The APRA Foundation Berlin Multi-Disciplinary Fellow 2022
Project Proposal: The Bodies with/in\out
This project is about the multiplicity of bodies that permeate the self. I imagine, perform and document a continuity – from the somatic, interoceptive body; to the human, social body; and beyond, to the body politic. Focusing on the polyrhythms, the micro-politics, the proto-languages and other fine-tuning axes that entangle the various body-scales, the root ambition of the project is to dissolve the perceived and discursive boundaries that legitimize the discrete, isolated existence of bodies, broadly defined.
This undertaking imagines kinship and alliance across space and time, uniting researchers – principally under-recognized logicians from non-Western, non-Aristotelian traditions – who have carried out similar thought experiments of embodied reasoning across scales as acts of resistance against logical normativity. The act of uniting these individuals as interlocutors suggests a possible world in which amplifying the proposition of embodied logicality can be epistemically foundational rather than eccentric.
The project includes a book manuscript and a performance installation. The text will relate hybrid logics – some borrowed from actual archival materials and existing logical frameworks, some invented; with hybrid bodies – mostly recognizable as existing creatures but communicating directly across various body-scales. This part-real, part-mythic interaction is an enactment of a certain kind of synthetic understanding of reality which would elude us without attention to fine-tuning across body-scales. The interacting written word and performance research will engage with critical discourse on anthropocentricity, which has propagated one body-scale to be dominant. The project will further argue that the isolated existence of any “body” relies on a fallacy that disembodied logicality is possible, which the project both exposes and challenges.
Project Report: The Bodies with/in\out
During the tenure of my Fellowship, I made significant advancements on the performance installation. In a studio space, I developed an interactive system to be performed with and by my body/bodies. The installation included a piano, several speakers and microphones, a mic’ed floor, flamenco footwork percussion, various small instruments, and a computer. The funds of the fellowship helped me to acquire this needed equipment and to pay for the studio space. I presented a version of this performance installation in my studio in May in St Louis, another version at Španski Borci in Ljubljana, Slovenia in July, and will present it again at Washington University’s Desmond Lee Concert Hall in St Louis in February 2024.
I dug into my digital archives from research in Russia and Ukraine during the PhD years for (previously unused) material related to embodied logicality. The historical actors brought many surprises and inspired new directions, especially engaging evolutionary and multi-species perspectives. I have been working on a mixed paper/projection visual presentation of this archival material as part of the installation.
In writing, I have been borrowing from the third chapter of my dissertation in working towards a manuscript and have contacted some publishers. This process has been slow, and I will keep working towards a book contract while preparing for the event in February. I have also been working on an article about my process of “surfing” disciplines, which I plan to submit for publication soon and to share in lecture format preceding the February event.
Working on this project encouraged conversations about artistic research in the university, sparking several speaking opportunities. This has brought new interlocutors – people from both artistic practice and humanistic intellectual backgrounds interested in this multi-dimensional engagement of bodies – with whom I hope to I continue collaborating, in practice and in writing.