Boyd Education Centre, Bundanon Trust, 2-5 February 2009
The primary focus of this set of workshops was on the study of our felt-experience of the body, and the transformation of this experience through processes of reflection, mapping/modelling and the external environment of Riversdale and Bundanon properties.
Bundanon provided an inspirational setting for the second Thinking Through The Body workshop. The scenic riverside landscape, award-winning architecture and warm weather created a very nurturing environment that over the five days of our residency, allowed us to become open to each other in ways that may not have been so easily achieved in a more urban context, facilitating a fascinating series of workshops, discussions, and individual explorations. Each workshop combined hands on practical work with individual reporting and group discussion.
The Bundanon workshop consisted of four research strands:
- The Distinct Body - two part workshop led by Catherine Truman, taking place over two days, using experiential anatomy, drawing and clay modelling as a way to reflect on the structuring and representation of body from a first-person perspective.
- Interactive Art Prototype Improvisations – led by George Khut with Somaya Langley, with Jonathan Duckworth and Lian Loke. Participants took turns silently interacting with five interactive/participatory prototypes that explored proximity, acceleration and rotation sensing technologies, and then reporting on their experience of each prototype, followed by a discussion of issued raised by this experience, and connections to issues explored in The Distinct Body workshop.
- The Situated Body – two part workshop led by Jonathan Duckworth, exploring the extension of forms of awareness and attention to felt experience developed in Feldenkrais somatic bodywork, outwards from the body – into the surrounding landscape of Bundanon and Riversdale.
- Neuroplasticity and Experience – workshop led by Maggie Slattery, introducing theories of neuro-plasticity as described in “The Brain that Changes”, discussing the role of novel experiences in the stimulation of brain chemistry and development, and an appreciation of creativity and aesthetic experiences within this context.
In addition to discussions that took place as part of each of the above workshops, Lizzie Muller facilitated two extended group discussions focused on
- Why Technology – individual relationships to technology and creative practice; and
- Envisioning the Sensorium Gymnasium – ideas for what we would like to achieve with the final performance Space workshop in July 2009. Each of these discussions raised important theoretical, professional and/or personal issues for the group, and helped us develop a shared understanding of where would be moving towards with the final workshop at Performance Space.