Alien Intimacy – Online and disaligned (propriocepting at a distance) – online metaformance

Metabody Toulouse 2020 / Metabody Forum 2020

Phase 1: 16-17 Novembre 2020 – Toulouse-Limoges-Madrid

Phase 2: 17-18 Décembre 2020 – Toulouse-Casablanca-Madrid

Final Online Performance live broadcast18 December at 5’30pm CET – https://youtu.be/osS_29coI8c – between:

  • K. Danse (CC Bellegarde, Toulouse, France) – Performeuses: Laure Lapeyre, Rachel Ona, Suzanne Fossan, Hengame Yahyazade
  • Reverso/Metabody (Madrid, Espagne) – Performeur/se: Jaime del Val
  • Cie Col’Jam (Institut français, Casablanca, Maroc) – performeuse: Ahlem El Morsli

Three heads are aligned with the camera as if for a video conference, they stare at the camera, then they move their eyes, and then they begin to fluctuate in their posture as they move away from the camera, they explore the space slowly, as if floating in it, they approach again and between the three of them they compose a monstrous body until they get so close to the camera that it sticks to the skin … from here on you only see a shapeless landscape of moving skin, overlapping with each other in a strange intimacy, then the eye jumps from the skin to space and moves through lines until it jumps back to the body but now beyond the skin you can see the surrounding space, twists of space, twists of the skin, the reference of vision is the body, the images overlap for a while until they fade into black … at the end the three heads reappear as at the beginning but now totally disaligned and floating …

A disaligned videoconference in times of pandemic, poetics of slowness in the era of speed and effect, minimalism in the relationship with the camera, reinvented a thousand times. Camera in proximity to the skin that reinvents the body, camera in proximity to space that reinvents the environment, always in motion, tactile and proprioceptive gaze in times of immobility and distance. Poetics of contact in times of isolation. Poetics of movement in times of immobility.

At a second level, more explicit for the audience of the performance, the project exposes the disjointedness of our digital culture of seemingly endless connectivity but where we in fact inhabit disarrayed spacetimes and bodily (dis)connections. Partly playing with an aesthetics of error, glitch and failure the project however exposes how one can connect through movement even in disalignment.

With a minimalist aesthetics the project works against the prevailing tendency to speeded up effects and highspeed connections and uses just the bare image of standard webcams without any digital processing with a slow connection and very slow motions. The video first focuses on disalignments from the webcam at a distance and in the second part the webcam moves onto the surface of the body to explore in new ways both the body itself and its surrounding space, with a closeup tactile vision, antiperspectival and child-like or autistic, as an invitation to reinvent our realities through small variations in movement and perception in times of isolation, confinement and digital control.

The project thus explores the paradoxal connotations of being “online and disaligned” and of connecting through this disalignment in motion thus creating possibilities for new alien forms of intimacy and relation, through subtle but deep reapropriations of mainstream control technologies, a form of ontohacking available to anyone. In this disjointed distance, bodies propriocept each other in unprecedented ways.

The core of the project is however in the experiential cocreation or metaformance workshops, of which the performances are but a side-effect. Here, we have done the two online sessions after  a previous process with a physical workshop in Toulouse.

This metaformance focuses on transforming the participant’s experience and proposes a simple device that can be reappropriated by any audience beyond the public presentation of the project.

  • Concept: based on the Disalignment and Microsexes projects by Jaime del Val and its associated workshops.
  • Dramaturgy and choreographic development: Jaime del Val and Jean-Marc Matos
  • Tele-videographic development in Isadora: Jean-Marc Matos, concept based on the tele-performance projects of K. Danse (https://www.k-danse.net/portfolio/dansetoile/).

Second phase and Final Online Performance  – Toulouse-Madrid-Casablanca —- live broadcast – 18 December at 5’30pm CET – https://youtu.be/osS_29coI8c – between:

  • K. Danse (CC Bellegarde, Toulouse, France) – Performers: Laure Lapeyre, Rachel Ona, Suzanne Fossan, Hengame Yahyazade
  • Reverso/Metabody (Madrid, Espagne) – Performer: Jaime del Val
  • Cie Col’Jam (Institut français, Casablanca, Maroc) – Performer: Ahlem El Morsli

 

First Phase of production – Toulouse-Limoges-Madrid:

The first group is in fact in a theater in Toulouse with two other remotely connected participants. Each body connects from a very different space and with the camera at different angles:

  • a theater (with a large projection screen),
  • a studio (with a PC screen) and
  • a bedroom (with a phone screen).

Connected spaces:

  • Théâtre Marcel Pagnol, Villeneuve-Tolosane in Toulouse, with Jean-Marc Matos (K. Danse), Ariana Logvinova, Garance Plessis-Fraissard, Antonella Sampieri
  • Studio of Reverso in Madrid, with Jaime del Val
  • Bedroom in Limoges, with Laure Lapeyre

Performers: Laure Lapeyre, Ariana Logvinova, Garance Plessis-Fraissard, Antonella Sampieri, Jaime del Val

Video of rehearsal from the first phase:

 

Image of the physical space in the Toulouse theater in the first Phase: