40 min Presentation + 40 min Discussion
Olavshallen: Lille sal
Rather than a mode of withdrawal, of turning one’s back, how might a backwards-leaning orientation support an open, receptive ethics of relation? A back-oriented approach foregrounds the active letting-go, releasing, even de-privileging of habits of uprightness + frontality — the head-oriented, sight-oriented, forward-facing, future-leaning tendencies of a culture intent on grasping a sense of the world through naming + control. How can this tilt (or inclination) towards a receptive dorsal (dis)orientation enable new modes of thinking, perceiving, and being-with, and/or more connected, sustainable ways of living and aliveness? Dorsal Practices is an interdisciplinary collaboration between choreographer Katrina Brown + writer-artist Emma Cocker, exploring the notion of dorsality in relation to how we, as moving bodies, orientate to self, others, world. Since January 2021, Brown + Cocker have investigated the felt experience of a dorsal orientation through body-based, somatically informed movement scores. This is followed by a process of conversation on ZOOM for reflecting with-and-through their embodied practising, alongside the poetic-philosophical concepts of the dorsal that arise in this working-with and together. Often undertaken back-to-back (subverting frontal habits of online meeting), the conversations foster sensitive interaction, heightening attention to the experience of listening + being listened to, allowing for an emergent “dorsal voicing.” The “conversation” transcripts are reactivated through a shared experimental reading practice, where fresh insights and understanding emerge in the intersubjective and improvisatory interplay of spoken word, through unexpected conjunctions, (re)combinations, the circling and looping of language. For SAR, Brown + Cocker will reactivate their conversational transcripts through sharing/enacting the experimental reading practice as a live event, in the very moment of voicing creating a “new” and contingent unfolding of dorsal sense-making.
Emma Cocker is a writer-artist and Associate Professor in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Her research focuses on artistic processes + practices, and the ‘thinking-in-action’ therein, alongside exploring process-oriented and dialogic-collaborative ways of working with and through language.
Katrina Brown is a choreographer with an interdisciplinary hybrid practice across movement, drawing, writing and still-and-moving image, whose research is concerned with configuring shifting relations between materials, surfaces and bodies. She is Senior Lecturer Choreography at Falmouth University.