AiNIN Application for Residency

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

During this residency, I would like to explore ways in which the human body can re-align itself within its environment in order to dynamically relate to nonhuman living bodies. I understand dynamic to be the change between states of being, energy levels, intensities, volumes, movements; neither one nor the other but both at different times. Coming from a contemporary dance and improvisation background, I would like to explore how human and nonhuman bodies can relate through micromovements; for example, how mini adjustments and re-alignments of spine and stem, might lead to a dynamic way of relating. I think it is urgent to reconsider the concept of inside and outside, internal and external, as creating a distinction when none is necessary.

How can internal physical, emotional, imaginary processes be externalized and explicated? How can the perception and sensing of a landscape be internalized? Where are the portals between the inside and the outside, and how might considering bodies as fragments reveal the hol(e)iness of both? How to perform-with nonhuman living bodies in order to perceive these bodies differently and evoke empathy in the spectator? Does empathy lead to reconsidering relationships to nature and nonhuman living bodies, and how then, are these relationships dynamic?

I would like to explore these questions through this residency by curating daily, live-streamed, performative events in nature. Choosing remote places, ones seemingly wild and untouched and others cultivated and preserved near to where I live, I’d like to practice performing-with other nonhuman living bodies, in the liveness of specific times of day and weather. I’d also like to experiment with using the camera as a nonhuman body within the landscape, and how performing for and with it can affect what I do and what is seen. A follow-up question would be: how can the live-streaming of these performative events reach spectators as they watch inside their homes on screens, how can the work still be internalized, and how can dynamic relationships be created?

The field continues to be a field (the forest a forest, the lake a lake) whether my body is in it or not. I am part of the field when I am inside it and, just as equally, the field is part of me. How to perform-with the field, the natural preserve/reserve, the coal-mining hole? How to practice listening to those body-filled spaces? How to re-sensitize not only my own body but other human bodies to these nonhuman living bodies around us? What physical language can be co-created with non-human living bodies?

My interest here lies in how we conceive the middle of things, how central the spine is to our stature, status, stasis, stereotype. Each vertebrae extends forward towards the center of the body, the spine is our sense of centeredness, the centralization of ourselves from within ourselves. The spine is a series of micromovements of singular vertebrae as they negotiate gravity and the connection they have to each neighboring vertebrae. Each one affects the alignment of the entire skeleton as it navigates through its environment.

Like a ripple expanding in a pond from the fall of a single stone, so this micromovement could potentially be the impetus for a shift in perspective, a re-balancing, a step, a lift of the sternum, an adjustment of the chin, a release of the shoulder blades, a change of the height of the gaze. An internal de-centralization of the human body could be a way to de-centralize that entire body in an environment in order to perceive nonhuman bodies differently (as other micro-moving rhizome and co-evolving systems), and to allow them in.

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