The Articulating Body – Experiments on De-configuring Reactionary Anaesthesia

A two-day experiment

With: carla bergman, Manuela Bosch, Susu Grunenberg,Katrine Meisfjord, Nick Montgomery

2 and 3 April 2019

Knut Knaus Auditorium

Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design

University of Bergen

Møllendalsveien 61, 5009 Bergen, Norway

Today’s capitalistic and dominant systems colonize and govern our subjectivity on the micropolitical levels of desire and imagination. They disconnect us from our sensing and knowing bodies, leading towards instability, apathy and an-aesthesia (Greek: an-aesthēsis: without sensation). It is a condition that smooths the way for manipulation, and shows itself, for example, in the recent rebirth of forms of fascism, racism, populism and more. 

Countering trends of reactionary an-aesthesia, The Articulating Body is an intensive discursive and embodied experiment. It aims to create a temporal alternative space for experiencing a micropolitical and a holistic making of differences as practices of resilience, disobedience and resistance. This will include exploring diverse forms of activating discourse and discussion, as well as engaging in specific social and somatic methods, that aim at crafting embodied knowledge and relational sensibilities.

The experiment is organized over two days, and is structured around two encounters: The first encounter unfolds in a participatory discursive meal by Katrine Meisfjord, exploring particular affirmative concepts by speakers carla bergman and Nick Montgomery. The second encounter will lead us through the holistic methods of Social Presencing Theatre (guided by Manuela Bosch) and Biodanza (guided by Susu Grunenberg) to activate and articulate our knowing bodies. 

Over the two days we will aspire towards sharpening our senses for an active micropolitics, and towards germinating new forms of being together that momentarily allow us to reflect, to re-feel and undo a reactionary an-aesthesia. 

(Participation on both days is desired.)

First Encounter

2 April 2019, 17.30 – 21h

With: Katrine Meisfjord, carla bergman and Nick Montgomery

The first encounter unfolds in a participatory discursive meal “Food for Thought, Room for Conversation No.2”by artist Katrine Meisfjord in which the participants themselves will prepare the meal and scenography. How the body is placed, how the food is being served and how it is presented, will all be key elements for the conversations to unfold.

We will explore diverse forms of activating discourse and discussion with input of special guests and authors of “Joyful Militancy. Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times”, carla bergman and Nick Montgomery. Theyname thetangled web of forcesthat detach us from our own powers of creation and affection “Empire”, and will share with us their insights on conceptions such as “joyfulness”, “response-ability”, “co-and re-learning” as means to counter it.

Second Encounter

3 April 2019,  13.30 – 19h

With: Manuela Bosch, Susu Grunenberg

13.30 – 16.30h 

Manuela Bosch: Social Presencing Theatre (SPT)

SPT is an art form and social method that sharpens self-inquiry and systemic views on social change. It was developed by choreographer, performer and educator Arawana Hayashi and scholar Otto Scharmer. It is not ‘theatre’ in the conventional sense, instead it offers a blank stage for simple body postures and movements to dissolve limiting concepts, to access intuition, and to make visible both current reality, and the deeper –often invisible– points for creating profound change and future possibilities. SPT evokes the unspoken. It activates and brings together our knowing-body, the use of our unconscious embodied knowledge with group intelligence and creative expression. Via movement, sensing, awareness, observation and gestures we resolve restrictive patterns and communicate more directly. SPT integrates non-verbal embodied communication with verbal description.

Manuela Bosch is a Social Presencing Theatre trainer. She designs, guides and supervises processes of change for and between people and their visions and works with various unconventional techniques that include body, consciousness and nature.

(Please bring paper and a pen, a bottle of water, maybe a snack and come in comfortable sweatpants.)

16.30 – 17h break

17 – 19h 

Susu Grunenberg: Biodanza – Dance of Life Process

Artist and Biodanza trainer Susu Grunenberg creates moments of encounter and communicative experiences that are based on movement and dance through the system of Biodanza, the ‘dance of life’ (‘bios’ (Greek: life) and ‘danza’ (Spanish: dance)). As an integrative and holistic dancing process and system, it works as a practise for poetic human encounter and communication, for self-empowerment and self-transformation, to develop one’s vitality, affectivity, creativity, and courage to express oneself.

It is a method of ‘vivencia’ of ‘experiencing’ in play, in joy, in gestures of connection. Biodanza influences our mind, consciousness, intuition and organic neuro-vegetative and affective functions. It was developed by Chilean psychologist and artist Rolando Toro in the 1970s who called this process “re-cultivation”, the transformation of hostile into positive inner cultural values; an affective re-education and re-learning of the life original functions. Grunenberg invites us to experience our creative expression, the flow, our fire and passion in balance of activity and repose in the encounter with others: “Encounter arise, connection to ourselves and encounter with other people.[…] Because we are part of a living organism that can only grow in relation to each other, we let the poetry of the human encounters become part of the moment.”

(We will dance barefoot. Please come in comfortable sweatpants.)

No prior experiences are needed.

First Encounter:
Setting up
photos: Brandon LaBelle
Awareness warmup by Berit Fischer
carla bergman & nick montgomery sharing thoughts on their concepts of “response-ability”, “joyfulness”, “co/re-learing”, “Empire” of their book
“Joyful Militancy. Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times”
Katrine Meisfjord Food for Thought, Room for Conversation No.2, 2019
photos: Brandon LaBelle

Second Encounter:
Social Presencing Theatre with Manuela Bosch
photos: Jane Sverdrupsen

Biodanza with Susu Grunenberg
photo: Berit Fischer