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This project was conceived in 2020, in midst of a worldwide pandemic and in response to the COVID-regulations. Living in a 1.5m society, the space between us becomes one potent with fear and tinged with separation. Do you recall how you felt in the early days of lockdown, when someone got too close to you in the supermarket, or while passing on a narrow pavement? As a society we are now increasingly obsessed with the space which separates us. However, instead of this being a space of fear, what if this could become a space of possibility? Can we use this space to learn how to interact in different ways; ways that explore previously unknown parts of ourselves? Can we learn to speak without words, but through our movements together in space? Through public workshops, collaborative score development and archival techniques I aim to create a new form of language which uncovers the depths of the emotions that connect us. This form of language will be without words but based on symbols. 

About the project

Some discoveries from the workshops...

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Moving from one emotion to another was a challenge, as some participants felt they made a decision to leave a certain emotion behind, yet it did not leave their body. 

By increasing the tension of the bands, participants felt more connection between them. This goes against what we would expect - the more space there was between two people the more connected to each other they felt, as they could physically feel the tension of the other body through the bands.

Emotions are not hermetically sealed, it was possible for participants to experience a sense of ease when they were guided to explore frustration, and vice versa, some participants felt frustration when they were meant to be exploring compassion. In fact, in the workshops we found out that the emotions didn't need to be separated - it was possible to explore both danger & courage simultaneously. 

Amongst all the participants fear and despair  were the most difficult emotions to embody, while hope was the easiest. For some participants, fear was very triggering, and it was heart-warming to witness that in these cases their partner helped them to come out of that space.

This is me

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The next stage in the project is for the animated shapes to be turned into a graphic score, which will then be used for Genetic Choir to improvise with. After this, all the elements will come together in a performance, where audience members will be guided to embody the shapes of each emotion  accompanied by the movement score sung by Genetic Choir. 

What's next?

This project has been generously supported by Het Makerfonds