Everything went quiet – what’s happening? Reflections on Cycle Stories

We’ve been quiet for a while, and it’s definitely time for an update. In short, after a hugely busy and fun summer season with Cycle Stories, I am hibernating.

The longer version is that I am currently in the hugely fortunate position of writing this from a small Spanish village in the foothills of the Pyrenees. I have taken a little bit of time out to reflect, to watch and assimilate my thoughts. Perhaps most importantly I have taken time out to be less busy with dashing from meeting to meeting, and fill my time more with a physical engagement of daily living – chopping wood, making fires, walking 3 hours to market, receiving small exchanges of friendliness and warmth from these tiny remote communities, watching birds and sitting amongst the land as the seasons change. I watch and listen a lot more. I am unused to having so much space, and I find myself treading uncertain territory – navigating the unknown and watching empty space. I am hesitant to rush into new ideas – to try and grab them before they’ve had time to settle. However some things into the future are clear and exciting and I’m happy to have them as landmarks that reach out towards the horizon and provide a little bit of structure.     

tree         leaves

Date for your diaries: 17 January 2014
We are delighted to be invited back by our friends at Greenwich Dance to curate their first Supper Room night. We love this new series which allows us to work across art forms to produce an informal, interactive and exciting (we hope) experience. What to expect? – there will be the first screening of our film, Cycle Stories; live music from our sound artists; a world of hidden clues and little surprises to explore; a human clock; things to listen to; things to add to; we’ll eat delicious food prepared by our very own chef – yes we have a chef! and then we’ll clear the hall for dancing.

So exactly what have I been reflecting on in my hibernation mode?

Cycle Stories and Walking Stories – reflections of each other
Cycle Stories was like delving into the unknown. It was ambitious, bold and ventured dance into unfamiliar territory both in terms of the process through which it was created and the formats of presentation it proposed.

It was perhaps a slightly surprising undertaking for a choreographer to decide to make a multi-stranded hour length audio walk, Walking Stories; to decide to make it through a series of creative residencies in England and France linked together by bicycle; and to make a documentary film at the same time. I’d never worked in this format before, I’d never written a script, I’d never made a film and I’d never done any cycle touring. It was an extraordinary, and wonderful experience, a huge learning curve and involved many months of not much sleep and lots of clambering around a long sheet of paper with all the scripts blue tac-ed to it calling out time codes to the sound artists at 3am and cycling 3000km! I was incredibly fortunate to have been supported by an exceptionally skilled, dedicated and enthusiastic artistic team; a hugely patient and practical tour manager (also cook, bike fixer, and website maker) and an amazing management team who calmly picked up all the slack, writing the necessary emails, contracts, paying people, invoicing, keeping the books etc whilst I was clambering around the sacred scripts…

Cycling and walking
I was asked repeatedly through the project why we were cycling all this way. Was it a separate project? What did it have to do with Walking Stories? For me the connection was always clear, but this constant questioning made me re-evaluate the connection and the necessity for it.

We set out to create a digital recipe for a participatory performance where the audience become the creators, performers and spectators of the choreographic experience we designed for them: an hour length audio walk, for city parks and green spaces for a group of people to do together. I wanted to make a work that was deeply choreographic but hugely accessible and inclusive. I wanted to dismantle the edge between performance and audience space/ stage and life, to invite our audience into a physical and tactile experience of the work almost without them noticing. And I decided that in order to be able to do this well, we the creators of that walk also needed to take a journey together. A long one. To remain in the landscape and feel the work seeping into us, not just think about it in a ‘brainy’ way from the bubble of a studio. We took our walk for a cycle, and together the artistic team travelled between each creative residency by bicycle. We remained in the landscape, close to the ground. A little community – camping, eating, sleeping and working together. It sounds idyllic and in many ways it was, but it was also exhausting and the relationship between the travelling and the work we created didn’t perhaps connect together in the ways we anticipated at the outset.

Interestingly some of the collaborators working on the project didn’t feel the link and I think I start to understand why. Cycling between residencies, across France, camping and the physicality of that experience – its challenges, elations and discomforts had little in common with our mostly computerised experience of creating Walking Stories. Making Walking Stories was technical, theoretical, hypothetical, static. Meticulously crafting and designing an experience for others to take. Trying to imagine how unknown/variable groups of people MIGHT respond. It involved an imagined space, required a degree in psychology, accuracy and an eye for detail. It is very controlled, exact and known. But then when Walking Stories goes live, when we hand it over to an unknown, unpredictable audience, we simultaneously hand over our control. The individual experience is unpredictable, unexpected, unknown. It is this living Walking Stories (rather than the making of it) that mirrors our lived experience of Cycle Stories so fully. It was full of unknown, uncertainty, challenge, surprise and stretch. And sometimes that was unsettling.

When we were on the road, the exertion of cycling actually took up most of our time and energy and there was little remaining capacity to do more. Perhaps I had anticipated too much what this long journey might bring directly to the creativity of Walking Stories. The unsettling experience that it wasn’t bringing what I had hoped/expected was a good reminder that ‘creativity’ can’t be churned out on tap when requested, and is certainly not a linear entity. It is far messier and inter-related than that. Instead we gradually realised as we gathered the miles across France that this journey wasn’t so much about what Walking Stories would become (we were pretty clear already about what it was) but rather was the start of many new creative journeys that were yet to find their form. It was like the research and development, the fieldwork for the next things, still unknown.

If we look at the ‘Cycle Stories’ system more broadly, I think the correlation between the lived experience of Cycle Stories and the lived experience of Walking Stories have much in common. My logistical phase pre-trip was perhaps the equivalent of the computer driven experience of making Walking Stories for Tom and Tristan – I thought about all the components for a very long time, engineered them as precisely as I could so that the technology could withstand the possibilities of anything. I try to keep everyone together -not dissimilar from hand out headphones and mp3 players… instead I gave the artistic team bikes and jobs. We can replace walk with cycle; headphones with bikes; verbal communication with directive/prescriptive thinking.

The edge between our lives and this project became distinctly murky – the project was our life (and this didn’t come without it’s challenges). Is cycling across France not something of a holiday? Well, yes, it could be, but this felt exceptionally different from a holiday – something in my attention and focus; something about how every experience was framed within the context of the project and the journey that was unfolding; something about the responsibility that I held for ensuring that we arrived on time, with everyone together; the responsibility of it having been worthwhile. The edge between performance, performer, spectator, stage all get whirled up in Walking Stories. I don’t like boxes much, and Cycle Stories certainly dismantled the edges of many boxes which was both liberating and at times disorientating.

Walking Stories
I feel exceptionally satisfied by Walking Stories. It was a hugely complex piece of work to devise and the requirements of it were high – we wanted it to be accessible and appealing to a really broad range of people and for it to ‘do’ many things – to re-engage people with green spaces; to bring them into a closer relationship with themselves; to build community; to take them on a journey; to give space for listening and watching; to give space and opportunity for transformation; to allow excited and energetic people to run and equally allow others to be quiet and still; to encourage people to do things that perhaps they might not normally be comfortable doing, and then realise how lovely those activities are. We trusted that this chosen format could work, but it was fairly unknown and untested ground.

The feedback and responses we’ve received have been overwhelmingly positive. I find facilitating the walk endlessly fascinating and beautiful to witness. I watch people gradually sink into themselves, they leave refreshed, more present, more themselves. I love knowing that hundreds of people have clambered around inside this walk, each time making it their own.

Building and maintaining Community
Since the project finished I have noticed that all members of the core artistic team have been keen to put time and energy into ensuring that Walking Stories continues to tour next year. I have not asked for this, and certainly didn’t expect it, but this active engagement and energy demonstrates  the shared commitment that we all have to the project. I believe strongly that this arises from the feeling of togetherness and community that we built through the creation of Walking Stories. Walking Stories in this way is not ‘my’ work – it is co-owned and all of the contributors feel a sense of ownership towards the project because indeed they invested so much of themselves into its creation. When our audience finish Walking Stories they leave with a feeling of ownership of their experience and kinship with the others that they shared the walk with. Similarly the artists who lived and breathed Cycle Stories have a unique and shared experience. For all its intensity, it drew us closer together. The concrete outcomes of that can be seen in the programming of Walking Stories for 2014. The less concrete outcomes will continue to surface through the work and approach to work/life of the artistic team in the months and years to come – in how this experience perhaps changes Jennifer or David’s teaching methodologies; how it informs Tristan’s ways of making music; my thoughts about choreography and dance; our collective ideas about travel or time.

Film – finding a suitable framework
David McCormick has worked tirelessly and far beyond the call of duty on making a film for this project. A huge asset was his ninja like cycling ability to race ahead, whip out camera in time to capture us whizzing by, let us drift into the distance, then quickly pack up and race ahead again (good job he was the fittest of us all!) Not an easy job. He played a crucial role in quietly recording, listening, witnessing and questioning our process as it happened.

The challenge for us both when it came to crafting the film was to find a suitable structure that would both make the project clear for an audience unfamiliar with the project; and at the same time reflect the complexity and web like threads that wound around the project. I was keen that the film did not become a chronological archiving of the project and that it also drew its audience into a more tactile/physical experience of Cycle Stories – that the film would provide another medium for supporting our over-riding aims to increase connectivity to self, place and community. In the end we decided to write a script for the film – almost like a visual essay. I think it does a wonderful job in giving a flavour for the lived experience, a taste of the journey – its revelations and challenges and the narration manages to give a context to the over-arching and deeply interwoven ideas that the project as a whole, and Walking Stories in particular navigates. If nothing else it makes you want to get outside more – to take a long journey on a bicycle or a short one in the park. Seek out adventures to unknown destinations. They bring us to new and exciting places.

We are in the final throws of polishing and tweaking the film (or rather David and Tristan are!) and I contribute probably quite irritating notes/changes/demands every now and again. Our first screening is on 17 January as part of the Supper Room at Greenwich Dance. See you there. Oh, and if you ever have the chance to go and hibernate one winter – like really hibernate, then snap up the opportunity, I highly recommend it!

Dear UKBA – from Jennifer

Dated: Future-ly, 21.07.13

Dear UKBA, Home Secretary and minions of:

I have been a virtual traveller for the past 3.5 weeks.

I know that you have prohibited my travel outside the UK by ‘retaining’ (greedily keeping it for yourself, ahem… don’t you have enough passports in your collection yet?) my passport; however, I am pleased to announce that I have now mastered the art of astral projection and have been maintaining a steady presence through France these past three weeks.

Mainly, I have been taking up a very small amount of space in a camera. This is ideal, as I then don’t have to deal with the inevitable explanations regarding my lack of visibility in the images themselves. I am of course somewhat at the mercy of David’s curiosity, interest and skill (! really, he should stick to the poetry), which means that I miss the other’s perspectives – but perhaps everyone would have wanted to document the different spiders at close range. As well as the close-up with the cow… well. I had never imagined their breath would smell so sweetly!

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There are a few drawbacks: I’m afraid I don’t feel the same weight of work in my legs as the others… and given the tenuous position of my immigration status in this country, similar to finding myself on a tightrope stretched over an abyss, I do miss the earthiness and heaviness 6 hours of cycling brings. I feel I need heavy legs at the moment. Maybe if they get heavy enough, I’ll be earthbound forever… no plane will fly me and boats will sink under my tread, thus ensuring my continued residency in the UK.  But perhaps I need to be lighter, nimble  enough to dash across the rope to the other side… or back the way I’ve come (even though I don’t fancy my chances doing an about-turn on such a narrow platform, ballet school notwithstanding).

I had tried to mirror the efforts of the group from afar, cycling from London to Cambridge (68 miles) and Cambridge to Peterborough (39 miles). This was very successful in creating shared space in different places, via SMS – but also, simply trusting that we were each doing what the other was from afar – a potent psychological space. For reasons specific to my situation (that of not-knowing my fate and wanting to be available should I need to access the many documents necessary to help determine it), I took the train from Peterborough to Leeds to be physically present with the tightrope, keeping tension on the line.

I feel a certain fragmentation: this is clearly part of the astral projection, but also to do with my projection into the camera. I am not privy to the whole of the landscape, its integrity, the roundness of 360… the aperture here is made up of 90 degree angles. I wonder if you can relate to this in your roles as caretakers (cartographers) of immigration? How do you feel about the aperture of ILR Form Set(O) as a way to understand my desire to remain in the UK? Does it give you enough scope? I fear it might be flat, in the way two-dimensional things are. I fear it fails to account for the roundness of my existence here. I fear it fails to address the roundness this country is for me.

I suppose this notice of refusal shows that it has failed; hence I will plead my case in the full three-dimensions. Hopefully, when we see each other face to face, rather than through these 90 degree angles, we’ll be able to reach an understanding.

Different Species of Space – Jennifer-Lynn Crawford

Topology

Flat space is space that doesn’t breathe – it, quite literally, *is* not. We can say that it is a useful exercise in metaphor. There is a wonderful branch of mathematics called topology. I’m a fan, definitely on the amateur scale, but happily so. They discuss ‘space’ mainly – which I find quite useful for all sorts of things – dancing, thinking, imagining –  and one feature of topology that I really enjoy is the possibility of tidying spaces into named places (even though I also don’t believe that they remain in such boxes in the chaos that is live(d) space)… making maps, essentially. There is a branch on the topology tree that focuses on surfaces, something that can be referred to as flat-land, or 2-d space. We don’t live there, but we find it very easy to imagine things there. It gives us ‘perspective‘ – and we tend to have a bit of a cultural disposition to that in the West.

I find a particular species of topological space, called a manifold, very useful. When topology adopts a space like this (i.e., says it is a ‘topological’ space) it means that that space can be manipulated in certain ways, but mostly retains its identity. Confusingly, this is interchangeable with the ‘topology’ of the space: a set of defining characteristics = the identity of the space = the topology of the space.

(Perhaps a good example is the olde rubber sheet – we can stretch it, twist it, bend it so that it looks different – but as long as we don’t tear it, it will continue to have the same identity/topology. As soon as we put a hole in it, it takes on a new identity/topology.)

Geometry is a different kettle of fish that I’ll mostly sidestep for now, but just in case it is useful, we can do geometry on surfaces without the nature of the surfaces changing. Geometry is all the stuff that would change and shift about when we stretch/bend/twist a surface (i.e., measurable qualities of shape rather than nature). Caveat: beware amateur definitions… investigate for your self if this is of interest and forgive me my attempts if expert in the field!

Back to manifolds: manifolds have localized ‘properties’, even though they might be globally more diverse. Put another way: if you are on a surface that goes round a sphere (like we might be), you might find the neighbourhood to be flat… your immediate perception is not of slope. However, given the whole of the ‘space‘ – if we zoom out enough to apprehend the sphericality of the surface we are on (somehow) – it is indeed spherical. We could only find this out for ourselves (physically experience it) by planet-hopping, or figuring out how to jump into a 4-d universe.

Scale is important here – and since interplanetary missions/dimensional jumps are not really on my agenda, I propose that zooming in is possibly the only way that we can apprehend the global variation of the manifold, the many-folded space we are all simultaneously in, with pockets all differently-shaped. Rather than trying to get out of our manifold to ‘see’ it (get perspective, or flatten it into a visual), we have to get further in to it. A way to do this involves playing actively with depth and scale – disturbing our up-down orientation and our visually-dominant perception – in order to start grasping (literally, feeling with our hands and other tactile antennae) that there are many different spaces in what we generally consider to be ‘our’ space.

Time is also important here and it isn’t possible to avoid it. However, I’d like to at least propose that space isn’t (as it often is considered in this ‘global culture‘ aka capitalist-consumerist paradigm) a ‘historical queue‘ (as Doreen Massey puts it); not every space needs to be drawn up in terms of time. Some spaces are on mountain time, where we measure erosion in centuries. Some spaces are on TV prime time, where the cost prohibits anything longer than second-by-second measurement. Different spaces live in/at different times. We don’t need to tune time out to get a feel for spatial difference, nor do we need to measure spaces in a single (clock-based) temporal frame. There needn’t be any integration (of spaces into time); particularly the kind that masquerades (manifolds) as such – but is actually homogenization.

For example: measuring progress as development along a Western/Euro-centric axis requires that spatial difference is homogenized under the umbrella of temporal progress. It couldn’t be that other cultures might be different and that space shifts to promote and feed difference. The underlying paradigm here insists that surely they are just behind ‘us’ in the movement towards the fixed goal of globalization.

To draw this back to zooming in: it isn’t that the ants are moving slowly/quickly according to my human-scale space. They are moving relatively in ant-scale space.

Walking Stories and Space

Is it possible that we consider Walking Stories with its participatory emphasis as less fixed and more true mappings of lived and shared spaces? This could be a way (not *the* way) to zoom in rather than tune out.

My experience of the people who have tried the Walking Stories drafts in the past few weeks is that they find it immersive – rather than transcendent. They find themselves cohering IN the space rather than standing OUT from the space and maybe even starting to practice the environment/landscape we do the walk in.

Participant feedback seems to be that doing the walk changes their perception of self and of the environment the walk happens in. I can only agree – despite knowing the walk, having helped to shape the walk, I still get a different feeling for the environment we do it in, regardless of pre-exploration and strategizing. Of course, this has to do with a willingness and disposition on my part to get ‘lost’ in things. The proposal of he(a)r(e)/not-he(a)r(e) that the audio walk makes, where we aren’t quite sure whether what we are listening to is present or absent, whether it accords to our visual perception or not, invites disorientation and not-knowing. It gives us a human-voice and seriously satisfying compositional compass to get lost to. An invisible non-flat map.

As Cycle Stories continues, having moved through London, Hextable, to Kent, and most recently of Eastleigh, how do we embed ourselves as makers? How do we notice the channels in our perception that keep feeding Walking Stories even as we (out of necessity) map it out on paper, flatten it and fix it down so that others can find the same paths? I don’t think we are sure yet. I think we exercise cartographic skill here at a later point; we’ve come some distance, but we need to keep following our noses a bit longer before we pause to find out where we are/going. I’m feeling stretched by it all, in a good way, a meaty sort of stretch, whereby I think we are still twisting and bending the rubber sheet. We aren’t yet ready to do geometry on it. We are still figuring out what the topology of this thing is.

Seeing a slug trail (gastropoda – ‘travel by belly’ – which, thanks to the skills of Alex in feeding us so extremely well, we are happily very close to doing), I’m reminded that non-linear lines of ‘growth or becoming’ (as Tim Ingold puts it) are most definitely trajectories, and are still lines. Zooming in affords an opportunity to come in to space in all its shifting dimensions. A mountain is not shaped like a pyramid, nor a triangle. Paths are not straight line segments that run from A to B. The sun is not a big circle in the empty sky.

My own experience:

Zooming. Not only a visual space. I zoom in my perception to the ant-scale. This is a change of orientation, from bipedal, upright, human… Not simply a magnification – it is a movement along the horizon of my feeling for this space: Greenwich park/Swanley park/King’s Wood/Spinney Hollow… I change my involvement in the space and the space shifts – the grass is not a uniform blanket on the ground after all. This notion of the air – this thing that isn’t visible, but so open to smell. To skin. Fog = wet skin and ghostly visuals, mystery and slowed up time.

More Questions:

Continuing the idea of practicing space – which space?  It is possible to examine or explore from different levels or into different levels – zooming in our perception – space as folding, multi-valent possibility – foldable – fluid, unfixed.

 

 

Cycling, maps, uncertainty – Jennifer-Lynn Crawford

Cycling, Maps and Uncertainty.

I have a particular flair for getting lost. I have many ideas about why this is, or comes to be, but they mostly consist of self-justifications for what is a skill highly under-rated in densely populated and constructed cities. How can I get lost around the corner from where I am staying in London despite staying in the same neck of the woods on every visit for the past 6 years? I know London is a big place – but I am not built like a goldfish. I do remember streets, houses, landmarks; just not, it would seem, in the same order as they appear on maps.

Doing more cycling in less familiar places has only increased my ability to get lost… I can now get lost very quickly. Because of a general reluctance to stop cycling once I am in motion, I tend to keep going, which means I increase the length of time it will take to ‘find out’ where I am. It also means I avoid consulting the map. Hence I get lost quickly and increasingly thoroughly when I’m not with anyone else. Another curiosity is that I tend to speed up if I feel very lost (rather than medium lost, or just plain lost) – probably out of a desire to find something that seems familiar (even if it isn’t).

Cycling with people that I feel to be both fairly skilled map readers and more experienced cyclists has been odd for me. There is always someone who knows where we are going. This in itself is a radically different way of being on a bike. There is also usually someone who knows where we are, according to a map, and occasionally, there are several people who have slightly different ideas about where we are/going.

I’ve been grateful for the fact that others understand how important arrival at a pre-decided final destination is and that they have hold of the map and not me. Particularly after mile 40.

Orientation is a question mark for me (it would seem); I enjoy not knowing where I am and/or having an ambiguous destination. This is definitely a useful thing, as I seem to have some internal scrambling device that activates whenever I get near a map. Or, another way to put it: my experiential map (how getting to a place feels/felt as physically sensed) and my 2-d map don’t communicate with a common language.

Lost

Language indicates ‘lost’ is a state, or a quality of a thing… an activity, a status, and also, refers to something past/no longer

“I got lost”
“I am lost”
“I will get lost”
“Lost and Found”
“Lost time”
“Lost in thought”
“I lost my head/temper/heart”
“A losing battle”

Lost is also gone – I lost something means that I no longer have it. To be lost in thought is to be absorbed (into something else). Maybe a base metaphor is that lost is not to hand? It is beyond my grasp, my knowing. Lost is taken (away) and lost is not-knowing. Lost is a state/quality defined by negation, as the absence of clarity or knowing. Lost is also a metaphor for death, the most permanent kind of absence. There are also, of course, winners and losers… ‘Loser’ being the preferred insult of my 10 year old self, if memory serves. Losing is less desirable than winning if not strategic in terms of games, arguments, money/possessions and vitality. But losing is hugely desirable if joining the body-commodification movement.

In being lost, I have lost my way – even if I don’t follow the map, I have a ‘way’, something that is mine. When lost to or in something, I am absorbed by the something to the degree that it becomes my compass. To existentialist-leaning sorts (like myself), this signals some shift in ontology, or how we ‘are’; there is less attempt at owning a situation and greater permeability to perceived elements in/making up the situation.

This is articulated in improvisation practices by Kent De Spain as ‘non-centred/de-centred intentionality’:

“…if I am commingled with the elements of the moment so that I do not sense or even care where the ideas and actions are coming from, I can go for a joyride, instead of carrying the car on my back.”

(feel free to replace ‘car’ with transport mode of choice)… but it is mostly the same phenomenon when lost-on-bike. Regardless, it is very hard to ‘lose’ this metaphor of purpose as destination and both as desirable. They indicate knowing.

Maps

Journeys make paths or follow them – paths are specific surfaces inscribed on the land. Paths are knowledge in that they tell us someone was here before – human or not, another creature has gone this way. In making a path from scratch, we make a statement to other pathway-takers that there is something going on. Obstacles are things or events that prevent us from following the path easily, possibly blocking it entirely. This is an easy relationship to draw across to our bodies and movement habits as well – those habits, those neural paths that we work daily (tooth-brushing, hand-writing, garlic-chopping) are pretty well-maintained paths. They are knowledge, knowing in moving towards destinations such as clean teeth and notes and a meal. We sense obstacles here when we cannot access our habitual way (such as using the same hand).

In my case, I am very skilled at becoming my own ‘obstacle’ when I have hold of a map – or I am very skilled at finding ways to avoid my destination. I’m not sure which it is yet. It might depend whether I think I’m going somewhere or nowhere. I seem to prefer the ‘joyride’ over carrying the bike on my back (i.e., aiming at the landscape from the map) and have difficulty negotiating the difference in ontology proposed by finding my way, rather than a-way (lost).

Maps emerge from the landscape… and then we paste them back on. This rests on our understanding of space as somehow structural – time flows, but space… endures. It remains. I reckon the land itself, as well as any creature blessed with any kind of perceptual system, would beg to differ that it remains the same. Space changes; space is always contingent and inhabited. Even if we refuse to annex space in terms of time, space shifts. Where does the notion of static space come from? A desire to get hold of something perhaps; to centre our knowing and make it portable within ourselves, or at least, something we can carry with us.

The notion of space as structure and thus inherently fixed is a particular Western/Euro metaphor. Attempts to address difficulties within this perspective go all the way back to Heraclitus and the river that we can’t step into twice. They move all the way forwards through Einstein’s Relativity to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and a choice to know about either a particle’s momentum or its location, but not both simultaneously. It goes past that through the popular acceptance of various versions of chaos theory, systems-based approaches, post-post frameworks… and where does it land in this work we are working on now?

Questions:

How do we practice space – or practice with space? How do we space a practice?

These are two questions I keep re-arriving at from various activities over the past several years. To some degree, I’m still lost here. But of course, these are not the sorts of questions that prompt arrival at destinations.

At the moment, they propose that we need to consider location as un-fixed – as interactive or better, something that we are implicated in/by – which is a clear follow-on from any kind of environmental concern, yet one that isn’t made nearly explicit enough in current social/political climes. It seems that we spend a good deal of time trying to forget that spaces are not fixed – or trying to ‘fix’ them into staying. To know that we are affected by space (think cave vs. mountain top) is also to know that we affect space (think empty stadium vs full). How is it then ‘forgotten’ that if we don’t steward our spaces ‘well’ (perhaps in some kind of sustainable, or even more mindful, practice), our spaces will no longer be? In order to work with space, even just to take care of it, we need to acknowledge that space changes. Space is not fixed. Even leaving space as it is, it moves, it rearranges itself, displaces itself, as much as time – this might also offer some explanation of Western philosophy’s favouring of time.

I suppose I wonder what we look at when we are looking at maps. And if we are we looking at flat versions of space, what does that tell us about our feeling for space?

To be continued….

Jennifer-Lynn Crawford teaching a workshop at Plymouth Uni 9th, 10th June

Jennifer-Lynn Crawford will teaching a workshop at Plymouth University
Sat 9th and Sun 10th June. (studio 307)
10.30 – 12.30am Solo Dancing: Patterns for 3-Dimensional Bodies (Release-based technique class)
1.30-3.30pm Working With Skin: Tactile Intelligence (exploratory workshop)
For more details see the events, classes, workshops page.

Dates for your Diary

The land series…
 
Sunday 1st July 7.30pm
Becoming Land (performed by Charlotte Spencer, Jennifer-Lynn Crawford, sound – Tristan Shorr)
Hebden Bridge Arts Festival
 
Saturday 7th July times TBC (Free)
LAND (Siobhan Davies Big Dance Commission, choreographed by Charlotte Spencer, Janine Harrington and Vanessa Cook. Performed by Young People from South London)
Morden Hall Park, London (closest tube – Morden, overground – South Merton)
 
Saturday 14th July 6, 6.30, 7pm (Free but ticketed)
Land into Light
Big Dance Commission for Jerwood Gallery, Hastings
performed by Charlotte Spencer, Jennifer-Lynn Crawford, sound – Tristan Shorr
limited availability please book: 01424 425809
As part of Stade Saturdays, Hastings Borough Council
Jerwood Gallery, Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3DW.