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the body in time

A computer desktop performance that explores the question: Where so many body-based practices are predicated on nuanced encounters with being present, what might the purpose of the body be in artistic research practices that extend through time?

Created as a keynote for the Hong Kong for Performing Arts virtual conference Harnessing a 21st Century approach to Performing Arts: Technology, Practice, Education and Research and presented on Thursday 20 January 2022.

The transcript of the presentation is available as a PDF: skellis.net/_assets/_pressure-time.pdf

screenshot

Supported by C-DaRE — the Centre for Dance Research — at Coventry University.

Original abstract:

This is a shared screen desktop performance that explores the body under stress, and the role that artistic research practices might play in helping us understand the temporal scale of our fleeting, fragile and rapacious human bodies. Where so many body-based practices are predicated on nuanced and refined encounters with presence or awareness, what might the purpose of the body be in artistic research practices that extend through time? My grandmother, the artist Gladys Eastwood (1913-2005), used to joke that, If you are going to have delusions, you may as well have delusions of grandeur.” Indeed, it is easy to measure, admire or fetishise the grandeur of the human body’s possibilities. But what if the body experienced and imagined through and in time affords us the humility to pay attention to what geologists call deep time? What then for how we steward the body in motion and the body under duress?

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