Can aspects of Awareness through Movement® be applied in the creation of interactive artworks to broaden the scope of the artwork and expand the individual participant’s experience of the work?

In our initial discussions about TTTB, fellow Feldenkrais practitioner Maggie Slattery and I decided that engaging with attention to sensation was something we valued.

As practitioners and participants we’re being asked to feel something and then articulate it. We’re not necessarily interested in the outcome, more in how and why the participant in an interactive artwork engages with the process. However, we do feel there needs to be an acknowledgment of Quantum Physics here – that any phenomenon being observed is changed by the observation.

As practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method we normally remove as many external agents that will interfere with one’s engagement/relationship with oneself. The student becomes both the external and external agent and the boundaries in between.

I’m now at Riversdale. Such a breath-taking view from here. Breath-taking. I’m wrestling with my desire to just stare down the length of the Shoalhaven River as I sit here now and blog….
Today I began experimenting with a workshop I’ve developed over a number of years called “the Distinct Body”. The TTTB project allows me the luxurious opportunity of stretching it further, turning it upside down and inside out with the other participants.

Specifically the experiment of the Distinct Body is aimed at an exploration of felt experience and perceived notions of the familiar and unfamiliar body through themes of internal structure, volume and outline. I’m curious to extend the relationship between Feldenkrais and self-definition.
And so on day one of this two-day Distinct Body workshop the participants of TTTB are sharing in this experiment with me.  The level of attention each participant contributed today was so fruitful. Rich.

How clearly can we define and express the nature of our own bodies to ourselves and others?
Clear distinctions were injected into the language during this first part of the workshop: Draw an outline of a body and fill it with a skeleton .
Participants’ drawings were highly individual, yet similar at this stage.
Then they were led through a Feldenkrais-based session focussed on specific aspects of their own bodies- in stillness, in movement, in balance. Bones in relation to outlines, form and volumes.
Again they were asked to draw and this time the scale was more specific- 1:1.
However it was stressed that they now draw their own bodies- their own outline and skeleton.
During this drawing session I asked them many questions focussed upon translation of the direct experiences from the lesson as opposed to the drive for anatomical accuracy and the role of self-judgement. Participants were encouraged to stop regularly and stand on a chair, placed in different positions to view their drawings.
Following this they worked in pairs – one lying directly on top of their drawing whilst the other traced around their actual outline.
In most cases the traced outline was very close in scale and proportion to the outline drawn freehand.
Was it the Feldenkrais, the guided attention, the growth of awareness?
Tomorrow we’ll experiment more with volume, with making bodies in three dimensions.
More to follow….

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