GOING VISITING the tide
Preparations and research for the project
for Oerol Festival 2024.
Research conducted in collaboration with fellow dancer/performer Mikka Mallow and video photographer Mikkel Ulriksen
In Terschelling we conducted embodied research into co-creational encounters with the mudflats, the beings and dynamics inhabiting them and the tidal rhythms defining them. The research yielded the idea of a sort of evolutionary training of the human species for a not-so-distant future world of rising waters in order to develop new abilities as hybrid bodies living within cycles of immersion, flooding and re-emergence. We worked to examine these narratives with our own bodies and in encounters with the more-than-human bodies and phenomena of the mudflats. Asking: Who can we become together? How does mutual survival and interspecies dialogical existence look like here? What is the future of a (human) body in a shifting world of water? Our research was recorded in video and sound as well as unfolded further in a GOING VISITING workshop exploring the potential of inviting other human bodies into examining these questions and dialogues with the landscape and surrendering to the immersion of the tide.
The project is planned be realized in two linked formats for the festival in 2024:
An immersive video installation examining the merging, transforming bodies of the mudflats and the cycles of fluid immersion and exposure. The video will be installed so that the spectators will be lying down and looking up. It will be accompanied by sound consisting of manipulated ad re-composed field recordings from the area. The meditative and immersive experience will shift and re-calibrate the viewers sense of body, perspective, size and maybe even time. When they emerge, they will see/experience both the landscape and themselves in a different way.
A sensuous and bodily challenging participatory journey into intimate encounters with the mudflats, the beings and phenomena that inhabit and shape them and the rising tide.
Through a guided score, the participants will enter personal, bodily explorations of the place and at the same time become part of choreographed images, that can be witnessed from afar by spectators who remain on the dyke.
The method Going Visiting has been developed through my work in and with many different geographical places and types of land, drawing inspiration from new materialist and eco-feminist writers and thinkers including Donna J. Haraway, Karen Barad and Astrida Neimanis. The method is a framework for exploring and co-creating with a given area through physical encounters between the human body and the more-than-human bodies, phenomena and dynamics of this particular place. Through this work, new understandings emerge, immersive and performative situations and potentials arise, text is produced and shared aesthetic sensory mappings begin.
To conduct the workshop is often valuable as part of my research as each participant brings with them their unique way of meeting, sensing and collaborating with a particular place. It makes sense to do the workshop with people, who already have an interest in the place in different ways or people, who are curious to explore other ways of creating in and with different types of land and their inherent dynamics.
The only prerequisites for participating are curiosity, the physical ability to move around in a sometimes challenging landscape and the willingness to step outside what you think you know to meet and engage with the place openly and respectfully.
“Visiting is not an easy practice; it demands the ability to find others actively interesting, even, or especially others most people already claim to know all too completely, to ask questions that one's interlocutors truly find interesting, to cultivate the wild virtue of curiosity, to attune one's ability to sense and respond - and to do all this politely! .... [This] sort of politeness does the energetic work of holding open the possibility that surprises are in store, that something interesting is about to happen, but only if one cultivates the virtue of letting those, one visits intra-actively shape what occurs. They are not who/what we expected to visit, and we are not who/what we anticipated either. Visiting is a subject- and object-making dance, and the choreographer is a trickster.”
(Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble - Making Kin in the Chthulucene)