A MATTER OF TIME
An ecological enquiry into the temporal shifts affected by the co-performance of human and non-human bodies.
I set out to reveal temporal signatures in performance through an engagement of performance ecological and phenomenological exploration.
I am concerned with the interrelationship between performers and spaces when they share in the same immediate temporality of their composition. I have named this interconnectedness within the temporality of a performance: ‘Eco-temporality’.
As I set out to explore how I could affect a shift in the temporal signature of a performance by staging collisions between bodies of different durations, I initially planned to work with plants.
The idea was that by coinhabiting the performance space with non-human, metabolising plant-bodies I would explore how I could, firstly, reveal the differences between body-inert temporalities, and secondly, arrive at different methodologies to use these differences to affect shifts in the overall temporal signature of a performance.
In turn, I would observe how the shifting of temporal perceptions affected the eco-temporality at work in my practice.
THE THING ABOUT SNAILS
Having initially worked solely with plants in my research into eco-temporality, I was soon craving a more dynamic non-human presence in my practice. I felt the need to explore what would happen to my perception of time if I was to interact with something that was capable of moving dynamically in the space and show immediate reactions to changes in its environment (not to neglect the minute movements of plants, of course). I felt the need to up the stakes in my work with non-human bodies. I was searching for creatures with a particular temporal connotation.
Naturally, I arrived at snails.
SOIL IN THE STUDIO
Originally, I had included soil in my first snail workshop, to suggest another non-human temporal signature exploring the devices of mess and unmediated bodies. The response to the 9 litres of soil I asked my collaborators to incorporate into our work was so visceral and exciting and rich in potential that I was immediately overcome by the need to dedicate a significant amount of further time to its exploration. I decided to develop and offer a durational Soil Workshop, building on techniques I borrowed from matter performance and the teaching practices of live art group La Pocha Nostra.
AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL PRACTICE - BODIES IN TIME
I believe in Practice as Research, because it is a process of deliberately inviting time into a philosophic consideration. Whilst the bodies of my creative spaces co-exist and interact, meaning is made and embodied knowledge is recognised at the pace that it demands.
In this section I share what some of my past works have allowed me to understand about how we perceive of time within our bodies.
Image from Theatre for Pigeons' Edgelands