Saturday, 1 August 2009

Recap on Research

What I feel most excited about after spending five weeks on studio work with Kenzo is the achieved electrifying tangibility of the seemingly abstract, the materially distant, or the absent, that emerged through the movement. One of the experiences I find most valuable and enlightening as I look back on the shared process is how my cooperation with Kenzo took me back in time to rediscover ‘the real’ and ‘the virtual’ or rather, ‘the real virtual’.
It’s been beautiful to experience a fully comprehensive shift relating to the etymological history of the word ‘virtual’ through the physical, studio work with Kenzo: departing from what is presently understood as related to the abstract, simulated or technologically-generated and arriving at the word’s original meaning of: the real in effect, near, practical, or essential.
Our epistemological ‘how known’ took us along the concerns about conditions that make the knower know, and the mover move. We saw a potential in using technology when studying those interactions between the knower and the known and the circumstances of such interactions, especially for introspective observations, but in the end, what we rediscovered was that the ‘virtual’ resides nowhere else but in the ‘real’.
We also had a weird adventure with the time shared. The weirdness in how we perceived our research progress could very much originate in the ‘step back’ dynamics that we set forth with when Kenzo decided it was very important for him to get back to the basics of his own movement, but which eventually acted as a powerful catapult in its effects to the research as a whole. The reverse undercurrents proved to be quite revealing. Here, in Kenzo’s summary:
“It was very strange sense of time that I was experiencing during this 5-6weeks of working process. I must confess that initially I already had an intention that I wanted to feel this way; strange sense of time experience. (…) And that was my intention, or it could even stand as my "purpose", to create such a conscious difference in how I frame my working style this time. I was very curious about the way HOW I would approach to the subject, as much as WHAT I would approach to. Here I don't mean so much about method-HOW, but more about attitude-HOW, to me in this particular case. What if I don't fill up all these hours of research period with maximum intensity and full expectation?,, what if I don't get possessed with the time pressure or the expectation/anxiety for the final outcome? What happens if I, at least, behave that way as if I don't care whatever happens? What happens if whatever happens? Am I capable to take it and say YES to it? What happens if I am exposed to something very unfamiliar and get myself challenged by it? What remains after all this playing around? What emerges out of all these? Like playing myself a quantum-game, will it be creating a interesting crack, the sun-ray through the thick cloud, a spaciousness for new creativity in my development as a choreographer/dancer? Yes, that's what I was EXPECTING, strangely enough. And together with my collaborators, I think we all have won the game, the game of no loser.”
The quality of time was also absolutely unique to us when we think of the two days spent with our special guest Bracha Ettinger. The intensity of those two days, when we got to work with Bracha was very real, and was coming from the sincere devotion (on both sides) to make things happen together. The multilayered inspiration coming from her work is amazing, so I would like to hold up to Kenzo’s words expressing that: “Working and sharing the time together with Bracha was truly inspiring, there has been so much exchanged energetically between us, I have felt a sense of timeless contentment from the pure meeting and encounter with the person, and that fact alone is already far more than fruitful to me”.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Reflective Lecture by Bracha Ettinger

In her lyrical lecture Bracha focused on her ideas of transject, trans-subjectivity, transjectivity, in-spiriting and transpiriting. She discussed the difference between empathy-within-compassion and com-passion on the one hand and empathy and compassion on the other hand.

The lecture was the outcome of the Frame workshop 'Sharing days with Bracha Ettinger' and the first public showing of her latest artwork - Bracha Ettinger / "No Title (Yet)", n. 1. 2003-2009.

(video reportage coming up soon)

The Virtual I/Other

Choreographic Drifting

Thank you Or and Keren for all the much appreciated input you have brought into our studio work!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Virtual Interactions

Co-emerging I and non-I


I was doing this simple video edit after we have been discussing the concept of 'Otherness' with Kenzo. On that day, in the studio, we were not working with any particular texts. Instead, we were trying to create our own (here, Kenzo's) bodily 'reading' of what it might mean or feel at all, to be 'of plural'.
We were working with the camera on and thinking of it as of an open book, recording not for the sake of registration but for the sake of creation in the very moment.

What happened was as a short story of felt disintegration within oneself (or so I am able to describe what I saw in Kenzo's performance). The visible mechanization and intractibility of movement took charge...

When editing, I was quite literally thinking of the state of the matrixial, expressed best in Bracha Ettinger's own words:

"Matrix is an unconscious space of simultaneous emergence and fading of the I and the unknown non-I which is neither fused nor rejected. Matrix is based on feminine/prenatal inter-relations and exhibits a shared borderspace in which what I call differentiation-in-co-emergence and distance-in proximity are continuously rehoned and reorganised by metramorphosis (and accompanied by matrixial affects) created by - and further creating - relations-without-relating on the borderspaces of presence and absence, subject and object, me and the stranger. In the unconscious mind, the matrixial borderline dimension, involved in the process of creating feminine desire and meaning, both coexists and alternates with the phallic dimension."

citation from: Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger, "Metramorphic Borderlinks and Matrixial Borderspace", presented as "Matrixial Borderspace" in Identity and Display, Association of Art Historians 19th Annual Conf., Tate Gallery, London, 2-4 April, 1993; in Rethinking Borders, ed. J. Welchman, Macmillan; cited from manuscript, n. p.

Body as Interface

As we play with different contexts for multiple interactions both within and beyond the moving and 'networking' body we cross its different modes of communication. We go through the automatic, the habitual, and the range of seemingly unconscious processes that trigger movement.

While practising with different para-structures (those accommodating the psychosomatic dynamics in relation to external conditions) that formulate their own interactive knowledge we talk about cybernetic etymology - about messages in circuit, which basically sees information as difference that makes a difference as a basis for interactive patterns.

This process of differentiation as a point of interaction occupies us for a longer while. It seems a dynamically powerful condition of suspended connectivity grounded in separation and disengagement that generates.

Teleological guidance

Working within somewhat blurry structures of practice-based researching resonates with instinctive guidance as well as some trust in developing sense of purpose.

Our studio-based work ethic alludes to this shared sense of purpose, and might be expressed by saying that:

“By being connected along with and within the path of teleology one derives a certain meaning and sense which is real and substantial even if it is not definitive and ultimate in terms articulating itself in the format of a logical and rational explanation and definition.” (Renos K. Papadopoulos, p. 31)


I am wondering about ways and forms of ‘otherness’ being active in one’s personality and how it/they interrelate(s) with the main body of the (dancing) personality and to other collective structures in the spatially interactive network.

A couple of sessions of using a camera less for recording purposes and more for creating a (dependent?) virtual character on the screen produce some slight bodily reformulations of understanding of ‘the other’.


Technological inefficiencies vs. Countertransference

Applying the quote:

“Irritation means: You haven’t yet seen what’s behind it! Consequently, we should follow up our irritation and examine whatever it is we discover in our ill temper!” (Jung 1932a: par 168),

our motivation for tracking our own sources of bodily knowledge in technically imperfect conditions (take latency for example) might seem as well valid.

In this retrospective inquiry of movement interaction we try to mind that the ‘causal instinct’ relates not only to the cause (of subsequent movements) but also to the meaning of it.

The idea of countertransference is a self-reflective learning exercise, which basically means: to know how to know what makes one know :)

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Etymological clues/Epistemological reasoning

Apparently, our ambitions in supporting the studio practice with some technological facilitation coincide with some etymological relevance.

Techne (opposite of episteme – theory of knowledge) means art, craft, and practice.

(Perhaps another line of reasoning over the ways of bringing theory and practice closer together in their mutual complementation?)

Our epistemological ‘how known’ takes us along the concerns about conditions that make the knower know, and the mover move. We see a potential in using technology when studying those interactions between the knower and the known and the circumstances of such interactions, especially for introspective observations.

traces of memory

Sharing a space with or without movement ... with or without visual presence... testing virtual habitats...

mediated relationships

One of the points that interest us is the mediated reality. Immediacy and distanciation interweaves in curious ways, especially when included in processes of self-differentiation.

Technical deficiencies can indeed be polemic...

Going back to incorporating some rhizomatic networking within and beyond the moving body, and looking at images like this makes one relate to it more as a composition of whirling, dynamic dimensions and directions in motion than an organized set of units.

The space of plurality and partiality raises the enigma of shareability and jointness, trauma and joy, phantasy and reality, with possibility of co-response.

Movement becomes an event without witnesses, unifying the external and internal, it is a glimpse of the 'forever future in the now'.

Sunday, 28 June 2009


Experimental music/dance video by XZhi, exploring several editing concepts.
Filmed on the 24th of June 2009 on the roof of Danslab / Den Haag, with Brian, Ilse, Kenzo, Nuska and Or.

Thursday, 25 June 2009


We would like to thank all the dance students who joined us yesterday in our explorations ! Ilse, Or, Brian and Valeria thanks for a refreshing roof experience!

See You soon!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

A step back

We want to step back and test interaction patterns on a level that precedes the knowledge of one’s own body. Somewhat stepping behind the image based, the objectified ‘oneness’, into the constituting it ‘many’.

"Guattari's concept of subjectivity depends on an active and dynamic
recombination of the virtual and the actual. Subjectivity is no longer
exclusively located in a body: it is a collective moving-through. Remapped onto
the vocabulary of the interval, we might see subjectivity as a provocation that
effects the recomposing of bodies-in-the-making, creating not fixed subjects but
infraindividuations." (Manning 2009)

We are playing with devising a rhizomatic configuration of being, through which to initiate movements. The rhizomatic configuration of the body serves also a subversive purpose of a gate into non-hierarchical, networking processes, as opposed to those restricted by the binary, symmetrical and hierarchical ones.

What are the spatial relations in such a pre-objectified realm? What sense of coherence?

Subjectivity is said to be situated within a system of perception.. what if our perception was invalid, or incompetent? could technically imperfect environment for visual emission help learn more about such state? is deception a useful tool?


In patterns of looped, reappearing movements, where seemingly boring reiteration guides the process, there resides the virtual. It comes in as an underdog, subdued by directional recession, informally passive and draggy, yet in a form of a charged advancement on a performed loop. An interval.
The dynamics of an interval consume our interest.

A basic loop ( any circular dangling movement ) makes us observe and study the simplest unit of an interactive relation. Starting with felt engagement, ease of coordination, directional interdependence or desirability for realization, there are many dynamic qualities that might complete the list of required components, many of them seem to escape a name.

All that any interval-based movement needs is an en(-)trance, then it simply takes over. :)

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Body responsive versus Body potent

What is it about a Japanese warrior's potential for an energy-charged thrust which he is able to execute out of the seemingly undersized physicality? The energizing potential does not come down to the physical; it is just momentarily performed through it. The physical is an active channel that strives for harmony.
We are working with familiar choreographic patterns and physically research on the cycles of energy exchanges; observing charging interactions. We are looking at interval-based movement patterns, binding the physical trigger to its response and back to the trigger again; we are fascinated by discovering what emerges there… in between the response and a following up trigger, as a hanging in the air yet vigorous combination.

Through free-associations… theoretical devising…, let’s exchange ideas for broadening the visual experience of dance. E.g. a theatrical element of connecting the vocal/spoken with physical performance…
As we think about it - being on both, performative and viewing side, crossing the frames of time and space allows acting less as a detached provider, and more as a mediator and a stimulant of a shared (with an audience) experience.
The use of technological mediation poses unique epistemological questions. We are looking at using a video stream as a way to extend capacities and effect changes in the natural and the social receptivity on both sides.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

impetus wanted

Aside from being served with a great portion of nausea, a good round of spinning exercise makes us talk about the vertigo effect, a form of a naturally collective experience with physical forces.
We are curious if the circling interval creates a better entry and a quicker shift in the register as grounded in a more direct connectivity within the network.

It evokes some tenacity, slime-ness sensations. It has a sort of elastic effect, extending the interacting body parts. It leaves the feel for perfect echo mediation ambiguous, right between the obscure and the transparent.

I have a suggestion related to the life of a technique.
For it to last in creative efficiency, it needs confrontation, needs to be faced and fed with the different, it needs cross-contextualization...
visualizations/body behind the curtain

We are browsing through the re-appearing techniques in Kenzo's work, one of which is developing movement as a result or side effect of visualizations.
The shifting focus and relational objectifying processes create curious gaps, interactive time gap for the movement to develop.
Take the ground melting image, for example, the focus will then be more on shaping the melting itself than shaping the movement. Movement arises by itself through relational accidentality.

a most appreciated 'puppet master authority'

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


the 'not-me' effect?


"As the thought transduces into a becoming-event, it actively merges with the thing's potential
in this singular configuration", it creates the 'not-me' as a plural-singular entity.


What emerges if we try to neutralize the space-time of the experience?
How flexible is the hierarchy?
How able are we to dive and submerge our consciousness in the experience itself without seeing it as if from the contextual outside as a human - object interaction? (seeing: a silly guy dancing with a chair, for example)
How do we perform on the level of thought? Without stepping into the ritual?

Focalizing the potentials for the emergent event, co-creating

We are exercising with integrating objects, looking for their co-performative potential as 'force through which thought-things take form'. (Manning2009)
The focus that would normally fall on the 'pre-object functionality' gets shifted further to the 'post-object potential' for interrelatedness. The attempt is to extend the shared (with an object) potential for thought-action convergence through actualization of a new network of relations.
Co-creation happens somewhere in-between in the co-constituted, non-hierarchal events. The action does not necessarily start in the human.
Shifting the quality of objectness - as an exercise can be quite comical.

interrelations in overlaps

How do we ´become cognizant of the fact that thoughts and activities interrelate? ´ (Manning 2009)

How do we explore "how thought itself becomes a networking?" (Manning2009)

We are exercising with 'a network' visualizations.. Trying to sense nodes of connections merge into overlapping co-relations, co-activities, co-movements.


We noticed movement pace slows down.. Becomes uncomfortably pretentious..

Sunday, 14 June 2009

knowledge in transit

We perform a couple of (contact or solo) improvisation exercises with no agreed frame, no task attached. They are happening, they are watched, they are experienced.. We leave them with no comment.. As if we were leaving the co-created knowledge in the virtual, trusting it might have a future effect in the actual.

shifting habitats

The natural motivational habitat Kenzo is usually working within is to stay true to himself through the movement. We decided to play devil's advocate for a while and incorporate a lie as a motivational ground for movement.

Kenzo creates a powerful improvisation session.

His movement makes me create a mental image of a tall jelly monster, a construct on a shaky stand with naive 'being big and strong' aspirations. What is see is powerful and uncertain at the same time and built on somewhat irrational physical dependencies. It is potent and dense but dangerous and wobbly in expression. Curious effect...

carrying out transducing

"We never evaporate alone." one of the first phrases with practical reverberations. Within studio work we are strongly against translation. Working with or through the text has nevertheless a strong inspirational potential to broaden the movement sensual encounters.

Movement is a factor of the fact that you are actually evaporating” (Forsythe 1995 :1).

"We never evaporate alone. To posit this is to succumb to what Whitehead calls “the fallacy of misplaced concreteness (1938: 18). The concrete must remain potentially virtual: its process of relationality must never be completed. The interval is a way of conceptualizing the concreteness of movement where the concrete remains relational and the movement remains virtual." (Manning 2009)