Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ideas We Are Exploring

3-D Photo by Gerald Marks

For this project, we are looking at the parallels between the processes of raising awareness at a public level regarding the nature and condition of a site and raising awareness at a personal level regarding movement experience and balance.

In drawing parallels between public and personal awareness, we are interested in seeing how or if one’s knowledge and perceptions of site and self affect one’s understanding, appreciation and valuation of the other.

Through guided exploration, movement, in this case, will be used as a resource for assigning values (natural, environmental, social, historical, archaeological) to Dead Horse Bay. These values ultimately determine the site's cultural significance and frame the actions required to enhance or preserve that significance. Thus, in the first engagement, movement will not be used as a performance act per se, but rather as a means of responding to the environment and as an agent of change that can be experienced by both dancers and non-dancers alike.

We will direct this movement-based, awareness-building process by focusing on body structure and sensing while referring to the site's natural features: the swinging and bending of the invasive phragmites; the cyclical advancing and retreating of tidal movement; the subtle, barely perceptible curling of seasonal snails; the aged color of sea creatures stranded along the shoreline; the ad hoc layout of emerging debris; and the alignment of sun-setting and moon-rising as the day comes to an end.

We suspect that, as site values become integrated into the participants' own movement experience, they will become familiar with the character and condition of the site and develop an understanding of the need for advocacy on behalf of the site's improvement beyond the level of abstraction.

This natural scene, with its evidence of planned and unplanned man-made interventions, also provides a unique scenario for visual documentation to create a fund of imagery attesting to the site's significance and movement as an agent of change.

3-D Photo by Gerald Marks