STONE CONSTELLATIONS

 

 

S T O N E      C O N S T E L L A T I O N S

1. a)

I am using a form of constellations work to sift memory and other ways of knowing from the body, my body, which is porous and scoops other bodies into it and is just a tentacle reaching out of the wave of other bodies.

I have been making stone constellations for a few years, since visiting the river in Lancashire and starting to work with the stones. It is becoming the way to write, to make dance, a form of divination, and a way of speaking with the world through my body.

Sometimes I mark a place for a person, sometimes for a thing, a place, a memory, an event. Today I mark a place for the river, the stones, and the Pendle witches.

 

The river first. Eyes closed. Very still. I'm watching her now, being the river. She is looking towards the Pendle witches. She doesn't feel as though they are part of her. They are tiny black specks, a huddle of them, that need to be washed by the river. The river is upright.

Pendle witches. Head lowering. Eyes closed. Ungrounded, swaying a bit. Body feels quite narrowing, clamping arms to side, energetically the movement in the sternum is sinking and collapsing a bit. Neck tight at either side. Hands at inner thigh, head fully down towards the ground. Don't feel exactly calm. I feel a lot of shame. (Hand covering face). Big belly again (rubs bloated belly). Leaning all the way over now, still covering face, hanging over, hunched back from this angle, one arm fully down to ground, other one covering face. Hanging fully down. Almost falls backwards and comes out. Something about the witches feel very dark, unhealthy, not strong, like eating / caving inwards, something bitter.

The river. Stillness.

The stones. Eyes open. Clear and watchful. Something like glass, from where I am now, watching it back. The stones are much older than everything else. This is what she says. Very still.

How does the river feel about the stones? Eyes closed again. Suddenly oriented towards the stones, as though they are very much a part of each other. Arms up at either side, compact and clear and straight and sure. Hands flat. I almost feel as though they should be joined, they are joined really. The women (witches) are very much on one side, very separate, the river hardly wants to integrate them (hand out stretched towards women, other hand still compact at waist.

Pendle witches. Head feeling the weight, arms hanging down. So heavy. Neck heavy. Chin folded, throat compressed against chest. Leaning slowly and ungrounded. Making further the way down to the ground. The back as though something from behind just pushing it over and a bend, the back looks hunched now from watching it back. The witches want a fourth thing, whatever it is is unknown yet.

Fourth thing comes in. Pendle witches. Standing straight (hand to head for a moment). Calmness. Yeah it changes a lot. There's a slight heaviness still, but I feel quite strong with the fourth thing here. I feel like it's balancing the triangle, it's God-like, definitely white and airy. It's a white light figure. Feels like spirit. I want to say that it's spirit. I feel quite tall and I'm aware that I'm speaking differently from here. The tone in my voice is different, I feel very sure of myself. Feel like I could say lots of poetry here. Tongue fluid. I feel very majestic. (Left hand on heart). I feel I should be absolutely honoured, very regal. (Arms out to either side, palms facing up). Stillness, completely open chest and heart. I'd like to make a costume from this place and dance. (The hands making geometric shapes). I feel the shapes that come out here are very different. (The arms moving very fluidly straight around one another, come into Y shape above the head. Symmetrical dance ensues.) Something drawn on the face like a crown, white paint. My face is one shape, covered in white.

Stepping out back into the others to see what has changed.

River. The river wants eyes opened now. I'm definitely more aware of the women, of all the elements, not just the stones. I'm aware of all three things. Fourth element (spirit) has taken over from the stones; the power is coming from that one into me. (Very still). Very directly as though it's absolutely pouring into me, and that's what's making me move quickly. That's what makes me move quickly. (Hands cover face as she remembers sending spirit into the river in Lancashire, and waking up the next morning to find the raging torrents, when the night before it had been completely still.) I feel emotional saying that because I realise what happened at the river, that I channelled the spirit into the river and it flooded and made it move. We are like mediators between spirit and land, we can call spirit into it. How do I feel now about the women? I don't feel a darkness at all anymore. Actually I feel like we've all become the same thing. We've all evened out and become the same thing.

Stones. Eyes open. I don't even want to say this but something about the fourth element is male. She says very certainly. In a really good way. (Hands comfortable on chest). Something about the air, it's the air, it's the sky, it is the sky, it is the sky and it is male. Hand up to face, realising the myth moving through. Deep exhale. Relief. Hands down at waist, clasped. Nodding in acknowledgement.

-

The constellation brought to mind the sense of sky that came to me in both Yorkshire and Lancashire, also signalled by the countless bird bones I found everywhere, and a speech riff that came up whilst doing durational sounding / speaking as a form of divination to see what my future self and the land already knew about where I was. It also brought to awareness of a upper chakra (sky, air, masculine) necessity that something about the women in the roots of the river had become stifled and stagnant without. It reminded me of the incident in Lancashire where I spent a long time at night with the river. At the end I called on her to wake up, with all my physicality and intention. I got very scared as I felt something shift. In the morning I woke up and the field had been flooded and the river was raging in a muddy brown torrent. Water is communication, very quick to respond.

Making a dance as a node in the slipstream, directing the traffic, standing on the side of the road with a road sign, digging the sand away with my hands to direct the water flow.

 

 

COVE PARK RESIDENCY

Place is always the primary collaborator. A series of performances made for the salt sea loch. A seal came to watch every day. A witness. It was celebrated and interwoven into each performance.

 

Not Knowing the Line | A Group Exhibition

25th Nov - Dec 1st; AND Event Space; Back church Lane, London E1 1LX

Friday 25th November
6-9pm: Opening
7.30pm: Music


Saturday 26th November
1pm - 7pm: Gallery Open
2pm: Performance by George Rae


Sunday 27th November
1pm - 7pm: Gallery Open


Monday 28th November
10am - 12.30pm / 1.30pm - 4pm Workshop
1pm - 7pm Gallery Open
6pm - 7pm Open jam - music, painting, dance


Tuesday 29th November
10am - 12.30pm / 1.30pm - 4pm Workshop
1pm - 7pm Gallery Open
6pm - 7pm Open jam - music, painting, dance


Wednesday 30th November
1pm - 7pm Gallery Open
6pm - 7pm Open jam - music, painting, dance


Thursday 1st December
1pm - 9pm Gallery Open
5pm - 9pm Performances by Laura Burns, Benjamin Schmechel, Sidney Charity

Telekinesis [a performance write]

Me and Louise wrote through a performance. It was Julia's Telekensis score. It was performed in Ausland, Berlin. Me and Louise sat on the bed; the words came up on the wall. Here's what we wrote:

 

Gathering gut limp stages of mishap            every mush middling itself

    The connection is ambiguous     // technology

 

Collective high hi

It doesn’t belong to us- we can just edit each other[   [ deep inhale]

 

This is just one way of being here (a re-wound kind of gathering)

This is part of the spontaneous thing that can happen //

                        Breath buttering my belly and the upside of the space

 

What every beginning doesn’t have in common ///                But from the start i’ve just been feeling (how??)  

Two directions of beginning (infinite)

Listen wince collaborate with your inheritance

Go down with this ship? I can’t seem to edit words that weren’t written by us

Easy to halve the ocean background

What a wall starts with         ?     //  

What the revival of our   ???

What exhaustion starts with       ?

                   Echo of repeated earlier daytime gesture move when we were all here in an almost similar (different configuration)

We’re so bored of these one body invisible good thing we have many [ born with a smile oh their lips, strange

How the mouths move

In unison

Struck gurgle re-sending resound

Curious how this space is huh curiouser and curiouser

She gulped as the new world took her in and swallowed her whole-hearted slump of animal weed

I always follow the sound [too bad it’s so fallafel

This whole whole of a time the i’s work on presence in flames [she points at me? Shit i am implicated i thought i was invisible here]

                Filtering in (new blood) gush gush gush gush gush wumo wump wump wump wonna wonna gush gush gush step-in to help thank you yes finished already?

 

Do you want to know their inner worlds? I can’t decide if i do or not

 

Comfortable square silence liger-ments she is coming to write her sounds down

Stay just one more day

Because the past is still affecting them and I don’t want to rush forth out of this room ha

--- or into simple coincidences [simultaneous knees and hands already a minute ago]

We littered there and looked at the way my nails are satisfyingly fucked up - or are they not

Legs up the horizontal

Pipe-line

calling

 

Mdlman wumping- hoping hopping just a little

 

I am glad she’s with us here

 

Listen wince one once skin was touched

[relief] [regret] re[fitting another bit in]

Zipping up  

Zephing out with a ghost under the bed

The room -manners

Warmed by the breath bottled out pinged up from past hours

Earlobes flapping against my face hard and fast, soft and clear -

Shhhhh (thank you)

I’m back at you girl here i am again looking at you it was so nice yea yea yeay yea ye aye ayea ye ayee yea yea yea ye ayae  yaeh yeah yeah yeah yeah  hohohohohohohohohohohohhuhuuuhuuhuhuhuuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhhu

Huuhuhuhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

The extremeties know something huh crawl huh? (this whole time i’ve just been feeling  [insert emotion]] )

{{

 

Or a thing is over

But zephing in the kitchen

 

An ecology of the subconscious

I am thinking about noticing. What I do or have done, or the slippages images imaginings that get subsumed until I pat the grasses down from around them and take a look.

I've been developing a process I call "unearthing" this year. It's a sort of journey, possible on one's own, helpful with a witness. It draws on authentic movement, butoh, dance practices using internal imagery, and embodied diggings into the subconscious. It usually takes around 45-50 minutes, and involves moving, speaking, telling the story of a journey through images that usually implicate the movers body in significant ways. I'm not sure what to do with these yet. So far they have formed practices for unearthing performance material, for moving blockages through the body, for alchemising external situations and relationships even without the real life participants there. However, when thinking about it today, I realised the practice is one of attention to the imagination and subconscious, which, alongside dream recording and automatic speaking is an ecological attendance to the subconscious. I know this is a trendy word to use at the moment, but I've been living with it for some years now, and to me it means how to live a sacred life - how to be lead, in other words; how to take responsibility through response-ability to the agencies around oneself, that make up oneself. How to acknowledge this - that we are extensions of material agency, not bringers of it - and how to live this.

Sometimes this involves 'performing belief' - doing site-specific work I practice believing that everything I think, do, make... is a thought from the place / rocks / rivers / trees / buildings that I'm engaged in, or indeed from the energies / spirits / pasts / futures embedded in those places also. This performance game opens new possibilities of perception, that otherwise our 'rational' mind would not allow us to entertain. So much stimuli we experience is not registered by our conscious mind, because it does not fit into already established categories of modes of knowing or beliefs/understandings about the world. 

Everything an act of translation / misunderstanding / metaphor)

Plants animals humans make leaps of faith in their processing of stimuli, a necessary way of gathering information, and carrying it from one context to another, instead of taking each new situation in each time, which would be almost impossible. Nature evolves through poetic leaps of imagination, through metaphor, through carrying across.

Unearthing, I carry things across through my imagination and movement; it must be such a tiny part of what is happening in my subconscious, but it feels like an act of lucid dreaming, of imaginative digging which is a practice of noticing, attending to or part-recovering the invisible. I want to make a piece of film with hardly any content, mainly gaps.

Guts gaps holes mishaps.

Digestion as a lens through which to consider / practice the conceptual. How do things gets digested?

The Unearthings ripple out in concentric circles; each ring triggers a layer of consciousness - personal, political, mythical, ancestral, geological, etc. Like a water ripple, or an atomic bomb.

 

Queeries into Collective Feminisms

Residency at Ponderosa; Stolzenhagen. Performances at Ausland, Berlin 2016.

A series evolving... stone readings...this emerged and I wanted to be together but apart so we met under the tree in the garden the cat came along too; three river stones and the first question led us underground. I want to dig. Politics were relational not academic; a relief and an undergroundness to that as well. Tension in togetherness. I like sitting across from someone and touching two sides of a stone. To be middling, peripheral, aslant.

make / shift / space

Residency with make / shift / space, Birmingham 2016

E|merge at Earthdance

In February 2015 I was part of the collaborative residency E|merge, at Earthdance, Massachusetts USA.

The residency was made up of various groups of collaborations - those led by project directors, a "solo" pool of artists, and a collaborative pool with no pre-planned project. Mine was the latter; our explorations involved working out how to work it out... walking practice, somatic exploration of the senses, sounding, sound walking, exploring the place of Earthdance, exploring the snow - what it hid, revealed to us, - our individual and independent practices and how to make sense of their questions all together as a group. We produced a final piece of work, Snow Threads that was performed at Earthdance.

SNOW THREADS

How do we respond to place – its elements, matter, density, lightness, weather, history and ancestry? How do we respond to each other, our bodies, gender and identities? What holds us together? What dissipates us? How does weaving ritual and shared journeys create and illuminate experiential practice? These are the questions we investigated collectively and individually, culminating in our performance.

What_Now Residency, Siobhan Davies Studio and Independent Dance 2014

Twenty artists living together, sharing sleep space, life space work space, attending to the collective and the self, the process not the product.

walking / delicate I can fit / myself into all manner of things / and shapes / hooked / like a hhh / rail hail and an / world is a mesh of letters / and rhyme / I don't know the names / and want / to spin out / a / list / of / things

summarise your walk, feet fettered feathered mapping

then we met each other, trying to clutch the paper / walked it between us

the work is still happening / even though at one point

she was wrapped up in it (so was I)

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