Body Interfaces

Body Interfaces research

 

Concept and method

(Scroll down for images, descriptions and video documentation)

 

"The body as interface" is an artistic concept that comes out of a long research in body-based performance practices, site specific art and technology. The project has a very expansive interpretation and definition of the terminology of "interface" and aims to take the combination of body - interface to a wider understanding, as a relational space between two entities, concerning the aspects of bringing together two parts, as well as separating them, being a threshold condition for the two. The research is inspired by the architect Brandon Hookway’s definition of interface as both something that is “between faces and facing between”, as a complex relation with both an inward orientation as well as having an exteriority that projects itself forward and beyond itself.

 

The research combines working with the body and (as) materiality in the tradition of site specific performance art combined with a newer understanding of the body that we have derived through our use of technology and its terminology. The project will benefit from the methodology of technology and not use technology as such; it will research in the physical sensations and meeting points that the body has with the surroundings, inspired by tools required from studying the body in technology with the concept of the interface as a main focus point. The interventions deals with the body as interface for experience, communication in relation to other materialities and the environment that surrounds and interact with these. The interface is here read as a transmitting entity and agency between the body and the surrounding surfaces; translating signals through interaction in and with the environment.

Body Interface: Site Scripting / Body Resonance

 

Skálar Artist Residency, Seyðisfjörður, Iceland: October 1. - November 30. 2015

Body Interfaces: Site Scripting / Body Resonance, fragment of score, Seyðisfjörður, Iceland

Body Interfaces: Site Scripting / Body Resonance, score # 4: Playing Mt. Bjólfur Seyðisfjörður, Iceland

Still from Video documentation by Malte Steiner

 

Body Interfaces: Site Scripting / Body Resonance, score #2, Seyðisfjörður, Iceland

Still from Video documentation by Malte Steiner

 

Body Interfaces: Body Resonance, score #1, Seyðisfjörður, Iceland

Video documentation by Malte Steiner

 

Electropixel # 5: Urban performance at Les Nefs

 

Nantes, France: August 22. 2015

 

 

 

Urban Interruption Transmission – Translation – Dialogue – Agency – Interaction – Interface

 

The concept of body interfacing took for Electropixel site specific departure in the surrounding area of La Fabrique, Les Nefs (the festival site) and was created specific for this context. A part of the process was to in advance, to gain access to information about the site from the organizers, and from this dialogue to be able to create a site specific intervention for the festival. The intervention was relating to Electropixel as an event-space, its concept and theme and to the architecture and the urban surroundings. The performance was purely analogue, seeing the body as DIY hardware performing instructions-based actions.

 

Link to Body Interfaces description on Apo33's website

 

 

Body Interfaces Electropixel #5, Nantes, France

Photo: Xoel Freire

Body Interfaces Electropixel #5, Nantes, France

Photo by Malte Steiner

Body Interfaces Electropixel #5, Nantes, France

Video documentation by Malte Steiner

Environment / Land / Nature

 

Fljótstunga Artist Residency: April 30 - May 14 2015

 

The method of the research was to make interactions in immediate contact with the landscape of Fljótstunga. The output was documentation in the form of primary video and photography, but also collected meta-data, such as environment recordings, stone collecting etc. Also big size graphic papers were used to make imprints to visually illustrate the surface between the body and the stones, which came in the shape of marks and cracks through the surfaces of the papers.

 

An additional important part of the research was to register the experiences from each interaction in a written report.

 

Link to residency report

 

 

Mapping-Stone-Formations, interaction in landscape # 1, Fljotstunga, Iceland

Photo documentation: Cecilia Bona

Mapping-Stone-Formations, interaction in landscape # 1, Fljotstunga, Iceland

Photo documentation: Cecilia Bona

Mapping-Stone-Formations, interaction in landscape # 1, Fljotstunga, Iceland

Photo documentation: Cecilia Bona

Body interfaces (environment and land/ nature) - experiment # 1:

The interface between the naked body and the ice

 

Location: Fljotstunga, West Iceland

Viewing point: Sjónarhóll (next to the Hallmundarhraun lava field)

Date: 02.05.2015

 

The interfacing of the naked body with the ice creates a relation, that effects both entities through factors like temperature, surface interaction (traces).

The two entities communicate with each other through e.g. the temperature fall of the persons naked body that touches the cold ice as well as the blood flow within the body. The body leaves imprints and traces on the ice.

 

Process description: The sun is shining, but the wind is still keeping the frost intact. moving to the target, takes clothes off and places the body on ice (2 variations). Documents the interaction with photo of the act as well as of the traces.

Body interfaces (environment and land/ nature) - experiment # 1 - Ice, Fljotstunga, Iceland

photo documentation of body traces

 

 

Body interfaces (environment and land/ nature) - experiment # 2:

The interface between the body and stone part 1+2

 

Location: Fljotstunga, West Iceland

Viewing point far south (in the hills)

Date: 03.05.2015

 

Parameters that affect the experience:

- Slight wind (cold)

- Sun

- The contact between the rocks of different shape towards the body

- Levels in the landscape effect the movements (avoiding of moss paths)

 

Parameters:

different movements

pain (because of the stones)

chilled temperature

marks on the body (blue marks and scratches)

 

Process description: hiking in the hills to find the spot for this experiment. When choosing location, the experiment is performed first around a sight point and after that with a view towards the lava field and the mountains; in this spot there is a lot of moss, that need not be touched and therefore interact with the movements. the performer wears tight black clothes and no jacket, gloves or scarf. Documenting the process with video of both acts.

 

Body interfaces (environment and land/ nature) - experiment # 2: part 1, Fljotstunga, Iceland

(screenshot from video)

Body Interfaces (environment and land/ nature) - experiment # 2: part 2, Fljotstunga, Iceland (screenshot from video)

 

Body interfaces (environment and land / nature) - experiment # 3:

The interface between the body and stone part 3

 

Location: Fljotstunga, West Iceland

Sandfjöll (Sand Mountains)

Date: 04.05.2015

 

Process description:

The wind is very cold and stormy, it is hard to walk in the landscape due to the resistance of the wind. The chill factor is additionally very high. The spot for the experiment is chosen. Due to the intensity of the wind, assistance with the documentation is needed. The performer wears tight black clothes made out of cotton (not wind proof), no jacket, no gloves or scarf, which makes the experiment even colder and more intense. The performer slowly crawls and slides up over Sand Mountain's sharp surface of stones. The movement is choreographed by the formation of the surface, where potential obstacles has an impact on the direction of the body. The soundscape is a combination of the intensity of the wind as well as the ceramic sounds of the cracking stones of the mountain. Nothing is planned beforehand, only the location. The act gets video recorded in one take.

 

Parameters that effect the intervention and the entities involved:

Temperature of the environment (the surface, the wind, weather): Stormy cold wind, turbulence (minus degrees in the wind) effects the body temperature and performance, movements of the performer.

Temperature of the body (can also potentially effect the surface): It his case the body can only interact with the placement of the stones, the body temperature doesn't effect the stones.

Different movements can effect both entities involved dependent on the characteristics of each surface entity: The contact between the very sharp stones of the Sand Mountain and the body sliding over these.

 

Results:

Pain (because of the sharp stones).

Numbness (due to the cold wind).

Marks on the body (blue marks and scratches).

 

 

 

Body Interfaces (environment and land / nature) - experiment # 3: Stone - part 3, Sandfjöll, Fljotstunga, Iceland

Video documentation by Cecilia Bona

Body interfaces (environment and land/ nature) - experiment # 4:

The interface between the face and lava stone

 

Location: Fljotstunga, West Iceland

Hallmundarhraun lava field

Date: 06.05.2015

 

Parameters that effects the experience/ the entities:

- The harsh wind

- The limited space on the lava field due to moss patches that cannot be touched.

- The surface feeling of the stone towards the face (temperature and hardness)

 

Process description: The wind is very stormy, but the sun is up which makes the walk easier, there is still a high chill factor. Also the flat land and no descending make the path more accessible. Walking in a path in the lava field. looking for a spot for the experiment on the lava stone. camera is put on a stone on the ground and the face is pointing down in different angles and towards the camera. the act is documented with photos.

 

Location facts: Hallmundarhraun is a lava field of the pahoehoe type (i.e. smooth unbroken basaltic lava with a smooth, billowy, undulating, or ropy surface) located slightly west of Langjokull glacier.

 

Hallmundarhraun belongs to Borgarfjordur district but lies on the fringes of the Highlands and West Iceland. The lava formed around the 10th century and flowed from craters near Langjokull glacier. At its broadest its around 7 km and its total length is about 52 km. Several caves are found in the field and at its edge are the waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. Iceland's longest lava cave, Surtshellir, is in this lava field.

 

 

Body Interfaces (environment and land/ nature) - experiment # 4:Lava stone

Body interfaces (environment and land/ nature) - experiment # 5:

The interface between the body and grass (hay)

 

Location: Fljotstunga, West Iceland

Date: 13.05.2015

 

Parameters that effects the experience/ the entities:

- The weather is milder, which makes movement easier.

- The structure of the dried grass (hay) is very stride and pricks through the clothing, makes the skin itch when on skin.

- The formation of the surface, stones under the grass and the formation of the hill choreographs the movements of the body.

 

Process description: The wind is normal and the sun is up (sometimes clouds, which makes it not so harsh to be in only cotton clothes. The body is placed on the grass-covered hill and then starts to slide down, the body follows the shape of the hill and slide as far as is possible. Then movements to begin in accordance with the potential obstacles of the hill until the end of the hillside. The grass si very stride and goes easily through the clothes. The shirt slided up, so the dry grass interacts directly with the bare skin, which results in heavy itching.

 

Body Interfaces (environment and land / nature) - experiment # 5: Grass (hay), Fljotstunga, Iceland

Video documentation by Cecilia Bona

Copyright © All Rights Reserved Tina Mariane Krogh Madsen 2016