How to become a sensitive research instrument?

  1. What happens inside the black box? (Body, movement patterns and imaginations)
  2. How does the instrument relate to its surrounding space/context? (Relating to and moving through space)
  3. How to attune the instrument to its surroundings? (Relating, attuning and connecting to other bodies, body boundaries)
  4. What goes in? (Attending, focus, sensing, receiving and processing information)
  5. What comes out? (Communicating, articulating, expressing)
  6. How to care for the instrument? (Ways of "really" caring for our body)

1. blackbox

In this exercise, we are going to explore different imaginations of the body. We will explore how different ways of imagining our body can make us attend to, feel, experience and become aware of our body in different ways. Some of these ways of imagining your body may be very familiar to you. Other might be very strange. Our historical, cultural and social background may have taught us to imagine and experience our bodies in certain ways, and others not. Feeling our body is not natural, but depends on the specificities of our social-material surroundings. Yet some ways of feeling our bodies may seem natural to us, while others do not, because we are used to practicing them. By using different imaginations we become aware of a wide spectrum of ways in which we can “do” our body and what part of this spectrum we use (on a daily basis or within our artistic or research practices) and what ways of doing our body we do not do. 

Duration: 1 hour 

Location: inside 

Preparation: Don't use headphones for this audio exercise as they may limit free movement. Make sure you have enough (safe) space to move. We start with slow movements on the floor, so make sure you stay warm. You may use a mat of blanket on the floor to begin with. Later movements will be more active and distributed in space. 

Documentation: After the exercise: take at least 10 minutes to document about your experiences, what you became aware of or what you learned about the way you do your body.

References, sources: 

Bogart, A. & Landau, T. (2005). The viewpoints Book. A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition. New York: Theatre Communication Group

Newlove, J. & Dably, J. (2004). Laban for all. New York: Routledge

Olsen, A. (2004). Bodystories: A Guide to Experiential Anatomy. University Press of New England, Hanover and London

Zaporah, R. (1995). Action Theater: The Improvisation of Presence. North Atlantic Books 

Opening the black box.m4a
MP4 Video/Audio File 27.0 MB

2. space

Duration: more or less one hour

Location: outside / the street 

Preparation: Bring headphones so you can listen to the audio exercise while walking. Bring a notebook. Bring a face mask.

Documentation: You are documenting during your walk. You can use the document that you can download below. 

References, sources: 

Bogart, A. & Landau, T. (2005). The viewpoints Book. A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition. New York: Theatre Communication Group

Newlove, J. & Dably, J. (2004). Laban for all. New York: Routledge

MP3 Audio File 23.8 MB
Use this worksheet to make your documentations or as a tool to remember the different aspects of this exercise.
Adobe Acrobat Document 10.7 KB