisses could cure blindness

you say you’re a gender critical princess

i say you’re a shallow shameful hot mess

…starting performing this little rap I’ve been diving into… exploring the personal of ‘azula weasel’…

(she is a weasel – a sly, fierce, feisty, wiry, crazy dancing creature.)

(the other major component of azula weasel’s character is borrowed from the brilliant and beautiful cartoon “avatar, the last airbender”. azula is one of the main antagonists of the series and she is a brilliant combination of ruthless psychological manipulation, sheer power and brutal shade. avatar is famous for its nuanced characters and carefully plotted arcs and azula’s rise and fall is one of the many great subplots of the series. i wanted to channel especially her silver tongue and spiky femininity for my persona.)

…creating a ritualistic space in the center of the big studio:

…creating a small ritual of getting dressed to imagine one outfit the persona could wear… being drawn to the combination of leather collar, crucifix necklace and lace bra:

…inviting friends to play and saying goodbye…

azzie and irina !

…with azzie, going through some of her approaches to character and physicality that she was exploring at Lake Studios last week... with irina, playing with ropes – tying, dancing moving, dancing and tying, laughing feeling like we were in a medieval ritual…

…and then saying goodbye to lake studios for a few months at least… knowing i will be back here soon… smiling, sun on my face, looking forwards to the rest of summer…

Katarzyna Brzezinska · Apr/May 2021


I am polish artist/performer/choreographer living and working in between Freiburg-Berlin-Kassel-Wroclaw(PL). My work in Lake Studios Berlin focuses on the research towards a production of a Project “HIN.n.WEIS”, which will continue to develop into four parts : live, visual, audio and virtual.

Within this time here, I am working towards a live/live streamed performance, where I introduce my long term research on embodied/visual/dance performance and poetic body in motion, where the topic focuses from one side : on the Body seen as an archive of constantly floating through the space Informations (visible, invisible, known, unknown, real, imagined, truth and fake…) and from the other on the process of Filtering, Selecting and Decision Making.

An important place takes here as well, seeing the work through the context of NOW within an own Body and NOW within the “Body of Society” …

photo by Katarzyna Brzezinska










Katrine Staub Larsen (virtual resident) Apr/May 2021

Photo : Angelina Owino * Headpiece by me

Hello all, my name is Kat. I am a choreographer and dancer based in between Copenhagen and Berlin.

Welcome to this blog following me and my work in Copenhagen whilst being on a virtual residency at Lake Studios in Berlin. On this blog I am gonna post texts, pictures and references all related to my work and practise.

..today I am gonna share with you a text on my work that I have chosen to name ‘Hermes’. ‘Hermes’ is a container hosting and framing an ongoing engagement with my artistic practise at the moment. The text is not a conclusion to what ‘Hermes’ is or can be, but a poem and a spell that is doing its work on many layers in my work and life.

‘Hermes’ is simultaneously a performance, a drag persona and a method based artistic practise. ‘Hermes’ is mixing working with choreography, live singing, lip syncing, dragging and drawing in a search of a figure, a body and a space to live out desires and express political concerns and address the collective trauma of the genocide in Denmark and Europe during the ‘witch-trials’ especially in the seventeenth hundred. With a love for pop-culture, entertainment and for big, cathartic, high-production concert-shows, for standup, storytelling and for satire ‘Hermes’ is questioning what stageart is, can be and how it takes up space in the world. ‘Hermes’ explore how choreographic choices can be turned into containers that can embrace physical revelations and mystical epiphanies and how performances can be seen as dedications, yearnings, visualizations, political commentary and private dances. Through intimacy and flamboyancy ‘Hermes’ is trying to address human vulnerabilities as fragile material bodies, queer identities differing from an illusionary norm, bodies not fitting the structures and not living up to expectations, to efficiency. Speculating in particular upon the oppression of the body’s somatic experience of itself and the stories situated in in our collective narratives in the west on what a human body is in relation to what a non-human body is. 

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Conversation with ‘Hermes’ about songs, digging out knowledge and versions

Thank you so much for taking your time to try to knit some stories with me on this rainy May-day in Copenhagen

You are very welcome.. Also kind of enjoy this wet world right now <3

I actually just wanted to start by asking you if you would tell me about your collaboration with music and songs. You perform different songs and it makes me wonder about your reflections behind this engagement with pre-existing music.

Thank you for asking about this.. It does feel quite relevant to unfold this area. So first of all I can say that I have this deep emotional and spiritual relation to music and to songs. Specifically to the act of drama in songs. It is like a song is a little play in itself, where the voice or actor behind the song is going through a little journey. The notion of storytelling, of delivering a story through performing a song. I have a deep love for musicals, for cabarets, revue’s and the liking, since I was very little. Also I grew up in a house full of music, both being played live and also just a non-stop dj set curated by my dad. And even though he was waaaay too dominant in his way of always being the one choosing the atmosphere of the house, I got introduced to a lot of different music. Through my mom as well who is a musician and music teacher. I have been singing with her since I was a child.

Thanks for sharing that. I am seeing a bit of a connection between this storytelling aspect of a song and the singing with your mother. I am imagining both her and your own story are alive in this exchange.. what does it do to you right now when I entangle these two things?

It opens up a lot. It opens up many different aspects of the things that are important to me. With my mom, I have been singing songs that mean something to her and songs she has sung with her mom and songs from her youth. I see her stories in the songs, and those stories are also mine and a part of what made me. When singing with her, I feel we are dealing with a lot of collective trauma and questions that we share, but that are different for our different generations. Also I feel this connection you are making, points to my engagement with digging out information on the ‘witch hunt’ and ‘-trials’ in Denmark, mainly in the seventeenth hundred. It is something I have been deep into for a long time. I am feeling some sort of loss inside of me of an ancient spiritual knowledge. And I am thinking that this feeling is tracing itself back to this genocide and the oppression of every non-christian practise and just oppression of women* and queers in general. I mean many people are on this quest and engaged with these questions of digging out knowledge and I am very thankful for that.

Now I see something in what you say, about reclaiming.

Oh indeed..

..but maybe also speculating. Like how to re-evoke hidden, lost or oppressed knowledge and practises. Or create ‘new’ practises and traditions … trusting the body, its signals and fueling this connection. ..the connection to plants, goddesses, forces, spells, practises…. I feel I am just starting to dream a bit..

Yes all that. And actively dreaming, going into trance. Writing, singing, drawing. Trusting it, empowering it, question it. Do it together, in groups .. dance, sing together, play.. Read the stories written and hear the stories told.. question it, work with it..

You had me dropping the words a bit now…

Yeah… but there is also something else in regards to this that feels important for me to talk about. I am working with many different songs and I also have many questions about them and what it means to put them on stage, to cover them, to inhabit them. Questions of referencing, appropriating, representing, reclaiming… I mean, it is all depending on the song in question. And what I find interesting about working with all these different songs is also all the complexities.. Like how did women* for example express themselves in songs throughout time? And how did people in general? And what view and stories shaped the struggles and stories that were put into songs? And what shaped the expression of them.. of singers.. the clothing, the gender expression.. There are so many songs I love so dearly with very questionable lyrics. But what I find very interesting is how to work and enlighten that complexity in performing them. How to both celebrate the song and the singer and its emotionality while also bringing in the satire. The satire around the lyrics, the gender expression.. I mean this is of course very specific to each song. But a good example is my love for old folkloric songs for example sung by Joan Baez. Some of them with lyrics about over-romantically committed love, of war, of ‘beautiful women’ and ‘strong men’.. And I feel that I am dealing with how those stories and the culture around them have affected me, through performing them. Dealing with how they might support and strengthen me, how they might have been very toxic for me, what they say about the time they were written and so on..

Well, with all this you are entering now, you make me think about ‘drag’ as an artform. In this play between celebrating, making ‘fun of’, satire, commentary, politics, gender bending, the love for something complex in its context.. And I know you both lipsinck and also make your own wearable stuff. What does this artform means to you?

It means so very much to me. And I have also been thinking about this. That what I do is so informed by this and maybe just is this. And I love covering, mimicking, being a chameleon, interpreting, copying mannerisms of singers.. Celebrating pop culture, entertainment.. Revue, cabaret… I mean yes, this is what I do I guess… I also want to acknowledge the potential complications of referring to and identifying with the art and culture of drag since this artform has such a rich, beautiful, complex story. As well as a violent one, as so many, especially black queer people and particularly transwomen, have not been having the freedom to live out their truth safely, even though they are the mothers and founders of the artform. I don’t wanna pretend that I haven’t used the term ‘drag’ loosely in relation to what I do before and I wanna stress that I don’t find it a loose thing, taking up that space. And I wouldn’t be able to do any of the things I do in this regard, if it wasn’t for their expression and fight for liberation.

Yes.. Just this… and you also make me think about how so much of what we consume in Denmark (cause this is where we are right now) is north american.

Oh yes, I mean all the songs.. I always almost only do or perform songs that are either from a north american artist and in english or one in danish by a danish artist.. A few british, german.. Again, this is what I grew up with and was presented to. And obviously there are a lot of artists I wouldn’t lipsinck to or cover, because of the question of appropriation, but also you could have that critical gaze on some of the songs I do now. This is again a question from song to song.. I have also started to be very interested in scottish folk music and the lyrics and stories behind them. This connects itself to this engagement with going back to dealing with the very local story of ‘witch trials’ and of my ancestors here, kind of wanting to ask what I am made from and do some ecofemme haunting. And deal with this collective trauma of all the crimes of Denmark during times of colonialism (as if this was something from the past) and the local oppression of pre-christian spiritualities.. also I am thinking a lot of the oppression of the Sami population in the north. …. But yes… celebration, satire, honoring, dedicating, questioning, failing, yearning, reclaiming, loving, remembering to be quiet...

I saw your male-persona doing the Sting lipsinck .. I am thinking if this ‘character’ also helps you deal with toxic masculinity, anger..

Yeah I mean.. Just that, exactly that. I grew up with an abusive and chronically angry caregiver and yeah, that and the harassment I experienced in my life is being digested and dealt with in this male alter-ego. I think his name or one of his names is ‘little kitty johnny’ – and again, don’t get it twisted; He is a celebration too, and he is also charming and he is also fun. And of course I want to perform him in spaces made for consensually playing with these ‘characters’ in us, humans. Maybe he needs to become part of some dragnights.. I am new in Copenhagen, but would love to find out where those are happening. Once again, all my references of drag at the moment and are north american, as well as my favourite queens, kings and drag-performers … Also, I need to improve my makeup skills a lot! That is on the list.

And wardrobe?

Haha yes! I also desire to make more things myself. The homemade headpiece I am wearing right now is also connected to what we talked about related to songs. Like these dolls are also ideas and interpretations of what a ‘woman’ looks like.. with complexities, references and gender expressions as we talked about with songs. And I love them, and I want to honor and empower their femmeness! And honor their dresses, their knitting tools, their bucket for the cow milk, their emotional labor, their stories and songs.. also in this complexity of how a lot of this was also shaped by men and by oppressive forces.. You know it is all very complex and entangled, I don’t want to try to escape that.

Well, so much to say, but this feels sufficient for now.. Or I feel I need a mental break to be honest. Thank you so much for sharing with me.

Well, my pleasure. Also it is just all versions I guess… Like versions of songs and stories. A cover or a performance of a song is a version and a take on that song. And I believe – or I am supported by a belief in (or point of view) – that what is being created, being by humans, communities, plants or ecosystems, is all versions of the things being created…or the things occurring.. we could say.

Versions.. Yeah indeed… takes off some pressure also, right? (lol)

Yes..I mean.. what I do is a consequence of so many connections, a myriad of entanglements with loved ones and their stories and our collective stories and queer support.. and the knowledge of plants and the sun and my flesh and bones..of positions, a lot of resources and privilege, or limited resources and limited accesses depending on the context and frame.. And a lot of work done by others.. Work that is not credited.. Invisible work.. I am not trying to not take responsibility for what I do by saying this, but it is how I perceive it.

We will continue from there sometime.. may another version of this conversation occur 😉 ..take care for now, dear

Yes. You take care as well! <3

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Digging and reading

  • A small selection

With texts and images from:

Thisted museum

historie-online.dk

thymad.dk

Friplejehjemmet, Bedsted Thy

Hassing-galgebakke.dk

chr4.dk

***************

A letter to Jee – sent on the 11th of June 2020

My dearest Jee. Hope you arrived so well in Berlin and that you and Stefan are well landing in each other’s company and are surrounded by nurture, light and warm energy ❤

I wanted to share with you about a project I am working on because I feel it points to many talks i have had with you and you pop up all the time when I am working on it.. I mean you are really in it somehow and I just felt I had to share it with you. The picture you will see hereunder is of three new friends. I have come to experience them even more as such after encountering you and Stefan’s relation to our non-human friends and all the things they carry within them of wisdom and care, I already had that relation especially as a kid but meeting you and Stefan’s wording and universe around this re-evoked it in me. And then when you also craft them “yourself” (I would say that I definitely feel more like they are crafting me or crafting themselves through me) the love-bond you have to them becomes very strong. I have been wanting for a long time now to start sewing these small dolls and stuff them with different dried herbs. I also wanted to make bigger ones, make bigger series and also somehow make myself a herbal doll and get in the mix!  ..There are many longings, concerns and desires related to this project. One has to do with how knitting, sewing, weaving and many other practises and artforms have traditionally – in many cultures (but i feel i can only properly and appropriately speak about my own, scandinavian) – as women’s* work and as lowbrow practises made for making functional artefacts used in the domestic space. Whereas sculpture and painting for instance was highbrow, men’s work, divine artefacts to be put in the museums. I see this whole practise as “eco-feminist housework”. It is an honor of the domestic works, because I feel that in all these home-made, home-items made by homegoing people, there is woven the stories and songs of those people into it. It is culture! ❤ it is community, it is nurture, care, storytelling, mythology, legends, folklore, SONGS! ❤ Also it is deeply related to a philosophical project for me that is about questioning if function and aesthetic on some level could be the same thing or deeply interconnected at least. Like many plants have such an aesthetically, eroticly, poetically-pleasing appeal, and the forms and colors that I get so excited about often have a function as to for example guide raindrops into the middle of the leaf.. It is not to say that “everything needs to have a function” in a traditional capitalist sense but more the feeling that function, actions, (movement and dance) is a more complex and poetic matter than the neo-liberal mindset allows you to think about. And I am in love with works of art who have domestic functions. The blanket you wrap a baby or friend in, the cup you drink from, the pillow you sleep on, the basket you carry stuff in. The emotional labor stored in these pieces holds immense power to me! So I wanna reclaim that space and community around creating these magical and practical pieces of art! Especially ‘cause these communities and friend- and love-circles consisted of women and queer folks who were torn apart from each other and most of them burned or tortured to death as well in the part of the world I am from. I also think that one of the reasons white people  are so excited and eager to appropiate spiritual practises of non-white cultures comes from this longing for an ancient spiritual knowledge and witchcraft, cause we fucking burned all that knowledge! But I wanna believe that it is stored in us, through our art or lovemaking and our wisdom on community, healing, magic and activism! So I am trying to re-evoke this wisdom with all the complexity that comes with it and this project is a part of that engagement. I guess I call the practise “eco-feminist housework” and the projct “small herbal dolls alive”. I see the dolls as friends, amulets and I want to fill them with all of this power and specify what this power is through how I “use” them or let myself be used by them. What I want to do is connect this practise to the art of drag and I want to make hundreds of these small dolls and make them into small “clip-buttons”. Then I want to make a dress or find an old dress and sew the matching clip onto that so that all the dolls can be attached to the dress! ❤ A huge community of magical herbal dolls! I wanted as well to make a little book, like a little card-index. In this I wanted to have pictures of all the dolls and possibly give them a name, a “function” and name what herb they are filled with. And this idea made me think so much of you as well. As you and Stefan have been working so much with the issue of naming things and the very violent aspect of this in relation to colonization of places, plants, humans, groups of people, communities, mountains, buildings etc. and how this whole practise of indexing of species and their “exotic traits” carries so many deeply violent and problematic stories with it. So it makes me very busy with this issue of naming.. Naming is so powerful, it can be so violent and it can also be an act of care.. it can be a way of honoring something… It can be meant as an honor when you for example get your great grandparent’s name but it can also be a burden… there are so many intentions in namings, it is a spell! Naming holds so much power and so many stories.. So I am still asking myself. What is this naming, indexing and also sort of fetish I have with organizing stuff? There is also a very beautiful connection back to how I was naming my stuffed toys as a kid. Everything in my room had a name, and a home and address as well, so that the different toys could send letters to each other. Again. The home! This is as well a project relating back to the power of the child and the child’s imagination. So it is very crucial how I go about this naming so that it does the “right” work and also stays with the complexity of naming.. I want to dive into what practises, meditations and so on I can step into in order to let those names arrive and in order to dive into how I should tell the stories of those names and of the small herbal doll friends and their magical work and the power of emotional and spiritual labor that they hold. Important is it that this project stays aimed at decolonizing the body. And I feel I have a lot to give back in that area, and being silent and listening to the ancestral traumas…..

OMG JEE THIS WAS THE LONGEST MESSAGE!!

So there is absolutely no pressure for you to read or comment or whatever. I just really followed my desire for sharing with you quite shamelessly… And it felt really good to have that feeling of a receiver and in general I just want to continue sharing with you both artistic projects and activist projects and knowledge of decolonization. Of bodies and institutions. And also because i want to keep stressing how everything is a consequence of a myriad of emotional and poetic entanglements with other people and destabilize the idea of the artist-genius. That is why you and so many are a part of this work as all my works are never only mine.


But omg no stress reading me, just thank you for being there in the world. Endless hugs to you and Stefan ❤

-Kitty

****************

‘Hermes’ as ‘Little Kitty Johnny’

***************

the work after she left

‘fishing’
‘the work after she left (when sleeping)’
‘slowly start to do things with my hands’
‘..a beautiful knowledge passed on in a magical way’
‘a little magical creature to greet the audience of the performance’

ecofemme haunting’ in Thy, Denmark – photos by Angelina Owino

You had me dropping the words a bit now…

Javier de La Rosa Sánchez, Georgia Bettens, & Dakota Comin · Apr/May 2021

“… a place where time can wait.” – Xavier Le Roy

RESIDUE

We are Georgia Bettens, Dakota Comín and Javier De La Rosa Sánchez. We are three Berlin based dancers and performance artists, Dakota and Javier from Spain, and Georgia from Australia.

May 8th

During the first two weeks, we have been investigating the idea of living landscapes, more specifically the process of creating and sustaining landscapes both in our bodies and through the space. We are existing in the ambiguous state of transformation itself, researching how the residue of one task can affect the next one, and vice versa. At this point, we are working between two clear physicalities: ‘rocking’ and ‘impossible trajectories’. A continuous transformation is happening from a subtle action of rocking together, towards an individual research in trajectories. Present in both tasks is a sustained mediative pace, as well as a required commitment.

Rocking:
Here, a continuous transformation is happening, propelled by a subtle, continuous rocking action. We become one amalgamated organism, a big mess of limbs and heads, moving independently, united through a sustained rock. From here, we allow ourselves to roam through this puzzle of bodies. With an absence of intention or projected destination, we work to honor the experience transformation, noticing that by existing completely in the present, it opens up a multitude of possibilities for the next movement pathway.

Impossible trajectories:
Here we are working with movement trajectories, moving the space inside our body as well as our body in space. We are playing with achievable and unachievable trajectories, finding particularly interest with the seemingly impossible ones. This physicality has been layered with residue from several other tasks we have investigated together, and as such, is a particularly dense and rich place to work from.

Other relevant ideas/imagery:
Circuit, seaweeds, monsters, resistance, unfamiliar places, tensegrity, landscape, residue, constellation, disagreement/conflict, transport/roaming, slowing down, spheric, space between, density, sounds of nature, infinite loop, organic.


May 13th

This body is not completely mine.

Is the body ever finished?

How to start form the beginning if things start before they happen?

Is there space for transformation within a trajectory?

What is my role in a continually evolving constellation?

What is the impact of interdependency on my trajectory?

The way of going back is a way of going forward.

Constant reconfiguring.

Diversity growing in the movement and between ourselves

transport/ trajectory/ transform/ tensegrity

Irriversability

Photo: Diego Andrés Moscoso

Photo: Diego Andrés Moscoso


Mapped to the Closest Address · Maharu und Shuntaro // Hyogo · Violeta, Catalina und Alex // bErlin · Mar -Apr 2021

Unfinished friday_LAKE_9 april from Can-doc GbR on Vimeo.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

[09:14, 3/25/2077]:

Puede ser un vídeo de dos personas, que caen lentamente
Caen y caen y caen
Cayendo eternamente
Mientras, un gato las mira caer
Se lame
Ellas caen
Se limpia la tierra entre las uñas
Caen
Come Botzita* y ellas siguen cayendo
Toma agua
Ellas caen
Se lame de nuevo
Caen
Se atraganta con el pelo
que se acaba de limpiar
Ellas caen
Escupe una bola de pelo
Caen
Suspira
Caen
Estira las patas traseras
Caen
Levanta el culo y arquea la columna
Caen
Sacude la pata delantera derecha
Caen
Sacude la izquierda
Caen
Baja el culo
Sube la cabeza
Gato mirando hacia arriba
Caen
Bosteza
y vuelve a bostezar
Caen
Caen
Caen

*Comida de gato

Traducción realizada con la versión gratuita del traductor www.DeepL.com/Translator

[09:16, 3/25/2077]

[09:16, 3/25/2077]:

Es kann ein Video von zwei Personen sein, die langsam herunterfallen
Sie fallen und fallen und fallen
Für immer fallend
Während eine Katze sie fallen sieht
Er leckt sich
Sie fallen
Er wischt den Schmutz zwischen seinen Nägeln
Sie fallen
Er isst wenig und sie fallen immer weiter
Er trinkt Wasser
Sie fallen
Er leckt sich wieder
Sie fallen
Er verschluckt sich an den Haaren, die er gerade gereinigt hat.
Sie fallen.
Spuckt einen Haarball aus
Sie fallen
Seufzt
Sie fallen
Strecken Sie die Hinterbeine
Fallen
Heben Sie Ihr Arsch und strecken Sie Ihre Wirbelsäule
Fallen
Rechtes vorderes Bein schütteln
Fallen
Schütteln Sie die linke
Fallen
Senken Sie das Arsch
Kopf hoch
Katze schaut auf
Fallen
Gähnen
Und gähnt wieder
Sie fallen
Fallen
Fallen

*Katzenfutter

Übersetzt mit www.DeepL.com/Translator (kostenlose Version)

[09:18, 3/25/2077]

[09:18, 3/25/2077]

Perhaps it could be a video of two people, that fall slowly
Falling and falling and falling
Forever falling
Meanwhile, a cat watches them fall
She cleans her fur
They fall
She licks her paws
Fall
She wipes the dirt between her claws
They fall
She eats Bozita,* they keep falling
She drinks water
They Fall
She licks herself again
They fall
She chokes with the hair she just cleaned
They fall
She spits a hairball
Fall
She sighs
They fall
She stretches her paws
Fall
She lifts her ass and arches her spine
Fall
She shakes her right front leg
They fall
Shakes her left leg
Fall
Lowers down her hips
and turns her head up
She looks at the sky
They fall
She yawns
Yawns again
They fall
Fall
Fall

*cat food

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

[09:20, 3/25/2077]

[11:20, 3/26/2077]

おそらく二人の人間が
ゆっくりと落ちていく映像であろう
落ちて、落ちて、落ち続ける
永遠に落ち続ける
その間、一匹の猫が二人の落下を見守る
猫は体を舐めている
二人は落ちる
猫は足を舐めている
落ちる
猫は爪の間の汚れを拭く
二人は落ちる
猫はボッツィータ*を食べても、二人は落ち続ける
落ち続ける
猫は水を飲む
二人は落ちる
猫はまた自分の体を舐める
二人は落ちる
猫は掃除したばかりの髪の毛でむせる
二人は落ちる
猫は毛玉を吐き出す
落ちる
猫はため息をつく
二人は落ちる
猫は前足を伸ばす
落ちる
猫はお尻を上げ、背中を反らす
落ちる
猫は左足を振る
二人は落ちる
猫はお尻を下げる
二人は落ちる
そして、猫は頭を上に向ける
猫は空を見ている
二人は落ちる
猫はあくびをする
またあくびをする
二人は落ちる
落ちる
落ちる

*キャットフード

www.DeepL.com/Translator
(無料版)で翻訳しました。

[11:22, 3/26/2077]

Alice Chauchat, Antonija Livingstone, Siegmar Zacharias · Mar-Apr 2021

Alice to Siegmar – March 5th, 2021

dear babe,
here a little retelling of what Tonija and I have being doing this week. Since the first day we’ve danced at least twice a day, sometimes 3 times, to Bartok’s 1st violin sonata, embedded in a long ongoing conversation on dance performance companionship friendship, many anecdotes, feeling out how we talk and what we like to tell each other. sometimes we record and i might transcribe some bits in order to anotate them later
I will focus now on the dance and try to describe it
starting from moving with our eyes closed and to this piece of music, we seem to be calibrating a way of dancing and not dancing in and with the music, mostly not to it. in the same way, dancing in each other’s presence, with it, rarely to it. we look at each other while sitting, sometimes taking notes, sometimes also moving. that’s a lot then, dancing + the other + the music. and its also very little. little container, little motor.
today we went and did this in the tunnel that connects the shore to an island in the lake and we filmed it for you. i’m afraid it looks terrible and i think it does because it is still trying to much to be something. i love being chatty! and it kills all magic. so here another question, about holding the mundane in the midst of the exquisite or inversely or just both there.
these are issues we deal with, i hope you understand.
i resist attaching this that we do to some other scores like the dance of companionship. it’s almost the same and yet another DoC. I think because it’s just the two of us, the face to face is much stronger than I am used to. as a result tonija keeps her eyes closed a lot and we almost never look at each other when we dance.
she said yesterday that the blush is a central thing in her work.
i send you the video of this tunnel dance in spite of what it is, please forgive!
with love,
Alice

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
JA
X-NONE

Antonija to Siegmar March 5, 2021

Monday 13h ?

report from Alice dancing : Ballet russes

Cutting room floor

I need to see her like an animal

I need to see her like when we are in the garden

She needs this too

All of it

Move around

« Being familiar with it « 

Pattern Language breakdown

Pointer fingers

Précision

« A little bit excited »

I am seduced by the floor

I am under her feet

Dancers feet

Not any other kind of feet !!

Scanning close for heat signature

Shock

Every once in a while

Being interested in what just happened

And forgetting now

This is also a familiarity

Like ironing a shirt on the floor whilst she gets
dressed over there

PrepRing to go out

But never actually going out

Multi attentions

Hot iron

cables

Surfaces of grass and stones in the living room

Who really was

Christopher Alexander

What makes a good leader

Is this adrag show ?

A purge

Wood energy

Percolations

Step down To be able to feel free to be foolish and
at work at once

Biding times 

Build as you tread said Siegmar Z 

TEXT 2

FRIDAY 12h30 

Recall Dialogue

B.Akomolafe / S.Chen 

Chopping wood :

I go to chop the wood because I am cold and need to
have logs and kindling for the fire. There is no point chopping only 1 hrs
worth of wood to burn : if I am going to do it I might as well do it for as
long as I physically can or until the supply of whole logs is split and
stacked.

I do this together with An.

We were freezing taking coffee on the gas stove in
the garden in the morning frost.

We finish the chopping and moving and stacking from A
to B to C.

The chopping itself makes us warm.

We do not need to light the fire inside.

We stay outside and invent things or discover things
to keep us active.

A combination of urgent tasks like wood chopping also
walking arm swinging and foot moving on the path and rock moving on the path

That is in no way urgent but a leaning into to the
landscape

Silently we are together and it’s not really working
we are doing we are walking moving and prying large rocks from the earth
clearing a path with our efforts both alone and occasionally together when the
stone is clearly took heavy or big to move alone

The roots of trees are made visible.

Will we stumble on them.

The path takes a different direction through the
forest towards the brooke.

In Scotland they call this the Bourne.

The source.

We work and walk together until we are noticing it is
getting colderthe sun has changed. What time is it today ?

We work and walk together until the invented creative
task seems done for now

We go back to the house and light the fire. 

We were cold

What we did with our time with our bodies warmed us
and solved the problem

Now we are still …

Now the energy of the wood

Is burning bright flames and becoming embers. 

The ending of the 2 nd movement Adagio is the kind of
ending

One really can fall in love with. 

I need this subtlties very much. 

I was glad to exit my practice session in time to
give Alice a private empty encounter to witness just the ending of theSonata

Sonata meaning

To be played as opposed to to be sung

Co existing with the Sonata.

In studio

Stud I o

I study myself :

The given self of situation and it’s constituents

The self of the dancer dance and companions of sound
light space and

Inner and outer

Inviting being seen. 

*

Alice to Antonija – March 19th

dear Antonija,

it is time to thread you in again, into this weave of companionship,
dialogue, pondering and hesitation. As you were passing on the art of gentle
vandalism to the french students i transcribed the bits of conversation we’d
had on our first week together, and this week now with Siegmar we’ve been spending
a lot of time trying out ways of annotating texts by each of us, experimenting
with ways of letting our works affect each other and of letting these processes
shine through (where I pose distance as activating force she insists on
entanglement and we danced across these perspectives – this is of course a huge
simplification). So we continue the attempt at both holding companionship,
shaping it and making it perceptible without stopping its course.you spoke to
me about the blush as a determining fact in your work and this has been staying
with me. the blush as uncontrollable expression of embarrassment for being
exposed / for exposing oneself… Siegmar works on sitting with the
uncontrollable and I would love to hear you both speaking about this

on Monday Siegmar and I moved with
our eyes closed in turns then danced to listen to the Bartók sonata. I became
impatient. I wrote: 

Why
do I find it so difficult to dance with this music? The music is
beautiful, it opens a world, and a time long gone that can then reexist in the
contemporary situation when it is played and listened to. Dancing to
expressive music is difficult for me as I fear the danger of illustration, of
dance acting as the unnecessary illustration of a piece that doesn’t need it
the least. Dancing to or with this music I find it hard not to feel like a
nostalgic cliché. Suddenly I can’t stand averting our gazes or any other
so-called inward gaze; every little shift or accent, however hard I try to keep
it separate from the music’s logic, collides with it and their mutual
amplification feels contrived in an unpleasant way.. It seems like my only
way out is the hyper mundane, almost nothing.

Why
do I not have this problem with litterary texts? I was educated to consider
dance and music as much closer relatives to each other. Where I hear the
parallels between the music and the dance (whatever they are), I can much more
expand the gaps between dance and text. So that the space between dance and
music tends to shrink, and I can more easily widen the space between text and
dance, a thick gluey space that connects them.

This
music also carries the problem of screeming out “art” so loudly. I love art but
my dance here becomes a pretention to art and I want to run away. I can’t
believe we stuck to this for the whole last week with Tonija. A mix of
commitment to whatever our situation would bring up and her famous emperor’s
clothes?

I
think today Siegmar’s presence and our friendly interactions – not estheticized
or aligned to the music, but following their own logic – is the foot in the
door I won’t close just yet then. As she shakes her ass and tities, rolls her
head of hair around and slides onto a made-up mazurka, a twerk, a crawl across
the floor, my joy returns. Not because she’s being ironical: because she’s
actually making sure she has a good time instead of taking the music, the
situation, and thus herself, too serious. She revitalises the music by hosting
its humour, its naughtiness, its play. Not illustrating, but tuning into that
vitality. Repurposing it.

The foot is still in the door even
though we didn’t move or dance since. Yoga, talking, writing. We will dance
again for sure, and I would like to return and insist, it bears so many desires
and conflicts for me. That the choice of this piece of music was rather
arbitrary doesn’t matter. It seems we can respect it enough without needing to
be devoted to it. It seems fine to hold on a little and see which of those
desires, conflicts, paradoxes, we want to make room for. I hope you are
interested.

(Yves told me about this dream he
had yesterday, where these 2 guys presented themselves as “jumeaux de faire”;
they had each made a sort of convoluted, ornate needle, that was meant to
attach to a horse saddle, and those two needles were exactly identical… Yves
offered this to the collection of figures, didn’t say if those were figures in
the dance of companionship or the scores as figures, like the doubles in
parallel lives and the non-formal unison)

About the Bartók – Siegmar asked if
other choreographers had worked with his music, that I knew of, and I
remembered Anne Teresa de Keersmaker had and the score to this is actually in a
book in the library here. We didn’t watch it yet but might

…I just remembered that I had
recorded the score as I told it to Siegmar. my score nerd self is getting all
excited as I see the formulation finding itself

Alice: We’re going to play
this piece of music, it’s a sonata for violin and piano by Bela Bartok. And
we’re going to dance, and also watch and take notes when we want to. The idea
is to dance with this music. It’s a bit of a cousin to the dancing as
a way of listening except, what’s not in there is the focus on helping the
other listen. And one thing that we are suspending or interrogating or maybe
leaving aside is dancing to the music. Can we dance with the music, listen
to it and listen to ourselves and to each other and everything around, even
though maybe not in a very responsive way…
Siegmar : So we’re not using each other to listen, and we’re not dancing
to the music. But we’re dancing as listening to the music and everything else?
Alice: …maybe I should have completely left out the dancing as
listening; maybe this one is called dancing and listening. 

and now reading this it seems
like a dance of companionship with the music, and I understand the possibility
to wake up the dance, to sustain and expand it by using the same technique of
calling in all the imaginable companions like bones sounds breaths thoughts
etc. (I guess this is all one is supposed to do when dancing, but for
me it takes efforts and tricks to actually do it)

I’m having a stroll through the
first week transcripts and remember that we spoke of cinema, “faire son
cinema” and the necessity to balance between making room for imagination and
the invention of narratives around present situations, and the attention to
what is there that resists those, that exists in the matter as well as the
imaginations we do not share in and which are also there. I find myself
doing this while conversing. I tend to attend those a bit like movies or novel,
I revel in the hesitations, the moves towards and away, the avoidances and the
shifts. Could this film/novel be called Rougeur or Rougissement?

triangulation: Siegmar remarked
yesterday on the role of triangulation in our respective works. It’s a useful
tool, and I want to try to sketch the triangulation each of the scores I work
with engage. (What) does the term evoke when you think of what you do? As
a trio that hardly ever gathers we also have something like this, asymmetrical
of course and starting with the material fact of you and Siegmar not spending
time together without me, anyways the 3 is in the room when 2  of us are
here at the lakeI remembered also a text I had wanted to read about the role of
the Third in Levinas’ thinking and how it might take us out of the ethical/political
separation that is often understood as his. Maybe the 3 of us can read this
next week.

dear Anton I hope you arrived
back home well and happy from your journey. And I look forward to monday.

warmly yours

Alice

Siegmar to Antonija, March 20th

Dear Anton, 

I want to offer you a bunch of words that we have collected and foregrounded
in each others texts Alice and I. I’m not doing it as algorithm but following
my own interested attention.  I guess they are traces of what we were
doing individually and alone and threads reaching out towards you. i would love
to pick at them with you. or to start expanding the list with annotations,
thought bubbles, and reaction

I would love to dive into your stuff
with you whatever that stuff is. I brought another listening session and texts
and stories and plans for a dying and living well together garden, grief and
pleasure or is it joy or love or regeneration  … the other thing as
collective practice in any case.wanna talk about processes of soil and manure
and time.

Also I thought that maybe each day
another one of us could host the mornings, so warm up and work proposal till
lunch. my wish would be to start form each of our own work/practice/research to
propose how to work from that. It could be a way to introduce each other to
each others practices and to offer myself to experimenting with your research
approach. or offering myself for you to experiment with/on me.

and also i attach the Ensembling
text, which is a text that i wrote for the piece that we did with alice, we
started annotating that one too, but i think i prefer to send you that text as
it was first. would be curious to hear what comes up for you.

i can’t wait to get togetherlove to
you into the sunny day

s

but
here are some words so here we go.

habits of narration

sudden jumps

approximation

triangulation with a possible
otherwise

entanglement of distances

response-ability

compassionate witness

non-verifiable difference

doubles in parallel lives

interdependent distance

vague recognisability

re-emerging out of the chaos of
the world (or form under the table)

what makes it bareable enough to
keep going – the soothers

letting pleasure arrive in one’s
body where it normally doesn’t

imagining is inserting some
unknown, (re)(con)figuring

naming as non-taxonomy but
availability

regenerative
practice listening to what is, was, will be, and never again will be

the pleasure of responsivity

togethering

useful

adaptability towards material

holding on to the plant for
orientation

training to sit with change


paying attention to the limits
of your own perception

re-membering more

we have swallowed for too long

the alienating forces of intimacy

we are connected in a cloud of
spit

flesh-positive

the uncontrollable imposes itself

sitting with the uncontrollable

grief work as performance work –
performance work as grief work

the alchemy of loss

mutual gravitational field

my bodies are part of collective
bodies

vital and necessary pleasure

learning from grief

regenerative praxis with
earth/soil humus

post-humus

Antonija to Siegmar, March 19th

The Black Triangle
: a west village lesbian bar : a method for an applied polyphony

Dear Alice,  Dear Siegmar, 

My time away threadbare…

Missing strong lady minds and
looking forward to leaning in …

Meanwhile, a little mess …

The blush holds many kin in her
hot embrace 

embarrassment is just the common
name for the loudest stinkiest child, 

there is also outrage, shy, lost,
found, aroused, all terribly too close relatives 

A political blunder blush 

A un documented blush 

A watching the train wreck blush 

A missing the train blush that
then has all the colour drain out of it …

So so many …

trying to count them just brings
the colour right back up 

Welcoming
the unwelcome  

Some definitely entangled
counterfeiting and renegade and serious stuff in a dubious mix 

Refined methods next to dumb
instruments 

propped up queerly in a dusty
corner 

Called on 

Ms.Thang to the dance floor
please !

The whole room ablush…

The music is blushing. 

She is definitely not being
listened to 

These well dressed emperors are
talking all over her. 

Oh. 

An
abitrary song ?

She is loved by other Emperors
too.

She brings all manner of ethics
 one couldn’t notice so painfully clearly without it

Now they are some noticed
 does the song need to be there ? 

Certainly another song surely
sets up  another set of organizing principles 

to resist 

to be guided by 

to do things to us we can’t
understand 

Testing the lie of what one
presumes to be worth attending to 

Like 

A dream  

The twins ride hard on needled harnesses 

A dusty trail before us and
bareback back there 

He
says something along the lines of improvisation

Is a conversation with the
past 

This is helpful 

This is happening but…

It’s the damned call to order
dance to dance 

Bye bye Bartok ! 

Levinas Lecture Lundis 

LOVE 

Tian Rotteveel · Mar 2021

BREATHTAKING –

ABOUT:

WEEK1

WEEK2

WEEK3











Gizem Aksu · Jan 11 – Feb 21

Goodbye Note

Dear Lake Studios;

Here is the last night, last session in big studio.

The meaning of night, session, big, here are suddenly expanded now. Wauwww!

Thank you for holding space for my accordion heart for the last 6 weeks. My heart has been beaten here for 4 100 000 times approximately. Thanks for the fire, anger, love,incense can not lit in the studio,frostbite, ragas, ruk/root/kök, the fact that pandas have pancreas, closing, pattern, waltz with wounds.

Here is a gift for you by Nina Paley from Sita Sing the Blues.

Notes from Process

”Pain is a territory known by those who are in that land.” Sonya Huber

I have spent 6 weeks in Lake Studios to research on wounds, pain, speechlessness and propripception. This trajectory has evolved from my broder research on physical, philosophical and socio-political implications on breath and breathing. As researching on how breath heals wounds -not only tangible, visible, physical wounds but also energytical, intangible ones-; speech and discourse as contextually produced and articulated breath took my attention in the context of identity politics during the residency process. As speech and discourse have power to heal historical wounds; they sometimes overpass, exclude the inexpressible ones. I researched on this tension between the power of discursive expression of embodied socio-political and cultural experiences, and impossibility of delivering the all depth of these experiences through verbal language. 

photo by Derin Cankaya

I conceptualize wounds as bodily opennings (physically or energetically) allow not only urgent chemical communication to recover but also cosmic communication in which bodymind and environment pour into each other. Wound as passage, wound as message, wound as antennas allow another way for connection, communication, protection, reception, perception, action. Sometimes wound is an expression of the inexpressible. Therefore, it may be hard to look at the wounds, and pass through the pain.This residency gave me space and time to look at my wounds, stare directly at them. With my left eye. Through and beyond a microphone. I spent time to ”date my wounds”1, care the wounds, name the wounds. 

I care them with fake eyelashes as my eyelashes protect my eyes. How eyelashes connect to sensory system of my nervous system, I use fake eyelashes to shield, protect my wounds; to integrate them to my sensory system, so to my nervous system. I name them with silence, with sound; with breath but not with voice. They are my voiceless void. I date them with touch, not with numbers; I date them in infinity of energy. 

I invited my long-term collaborator Ah! Kosmos to work on the sound and silence of touching on these wounds burried under my skin.Instead of working a long composition, we chose to initiate shorter sound patterns. We worked to create short sound patterns in various ways and starting to discuss and eliminate the distant ones. The intensity and sensuality of sound matched with my quality and intensity of touch. Silence occurred in relation to breaks in which breath took attention over the touch.

photo by Maria Kousi

I also invited my long-term collaborator Derin Cankaya to work on visuals and videos in forest. From the beginning of the process, I was intended to spend some time outside because Lake Studios is surrounded by a very specific nature near lake and forest. When I spent some time in this imagery in public spaces, I had a sensation that the eyelashes became enegitical wings that my facial expressions flew away and wounds buried under my skin has wings. Wound with wings or/also wounds with wigs. We had some shooting in forest to observe what kind of expansions in context I would have if I install this body within nature. For the rest of the process, at some point, I chose to deepen outside trials and inside trials. Actually, I am looking forward to sparing some time in near future to develop the trajectories I discovered from outside trials.

This residency has been a process for me to discover an artistic language to look at my wound and the world through these wounds. This process has helped me to develop another level of artistic sensitivity towards people who created poems, proses, moves from their wounds; Mahmoud Darwish, Rukeli Trollmann, Sonya Huber and some others. They have helped me to carry ”butterfly’s burden”2in my eyes and release dragon’s burden in my breath.

1Inspired by Mahmoud Darwish’s poetic heritage; ”date your wound”.

2Inspired by Mahmoud Darwish’s poetic heritage; ”Butterfly’s Burden”.











Lois Alexander · Jan 11 – Feb 21

Pilotprojekt Residenz


What if what I want from you is new, newly made

a new sentence in response to all my questions,

a swerve in our relation and the words that carry us,

the care that carries. I am here, without the shrug

attempting to understand how what I want

and what I want from you run parallel—

justice and the openings for just us.

-Claudia Rankine, Just Us

15 February 2021

When I think about the mother, I think about longing. When I think about longing, I think about memory. When I think about memory, I am really thinking about its traces. And finally, when I think about traces, I think about the traces of the unspeakable violence…before…during… and after the transatlantic slave trade… and then I think about trying one´s tongue.

From a movement perspective, I consider how the body can be a point of connection to reclaim a lost or unknown homeland(s) and fill an absence of kin. In a way, it’s about healing intergenerational trauma… but it can also be about claiming ancestral knowledge to carve new paths. As I leave my residency in Lake Studios, I continue walking down a non linear path where past/present selves can integrate toward a future that has the space for blackness to be multiple…fluid…

The dance is how to become fully alive in the participation of it all.

In the words of Octavia Butler:

All that you touch, you Change.

All that you Change, Changes you.

The only lasting truth is Change.

God Is Change.

Photo by Nina Kay, Collaborator

From new video work, Black Venus








Anna Nowicka · Jan 11 – Feb 21

RAINBOW research with Aleksandr Prowaliński

Rainbow Research with Aleksandr Prowaliński, photos by Maria Kousi

“Let there be light”; and there was light.

***

What happens when the light is pulled out of the darkness?
How does it differentiate forms and shapes?
How does it highlight unique qualities?
How does it reveal the hidden?
How does it propel the change?

“Rainbow” is a research into the effects of color and light on humans. It originates in a curious book of Darius Dinshah about Spectro-Chromo Therapy. At the turn of the XX Century Dinshah was testing the healing potential of light. He was exposing patients to differently colored lamps and noting improvements in their health. By some pronounced charlatan and imposter, he was seen as inventor and healer by others. No matter which perspective is true, his studies connected deeply to the practices of ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and other major cultures which made significant medical uses of light.

I plunge into unraveling and choreographing different properties of colored lights. How does a color in-form the body? Which movements, qualities, textures, emotions, imaginary realities and thoughts arise when being exposed to different hues? Can rainbow, by some perceived as a sign of deranged ideology, be a healing process?

The research will proceed systematically through each of the 7 colors of the rainbow. We will devote 5 days for each hue, leaving the final week for developing the presentation format. In order to explore the imprint of light on the body Aleksandr will design unique light spaces, differing from one another in form and character. Dressed in a matching outfit,
I will work using dreaming and improvisation tools to unfold and embody specific characteristics of each of the hues. I will derive from somatic practices and healing work to determine which tissues are affected by the light, and how the body responds.

These passages are taken from my application for the residency. I reread them now, at the end of my stay, and I find their wording accurate and precise. I feel amazed how much they actually led me through these weeks of immersive work. It has been a touching process of taking time to see, feel and know different colors, and to expand them through the body.

I started the residency alone, as the virus scrambled previously made plans. Each day I would dress in a different color outfit, and unfold its quality through movement. In the beginning, I would follow the chakra system, fascinated by its universal simplicity. And yet quite soon and quite unexpectedly I decided to go off track.

I returned to my inner images.

I roll in the green hills, sing on the blades of grass, explode in the warmth of the golden rays, simmer with blushing tongues, echo in an empty space, make friends with what is, turn 5 again, sparkle with joy, flow with an infinite change, become still and listen. Bathed in each color of the rainbow, I receive the gift of living it, here and now. It is a dream composed of many images: experiential, tangible, precise. They move my body and ignite a deeply embodied understanding of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. First I live it, then I read about it. First I do it, write my feelings down, then I watch the rehearsal recording. Reversing this order empowers me to trust my inner knowing. The words I read afterwards confirm what I know.

Aleksandr and I are in contact all the time, we brainstorm, watch and read together. Each of the meetings creates immense light within me, new possibilities shimmer and flicker, tickling my curiosity. We buy a prism to create an analog rainbow. We get an analog slide projector. We get theatrical filters. We get different sized plexiglass. We borrow special mono chrome lights. We are on our toes, ready to plunge into this technicolor reality. It is a treat.

We work at nights, when the studio is dark and silent. We don’t go to sleep before 3 a.m., watching the recordings and dreaming the choices. I am amazed, again and again, how well we work together. It is a smooth, easy, nourishing and joyful process. We eat healthy, we walk to the lake, we work hard and we still live with open hearts.

The movement material is quickly verified by choices of the lights. Each slide builds an imagery space for me to live in. It frames the body, and yet the body challenges the light. I feel it is a healing journey from being lonely, desperate, sinking in the waters of one’s emotions, to reconnecting to the mystery of the earth, regaining power over one’s image and unique perspective to finally bubbling with sheer joy of feeling one. It is actually a story my Father saw when watching us online. “Life is beautiful and we need more of this beauty,” he said, after the Unfinished Friday.

Derin was touched by the organic landscapes: “Although all the filters are square, I could really see the moonscape, sunscape, landscapes, it took me to natural places.” I realize we do work with square, angular, rough objects. It feels stunning how something so far away from being natural can still bring oneself to experience the nature. The light brings me back to nature.

***

We have a lot of ideas how to continue. We are grateful, excited and curious.

We will premiere the work on the 24th of June 2021 in DOCK11.

I hope we can all meet there, in this new reality.

Anna








Mårten Spangberg · Dec 20 /Jan 21

Residenzpilotprojekt

IT WAS POSSIBLE

January 8, 2021

In an interview with Nicholas Serota from 2006 Gerhard Richter is asked how it at a certain moment happened that he started to make out-of-focus paintings. The interview is from a documentary and in this particular section Richter is sitting in an oversized totally fancy sofa. One can sense from the tone of Serota’s voice that he is looking forward to a juicy response that will touch upon art historical mysteries or secret conflicts nobody knew about circulating in the Cologne scene of the late 60s. Richter, dressed more like a Chinese worker than a stinking rich superstar touches his nose and changes position, says after a slightly too long pause.

– Well you know, at that time it was… possible, adding a very generous smile. I can’t recall what happens afterwards but it doesn’t matter, the answer is intriguing enough on it’s own.

What first comes to mind is that Gerhard Richter is just another asshole that obviously and under no circumstances would reveal anything especially nothing that in any way could smudge his genius. Gerhard Richter doesn’t get inspiration he is inspiration in it’s much pure form. If one Mr Richter ever gets inspired from somewhere else than himself it is from God and God only, but that is probably only when he has a headache or is haunted by a vague hangover after yesterdays opening party. Well, it was just some retrospective who cares where, really. Conclusion Gerhard Richter is a shit.

But what about a different interpretation. Perhaps Richter said something more than about focused or out of paintings but instead touched upon something central to aesthetic production in general.

It was possible. Doesn’t that mean that there were no reasons, or no no reasons. It was just possible and I, i.e. Richter did it, out of focus. Of course after the fact art historians or critics can make up a thousand feasible narratives. Do their detective work and track it all down to some childhood trauma, a revenge plot, technological development, a Marxist unpacking of a historical moment or why not just blame capitalism – neoliberalism was invented at the time so capitalism will have to do.

But what if there were no reasons or no no reasons for real. It was possible, proposes that contrary to other kinds of decisions or unfoldings aesthetic judgment or decisions doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with causality. Aesthetic judgement, what green colour to choose, is not a matter of probability, at least not in its entirety. You ask a painter or whatever artist why that one there and most probably the answer will be come across as a rather silly if not stupid. – Cuz, you know… yeah, or something about emotions, feeling, energy or inner necessity. – It could be no other way, and there was no negotiation or probability.

What Richter, the old modernist or not says, is that aesthetic judgement is beyond reason or rational. It can be analysed but some part of it moves beyond probability and measure. One could also say that aesthetic judgement is self-referential because it refers only to itself as itself and that the experience of taking such a decision, whether that is in the studio in front of the easel or in the exhibition space or museum, is not the experience of taking a decision but to make or generate a decision where there previously was not available to make. Since the aesthetic experience is self-referential the outcome of this production is contingent and thus is the experience not of making a decision but of making a Decision. Which since this experience by necessity is empty means to experience oneself as potentiality. Perhaps that is that underlying, that determination that all aesthetic production comes down to, that feeling of generating a decision for no particular reason and to be touched however gently by potentiality.

With a different set of words perhaps what Richter said is that in aesthetic production, just because it is formulated around contingent decisions, hope resides.

TRUTH DARE OR SOCIOLOGY

January 5, 2021

It’s great to visit art museums. To say hello and friendly with the ticket person who can from time to time be a bit grumpy. I can still be friendly. The coffee place has fourteen kinds of coffee and that doesn’t need to make me roll my eyes. It’s just a museum who tries a bit too hard.

The other day I spent the afternoon in one of those museums together with my new born daughter and had a handful of really lovely conversations with staff, guards, other visitors and the woman in the cloak room told me about her children and their children. It was nice to talk to a grand mother for a moment.

It was also brilliant to change on the baby in the ladiesroom being treated with a certain scepticism and then oh how cute and some other niceties. Involving all senses, so to say. Social is top dollar.

But nothing of this was art. It was social situations, encounters that will stay with me as much as the art that happened to be spending time in the exhibition spaces made an impression. Yet these social encounters were not art or generated aesthetic experiences, nor where those paintings, drawings, sculptures, video pieces or even installations social situations although they participated in those social such and such to take place.

It’s a significant mistake to confuse art with social situations and the other way around. But it is tempting. If art equals something social having encounters with art can be justified through bringing people together, especially different peoples and we can together create a loving and open minded society where borders (at least some) are made porous and nice. But isn’t it so that when art is confused with social the door is also opened to confuse art with culture which to some might be great but perhaps not to art.

Somewhere Jean Luc Godard proposed that culture is the stuff we eat. Culture is measurable and hence something that can be analysed and changed in order to make the best out of some or other situation. Concerning Godard, if I eat a lot of beetroots I will pee red. Deduction rules. If I drink too much wine, tomorrow will be disaster. The payback of consuming Brussels sprouts will be smelly. More causality. In other words culture is something that can be determined and installed in order to produce efficiency. If I look at too many Picasso’s I might become a bit (even) more macho but there’s certainly no causality. If I stare at a Robert Morris sculpture for a few hours nothing will happen, especially nothing that can be “found” in those geometrical arrangements or piles of felt.

If art was to be equated with culture art works would not be appreciated for what they were but for what they produced and what measurable “betterment” they would install, i.e. to say a drift away from aesthetics towards ethics. Never minds whose betterment? Arts gift to humanity is exactly that it’s not good or bad for anything. That’s up to you.

Although arts instumentality is a direction socially engaged engaged art is interested in, it’s also precisely the direction that neoliberal politics wish to emphasize. Art being equal to culture – that is social environments or situation – degrades art to be an instrument in the hands of policy makers.

When sociologists and art critics with a sociological agenda approach art and their institutions it can give important insight but it is important to negotiate that they also tend to reduced art to be tokens in networks generating social situations. The painting on the wall is equal in symbolic value to the bench in the middle of the room. Nothing bad per se but doesn’t it imply that the painting on the wall’s job is something else than to be a painting? Moreover, the sociologist obviously pulls the plug out of the possibility that an encounter with art in anyway is different in kind to any other experience. The sociologist analyses the global condition and the impact different entities produce and is so to say completely uninterested in art. In the eyes of sociology art is nothing more than a token that generates forms of behaviour.

It is especially important in our times to insist on forms of autonomy implicit in art. Is it perhaps crucial to claim the specificity of the aesthetic experience and stress the possibility that art withdraws from the social and that that is important?

If art is not just here to confirm society, social behaviour and identity. If arts responsibility is something else than to support or be helpful, propose an alternative way of living or relating but instead that it’s job is to generate the possibility for a different kind of change, a change towards something that is not yet thinkable, to something that is generated through the uncertainty of the experience and not by the experience’s decisiveness. Said otherwise, if art has anything to do with truth it can only take place as long as the experience is indeterminable or at least is carried by indetermination, i.e. that it is singular which means withdraw from the social, that is is non-relational. When art becomes social it can simply have nothing to do with truth or truth claims any more. Only and art that claims truth is daring or urgent, the rest is simply negotiation and policy documents. Remember only as long as art remains in relation to truth can it be admired and posses us. An art that isn’t granted, that doesn’t insist on the possibility to blow us away, to overwhelm us or make us change our lives is like a love relation kept a live because it’s convenient.

I’M JUST GOING PAINTING

January 4, 2021

When Roland Barthes’ “The Death of the Author” was published in 1967 it started, and quickly, a total deflation of modernist ideals in visual arts. Art in general but most prominently in visual art and in New York. Over night the idea of an essence to art was made obsolete. An artwork pointing to itself as itself was history and instead, at least in certain circles – and powerful – art became a matter of language, clusters of references and the artwork a bundle of signs held together by the very lack of originality.

I imagine Jackson Pollock having breakfast in the house in the Hamptons and after rolling a cigarette and about to put on his stained jacket saying to his wife Lee, “Hey, I’m just going painting.” That was in the end of the 40s or early 50s but what about if Pollock would have had breakfast after Barthes’ essay was public domain? There and then I’m just going paintings might not have been such a good idea. I picture Lee starting to giggle slightly embarrassed, one of those laughs that won’t stop. When the attack finally comes to an end trying to explain to the heroic painter that “just” painting implicit a preserved understanding of essence, and that “just” simply is out of the question since there is no just in the first place. -Jackson, whatever you paint, however much it pains you, you and painting is always inscribed in a delicate network of references, skills, formats, conventions, you name it? You are not free neither is your paintings.

Had Pollock stayed alive what had to happen there in the end of the 60s was that artists and art needed to articulate if not invent some new way of justifying artistic production. The time of innocence had come to an abrupt end. Purity sailed away and spontaneity had become a laughing stock.

Come to think about it, one could also say that art in this moments, had it been a human being, that it passed from being a free individual to be an individual that had individual freedom. Art passed from being a domain carried by sovereignty to constitutional freedom which obviously has nothing to do with freedom but at best with liberty. From now on art had to earn also the illusion of its freedom.

Roland Barthes’ essay was perhaps not such a great contribution to artistic practice, not at all a welcome injection of who knows what but instead a few pages that opened the door to a huge amount of frustration. What if art couldn’t be just any more what then…

In New York in the late 60s, what could possibly offer justification to make art. Well, nobody, not even in the art scene was a communist – “they” had been made extinct ten years earlier – but everybody, at least in the art scene was a Marxist so where to start looking? What the art scene found in Marx was brilliant, critique. Marx first tool and nine years later the first issue of October came out and arts obsession with critique was consolidated.

Awesome, “Lee, I’m going over to the shed to engage in my critical practice.” Fuck “I am nature” this is critique 24/7.

But nothing says that art’s relation to critique in anyway is inherent. Art’s job since 50 years, in certain circles has been critique but it is certainly not arts calling. It goes without saying that an art informed by Roland Barthes in any case would deny the possibility for a calling. No, art is something one does and gets paid for, it’s reason, cognition and semiotics c’est tout, or?

It is this moment, this moment of crises, from which conceptual art emerges and it is tragically an unconditional surrender to arts departure from sovereignty, which means to the very possibility of aesthetic experience.

It is as easy to be posthumously clever, wise after the event as it is to be in denial but perhaps it was Pollock who was brave, devoted and faithful. Who dared go into the studio unprepared for the possibility of being carried away by sovereignty and not the conceptual boys. Were they in fact cowards, so afraid of that something unnameable in aesthetic experience that they closed the door and locked it with critique. Was conceptual art guided by a bunch control freaks so paranoid that they anathematized any form or trace of indeterminacy?

A LITTLE SOL IN THE END

December 30, 2020

I like these beginnings.

Not in the “Sentences on Conceptual Art” but somewhere else Sol Lewitt writes something like, the great thing with conceptual art is that you can always cheat a little in the end to make it beautiful.

Sweet words but perhaps not that easy to decipher. It would be a bit too cynical to interpret the sentence as market benevolent or simply sloppy.

It’s intriguing that Lewitt stresses the end. Why in the end and not in the middle or half way, beginning. It seems like his work is carried by an instance of insight and when he know, or have been able to navigate the insight, it’s not so important to state it. At that time, in the end, let it be beautiful.

Too often I wonder if that sentence or conceptual in art hasn’t been reversed into roughly, the great thing with art is that you can always cheat in the end by adding a conceptual edge – or even worse, adding some conceptual -, thus fencing the work from all kinds of attacks or viruses. You can always say it’s conceptual and that’s “Oh yes, I understand…”

Conceptual in art is like diplomatic immunity in politics. When conceptual is added in the end, like some icing, it might just be called smart ass, and it definitely inscribes itself in dominant, if not down right male discourse. Conceptual in the end is like a father who responds to the teenage child “Because I say so.”

Conceptual in the beginning, as departure – like Sol had it – instead unveil a desire for transparency or a kind of exposure, if not dissolving of subjectivity. Not in the sense of Duchamp or minimalism where the point was to erase the artist’s subject, the trace of the artist – a gesture that often has been read as humble and a kind of glorious stepping down from a romantic male heroic image of the artist, but in fact functions the opposite way around. When Andy Warhol proposes the he wants to be a machine, it’s not cool it’s quite romantic and comes out as a desire to manifest the artist as superhuman or to reveal the human/heroic/genius be denying it.

Sol Lewitt’s conceptual is not a matter of denying or obscuring the artist’s subject but instead of remaining and faithful to something that has been set in motion, a process that might iterate a completely different subjectivity. To something that stays open – which means that it cannot be closed through a solution – but requires the coming into being of something or an experience that has yet to be given or acquire a name, an ambivalence to gain stability.

With a bit of a stretch one could even ponder the possibility that – contrary to the conceptual guys obsessing with semiotics – Sol Lewitt’s work is queer. Queer not in the end, i.e. representation, but as or through a process that asks for nothing except devotion and that in the end is beautiful.

IN THE BUCKET

December 29, 2020

In an interview, I have forgotten where, Barnet Newman is asked what he wants with his paintings. This was long time ago and I don’t mean to propose that Newman is forever but his answer is still cool, or perhaps more sweet. He answers something in the direction: “You know I just want the paint on the canvas to be as beautiful as it is in bucket.” Personally I didn’t know he used buckets. Tubes would be favourable as that would keep the scale more modest. Modernists, omg.

In parentheses there’s for me something strange about this quote, something that has nothing to do with the words but rather that it feels really odd to consider a personal looking like Newman to say something so cute. Especially the older Newman, with a monocle, moustache and a lit cigarette. In my imagination somebody that looked very differently, somebody far less prominent or proud of him or herself, formulated that beautiful sentence or is it nonsense?

On the canvas whatever is there, whatever traces or not somebody has made on it, it cannot not be recognisable as something. It’s like with clouds if you look long enough they start to look like something. They certainly always look like clouds and that’s all great but then the shape of a dog appears or the three musketeers or, well it’s always something. What’s on the canvas is always something, this or that. It just can’t be… because even “I don’t know maybe it’s…” is already something. Probably this or probably that and when it is it is already a location, a position to which one can formulate a perspective, an articulation.

In the bucket however the paint is still untouched by probably this or that, it is all the possibly and all the not possibly. Even better it is also all that that is beyond what something can or not possibly be. The paint in the bucket is everything, perhaps one could even say that it is infinity. Not, really it’s after all paint and in a bucket in the studio of Barnet Newman, but still.

The moment the paint ends up on the canvas it passes from the realm of potentiality to the realm of possibility. To me it’s obvious that – that is potentiality – that Barnet Newman is referring to.

An impossible project certainly but – and it certainly had different implications in post-wwII New York – isn’t that exactly what painting or art in general must circulate around. Potentiality.

In recent years the proposal aesthetic experience has surfaced. Nothing new and one can wonder what it is? Something tells us that an aesthetic experience is different than other kinds of experience, but what is that? If aesthetic experience is the same as any other experience one could compare the experience of watching a Kippenberger and having an ice-cream. Having an ice-cream is also an experience, first or second time. If this was the case it would also not be any fundamental difference to stand in front of a “real” Kippenberger or a reproduction in a book, and each time the Kippenberger would be more or less equally excellent, good or bad, too this or that. Might there be something specific about aesthetic experience after all. Might it even be so that the same Kippenberger only generates aesthetic experience once and only in a certain individual? If so we would have to consider that aesthetic experience is not just individual but that it is singular. It is this experience and only this one, it is singular.

Which is perhaps also why one can when somebody asks, why this Kippenberger and not this or that one, answer: “I don’t know, I just love it”. Concerning art it is imperative to not love a painting for a reason – I love it because I love it. And we are back with Newman, the moment when you love something because because you don’t love it for this or that, for what it possibly is. You love it, instead for all what it is and not, and for all the what it is that one can not even imagine imagining.

It is no surprise why this idea of aesthetic experience has been silenced for quite some time and why it still resides is some sort of limbo. When Jacques Derrida proposed that language is the capacity though which we have access to the world it came with a price – along the lines of phenomenology – that only what could be accommodated by language could exist. In that very moment the only thing that could exist had to be probably this or that or, if you like, I don’t know which is still something. From Heidegger we know that nothing is also something and in that moment probability ruled the world. If there was something else that had to be put under a blanket and forgotten, hence aesthetic experience and potentiality had to leave the building. So if post-modernism was good at pronouncing the death of this or that, it certainly killed of art, not this or that art but the very essence of art, the specificity of aesthetic experience, and experience that carries the possibility of an encounter with potentiality.

Of course modernism got it all wrong. Aesthetic experience, the essence of art or potentiality can not be captured, put in a bucket if you like and observed. Well, even if one could capture it, the moment when it gains stability and is recognizable it has already entered the realm of the possible. There is no potentiality in a painting, non of them, but painting, as any other art carries with it the possibility for the emergence of that peculiar moment that some call aesthetic experience others potentiality and Barnet Newman called, “as beautiful as it is in the bucket”.

HUMAN FACE

December 28, 2020

There is something about paintings that I don’t like. From one perspective I like almost all paintings, they are after all paintings and that’s quite nice. There’s usually something to pick up and play with or allow to be reformulated, and if there isn’t then that’s even more interesting and something already.

Somebody might consider that a paintings responsibility is to tell the viewer something, perhaps even something important. I rather think that a painting that tells something also guides and diminishes the scope of what can be interesting, what can be picked up. It’s difficult to make paintings that withdraw from having anything to tell, especially that withdraws from saying something like “confirm me”. It’s not a paintings responsibility to convince me, neither is it my job to convince it but instead to let it be and that is a difficult and demanding undertaking.

Somebody might propose that to engage with painting is some sort of detective work. So wrong. Painting is not a matter of alibi, evidence, deduction or getting it. Detectives might be able to see the bigger picture. The problem is just that it’s that bigger picture and already there tant pis.

From another perspective I hardly enjoy a single painting. Almost all of them get lost and end up wanting to something way too much. The more paintings I see the more of them is a waste of time, the more of them appear to be painted in order to please the artist’s subject, and the easiest way for that is for the artist to aim at pleasing the viewer. It is really disappointing to look at paintings that are playing hard to get.

But there is something particular about paintings that I don’t like. In all of them, I think. It’s time. Time is the problem that painting has to overcome.

There is always time in paintings, in some or other way, always time and it’s always human time. It seems that paintings always look at back at us or me with a human face. It’s never the time of painting, it is our time. I don’t mean that there is a little face in the painting but that they always look back at us with a sense of confirmation. They tell us we are humans and good subjects. You look at me and I look back. In this way paintings become correlational. They tell us who we are and are at best probabilistic. Evidently a correlationist aspiration to art undoes the possibility for aesthetic experience, and doesn’t it even transform art into sociology where the art work has been degraded to a token for social behaviour and interaction.

Sometimes they (paintings) are just illustrations, too often –  and illustration is not bad but not in paintings that think they are not.

I want to look at a painting that looks back with it’s own gaze or whatever it looks back with. Or perhaps better I want to look at paintings that don’t respond, that are minimally interesting and at the same time suck me in like a black whole. I want paintings without identity but that still are paintings or not not paintings.

Things that look back, with a human face (most things) are great because they don’t ask any other questions than those to which you have an answer. It might not be a pleasant answer but definitely an answer. Those things demand little and what they ask for can be calculated. They ask questions and therefore they stay in the realm of the probable. The make a bit of fuzz, nothing more than a little bit this or that, and nothing is really at stake. We can pretend but as long as something is recognisable it will not change anything, not for real.

I like paintings that doesn’t look back, that doesn’t whisper its name when I come closer. The best moment: it’s a painting but what is that painting?

In a lot of paintings, or are they just illustrations, I can’t even half avoid time. It’s there, full stop. A group of people have a heated conversation over a meal, candle light. Aha – detective work, it’s supper or if not it’s probably winter and the people in the picture (whose age is always easy to depict) are having a late lunch.

Other paintings, maybe those are even worse, are paintings that abandon time in the sense of motif, what is in the painting so to say. These paintings speak time in respect of when a certain style or ideology was present. American modernism was the specialist. Newman’s kabbalah or Daniel Buren’s 8,7 cm. Please.

It is not a matter of erasing time but the painter’s responsibility is to give way to paintings time, but as that is a time that – at least initially – does not have representation one can never know what that time is and that’s why it’s urgent.

There is something about paintings that I don’t like. From one perspective I like almost all paintings, they are after all paintings and that’s quite nice. There’s usually something to pick up and play with or allow to be reformulated, and if there isn’t then that’s even more interesting and something already.

Somebody might consider that a paintings responsibility is to tell the viewer something, perhaps even something important. I rather think that a painting that tells something also guides and diminishes the scope of what can be interesting, what can be picked up. It’s difficult to make paintings that withdraw from having anything to tell, especially that withdraws from saying something like “confirm me”. It’s not a paintings responsibility to convince me, neither is it my job to convince it but instead to let it be and that is a difficult and demanding undertaking.

Somebody might propose that to engage with painting is some sort of detective work. So wrong. Painting is not a matter of alibi, evidence, deduction or getting it. Detectives might be able to see the bigger picture. The problem is just that it’s that bigger picture and already there tant pis.

From another perspective I hardly enjoy a single painting. Almost all of them get lost and end up wanting to something way too much. The more paintings I see the more of them is a waste of time, the more of them appear to be painted in order to please the artist’s subject, and the easiest way for that is for the artist to aim at pleasing the viewer. It is really disappointing to look at paintings that are playing hard to get.

But there is something particular about paintings that I don’t like. In all of them, I think. It’s time. Time is the problem that painting has to overcome.

There is always time in paintings, in some or other way, always time and it’s always human time. It seems that paintings always look at back at us or me with a human face. It’s never the time of painting, it is our time. I don’t mean that there is a little face in the painting but that they always look back at us with a sense of confirmation. They tell us we are humans and good subjects. You look at me and I look back. In this way paintings become correlational. They tell us who we are and are at best probabilistic. Evidently a correlationist aspiration to art undoes the possibility for aesthetic experience, and doesn’t it even transform art into sociology where the art work has been degraded to a token for social behaviour and interaction.

Sometimes they (paintings) are just illustrations, too often –  and illustration is not bad but not in paintings that think they are not.

I want to look at a painting that looks back with it’s own gaze or whatever it looks back with. Or perhaps better I want to look at paintings that don’t respond, that are minimally interesting and at the same time suck me in like a black whole. I want paintings without identity but that still are paintings or not not paintings.

Things that look back, with a human face (most things) are great because they don’t ask any other questions than those to which you have an answer. It might not be a pleasant answer but definitely an answer. Those things demand little and what they ask for can be calculated. They ask questions and therefore they stay in the realm of the probable. The make a bit of fuzz, nothing more than a little bit this or that, and nothing is really at stake. We can pretend but as long as something is recognisable it will not change anything, not for real.

I like paintings that doesn’t look back, that doesn’t whisper its name when I come closer. The best moment: it’s a painting but what is that painting?

In a lot of paintings, or are they just illustrations, I can’t even half avoid time. It’s there, full stop. A group of people have a heated conversation over a meal, candle light. Aha – detective work, it’s supper or if not it’s probably winter and the people in the picture (whose age is always easy to depict) are having a late lunch.

Other paintings, maybe those are even worse, are paintings that abandon time in the sense of motif, what is in the painting so to say. These paintings speak time in respect of when a certain style or ideology was present. American modernism was the specialist. Newman’s kabbalah or Daniel Buren’s 8,7 cm. Please.

It is not a matter of erasing time but the painter’s responsibility is to give way to paintings time, but as that is a time that – at least initially – does not have representation one can never know what that time is and that’s why it’s urgent.

It is not a matter of erasing time but the painter’s responsibility is to give way to paintings time, but as that is a time that – at least initially – does not have representation one can never know what that time is and that’s why it’s urgent.

BLOG ENTRIES

December 28. 2020

During the second part of the residency at Lake Studios I will post a series of shorter text that reflect the project I’m busy with during the residency, the conditions under which we practice dance today next as well as some thought on, well, dance choreography, art and politics. Those texts have been researched and penned down during the residency and a couple of months prior to the period.

During the residency my projects concerns relations between dance and anxiety, in particular respect of climate change and simultaneously researching connections between affect and anxiety. If dance has a particular and active relations to affect, which it has, it makes it interesting to consider in connection to anxiety, which is different than worry or trouble that is forms of turbulence that can be addressed vis a vis arguments – don’t worry, we will be back home before the rain comes – whereas anxiety is a sensation in the body that can not be dealt with through reason. “It doesn’t matter how much you try to explain, I’m still scared beyond words.” or “You can’t convince me, there is a giant spider under my bed however much you vacuum clean underneath it.”

The starting point for this on going research is how dance can be considered and practiced as a means to address climate anxiety, a phenomena that over the last years has become more and more common especially amongst younger people. Climate anxiety can obviously not be cured by argument or reason which is where dance comes into the picture. Can we dance together and practice our bodies, together as a means of proactively spending time with our anxieties. Anxiety is particularly complicated as it often comes with apathy. Therefore it is important to develop practices that empowers the participant, not in the sense of advice or result oriented tasks but exactly through affective stimuli, thus the participant develops his or her own agency, and agency gives way to active participation.

However, during the residency a new project has emerged that opens for a different approach, in particular in respect dance relation to internet and online dissemination.











Amie Jammeh · Dec 20 – Jan 21

Nina Simone will forever be a true inspiration to me, both in life and in my art. the way she fought for rights of black people with everything in her life telling her not to, is unbelievably inspiring. this song has been with me through this whole residency and inspired me a lot. thank you Nina.

To be young, gifted and black,
Oh what a lovely precious dream
To be young, gifted and black,
Open your heart to what I mean
In the whole world you know
There are billion boys and girls
Who are young, gifted and black,
And that’s a fact!
Young, gifted and black
We must begin to tell our young
There’s a world waiting for you
This is a quest that’s just begun
When you feel really low
Yeah, there’s a great truth you should know
When you’re young, gifted and black
Your soul’s intact
Young, gifted and black
How I long to know the truth
There are times when I look back
And I am haunted by my youth
Oh but my joy of today
Is that we can all be proud to say
To be young, gifted and black
Is where it’s at

i have been talking and interviewing some black artists during these weeks about their view on race and art, and how they feel about blackness, whiteness etc in life and in their art. one beautiful dancer send me a text that she wrote that is expressing the feeling in a way that we all know very well, and have been through or thought about more than once. thank you so deeply for your important and inspirational words.

I know I am talented, I know I can do this

But I can’t help but think – am I here because I’M BLACK ?

They don’t know me that well, haven’t seen me dance much really

But they want me in their cast, they want me in their show

And so I wonder – why exactly am I here?

I know they’ve worked with a black dancer before

That dancer is gone

Am I just a replacement?

Not a replacement for the skills but more of a fill-in for the diversity box that ‘needs’ to be checked?

It’s tricky 

If we want things to change, we have to start somewhere

So can I complain if I’m hired not only because I am good at what I do, because I have what they’re looking for, but ALSO BECAUSE I’M BLACK?

On the day of the video shoot, as they are teaching me the material that THEY have created together, that THEY have worked on together

The material that will be filmed and will serve to promote the project

I feel unnecessary, I feel like a prop, especially as I stand between two other white dancers

Not because I feel intimidated or less capable than them

But because I see that this video shoot, this project they are working on, could work perfectly well without me

But perhaps it just LOOKS better with me

Hey, it’s a job, it’s cash, it’s interesting work – so why should I care what the motive is?

For there to be 2,3,4, black dancers in a show, there must, at some point have been only one black dancer in a show

And so it is bittersweet

And so we endure this discomfort at the individual level, to pave the way for the change at the structural level

We speak on  and I mention how I felt that day, that I felt as though there was no need for my presence

She understands, she acknowledges, she empathizes, she apologizes

And yet, neither of us address my Blackness 

The role it plays in an entirely white room

She thinks it has to do with me being ‘new’ to the group (sure, that’s part of it)

Perhaps she really does not see the issue, though I consider her quite ‘woke’

And so I think perhaps it is in my mind , that it isn’t actually an issue

Also this is not something you briefly address in a quick phone call

And so it remains unsaid, undiscussed, unsolved

At that moment, I don’t feel that I have the energy to discuss it 

At that moment, I don’t feel that I have the courage to discuss it 

At that moment, I don’t want to discuss it, though I know I should, I must, not just for me but for all of us

But it remains unsaid, undiscussed, unsolved

Like a piece of cashew stuck between the back of your teeth

What a relief when you finally get the toothpick to get it out

But you can also go a very long time without getting it out

Somehow burdened but also used to it and therefore not really bothered


i believe that as a black person, to be joyful is a choice. it’s an attitude, a sign of strength and a sign of resistance. it challenges the stereotypes of what it means to be black because everything in this world tells us that we are not, and shouldn’t be joyful. you should only be joyful (or maybe more grateful) when x allows you to sit at the same table, but not simply in being who you are.

so the last weeks i have worked with that particular angle of joy. that it’s something that you choose, and even though it might seem like a simple thing, it can be a struggle to achieve. and i find it very interesting, and important, to see how it manifests in the body. how does the attitude of joy feel, look, express itself in me? and how can i find it even in the most uncomfortable positions and places?

how can i find joy in a place that doesn’t want me to be joyful and what does it mean when i do so?

therefore i have been putting myself in movements and positions that i do not feel comfortable in, and been trying to find ways to make them joyful. do i have to change the position? move in it? change my weight? or is it enough to just change my mindset? and when i change my mindset, does it change the position too?

i found that in my body it has a lot to do with tension and release. with holding on and letting go. with resisting and allowing.

i don’t like to stand on releve in 2nd position for 20 min, but if i have to, how do i make it a joyful experience?


I share this video with you because it inspires me to go into the studio and work with dance as more than a physical activity and create something that is more than just aesthetically pleasing. Majorie H Morgan is an award-winning writer, playwriter and journalist who writes very strongly about many important topics involving equality. check her out! 🙂

inspiration for today

“surely there’s strength in being dressed for a storm

even when there’s no storm in sight”

– Yaa Gyasi


inspiration for today

“if you can only be tall

when someone else is on their knees

then you have a serious problem

and my feeling is

white people has a very, very serious problem

and they should start thinking

of what they can do about it

take me out of it.”

– Toni Morrison


inspiration for this residency

“when you are a black girl

everyday that you exist in your body

without apologizing

is activism”

– Raven Taylor


Barkley L Hendricks, What’s Going On, 1974

hello! my name is amie jammeh. i am a 27 years old dancer who originally comes from gambia and sweden.

i work with the body, with video and with voice and my focus as an artist is to bring awareness and visibility to black culture, black stories and black artists. i will dedicate my time here in this beautiful space trying to do that. i am specifically researching about black joy as a rebellious act, and i am trying to find ways to express this with my body.

i am interviewing and talking to other black artists to hear their thoughts and ideas on the topic and the topic of being who they are and the effect it has on their life and art.

peace&love

Michelle Moura · Dec 20 – Jan 21

Residenzpilotprojekt

Hello! I’m Michelle Moura, dancer, performer, choreographer. At this residency I’m working on the piece Overtongue. I’m interested in bodily states, but in Overtongue I’m interested in words, in the confusion or inflation of meaning. So I’m creating a slippery language. But not only. I’m indeed working with bodily dissociations, separating voice from it’s facial movement. That means working with rhythm.

Maybe here at this blog I will share some references…

WORDS ARE NO INNOCENT

.:.


Some drawings done during the last days :::::

The fingers disappointed us /////

Forget this word ///

You’re the most complete success the universe has ever see. An animal being a mind ////

Haneul Kang · Dec 2 – Feb 21

Residency

bio

As an actor, performance creator, musician, sound designer, and workshop leader, I have been creating performing arts.
Therefore, I name my self as ‘performer-creator’. My keywords are ‘body’ ‘sense’ ‘non-verbal language’ ‘sound’. Through these keywords, I try to seek my identity. Also, I had some musical projects as a leader of the band ‘swimmingdoll’ and sound designer of performing art.
Also, I’ve met children and youth as a drama/sensory workshop leader. I am motivated on process-centered creative works, and holistic theater art which is centered to body language and sensorial experience.

project

Searching for Home (in Berlin)

The project, which began in Westfjords artist residency, Iceland, started with a personal question, ‘where should I be ?’ and drew on meanings of ‘home’ based on body, sound, text and sensory experiences. Berlin is a city where various races and generations, including foreigners and immigrants, gather and collide organically. It is also a city of people who have left their hometown. What does ‘home’ mean for Berlin? This project is linked to my work in Westfjords residency and aims to deal with the subject in the form of audience participation performance in social context through expanding from personal narrative to social context. I will also experiment with the question, ‘how does the process of audience participation performance and the meaning of works vary depending on site, environment and community?’ as a key question.

December 5. 2020











Maria Coma · Vocal Roots Apr/May/Nov 2020

VOCAL ROOTS | Residency Autumn 2020

Nov 9th 2020

COMPOSTION: BODY AND SPACE, INSTRUMENT AND SCORE

Getting into a very playful – unknown places where to compose from, I am immersed in a broad crossfade from explorative stages into composing stages.

With the (creative) process of ‘Vocal Roots’, composition is particularly a constant exploration, playing with the idea that, instead of the empty score, the sound and music is “written on” the empty space.

……………. It becomes a continuous Body-Mind-Soul practice:

One of my main interests is to find a balance where the presence of being is the main source from where sound/melodies/harmonies are arising and where the conceptual knowledge, or the “mind-stuff” (in this case, musical knowledge) gives most of the space to this presence. Not to deny or shot down the conceptual knowledge, but to have it there as a helping witness and assistant.



Entirely using as the main instrument(s) the Voice and the Body as a source of sound, is a ‘limitation’ that defines this project as well as becoming one main support for this practice.

From this process, different outcomes are occurring as well as becoming claimed. Among others, more clearly showing up are an opening up of the special senses and an increase of the spatial awareness.








Nov 1rst 2020

FROM ‘INNER BODY’ TO ‘OUTSIDE SPACE’

I spend the previous stage mainly focused on the INNER BODY, exploring the body as the instrument; an entire cavity for resonance. Diving into the possibilities for internal cavities to resonate; from the pharynx (the most obvious), to the pelvic bowl, the chest, etc, I explored different tissues, especially the bone structure (densest tissue in our body that allows sound and vibration to travel through easier than any other).

As well, I was scanning and tuning into different inner body rhythms; heart beat, breath, blood flow, the pulsating rhythm of the CSF, etc. Attuning into the musicality already existing there, and using it to; play with it or to transform it.












Now, to more clearly compose, the focus starts looking OUTSIDE exploring the relationship between:

………………….the BODY ( the instrument )
…………………………………and the SPACE ( the empty score )

For this, spatial memory and hearing sense are coming more into play, to interact with the inner body – physical memory.



Oct 28th 2020

VOCAL ROOTS # WARM UP #1 · in continuous transformation

Supporting the body to become more available and present. Especially available for vibration and sound to happen and to travel through it. Supporting the whole being to become more present and sensitive to the relationship with the (sound)space.

/ ♪ “Ascencion”, Jon Hopkins /

Shake during 40 minutes. Never stop shaking or pulsing.

Shake all the tissues of your body. Organs, fluids, muscles, tendons, fascia, bones. Shake every cell. Do it in any position you like and changing positions. It is nice to begin in the floor, but you do not have to. Around 20 min.

Standing: keep shaking and pulsing. Bring your focus, one after the other, from down to up, to the seven energy centers in your body (commonly known as chakras). From the centre of your pelvic floor (the perineum) until the last one; top of your head, connecting you with the space.

/ no ♪ /

Tap all your bones – densest tissue in your body -.

Keep breathing. Release your breath. Release your voice.

/ no ♪ /

Overtone singing (‘throat singing’): voice inside your pharynx. As if you would paint with resonance the spaces within, discovering the shape of this inner cavity inside your skull and behind your throat, mouth and nose.

Voice – Sound in all other cavities you can find in your body. Painting with resonance the inner cavities of the entire body, including the ones below the head: Chest, Belly, Pelvic Bowl….

Voice – Sound in and through the other body parts and tissues.

Always allow also external movement to support this processes.

¿Where is your midline, centre line, center of energy ? Look for it.

/ Silence /

Stretch and Placement based on Klein Technique.

/ Silence /


VOCAL ROOTS | Residency April – May 2020
July 26th 2020

During this residency at Lake Studios I started the composition – research for the work Vocal Roots: a piece for 5 voices & bodies based on the human body as a whole instrument and the voice as a fundamental element. Experiencing the alive body as a source of sound with its potential to be(come) music(al).

The core of this piece is a call to reconnect with nature. Departing from a research into embodiment using the basic elements manifested in nature as well as in our bodies.

“I have found that my body is, in a sense, a microcosm of the world, and thus, a laboratory for understanding its meaning” (Stinson, 2004).

I chose to focus mainly in one of the elements: Earth – while acknowledging that all the elements exist in constant interplay with one another – Earth with its attributes: density, frame, shape, boundaries, matter… This brought me to these qualities in my body, voice and breath: getting more in touch with the bone structure, inner cavities, muscles, blood and heart. The relationship between inner & outer was very present.

This is a sound excerpt from myself singing a cappella a Vocal Polyphonic piece (Sisa Tura) on the beginning of the residency while testing the sound of the room, the orientation of the microphones and my body-voice in the space. The so appreciated sound of Lake Studios’ room-space was really playing an important role during this process.




VOCAL ROOTS |Origin

Video Teaser of the a First Residency: Filmed during 10 days of Residency for this work which, so far, I entitle ‘Vocal Roots’. On that journey I shared the very beginning of my explorations for this project with a group of 9 other performers coming from dance, performance, music and voice.

#Concept and Direction: Maria Coma
#Colleagues of Exploration: Dasnyia Sommer, Flora Nacer, Raffaela Then, Clara Conza, Elena Tarrats, Ferran Corral, Azucena Momo, Christine Borsch-supan, Helen Hoffmann.
#Residence Space: Espai Dansa Natura #Executive Production: Biel Martínez Lorca.
#Film by: Raimon Fransoy in collaboration with Xavier Puig and Joan Solé (Elsabeth).


MARIA COMA: WWW.MARIA-COMA.COM | Instagram account @mariacoma | Facebook: Maria Coma |


Emily Ranford – Dance-Tech Oct/Nov 2020

I am an Australian dancer/choreographer based in Berlin currently in residence at Lake Studios and TroikaTronix for the Tech Residency for a project in collaboration with creative coder and video maker Bogdan Licar. Together we embark on a project of a 360 degree view of performances embedded into website gallery to host the performance, to be viewed remotely from any browser.

www.emilyranford.com

Mirrors in Space

coming soon to be outlived
by the stairs free falling into the running water
the stars rolling away from each other
outshone by silhouettes on fortuitous placards
& out of sight; forgetful of its smeared desires

A collaboration between Emily Ranford and Bogdan Licar

Performers:
Emily Ranford
Anna Jarrige
Nitsan Margaliot
Nikoleta Koutitsa
Bogdan Licar

Mirrors In Space (MIS) is an ever-evolving immersive website that consists of a 3D virtual space where visitors are able to attend a series of performative events in an interactive online browser. Algorithmic video-art via script and visual programming languages formulate a journey for viewers to navigate through 360° dance performances. As the space continues to grow with the release of new content and zones, the viewer has autonomy of duration, framing, mood and navigation throughout the experience using their keyboard and mouse. 

The movement language is developed around the theme of resilience – to discover adaptability within oneself in order to respond to the onslaught of input from our surrounding environment, and the human need to create dynamic boundaries, both physical and psychological, that not only protect ourselves from the external world, but that also intend to bridge the emotional and cultural gaps that are continuously established.

The project promotes accessibility to art and dance work from remote locations, exploring the potential of web platforms for movement-based performances and embedding the physical body and site-specific video locations into the digital realm via spherical video and technologies 3D mapping bodies and objects in an abstract space. Furthermore MIS makes itself available to invite other dancers, performers and contributors to participate through shared movement practice, building an ongoing bank of choreographies. 

The recorded 360° performances are edited into a collage of looping videos intertwined with algorithmic visual output based on real-time data and user interaction, forming whirlwind flows of vision quests and sensorial meditations attempting to evoke personalised realities each unique to the viewer and their input. Each experience is placed inside an explorative symbolic 3D maze allowing the viewer to move through performances freely with the help of sound and video cues, deciding what to see and hear.

In a world that sees every individual, physical and digital, hyperlinked to everything around, we are both enabled and limited to know ourselves by an incessant series of reflections of images, sounds and words that are copies of copies. MIS is a representation of the network of interdependencies that forms our daily existence – the suggestion that there’s no way out, only through, through awareness, understanding and ultimately transforming cultural reflections and refractions, finally coming to the realisation that we are always required to assign individual meanings to the ever-changing surroundings, rather than relying on one-size-fits-all fixed views, and attempt a fresh relationship with the environment.

Concept: Emily Ranford & Bogdan Licar 
Choreography: Emily Ranford,
Creative coding & Sound Design: Bogdan Licar
Performance: Emily Ranford, Anna Jarrige, Nitsan Margaliot, Nikoleta Koutitsa, Bogdan Licar
Supported by Lake Studios Berlin and TroikaTronix

Thoughts

thinking about productivity and societies based around success
of schedules and output versus flowing through time in own rhythms
feeling the need to say yes to everything work related with the imminent threat of not being allowed
overload versus under load versus under-load
that there is the most sense in moving together, even when moving alone, together

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGH4eybqLRq/

Waves of production



Creating in the time of Covid-19
priorities distinguished and confused and re configured
realigning values

Realising time is better spent in conversation, in direct contact of collaboration
Ideas and research became separated, time spent together demanding more time to peeled back the layers
Rediscovering the essence, the why, the first feeling, the context in which it worked so well in isolation
Less is more
More time
More time to invest deeply,
Less following unwritten rules of presence

Learning in process
Learning about how two individuals work together best
Difficulties shared through differences
Decoding, confronting
Learning; learning that learning things takes a long time
Ambitions running at the speed of light
Reality, slow as the pace of learning new codes

Surrounded by corona virus
Surrounded by an underlying stress in self and others
Do the stakes get higher, or is it simply time to re-evaluate

Again, moving is best
When moving alone,
Together
.

Discovering the night sky
Holding it all together
But what are we actually holding?

Sculptures in the falls
Sculpting time
Holding the space
For the people and the wind and the woes

A project born together in isolation
functions best
in isolation
We find ourselves here again upturned
But are we less concerned?
Can we turn around, rebound
Re design re place re new.

Essentially we are making use of the 3D support of modern browsers, combining site-specific choreographies shot with a 360 degrees camera and randomised visual journeys that make for a different experience every time you visit the website. 

The Kinect proved to be a really interesting and practical movement capture tool for MIS. Using it we were able to insert the human body into the digital realm, where the choreography could interact with the dance of the randomised code in the tunnels between 360° worlds.

The main idea behind MIS is to explore different ways than the physical realm to experience dance, both for the performer, by repurposing and re-appropriating spaces where dance doesn’t normally happen, and for the viewer by allowing them to see and interact with dance and video art. 

We are but mirrors in space. A project born out of lockdown, re-entered lockdown and thus far has found it’s way here:

mirrorsin.space

WARNING: this website contains stroboscopic effects
It is only available on a computer browser. 

Any thoughts, questions, reflections or feedback from you is very welcome. You can get in touch with us at:

A huge thanks to Lake Studios Berlin, TroikaTronix and the Berlin Senat.

David Pallant – Dance-Tech Oct/Nov 2020

I am using the Dance-Tech residency to research into audio choreography, to create a non-visual work which can be experienced remotely via headphones. During the period of lockdown, as life seemed to transfer almost entirely onto my tiny laptop screen, I felt saturated with (digital) visuals and turned to podcasts, music, guided meditations… Now I want to see how movement can also exist in that very intimate audio space, one on one.

Of course, many questions already: How nuanced can the body be via sound alone? What is the translation process when it’s for the ears and not the eyes? And how do you dance for a microphone all day long? (An early answer: don’t.)

I am slowly learning a new technique, finding out about different sorts of microphones, and the pros and cons of various audio formats. Usually a bit of a Luddite, I’m enjoying discovering some of the artistry hidden within technology.

It is so much quieter here than where I normally live, and all sorts of other sounds can seep in. But so far, I still often walk around with headphones in.

02.11.20

The new lockdown starts, theatres, galleries, almost all cultural spaces are closed. And we feel somehow very lucky to be able to continue working and living here (with new restrictions and hygiene measures of course). Open training is not possible in the same way anymore, which is a real loss, but there are still lots of enriching opportunities for exchange [ mit Abstand ] with the other artists here.

I was very happy to watch a live performance in Berlin on Saturday, but it was hard to hear from people how yet again they were having to put all their plans to create, perform and connect on ice.

One (completely selfish) silver lining: after some time of being able to re-experience live performance, I was feeling quite far away from some of the impulses which led me to research into remote performance in the first place. Now that we are once more in lockdown, they’re coming closer again.

Second selfish admission: it is somehow easier to spend time working alone*, if you know that many other people are too.

*Thankfully, I am not really working completely alone – I am collaborating remotely with sound artist Nico Daleman.

Fergus Johnson – Oct/Nov 2020

…THOUGHTS ON AN ENDING…

so that’s it, the residency comes to a close, Unfinished Fridays finishes and it’s time for me to leave

it was a beautiful evening

they were six beautiful weeks

they were autumn days cold and colourful

they were chatting outside with a cigarette or two

chatting outside with Naïma

we were chatting about rhythm

about how our work and our bodies and our selves leak into each other

how a conversation becomes a frame and suddenly

this thing

this thing you have been creating

this thing that you have dragged with you all the way from home

changes

what we touch we change

what we change changes us

by talking we touched

each others work and each other

we changed

we changed the work the work changes us we changed the work

through talking

together

so suddenly i feel that my work is also dealing with rhythm

the pulse of poetry

a queer heartbeat

body-rhythm

the drumbeat of change

in the end my film is a poem occurring through text but also image

it’s a game of rhythm

black screens beating out the beats between our voices

we are many bodies held in one film of skin

many voices singing collective harmonies of the self

many bodies dancing together in one container

we intersect with ourselves and for a moment are still

then the song continues

maybe this is what the film is about

maybe this is how our talks about rhythm have become manifested

in the black screens between images

in the criss-cross of voices

fragmented rhythms chasing each other round in circles

maybe you could call this work music too

so i end with one more image:

it’s just a shot of my editing desk

but don’t you think it looks like a score?

i guess it is

<FRACTURE> <FRAGMENT> <FRAME>

things change and are fractured. i thought i would be sharing a short solo in the next edition of Unfinished Fridays but the new light lockdown in Berlin means the event was cancelled. then i thought i would be sharing related research that i am working on with friends but our work is about touch so that too has been canceled. now instead i am going to create a short film for the upcoming (online) edition of Unfinished Fridays. things change and are fractured. things are fractured and change. we shift and move into new realities, new bodies, new relations.

fragments emerge and connect. the images i created for the publicity for the abandoned Unfinished Fridays have become inspiration for the emerging work:

these are overlays, images created from stills taken from my research and overlayed with each other as well as anatomical sketches from Blandine Calais-Germaine’s seminal work, ‘Anatomy of Movement’. now i want to take these images, spontaneous fragments appearing like found objects from the now dead space of an aborted sharing, and create a short film. why not?

my research and part of my practice here in Lake Studios relates to yoga. i have been doing an almost daily yoga practice in the mornings. but even as i thought about my queer body emerging not only from my anatomy but also through the fragmented and fractured process of living my life i somehow excluded the morning practice from this conception. it was disconnected, just something i do in the mornings, almost like a coincidence. so we frame the coincidence. why not include the self that practices in the morning as just one of the many selves that occupy this skin we call body.

from fractures and fragments comes a frame. the image of overlays becomes a skeleton, the morning yoga practice flesh; this new film i will create suddenly finds itself with yoga as a central theme.

______________________________________________________________________________________

<BIO>

as artists we are often asked to write a bio so here is a bio, or a bio-poem or an instant-bio – kinda like instant compostition but instead of composition it’s a bio.

fergus is

fergus is here today this week for six weeks here in lake studios

fergus is here

full of nostalgia, full of the other times, full of mermaids

with green hair this time, green eyes and a quiet room to dream lake-y dreams

this the difference, a resident, sheltered and homed not just visiting but

here

fergus is

fergus is listening to gwenno, a new favourite

favourite song from the album is this

this gorgeous melody and magic words sung in cornish, what a surprise

to hear cornish, dead language of my childhood homeland, what a surprise to hear

a celtic tongue suddenly spoken from spotify’s shuffle

tasting home in a new home

how strange, how lovely

cornwall is oceans

cliffs, coasts, rocks, waves, salt, salt salt salt salty saltwater kissing me

fergus also is oceans

is water and salt and saltwater

is still a mermaid swimming still rusalka still a sea weasel

is still all about magic and queer creatures reaching out and collective art-making and water and bodies and transformation and the tides and the richness of diving into it and holding your breath and this crazy world of sensation all around us just waiting to be licked and caressed and smelled and eaten up like a yummy treat and then being immersed in it and crying with your friends because it made you sick and you ate to much and crying with your friends because this world is so fucked up and its really not enough just to dance but it really is all we can do and all we can do is go to the sea and the water and let go and let it wash over us and just become it

an ocean

or at least, the imagination of an ocean

fergus wants

to imagine an ocean

to imagine new worlds into possibility

like ursula said

to find the radical political beautiful dangerous wildness in our imaginations

together

because if i’m imagining a new would into being then i want you to be there

so you can kiss me of course

or maybe so we can kiss each other

if we feel like it

fergus also wants to enjoy these six weeks

to dance and do yoga and research anatomy and phrasing

to meet new friends and invite old ones along for the ride

and cook and stare out the window and wear nice outfits and talk about sabotaging gender and patriarchy and capitalism

yes to that

yes to dancing and enjoying it

yes to this body moving in a new old space

yes to being here and seeing what happens

yes

Sasha Portyannikova – September 2020

Handcrafted Digital Morphing

This research is based on personal circumstances that became globally relevant.  In 2017 (i.e. long before COVID-19 outbreak) I and several of my close friends-colleagues started to travel a lot and became separated from each other. To cure homesickness we run the project ‘Kvartirnik of the 3d order‘, that was a series of monthly online dance meetings of four dance artists, and we practiced it regardless of our locations and time-zones. “In four different places, we will simultaneously make our dance happen. Dance, which we couldn’t even imagine. Dance enclosed in pour private rooms but unfolding and interweaving with others over live video streaming. This dance is our way to comprehend the potentiality of the Real in inevitable hyperreality. Beyond borders. Beyond money. Beyond images. Dance. In da flat. On your screen.”  Through the Pandemic in 2019, this format became routine of the whole world.

For more than 8 years I work in dance cooperative Isadorino Gore, that we cofounded with Dasha Plokhova. Last 3 years we live in different cities that provoke us to explore the potentiality of distancing and the challenge that the gap of closeness provides. This time we explore how we could choreograph movement and attention through the most popular conference platform – Zoom. We’ve named that way of communication ‘handcrafted digital morphing’. 
Being involved in the discourse of communication with non-human selves, we are questioning, if we are able to consider digital media as a non-human self as well? As humanity, we are looking for a possibility to build responsible communication with the environment and other species on the planet. Following this logic we would address the question, how could we build horizontal communication with the media we are communicating through – through the platform that everyone uses. Could we consider the labor of digital selves as invisible labor that is developed by the feminist paradigm? How could we show hospitality and invite digital media to collaborate with us? And who is hosting whom? And how would we co-build this process accordingly? 

www.sashaportyannikova.com

Sonya Levin – September 2020

We mothers

We creatures

We who drink and who let drink

We who are weak and who leak sometimes

We mothers wiping asses writing applications reading news

Where our sons and daughters kill and rape each other

We the five stars hotel and 3 michelin stars restaurant the best environment , the best teachers for the new people

M & m & m & m & m

Come close spread your arms feel the warm feeling in your chest

Fall forward and let me catch you

Embrace you

Wipe your tears

Wipe your ass

Give you my breast

And we both dive into the nature

Inside of us

The liquid flows from me to you

You male creature suck my boobies

When was the last time you were standing on the roof of Radialsystem and peeing in the river

Making out with your transgender lover

And creating poems

Puking a little on the heads of pigeons, calling police, calling your mother, asking her to call her mother

Praying to the religious creature that you have just now invented

Created

Like a poem

Like a pigeon

Like I don’t know what

like this window

What do I must?

Why I must?

www.sonyalevin.com

Naïma Mazic / n ï m company- October/November 2020

During the Residency I am mostly working on my new piece PoLy-Mirrors, a re-performance of feminine diagonals that will premier on the 18th of March 2021 in Vienna at the brut imagetanz Festival.

Together with the dancers Kelvin Kilonzo and Margaux Marielle-Tréhoüart, the composer & musician Elias Stemeseder and the percussionist Evi Filipou we started working / researching : on the communication between dance & music based on (poly-)rhythms and on the question if/how diagonals created through the body perform femininity.

At the “Unfinished Fridays” on the 20th of November we will perform at the Lake Studios.

www.more2rhythm.com

These days I was finishing two videos. “THE CHANGING SAME” is a Trailer of the performances we had this summer in Vienna and the second one is a music video I choreographed for the singer Lia Pale.

Jessy Tuddenham – Reconnect Residency. June & July 2020

My Lake Studios residency has been dedicated to developing a new solo. A dance and sound-score built on the shoulders of the experiments I have been doing in stand-up comedy the past couple of years. My aim is to make a work that is created, over time, with the audience.

Corona regulations, of course, make it difficult to build something with an audience using traditional performance modes. So I took an experimental approach.

During my residency, I invited guests — one at a time and in accord with social distancing — out to Lake Studios for informal showings of new material.

In addition, I hosted an interactive newsletter. Archives can be found HERE.

For the 67th Unfinished Friday Livestream in late June, I created and performed a new solo titled “Ballad”. An audio-only edition of this performance was broadcast on Cashmere Radio Berlin. Listen HERE.

The full scope of my residency (informal tests, newsletter, “Ballad”, and all that came before…) culminates in a solo work made of 2 parts: 1 – a live text and movement performance 2 – a pre-recorded text and sound design. The pre-recorded audio will be broadcast on Cashmere Radio Berlin in August 2020. Afterwards it will be available in my personal show archives HERE.

Plans are a wonderful thing. Squirrelly and unruly.

Before the residency began, I anticipated that I would do weekly performances on Zoom. Instead, I started a newsletter.

Before the residency began, I anticipated I would have a complete, full evening-length solo. Instead, I have approximately 25, work-in-progress, minutes.

Before the residency began, I anticipated I would call this new solo work “Speak, Woman” — a trope on the title of Nabokov’s autobiographical memoir “Speak, Memory”. Instead, I am calling it “Longitudinal” – this too, I anticipate will change.

Plans are a wonderful thing.

Plans are a wonderful thing.

Plans are a wonderful thing.

Maya M. Carroll & Roy Carroll (The Instrument) – July 2020

Since we started our residency at LAKE Studios, we’ve been creating a four-chapter piece called Field Scores. Each part in it is based on and evolves from listening to and sensing an environment; both indoor and outdoor. At the heart of this work is an urge to mentally, physically and poetically engage with nature through our artistic language; to blend with an environment; disappear / re-emerge, read nature’s language as a coded message and connect with it intuitively, instinctively and spiritually.

For our sharing on July 31st, we aim to show three of the four chapters: the first one, ‘Infra’ is purely audible (non visual), the second is a duet of sound and gesture in the back garden and the third is a film made of sliding images edited with field recordings we have worked on over the last two weeks.

In the coming week we will continue capturing sound, motion, image…spying on birds and insects action and breathing-in the rich microbiome around us.

We are also working on a choreographic film called ‘All Nature’ which will be shared publicly in a few months, and recording short dance pieces for a collaboration with composer W.A. Mathieu. All of these projects are complementary and interconnected through the nature of space, listening and expressiveness unfolded in our work during this residency.

Short video excerpt from our first week of work on sound and gesture:

Emmilou Rößling – Reconnect Residency. June 2020

ARCHIVE OF DESCRIBED DANCES

During my residency at the Lake Studios Berlin in June 2020 I asked colleagues to send me a dance of theirs that I would learn, audio describe and add to a growing archive of described dances. The dances that I received exist as words and texts and as shared body memory. They can be listened to or read on paper. They can be transmitted or learned and circulate until they grow into something else that needs a description of its own. 

This first dispatch includes works by FIA Neises, Anna Nowicka, Isabel Lewis and Vincent Riebeek. They are delicate and funny, making up for weird combinations and unexpected trajectories. And most of all they are a great reminder that dance can be at the most beautiful when it extends beyond the visual. 

You can listen to them ( or read their transcripts) here https://www.emmilouroessling.com/archive-1/

Currently I’m preparing for a second dispatch of dances and I would like to ask you, dear blog readers and listeners, to get in touch with me if there is a dance in particular, whether from you or someone else, that you would like to receive in it’s audio described version. Or maybe, if there is a dance that you would like to pass on to someone else via the archive of described dances. 

excerpt from Anna Nowicka – Wander #20

then she stretches out her arms high up towards the neon lights and pulls her body up as if wanting to reach them. once she is standing, her eyes fixed onto the neon lights, her hands drop down to her face and cover her eyes. it’s a childish image of hiding in plain sight. a touching attempt in camouflaging yourself away. she then lowers her hands, while keeping her eyes still closed, she moves through positions and through the space and once again drops down like a goal keeper. this time covering her eyes with one hand again.
she gets up to sitting. her eyes are now open again and looking into her hand in confusion and with curiosity. she spits into her hand and seals the spit with both hands in to the floor.

Yotam Peled – April & May 2020

I arrived in the Lake Studios in April to create a space for myself. It was not a conscious choice to enter a creation process, but to try and develop a practice, a routine to cope with the unknown that Covid-19 has brought. The community around the studio, as well as in Friedrischshagen, lives in a different speed than the city. Adapting to this new pace made me reflect on and appreciate stillness and patience.

During the two months I was resident in the studio, I spent my time between running, writing, gardening and dancing, trying not to create any hierarchies between the different actions, and treat them all as sources of inspiration and manifestation of emotional states. Slowly I formed up a ‘movement approach’ that I tried to remain true to in that period, revolving around the idea of ‘the fall’. I explored submission, letting go, not-defying-gravity, articulating the construction and deconstruction of my body.

As a trained circus artist, I am immediately drawn to exploring the unconventional possibilities of a new space I arrive to. On my first day of work there were two gymnastics rings hung from the ceiling of the big studio, and I saw it as a sign. Suspending on the rings gave another dimension and physicality to my research, which allowed me to explore the fall both in a technical and poetic manner.

During the process I’ve found myself quite balanced. The idea of surrendering to another pace, to a longer and more profound work process (which is still ongoing) made me feel at ease. Nature had a big influence on the journey of this project, and I am grateful to have had access to the wild every day. The process climaxed before leaving the studio, during a first online ‘Unfinished Friday’ in which I presented the work, or at least where I was with it back then. It was a strange experience, to perform for an invisible audience, which left me with many question marks regarding the future of performance during a pandemic.

Upon returning to my home in the city I took time to digest the experience and decided to create an interactive online page for this project, which I call migrena2X2:

https://www.yotampeled.com/migrena2x2