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Reclaiming the alienated Self

2017

Dissertation, MA Art and Science, Central Saint Martins.  Published in the LABS Database

Abstract:
The unpredictable shift from the natural world to the (digital) technological sphere confronts body and mind with a variety of new challenges. A lack of physical sensations, loss of identity and increasing self-awareness lead to isolation and alienation. Although neurological researchers are only beginning to understand the relation of mind and body, technological inventions are offered to the conditioned consumer who commits to alterations. Critical voices perceive the postdigital era as an awake nightmare that urgently requires models by which human being can live in balance with technology. Returning to past handworks and somatic practices, such as contemporary dance could treat man- made damages, yet reclaiming the self demands an examination of man-made failure and a collective solution. My work involves the interdisciplinary collaboration with contemporary dancers and handworkers, where I analyse the importance of habitual mind-, body- and groupwork through workshops and personal experiences. Furthermore I am holding ongoing interviews with professionals with different backgrounds, and undertook internships in neuroscience and fashion design. Secondary research on self and culture in psychology and philosophy function as sources of information and enrichment of vocabulary. This study is part of an ongoing research project analysing the changes of mind and body through technological alterations and sociological misconceptions (racism and sexism). In analysing these changes from a female perspective, and through interdisciplinary collaboration, this research will increase an understanding of underrepresented areas. Simultaneously it will be used for workshops in the arts to provide independent knowledge on Self and Culture, and to produce works that engage the viewer to reflect on the above issues.

Mutabili Numerus (OOO)

2017

Mutabili Numerus (OOO) is my philosophical interpretation of the technological and cultural shift in the Anthropocene era. Humanity barely foresaw the internet, yet it rapidly intertwined itself in global daily life as if were a natural phenomenon, overriding authentic natural rhythms. It enables new freedoms, yet institutes invisible control mechanisms that impact communities and individuals; online social networks take over time previously spent in direct physical space, often in group activities that helped form cultures -- activities from the past like crafting and folklore that created bonds and mental stability through regular repetition. Social rhythms have been broken by insistent capitalist patterns, as well as technology; we need to understand their disruptive influence on human behaviour, and the resulting alienation and disembodiment.

My performance, installation and costume series inventories the sociological, economical, medical and cultural issues of our society and proposes some solutions. The work references Deleuze's Difference and Repetition (1968), bringing together elements necessary for a collective approach, with the formation of a common vocabulary independent of governmental/political/external control and censorship. It uses both an ancient understanding of the body and mind, and the conditions that these now suffer because of Anthropocene era destruction. It makes rhizomatic, networked, connections between disciplines to restore an emological balance.

Our dancers are, by chance not intent, Greek, British-Italian, Italian, Serbian, Spanish, German and from Ghana, though that is not how they define themselves. They want to create a new folklore together, drawing empathically on female social strength to make a flexible yet resistant cultural heritage. The inspiration comes from Philip Glass and Steve Reich, who studied other cultures and natural rhythms to break with traditions of composition.

The performance Mutabili Numerus (OOO) was developed together with the performers Barbara Agostini, Isabelle Sidony Capper, Pinelopi Kefou, Rebecca Korang, Nena Robertson, Beatriz Sanchez. This project is my Graduation Project for MA Art and Science at Central Saint Martins.

Many thanks to Veronica Horwell, Franziska Presche (Hair and Make Up), Olga Suchanova (Photography), Daniel Rubinstein, Emma Shackleton, and all supporting friends.
Pictures by: Olga Suchanova

Collective Synchronisation

2015 - 2017

         
A workshop and choreography based on biological rhythms.

This workshop connects us on an essential level: with body rhythms, such as heart-beat, breathing or brain-waves. In the first part of the workshop you will learn more about body rhythms, e.g. the effect of stress or relaxation. In the second part you will create short performances in partner or group works using methods such as clapping, whistling, breathing. Throughout the day you will be supported to develop your exercises, and perform to the public. The partner work should strengthen the group by acknowledging similarities, instead of differences: a collective synchronisation.

Presented/performed at Tate Exchange (2017) and Residency in Czech Republic (2015)