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15.01.2021 / Among us workshop series / online

14-19.08.2018 / residency at Xarkis Festival 2018 / Koilani (Cyprus)

concept & facilitation: Dorota Michalak (in collaboration with Borys Słowikowski at Xarkis residency)

conceptual support: Sandra Noeth

Supported by the HZT Berlin

BECOMING BODY is a movement practice developed and shared in a form of workshops and peer to peer exchange. It is a mixture of somatic approach, improvisation and plant philosophy – a practice focused on tuning into different scales of time-space embedded within our bodies, through engaging kinesthetic imagination, voice and language. Its aim is to stretch our understanding and way of relating to ‘what surrounds us’, distorting modern, colonial epistemic territory.

The practice aims at tuning into what we call, following Erin Manning, a state of ‘becoming body’ – a responsive quality, that transcends bound and homogenic idea of identity. Based on that we intend to explore notions of ‘heritage’ as an embodied knowledge created always in a relation to other bodies, in continuous movement and transformation. We propose tasks engaging different parameters of improvisation: combining movement & spoken language, verbalization of experience, exploring entanglements with the surroundings, tracing attention, changing scales and volumes. In this investigation we specifically focus on language as a matter – understood as a collective set of rules and as a mean capable of activating and integrating different perspectives.


FROM: The Life of Plants. A Metaphysics of Mixture, Emanuele Coccia

“Plant life is life as complete exposure, in absolute continuity and total communion with the environment. It is for the sake of adhering as much as possible to the world that they develop a body that privileges surface over volume: In plants, the very high proportion of surface to volume is one of the most characteristic traits. It is through this vast surface, literally spread in the environment, that plants absorb from the space the diffuse resources that are necessary to their growth. Their absence of movement is nothing but the reverse of their complete adhesion to what happens to them and their environment.”

“Under the sun or under the clouds, mixing with water and wind their life is an endless cosmic contemplation, one that does not distinguish between objects and substances – or, to put differently, one that accepts all their nuances to the point of melting with the world, to the point of coinciding with its very substance.”

FROM: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Ethics as Extension or Becoming? The Case of Becoming-Plant, Karen L. F. Houle

“Becoming is the name for this provisional co-creative zone in which the ―parties‖ and their ―proper functions‖ are themselves effaced and augmented.”

“Besides plant communication, there are at least six non-superficial ways that plant-life differs from the lives of all other members of the kingdom animalia, whether ―a snake or a codfish, or even a bee (...): 1) in rhizomes alone, a capacity to form new growth at any point along its body; 2) extreme seasonality of viable reproduction; 3) the great distances in time and space, and the elemental forces of water, heat and wind that reproductive and nutritive parts must navigate to realize their teloi; 4) the immediate triggering of cell-death upon successful pollination; 5) the presence of four axes of symmetry: radial, left-right (bilateral); front-back (adaxial-abaxial) and up-down; 6) the presence of male and female parts on the same organism.”

“My work here is not intended to establish a truth about plants in general; about how the secret life of plants is cool; about how plant life is like or is not like human life, and to what degree; or even in the service of the concern that plants deserve moral standing. This work aims to make evident that these vegetal modalities express genuinely different, rather than nifty vegetal-variation on, our dominant modes of enacting communication and our dominant ways of thinking about what communication is and is in the service of. Ideally, we want becomings to resonate not just to be understood.”

“Thinking plant-becoming has massive political and ethical implications—at the level of new concepts and new actions—which I can only gesture to here obliquely, counting on the unholy power of the indirect.”

“What needs unbecoming? Among other things our terrible somatic and mental habits: our animality stereotypies. Becoming-plant as a labour of, and for, unbecoming a certain tendency in human thinking and human action, emits particles of that unfaithful, massive, power of connectivity.”

FROM: https://purple.fr/magazine/the-brain-issue-33/emanuele-coccia-3/

“In animals, each function is performed by a specific part of the body, whose form becomes specialized and differentiated: what we refer to as organs. In plants, the functions are taken over or performed in a widespread and plural way. For instance, regarding perception, there is not a single part of the plant’s body that feels the outside world following a specific dimension (as is the case for the five senses): the perceptual function is spread throughout the body, through non-specialized sensors. Hence it takes place on a molecular basis.”

FROM: Dub: Finding Ceremony, A. P. Gumbs

“what the coral said.

once. we were all singing. somewhere. we are still. moving. as something huge, vibrational, wet. we dance and keep the world in place. we shiver and know the orbit. if you let the body undulate you will remember. not all the waves are in the ocean. we don't know so much about soloists. we don't know so much about virtue. we don't care so much about your body. it's the body. you are already part of it because you has nothing to do with it. dance into harmony now. now is already now. time has nothing to do with it. time is up. time is over. we are love in all directions. come on, sing.”

vibration - freedom - release - connection

alternative body - alternative anatomy - powerful question: where is up?

relationship with the time becomes flexible and multiple - a sense of time is actually flowing from one pace to the other - it is not linear anymore - a rigidness of reality is melting - mutating - it is all in the passing, not the beginning, not the end

connecting with the time and with the future - remembering my origin - expanding my roots - arrival on a new planet - creating a universe - body within a body - the travelling cells