2021 | an ecosomatic exploration | performer & maker

“Livet rör sig, rörelse är förändring och relation är kontakten mellan två eller flera ting i förändring. Möjligheten för en organism att bevara intern balans i mötet med förändring reflekterar dess resiliens

– Embodied Ecology – The Ecosomatics of Permaculture

På 3:e Våningen under Göteborgs kulturnatt delade Karolin Kent och Tuva Hildebrand ett fragment av sitt nyuppstartade researchprojekt där de undersöker relationen mellan somatik, ekologi och aktivism. I rörelse undersökte de kroppens ekosystem som en del av omvärldens. Vibrationer, cellulär andning och porösitet förkroppsligades i en undersökande improvisation. Deras research kommer leda till en föreställning som har premiär på 3:e Våningen 2023.

I do not have a body. I am my body. We listen to the intelligence of the body, its cells, tissues, bones, organs, and so on. We listen to the intelligence of matter, its atoms and molecules in movement. She often says “listen to what the cells have to tell you”.

When I am in direct communication with my environment without making reflective decisions I have the experience that the physical intelligence of my body takes over, its reflexes and responses. I have to trust that there are levels of thinking within my body which the language part of my brain cannot comprehend which still carries my body in movement, listens, communicates and makes decisions. 

Physical intelligence is something we are born with, however it is also culturally influenced and shaped. Even the embryo is culturally influenced because its constitution is influenced by how its host has been culturally influenced. The body contains an intelligence which our mind is not able to comprehend, which moves independently from our thoughts. At the same time our thoughts do affect processes inside the body.

Our bodies are matter. Our matter is formed by the matter of the world, and the world’s matter is formed by our bodies. There is a reciprocal act of perception between me and the world as I touch, smell, see, taste or hear it when I move. As I listen to my body being touched by the world and simultaneously listening to the world through touching it, I experience that my body is changing with every encounter with the world and that my body is changing the world. I am being placed inside an investigation of this very intimate micro movement of giving and receiving. Through experiencing this reciprocal relationship I learn that I and the world are in a constant state of becoming and intimately connected.

When I allow my experience of myself and my movements be evoked by me sensing the world, I also experience myself and the world as non-linear and unstable, like the more-than-human in our natural environment are non-linear and unstable. We are never in a fixed state or identity but in constant transformation.

What I previously knew about forms disappear. I enter a state of not knowing.

We investigate the relation between processes in the more-than-human such as plants, architecture and animals with processes in the human body. How does the forces of nature such as gravity allow the process of life to happen? How can the embryonic cell multiply? Our heart beat? Our blood flow? We cannot comprehend these processes, but we can listen to them kinesthetically as they are happening inside of us. In similar ways that we breathe, have an immune system, heal wounds and stand upright without falling.

Similarly to the ecological resilience and restoration in an ecosystem in nature, our body has its own ecosystem. There is a system in place in the body which functions on its own. However, we can also interfere with this system, through what we put into it and what we think. Our practice is more about how to leave the body alone for it to restore itself, rather than attempting to change or “purify” the system. To learn how to learn from our body, rather than teaching our body from the perspective of our mind. To allow the matter of the body to have its own agency and listen to how it communicates with the environment without steering it into normative codes of communication which are entrenched within cultural power structures.

To investigate the similarity between bodies in nature and the human body can create space for the embodiment of our own materiality to take place. We do not believe in an “essential natural body”, or that “nature” is less violent than humans. Our body is as much part of the chaos, violence, non-linearity and non-binaryness of nature as anything else and we can learn about these connections and co-existence through exploring them.

We are nature, there is no dichotomy between us.