METABODY 2019 The Netherlands

Un/Bounded What is freedom of movement? What a body can do.

16th to 21st September

for the second year at the Refugee Camp / Asylum Seeker Center (AZC) in RIJSWIJK – in collaboration with VROLIJKHEID Association

Residence of collective creation, performances and workshops

Final performance 21st september at 8pm

by Jaime del val – Reverso/Metabody Forum

in collaboration with Thomas Tajo

local coordination by Nikos Kokolakis

This project continues the work initiated in 2018.

With participation of asylum seekers we continue building the flexible dynamic architectural extensions of the body started last year, creating a metasculpture made of modules that can be suspended or standing, conforming an single architecture or split and worn by bodies individually or in small groups, or worn by bodies as a group conforming a mobile swarm-architecture, as suspended sculpture inside the museum or also extending outwards and moving around. Interactive lighting, projections and sounds can be also performed by the artist and the participants. The result can be exhibited and performed in other venues, always in new compositions, since the modules can interconnect and move in endlessly different ways.

The building together and the attachment of bodies to the architecture is a means for exploring new freedoms of movement even while being bound to the borderzone constituted by the camp. Khôra, the ancient Greek term for space, becomes indeterminate. Connecting to the Greek transition of asylum seekers and to the idea of blurring boundaries into openings, we collectively build and perform a mutant, plastic space, which is also our own movement and perception unfolding. How to turn the uncertainty of an asylum seeker’s situation into a creative indeterminacy? Bodies are bound to the structures and yet therein they find a new freedom of movement. New possibilities of qualitative variation of movement appear by exploring the potentials of proprioception, the internal sense of movement of the body, through internal microtorsions distributed like a swarm, meanwhile the structures operate like an interstice for new a sense of elastic connection between people, bodies and to the fixed architectural space or site. Open movement is created within the seemingly static.

The materials used for building will include both bamboo from nearby places and industrial materials for tents, hacking, or opening up and playing with, the techniques for building tents, again resonating with parts of the asylum seeker’s history through the architecture of the tent, that mutates into a radically creative space, turning the normally static and utility oriented objects into indeterminate body extensions that create connections(interstices) between bodies; other materials include textiles from the Market in the Hague, mostly coming from China though mimicking Indian textiles, thus echoing on the one hand the process of the asylum seekers’ migration as well as exposing contemporary capitalist processes delocalization and exploitation. Other local materials will be explored. The techniques for building can be learnt, reproduced and mutated by the asylum seekers.

The process will thus involve:

  • building of structures, as a technique that people can reproduce and play with after the process,
  • playing with structures collectively in mobile manner across the camp, inviting everyone to participate,
  • composing a mutant structure inside the museum, maybe also outside as its outer skin,
  • workshops on proprioceptive movement with participants,
  • performing with lights, robotics, projections and sounds on the structures including:
    • images of the skin of participants and their processed voice that becomes expanded in the structures they inhabit: an amorphous womb or matrix of becoming, beyond binary sexes and cartesian grids, creating new open bonds of indeterminate affects.


Workshop at the AZC in Rijsweek 16-21 September by Jaime del Val, with Thomas Tajo

What the body can do: new freedoms across borders

What is freedom of movement? The workshops will explore the capacity of the body to move and sense in new ways not only in exploring an environment, but internally, through the sense of proprioception: the infinite combinatory of the 300 joints of a human body and its connecting tissues is itself a field of infinite movement possibilities that the body feels through the sense of proprioception. This capacity to develop always new subtle combinations of posture and movement sensation inside the body is related to our plasticity in cognitive, affective or relational aspects and connect’s to Spniza’s famous saying that “one cannot know what a body can do”. This Spinozian account of the body as field of affects of infinite potentialities for variation is also the source for a new freedom, a radical freedom of movement where a body can reinvent itself and in relation to any surrounding in any situation (borderzone, prison…) by focusing on its potentials for infinite qualitative variation of its internal movements and sensory capacities, thus for reinventing its environment as an equally infinite field of sensory variation.

4 modules:

  1. focus on proprioception
  2. focus on navigation (with Thomas Tajo)
  3. playing with structures in Camp
  4. playing with structures in beach or park

Detail of Module 2 with Thomas Tajo:  New perceptual abilities to navigate the world

DESCRIPTION: In the previous session focusing on proprioception as the infinitely varied capacity of the body to change the movement relations of its 300 joints and to feel its own movement as new radical freedom towards the inside while integrating external sensory inputs into the body’s proprioception. In this second session we will focus on other techniques for navigating the environment without vision proposed by Thomas Tajo, usually used by blind people, but which are presented as a the expansion of non-visual sensory capacities for anyone. We will also connect the navigation techniques with the proprioception techniques in order to explore freedom of movement and perception towards inside and outside the body – new proprioceptive capacities and new navigation capacities thorugh developing unusual perceptual techniques and sensory capacities.


PROGRAMME (provisional) – duration 6 days:

Day 1 – Monday 16th September:

  • Morning: Market and taking equipment to camp
  • Afternoon: meeting people, preparing spaces, getting materials in camp
  • (late afternoon start building?)
  • Evening: initial performance?


Day 2 – Tuesday 17th September:

  • Morning – start of building from 12’00 (arrival of Nikos)
  • Afternoon: movement workshop “What the body can do: new freedoms across borders” – first part – with Jaime del Val only
  • (late afternoon continue building)

Day 3- Wednesday 18th September:

  • Morning: to be announced
  • Afternoon: movement workshop “What the body can do: new freedoms across borders”- second part – with Thomas Tajo and Jaime del Val
  • (late afternoon continue building)


Day 4 – Thursday 19th September:

  • Morning: building
  • Afternoon: movement workshop – “What the body can do: new freedoms across borders” – third part – playing with structures in the camp and museum – (Choral improvisations) (and possibly discussions/workshop on “What the body can do: new freedoms across borders”)
  • (late afternoon continue building)


Day 5 – Friday 20th September:

  • Morning: taking structures outside Camp
  • Afternoon: finalise building and setting up sculpture in museum or around.


Day 6 – Saturday 21st September:

  • Morning: to be announced
  • Afternoon:
    • 15’00 final preparations, details of building, setup of sculpture in museum
    • 18’00 playing with sculpture in the museum
    • 19’30 preparing final performance
  • Evening: 21’00 final performance

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