Dancing in between

As I read the following as an interesting context for the work here developed, I begin with an inspiring quote by Elena del RÃo from the book Deleuze and the Cinemas of Performance: Powers of Affection, Edinburgh University Press, 2008. (Emphasis is by me, not in the original text).

To remedy this cultural state of visible frenzy, it is necessary to think of the real as exceeding the visible, and of real events as concerning bodies other than those whose boundaries we can trace or ascertain. As Pisters has suggested, we should think of a politics that operates beyond the traditionally defined borders of the organism, for “it is the invisible level that is most important in a culture that increasingly depends on the visible” (Pisters 2001: 25). And this, I would submit, is precisely one of the most radical thoughts Deleuze and Guattari have bequeathed to us – the existence of an incorporeal materialism that calls on us to become attentive to a micropolitics of the affections, a virtual plane, no less real than the actual, on which affects, thoughts, and desires continue to brew and transform long before and after they take a shape that we can see, name, or recognize.

Or should I better start with the fact that I would like to make a work about a space that lost its homogeneity, as Deleuze and Guattari describe their ‘any space whatever’. So I elaborated with some phrases to deliberate concepts that could leap forward from that. I found it needs quite some attention to interpret the evolving sets.

Any     Space   Whatever

Every  Space   Whatever

No       Space   Wherever


Any     Time    Whenever

Every  Time    Whenever

No       Time    Wherever


Any     Body   Whoever

Every  Body   Wherever

No       Body   Whatever


Any     Thing   Whatever

Every  Thing   Whichever

No       Thing   Whatever


Any     Motion Whatever

Every  Motion Whatever

No       Motion Wherever


Yet, I might show you some newly scanned images first and tell what happened next. But then again, as I write this when my short video piece is finished for the time being, I do not want to spoil the fun by giving away the visual part already. Instead, I will write about the reasoning and doing – there was quite some and sure it did not go in straight lines – behind the piece that evolved.

Firstly, I had some boundaries set and given:

  • making something which came out of the first steps of my working structure (profound object, scanner, artistic manipulation), so no projection would be involved
  • using the similar material of the rope as this limitation would add to my experience how to get more out of a single thing
  • the work should be deliverable by internet to the organisers of the pop-up exhibition, which is in the meantime named ‘Hybrid’
  • and the working title was ‘Thank you for dancing with me in between‘ and it the idea being it a script-like interactive video piece, as a fine opportunity to experiment with audience engagement at long distance

I thought about interactivity in this instance and translated that into the goal for noticeable viewer interaction. This could be haptic and thus achieved with the rope material on site, so I will send the material to London. The hands of the viewers may become in contact with the almost deconstructed rope/cord act as expressive senses. And hereby making material and immaterial contact. Therefor I wanted to mirror this behaviour in the piece, both as example and as impossibility at the same time. In my mind, this has much to do with ‘the artist is not there’ and the work is an entity on its own.

The other way to achieve interaction could be in a question and answer situation. This might seem silly or literally senseless, as the work will not be hearing the response. However, I think that when somebody is experiencing a believable work, she or he might react to it with “whatever” even out loud. Emotional engagement through several layers, so to speak.

Furthermore the idea of some kind of script brought language into the play. I am quite aware of the danger this can bring along as well. Language can be an overpowering tool in the visual arts. I had several ideas and soon dismissed a few, voice-over was one of them, as I did not want to rely on a situation in the gallery where sound was not technically available or would be judged as a disturbing factor.

I wrote some script lines which guided me onwards. But the visual execution proved to be quite a search. Thinking about the different layers the work should go through, it dawned on me that the language could be presented in a computer or robot lookalike idiom. This format would be in line with a virtual representation as well as trying to deal with the real material physicality of the work at the same time.

Taking all the above in, in some way or another, it developed to the piece ‘Thank you for dancing with me in between’. Please consider when looking at it, that the small bundle of rope is physical present and lies next to the monitor, as it is for the finishing touch.

Looking forward to hearing your feedback.