Day 02 – Dean Walsh
I really enjoyed this day. I wasn’t expecting to create motion physically in this course. Australia artist, Dean Walsh, was taking us through a workshop utilizing his ‘Taxonomy’ process. Dean has developed a process, which helps humans explore alternative environments/territories and life forms.
He took us through some of the exercises that challenged our concept of intrusion and boundaries. We had to be either, blindfolded or act as a guide where the former would be lead around the room.
As the blind subject, I felt closed in, bodiless, anxious, fear – the dark became a hand clasped around my being. It essentially became a re-imagined space beyond reality…into dark memories. The sense of touch of the soles of my feet was enhanced (we were barefoot).
We were then encouraged to write on a ‘public board’ or our journals our thoughts, feelings and experience of the exercise.
Dean then went through some movements where we were to inhale and exhale depending on a specific movement in a sequence. He then chose a small group of us to perform the inhalation/exhalation movements and progressive add an extra layer to the sequence. It was interesting; I found focusing on the breathing helped me in controlling my movements. As opposed to the former exercise where I found my breathing was shallow. These breathing exercise reminded me of meditation where focusing on breath and the mechanism of breath enhances one’s mindfulness and in turn may help regulate one’s emotions, (Arch & Craske 2006).
Dean then asked us to engage in a ‘Call to Response’ which meant if someone’s movement caused some interaction with yours, then you were to respond to them by either engaging with them on not.
Dean then asked more students into this taxonomy of movement however, he deliberately asked some to engage with him as elements of intimidation where they would deliberately corner or block a person’s movement. Translating this to our brief, I could see Dean was challenging out perception of intruder and territory. Once the territory was given over to an intruder, then there ceased to be an intruder and instead, the two entities become one united territory, similarly to the concept of colonization, (Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2012).
Dean suited up in a black lycra suit with markers located near the main joints in his body. They were to gather up data to mark his movements. He performed an interpretive dance representing Arthropods, Siphonophores and Cephalopods. We were are to utilize this motion capture to incorporate into our animations later.
Arch, J. & Craske, M. 2006, ‘Mechanism of mindfulness: Emotion regulation following a focused breathing induction,’ Behaviour Research and Therapy, vol. 44, no. 9, pp. 1849-1858.
Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2012, Colonialism, viewed 13 February 2017, <https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/colonialism/>