«Marking» Space and The Three Cameras
Using 3 cameras, including a front, a moving and a virtual camera, the site is seen as a series of experiential observations, from steps 1 to 21, focusing on the site’s geometry, existing patterns and cracks, expressed on a drawing consisting only of words, that the performer translates into movement.
The site survey here is regarded as a way of examining a site via lived experience. The site is seen and treated as a ‘body’ or as a second skin where the human figure finds ways to adjust and co-exist with it.
All three cameras are describing the verbal and visual instructions of the plan through movement. Seen from 3 different perspectives, ‘marking’ space is perceived both as a way of ‘anchoring projection’ and as a way of ‘priming the neural system’.
According to David Kirsh, marking in dance refers to “dancing a phrase in a less than complete manner” (Kirsh, 2010:2864) ‘Marking’ is a mental representation that acts as a vehicle for thought and as a way to think and build a dance phrase, through which the body becomes a ‘representation vehicle’. Marking is a way of “anchoring projection” and a way of “priming the neural system of the dancer”. (Kirsh, 2010:2867) The former refers to the augmentation of a thought as a means to distribute thinking spatially, and the latter to the expansion of the imagination in order for the dancer to harness a more detailed version of his full-out movement.
Furthermore, ‘marking’ is defined in three categories. These are: marking for the self, where dancers use their body to memorise a dance sequence, marking for other dancers, where dancers use their bodies to communicate and encode part of a phrase for others and finally, joint marking, where two or three dancers come together to mark and run a phrase.
Design and Making Through Performance entails the idea of “projection” as a thought (mental projection), movement (physical projection), and material structure (material projection), that can be ‘tracked’, ‘archived’ and then ‘made’.
(All following photographs were taken in collaboration with Rashed Khandker.)
First Experiments on Site
PHYSICAL THINKING IN OCCUPYING MOMENTUM
Physical Thinking is an applied process of synthesis and assimilation of ideas that can be revealed through the ‘lived experience’ of dwelling and occupying a thought. It is a direct expression of an embodied action and state of mind. Dancers think of a geometry, and they find ways of occupying, describing and experiencing it. They recognize the space in their minds and they virtually live the experience that acquires focus through its repetitive movement. Physical Thinking detaches the performer from the way that he sees space; he rather sees space by ‘drawing’ it or ‘marking’ it with his movement. It is indeed a different way of ‘seeing’ as it refers to and describes the world as it appears in perception. Physical Thinking enables us to examine, describe or even erase an object in its absence. In that way our relationship to space is not one of a merely disembodied subject to a distant object but rather that of a ‘being’ that exists in space mediated by our thought.
In comparison to the 2D architectural drawing, physical thinking is a translation of a thought into movement, suggesting the engagement with the object of the performer’s thought through a 3d medium; the body. To imagine an object mentally and transfer it to paper, in comparison to imagining it as a ‘lived experience’ and perform it, can have a great impact on the outcome of the design. It is as if the architect is engaging in 1:1 with his design and treating it as a perceptual sculpture- simulation, rather than a mere sketch or a 2d drawing which has nothing to do in terms of volume and size, with the final built outcome.