Reflections on Experiments in Spectatorship
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
Does my practice require natural surroundings? I do want to say something about the care non-human bodies and human bodies can offer each other. But what would happen to my practice if I was in a virtual space? A sound collage or a overly stimulated indoor room?
If the outdoor-ness is integral to my work, then live-streaming in the rain where I rely on radio signals is very risky. Does that mean the landscape has agency to offer me the preferable circumstances to live-stream? Is a schedule that I conceive of detrimental to my practice? How might I discover the moment when I am ready to be in and receive which does not correspond to a schedule, as well as discovering the moment when the location is available and offering itself to me... There is an incredible time of evening when the sun is low in the sky and the light is golden. This time speaks to me. How does my body relate to the time of nature? When do our golden moments line up? What is my golden moment?
I can prepare myself for the scheduled time of the live-stream on Friday at 19h for example, but the landscape cannot. To it, the timing of my being there and the fact that I intend to live stream is irrelevant. I do not want to impose myself, my subjectivity onto the location ( I try to leave no marks or anything behind). But it doesn't even matter even if I do because the landscape is oblivious, isn't it? If I leave a plastic bag unintentionally on the grass, it will take decades before the landscape has to deal with it. If I step on the grass and cause it to bend so far to the ground, it needs hours before it can lift itself up again. Or does it sense these changes immediately? Does my being there as I am being there, in an awake, porous state - does that feedback into the landscape? Does it know I am there? Do I leave a mark while leaving no mark on the visible nonhuman bodies? Even when I don't live-stream, I don't feel like I am alone. I may be the only human body around but I am constantly watched by non-human bodies, of that I am quite sure.
I think it's Anette Arlander who asks, " if I fall in the middle of the forest, will the trees hear?"