QUEER(Y)ING THE SITUATION / TREE TOURS / SKY GAZE / SENSORY STUDIES / MEANING-NOTHINGNESS
QUEER(Y)ING THE SITUATION
A solo initially co-created with Deborah Hay over a two week period, followed by 9 months of near-daily solo practice. The work is governed by Hay’s existing choreographic and performance frameworks, as well as a text-based score I wrote through her strictly dictated process.
Continuing from this starting point, I am exploring parallels between Hay’s work and Queer Theory. Her practice of performance produces non-normative modes of perceiving and behaving that teeter around the slippery edge of recognisability. Through estrangements of performative conventions, I’m investigating ways for this solo to have the effect of queer-ing a situation or space it is presented within.
Highlighting and transmorphing a setting, bringing the event of the performance itself into slippages of familiarity and estrangement. Encouraging audiences to queery to the point of things becoming ‘queered’.
Tree Tours is a participatory live-art project using the form of a guided tour. Audiences will be taken on a group walk to learn about, listen to and connect with local trees.
This project honours trees while addressing complex questions around the Climate Crisis. Through embodied research, consultations and care, Tree Tours engenders the natural choreography between humans and trees.
Tree Tours will undertake an initial development in 2023, supported by the City of Melbourne to:
Connect with the natural surroundings of the residency site, its history and its community. practice and ensuring we are working on the Country with respect. This will be done through consults with Woi Wurrung and Boon Wurrung elders.
Develop physical methods for connecting to trees through our bodies, senses and the physical interactions. This will involve looking into methods from relevant somatic and sensory practices and carrying out safe, non-intrusive physical experiments and improvisations with the trees.
Focus on bodily attunement and how it is different for each audience member.
Advocate for stories about local trees, and information on the role of trees/forests/green spaces within climate cycles.
Explore how to allow people to deepen/re-develop their personal relationship/care towards trees on their own terms, during a performance.
IN COLLABORATION WITH THOMAS SCHMOCKER
A participatory choreographic work that will take audiences on an outdoor adventure to explore their relationship with the sky.
Interactive sculptures will be set-up outdoors for audiences to engage with including aeolian (wind-activated) instruments, a sky-viewing cube (made of perspex with varied distorting filters) and tall acoustic structures that enable audiences to listen to sounds of the wind from above.
Participants will receive a backpack that contains objects such as binoculars, filtered sunglasses and pin-hole cameras, which enable them to view the sky in different ways. The backpack will also include an orientation map providing directions to the sculptures and prompt-cards that offer suggestions for interacting with the sculptures and sky viewing objects.
Audiences will be met inside a hosting art institution and guided outside to embark on a sensory and embodied journey to explore what can gained through the act of sky gazing. Perhaps we can each learn or affirm something about our personal relationship with 'nature' and our place on this earth...?
The sky is…
liminal, queer and a site of potentiality.
The sky belongs to…
everyone and no one; everything and nothing.
The sky contains…
gases, particles, animals, objects, weather, events,
information, portals, fantasies and projections.
The sky connects us to…
spirituality, science, myth, metaphor, past, present, future;
through space-time and beyond, into the infinite.
The sky makes us feel…
interconnected, in awe, the sublime, fearful, existential,
hopeful, small, in-perspective, expansive and embedded.
Across cultures and millennia, humans have been gazing into the sky…
We want to know what sky gazing can afford in today's age of Climate Emergency.
A participatory live art work that takes audiences on an interactive journey
to investigate how their own unique perceptive processes operate.
Cross your eyes… now the singular becomes plural
Place a finger in your ear… now the world sounds different
Block your nose… and your experience of taste will change
These are simple examples of how our perceptions are inconsistent-
being contingent upon one’s perceptual processes and infrastructure.
We all have a habitual way of perceiving the world. A default mode for organising our senses, which produces a frame of reference through which we determine how things are ‘meant’ to appear. But what happens if we alter our senses and seek renewed experiences of familiar things?
On a one-on-one basis, participants are guided through simple exercises to become attuned to sensation. They are then invited to be blindfolded and are exposed to multiple sensory stimuli- ie they smell, touch, taste and feel things (see supporting images for reference). These include scented oils, light from a torch, textured materials, cooling/warming materials and textural sounds made with DIY instruments. The experience is designed so that these sensory stimuli interact with each other in ways where the introduction of one stimuli can affect the perception of another (for example the introduction of a scent affecting the taste of an edible stimuli).
The design of this work has been informed by Perceptive Science. In particular, work on perceptual illusions and how sensory modalities interact with each other (for example, that the brain cannot completely differentiate between taste and smell as there are shared neural pathways).
New and uncanny sensory experiences can demonstrate that our perceptions are subjective, relational and malleable. Experiential inquiry into how our senses work can thus enable us to see, think and believe in a way that is more fluid, diverse and queer- allowing each of us access to perceptions and perspectives that exist beyond our usual reach.
By determining how we see the world, our modes of perception become the building blocks for our understandings, memories and beliefs. Therefore, expanding our range of sensory experience is not only of artistic or philosophical interest, but also political.
MEANING - NOTHINGNESS
A solo using the format of a performance-lecture to explore processes of bodily and verbal meaning making.
Development supported by: INSISTER SPACE (Sweden) and Weld Theatre (Sweden)