Postgraduate Forum FINAL SCHEDULE
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Meeting ID: 821 6032 1462 || Passcode: 028157
WEDNESDAY 29 June 2022
17.00 – 17.30
– OPENING ADDRESS “Material Sites – exploring movement ecology as an expanded field” by Dr Rachel Sweeney, Schumacher College.
– OPENING PERFORMANCES by Mona Baur, Derek Bowerman, Eleanor Herndlhofer, Movement Mind and Ecology Masters Students (2022-23), Schumacher College
17.30 – 17.40 Sarah Boreham
Exploring the Embodied Imagination, kinesthetic experience, dreams, dance and affect, I invoke an antedote for the privileging of mind seeking clarity my moving with historical absenses/ghosts/ruins to materially explore discursives that are absent (Derrida). Believing these ethical choices as increasing of our connections whilst acknowledging our losses and disconnections. With the view that Embodied Imagination are active and motivating an entanglement of movement/embodiment engages the present via reflexive practice. Vitality and intensity is developed by the production of self through material discursives in the landscape, to address and the bodies of alienation and carelessness from a human speciesism. Landscape allows us to produce self through spectral spaces, as we embody history of the environmental and marginalised material discursives of species, gender, class, ability, absence of the body, narrative, our bodies are productive, process based and rhizomic.
17.40 – 18.00 Ben Hunt
My current performance project is an endurance piece, exploring the physical and durational aspects around fox hunting in the UK. This probing includes the role of activists, members of the hunt, and primarily the experience of the non-humans impacted by the hunt, most notably the fox, alongside other wild animals and domesticated animals used as part of the hunt. The performance has aspects of performative explorations with the main focus being my performance on a treadmill reacting to a soundscape of a pack of dogs, by increasing speed the closer the sound gets, and more relaxed the further the way they are. I hope to present my thinkings around this performance and the performative aspects my research explores, prior to the performance being presented at the Borderlines Conference at De Montfort University, on 1st July.
18.00 – 18.20 Anushka Nair Roo(u)ting
Becom(th)ings: Posthumanism, Subjectivity, Performance Art is a phenomenological artistic research which birthed a framework for performing with matter, and the performance Roo(u)ting. It is an artistic-philosophical-material inquiry into processual Becomings with objects (organic and inorganic) from everyday life. The research and its emergent framework aims to expand fixed notions of human subjectivity by offering a rooted but routing approach—stable yet seeking contingent paths of relations with matter. An approach, that attends to the merging of personal and material knots of identity. Taking from relations with objects that exist and moving towards what it can potentially be, Roo(u)ting looks at interweaving material and phenomenological processes. I propose to present the methods I have formulated to create this framework by offering examples from the participatory performance installation (Roo(u)ting) with beetroots and other everyday objects. It offers the figuration of multitudinous body—through embodied materiality—as emergent collective yet personal subjectivity/ies, for a practice of fluid self-identification.
18.20 – 18.30 Q&A- facilitated by Movement Mind and Ecology students
20.00 – 20.20 Sophie Hedderwick “The Turning World 3”
The turning world is inspired by conversations with Mikhail Karakis about the future of the planet, in our current climate crisis, imagining a city returned to nature, it was originally conceived as a 3D installation, projected onto a bioplastic screen, for Tate Liverpool. Working with Birmingham Wildlife Trust in Deer’s Leap Park, Smethwick, Sophie Hedderwick has filmed the work of the young female volunteers, as they help to (re)wild this urban landscape.
The nature reserve’s name refers to its history as a site of the Mitchell and Butler Factory, from 1898-2000, whose logo was a leaping dear. It also references the site’s ancient history as a Deer Park, during the Medieval period, owned by the De Birmingham family. Birmingham Wildlife Trust has cleared and restored the boundary brook between Staffordshire and Warwickshire, which dates back to this period in time. The trust have re-introduced local flora and created pond areas for wildlife, and areas for the local community to use.
The turning world has been filmed over several months, showing the changing seasons of Deer’s Leap Park, archiving the movements of the volunteers as they dig and plant. The extreme close-ups filmed in 3D effect a virtual dance with the viewer. The bio plastic screen is made by Hedderwick, from a seaweed base and birch bark, which is grown on site, it is (bio)degradable and will be returned to the nature reserve after the exhibition, as part of the circular economy. The circular economy is a movement which looks at the production of art and design objects from creation to end of life, ensuring minimal impact on the planet, using (bio)technology.
20.20 – 20.40 Anna Wennerbeck ‘Softening – a somatic and choreographic exploration on connection with trees as a way to a sustainable future’.
In the presentation I will introduce the concept and method of softening. Softening is both a result of the project and suggests a call for action as a pathway towards a sustainable world. To me, softening is a word in motion and in being, just like my relationship with trees and with my body. The stability and softness of the trees. Softening is to stay with trees, and in times of rapid changes, to soften into elasticity and the trust of the slow changing. To soften into something is also to rest into something, something that carries me. The fascia that carries my body. The trees that carry my body. To soften into compassion. I have connected the concept of resilience in climate work with the two qualities, elasticity, and plasticity, both inherent in the movement of trees and human bodies. Through the exploration of elasticity in trees and in my body and together with a fascia-focused practice, I have gained more buoyancy, somatic trust, and a reshaping of the way I move and how I connect movements in my body. I could say my body has slowly become more resilient and I have a felt sense of connection to trees and new perspectives on them.
20.40 – 21.00 Victoria Lucas ENTANGLEMENT
In Entanglement (2021), the artist describes how her body is reclaimed by a matriarchal moss colony that she encounters in the landscape, as the viewer’s gaze is guided virtually in and out of the skin of an abandoned quarry site. Perspectives are fluid, so that human and non-human entities intertwine in a process of bodily becoming.
21.00 – 21.20 Batya Gil Margalit “Yam Yabasha”
“Yam Yabasha” – Sea and Land – is a film that documents an ongoing project of movement, performance and sculpture at the beach. Named after a children’s game, the project involves deep listening attentiveness, environmental consciousness and femininity, with an always present element of playfulness. The movie is a video-art-dance, an ode to life, to nature, to time and to infinity. In the course of four years, five women, residents of the Western Galilee, Israel, meet regularly at “Betzet Beach” to create “Yam Yabasha”. They are there in every kind of weather, in sun, rain or storm, in motion or in stillness. Sand is the material they explore, attentive to its texture, and the movement it allows. With their hands and feet they plough and carve forms in the sand, forms that are also ancient symbols: spirals, the sign of infinity, a line, a flower of eight. Each shape dictates its own unique score, that has to be discovered or unveiled. The tension of the moment is ever present, creating the dialogue between the known and unknown, between motion and stillness, between the group and the individual. As in ancient times when man tightened his connection to the community and forces of nature through rituals, “Yam Yabasha” is a contemporary shamanistic ritual that invites us to rediscover the possible connections between ourselves and our environment. Every time “Yam Yabasha” takes place it offers new possible relationships in time and space, happening here and now, in the present moment, but seemingly in existence from time immemorial.
21.20 – 21.40 Kathryn Nelson and Karoline Schneider
‘Street weeds’ grow in unexpected places. They come uninvited into our towns and cities, yet they are survivors. Their seeds and spores are light and easily carried by the wind. Yet these plants are trodden on, ignored and in many ways despised. This abuse aroused our empathy, we decided to talk to them, to recite poetry and affirm their existence. These unwanted weeds became central players, in a performance where they were both audience and artists. We affirmed their existence and read to them the poem, ‘Vestiges’.
This intimacy re-established, in our minds, a bond that animals and plants have shared over millennia – we exist only through mutual kinship. We breathe oxygen as a matter of course. Plants give life to the earth: they create the atmosphere that surrounds us, they are the source of the oxygen that animates us. Plants embody the most direct and elemental connection that life can make with the world. We should remember to thank them for this. This shared performance between plant and human was documented by a short film. It shows the creative process, where humans relinquish sole authorship and provide a platform for ‘street weeds’. By so doing we acknowledged their importance and perhaps most importantly of all our debt to them.
THURSDAY 30th June 2022
10.00 – 10.20 Laurane Legoff “Entangled Futures”
Maite Pastor Blanco and Laurane Le Goff discuss their workshop series ‘Entangled Futures’, an educational proposal supported by the Climate Emergency Network from the University of the Arts London and in collaboration with London Laser Talks, that is embedded in the curriculum of our students at the University of the Arts London. It brings intersectional and interdisciplinary events that talk about the current ecological crisis. The series is composed of eight lectures and six workshops, divided into two parts: Understand the Entangled Futures and Rethink them. By sharing our experience of creating ‘Entangled Futures’, we would be thrilled to promote how change can happen in a school/college/university, to empower other young people to shape their curriculum and ask to be taught about those things is a call to action we would like to share from our experience.
10.20 – 10.40 Lerna Babikyan “Vessels of the Earth”
For decades, an urban legend about a Mermaid in the metropolis of Istanbul has been been traveling from door to door, whispered from ear to ear. The rumour has it, that the Mermaid had the most beautiful poems and melodies, and sung it to the residents of Istanbul, from the sea. The residents which followed her mesmerizing voice every night, either by spreading out across the shore or sailing open to the sea with her, on the “pleasure sandals”, were drunk on the sheer joy of being alive. Now, the legend of the Mermaid has breathed life into the dances of three women in the movie, “The Veins of the Earth”. The movie delves deeper into the legend and reaches out for the actual personality behind the figure of the Mermaid: Eftalya Ilay who was born as Anastasia Georgiadou. Bringing the embodiment and the actual real-life experiences of the woman behind the legend, Vessels of the Earth presents her interaction with two other women from more recent times of Istanbul. All three women find out that, despite being from different eras, they suffer under similar oppressions. The women reach out for each other from their different time zones, embracing each other and overcoming their isolation. (Istanbul, 2020)
10.40 – 11.00 Liane Mah (details tbc)
11.00 – 11.20 Virginia Farnham
Virginia will discuss two site-responsive choreographies created with an intergenerational group of trained and untrained dancers in various, urban and rural, outdoor locations. Children’s Games (2019) and Souvenir, (2020)both employed dance improvisational strategies to tune the dancer’s attention to the dynamics of place and to direct their movements to an intertwining of body and site. In Children’s Games this was done in live performance, whereas in Souvenir, dancers were directed remotely via a series of audio-recordings sent to them that they followed in outdoor sites of their choosing.
11.20 – 11.40 Claire Burrell. ‘Continued Surrender’
‘Continued Surrender’ grew from my desire to map and make visible the oscillation of repeated trauma patterning, albeit in the throes of everyday mayhem. I was interested to make visible the juxtaposition of what compels us to continue and what enables us to stop and to yield. The dancer was invited to identify areas of somatic discomfort which we mapped and traced as trauma lines through the body’s default pathways. Connecting to birthing, illness in pregnancy, parenting and family dynamics the dancer began to articulate her sense of embodied holding, embodied memory. An antidote was sought, quite literally earthing the body into the wider body of nature enabled emergent moments of release, of suspended time, a merging in the landscape in a resignation of the need to come to ground. As we discussed the state of surrender in the work, the dancer questioned the proposed title for the work; she told me, “I’m not giving up, Claire, I’ll never give up”. Her resilience magnified by the Catalan mountains is arguably what stands out for me in the work as a whole.
11.40 – 12.00 CRITICAL ZONES: EMBODIED RESPONSES facilitated by MME students
14.00 – 14.20 reading writing moving Task facilitated by MME students
14.20 – 14.40 Helen Garbett “Houses of Wind, Wave and Voice: Human-Limpet Encounters at the Coast”
I have begun to wonder if it might be possible, through active, participatory relationship with limpets to provide some kind of remedy for the disconnect we have with the more-than-human world and the coast in particular. How can I, with others explore the possibility of developing a more convivial, reciprocal and respectful relationship between humans, limpets and the wider landscape? Might this be possible through sensory, bodily experience and the use of language?
The presentation will provide an overview of my research project then show how I have been exploring these questions through my social engaged, art-based practice. This includes two workshops where I invited small groups to work with me. Firstly in 2018 at a beach in Lybster, Caithness where we became limpet for a short while by wearing my human-sized felted woollen limpet and secondly at a beach in Orkney in January of this year where we created ‘limpet- language’ through our sensory exploration of limpets and their habitat. I will share our experience of these workshops by showing photographs, video and talking about what we discovered. This somatic approach is new to my practice so I am interested in any questions and feedback from the audience regarding how I might learn and develop.
14.40 – 15.00 Gudrun Philipska “Sitting in a Flowerbed 4695 miles away”
I would like to talk about ‘Three-Point-Transmissions’ a work funded by Canada Council for the Arts which operates as a conversation between three locations and their inhabitants; Sainte- Croix-de-Marreiulle, France, Framlingham Uk, and Ucluelet Canada. The work involves a number of live-streams, trail-cam footage, zoom communique and video. We seek to use video to deepen the virtual experience of the locations. In contrast to ‘lockdown’ strategies employed as a replacement for real interaction, we have always seen our project as a way to attempt meaningful engagement with place within a virtual space. In conjunction with our work on the Arts Territory Exchange, we were developing a Virtual-Residency program pre-Covid (https://www.artsterritoryexchange.com/ate-virtual) that identified the far reaching post-colonial implications of privileged western travel, and also sought to address issues around climate change/ sustainability, calling for a re-evaluation of the idea of the ‘artist as traveller’ with roots in the colonial and ethnographic gleanings of the explorer. We are working to expand the possibilities of proxy-experience and also providing new insights into our own backyards, the trajectories and mobilities already inherent in the plants and animals they contain. Looking to the proximal and how to re think relationships with what is right in front of us – Puig de la Bellacasa calls for ‘an ethico-political commitment to neglected things, and the effective remaking of relationships with-our objects'( 2017) towards generating affective relationalities of care. This also feeds into how we develop ethical relationships with distant places. I will talk about vertiginous filmic techniques (views swapping between the near and far) the hybridising of technologies that we use (old lenses, magnifying glasses, video calls/live streams etc) – that concentrate a viewer’s eye on, micro views and overlooked moments, partial-views rather than total views or grand narratives.
15.20 – 15.50 Mark Skelding ‘ Exploring the Blue: Embodying Psychosphere’
Until we have a name for a process, it is difficult to engage with it, or to understand its impact. Whilst we understand how the familiar “spheres” (atmos, bios etc) interact and shape each other, we do not tend to include the inner experience of human beings, and our responses, as part of this process. Since our species has the biggest impact of all, this is troublesome, both in terms of understanding ourselves as causal, and also in redefining ourselves in the light of the new context. Drawing from biology (Varela and Maturana; Andreas Weber), neuroscience and psychology (Dan Siegel and Gregory Bateson) as well as current thinkers (Zhiwa Woodbury, Susan Kassouff etc) this presentation invites seeing how our experience as part of the feedback processes of the planetary system is often misconstrued as pathology, and, in so doing, further traumatises the system. It suggests how direct personal experience can be a gateway to collective insight, and new understandings of ourselves and the world.
15.50 – 16.20 PLENARY discussion facilitated by Movement Mind and Ecology students
16.30 WRAP UP