The proposed event for Space: Network: Memory is a headphone based social choreo-graphy that invites critical engagement with place, the body and networked spaces through augmented listening and participatory choreographic strategies. This is one of a series of site-based, somatically attuned aural choreo-graphies that have been sited in urban spaces in Auckland, Dunedin, Sydney, Prague and Chichester in the UK.

The research practice responds to a time of life that is perceived as unsustainable and fragile, both economically and geographically. Acknowledging this exhaustion of the material world, the practice asks how listening might elicit responsiveness to the social imaginary towards the anti-monumental and the fleeting. In these contemporary conditions in which the body is often dispersed, intersected, multiplied and dematerialised by the impact of new media, this research aims to resituate the somatic choreographic body through a critical embodied recovery of place.

Drawing on choreography as a framework to shift between modes of listening and participating, headphonic sound scores act as the navigational tool for participants. The proposed event builds on an earlier choreo-graphic performance walk ‘E-bodies: Listen up, tune in, slow down and play on’ which was presented as part of the Eastwest Somatic Symposium, at The University of Otago, in Dunedin on the 1st February 2013. This encounter mapped a small industrial wasteland in Central Dunedin. A porous, collective body of participants created a kind of public performative archaeology of body and place where landscapes that have been destroyed, built and dismantled by industrialisation and time were (re)membered.

The proposed event furthers this activation of the city and body through an emergent choreo-graphic site-based theatre for the ears (the site will be determined as part of the research process). The practice resists a hierarchy of (visual) spatial codes for knowing that might otherwise distance us from our sense of place. Rather these encounters aim to bring emphasis to becoming together through a concentrated attunement to place. Somatic processes for listening provide the grounds for rethinking the way we navigate in the age of digital prosthetics. This enables how we might see differently through digital augmentation when listening and embodied sound-scapes are brought to the fore.

Things you will need:
Comfortable walking shoes, waterproof jacket (just in case), charged MP3 Player with track downloaded.
The sound link will be made available for download here on Friday 13th September.

Becca’s reflections:

Download the word document containing the participant’s written reflections here: