BODIES STORMING brings together an interdisciplinary panel of performing artists, filmmakers, researchers, anthropologists, philosophers and feminist scholars to discuss how an embodied perspective can challenge our cultural assumptions in facing the Anthropocene.
Weaving around salient topics—from synthetic biology to screendance, from indigenous knowledges to new materialism and the design of more-than-human worlds—BODIES STORMING anticipates Sarah Pini’s responsive residency at Critical Path in collaboration with Jestin George and Melissa Ramos, opening a multivocal interdisciplinary dialogue across different dance and embodied practices to explore ways to engage with transformative and uncertain times.
2 pm – BODIES:
Jodie McNeilly-Renaudie – A conversation between coal: a corporeal interring
Coal gets a bad rap in the history of exploitation in our industrialist march of the past and economic idiocy of now. In this talk Jodie discusses her choreo-craftivist practice for ‘object valuing’ over human need as a meaningful corporeal response to the climate emergency and obstinacy of fossil fuel loving governments. In reaction to “idle talk” [Gerede], this movement research creates alternative ecological imaginaries that help us understand ‘how to be’ in these uncertain times.
Raffaela Abbriano – Our genes and the Anthropocene: a biological perspective on a rapidly changing world
We will explore how biological systems—from molecular to ecosystem scale—resist and respond to damage, and how creative inspiration in science, and vice versa, may be used to understand, cope with, and confront humanity’s role in reshaping the planet.
Jestin George – Chaos and design
Design can help us access incredible aspects of biology; from animal-free meat and biofuels to plastic-degrading bacteria and cures for diseases. As we try to move towards a future based on a bio-economy, how do we align with the possibilities of designing with life? And can we make space for the non-human life we aim to become so heavily reliant upon? In this short reading, we will hear a snippet of a recently published conversation between two leaders in the field of synthetic biology and their divergent approaches to working with microbial life.
Laura McLauchlan – Knowing bodies: everyday arts of multispecies attunement
Laura will consider the importance of movement and bodily attunement in how we attune with members of other species. To whom do we open and what happens to this 'us' when we do?
Naoko Abe – The evolution of human motion in the age of technology
Does human motion evolve from the ancient times to the present, and in the future through technological innovation? As human environments, society, culture and lifestyle are evolving, our body and practices related to the body—health care conditions, bodily well-being, or the fashion and beauty industry—are also changing. In this talk Naoko explores the evolution of human motion.
Sophie Chao – Moving matter: the art of walking and knowing the forest in West Papua
In this talk Sophie explores how indigenous Marind communities in the Indonesian-controlled region of West Papua come to know and relate to their natural environment through bodily movement and sensory attunement to the more-than-human beings that, together with humans, enliven the forestworld.
3.10 pm – Q&A
3.30 pm – STORMING:
Astrida Neimanis – Weathering, storming
What does it mean to say that we, as human and more-than-human bodies, weather the world? Weathering here is a reference not only to acts of endurance, resilience and survivance, but also a direct implication of the ways in which climate change and its weather-worlds are written on and through our bodies in material ways. Drawing on the feminist concept of “weathering” Astrida will ask: how are you weathering the current storms? How might our “bodies, storming” also be activated in modes of feminist, anticolonial and queer resistance and refusal?
Michelle St Anne – Hurting bodies in a sunlit noir
Theatre Animateur Michelle St Anne (The Living Room Theatre) speaks about crafting bodies in Australian landscapes following trauma in an atmosphere of sustained quiet violence that occurs in plain sight.
Sarah Pini – Visual autoethnography, dance and illness: diving into processes of healing and resistance
Sarah previews the dance film ‘RISVEGLIO’ (2020), second episode of the short film series INFINITO, based on her lived experience of illness and discusses how—by resisting the ‘patient’ body—dance and performative practices offer ground for transformation.
Melissa Ramos – The past is present. Something has happened: a catastrophe, a tragic event, a consolation. The transformation between viewer and screendance
Melissa Ramos, artist/curator and founder of Dance Cinema discusses her curatorial activist role in unfolding the process of art-making and assessing the physiological phenomenon in fragmented narratives.
Lux Eterna – Aura Nox Anima
Lux discusses the weight of embodied approaches to living and spectatorship in our dominantly technologised culture through the film ‘Aura Nox Anima’ (2016), reframing embodiment, sensitivity and imagination as technologies for our Post and Transhuman futures.
16.30 – Q&A
Discussion in-between, across and around these themes will be facilitated by Claire Hicks, director of Critical Path, and—by using paper and some digital tools— interdisciplinary artist Rebecca Conroy will map thoughts/discursive threads, stitched together in an improvised text that attempts to synthesise all the contributions into a messy narrative to forms a kind of body of thought.
Image credit: Ruggero Pini, Sarah Pini, RISVEGLIO (2020)