Critical Zones: Performative Video Tutorials
a contribution by performance artist Mira Hirtz
If we are lost on ecological, political and social levels, how to orientate? If our planet is incompatible with our globalized economy, how to define territory? Finding the right angle to address the global issues plays a pivotal role in the project »Critical Zones« – in its exhibition part, for the involved artists and thinkers and not least in Bruno Latour’s book »Down to Earth« (German: »Das Terrestrische Manifest«). How to get down to Earth (how to manifest terrestrially)? How to find answers to these urgent questions?
This is the start of a series of »video tutorials« to propose a playful way to deal with some of those questions. It bases on the belief that in order to shift our mindset on how we think about our subjective place on Earth, alternative ways of looking at questions can be helpful. The video tutorials use a performative, playful and somatic approach. What does that mean?
The term somatics was coined in the 1980s and accumulates a variety of practices which are positioned between dance, art, therapy and holistic medicine. They all have in common that they train the subjective perception of the own body, taking into account that perception of the self is always in relation to other bodies, ideas, matter and world in general. It also takes into account that training is a fluid, playful and imaginative process. Can this play with perception, a bodily approach to awareness, speak to geopolitical concerns as well?
A tutorial explains you how to do things – in a DIY manner of sharing knowledge. Our video tutorials don’t give definite answers, but they ask: What if we would tackle some of the questions addressed by the Critical Zone exhibition with our playful, bodily and locally rooted creativity, in a way that we could learn something from it? What will happen? You can treat the videos as a screen to watch, as instructions to try out or as invitations to use your perception, your bodily knowledge as well as your image producing electronical devices in an experimental manner. And to invite your friends, objects around you and the many beings such as bacteria within your body as well as books, artworks and ideas as inspirations. For the tutorials, I will myself work collaboratively with others and be inspired by many voices and practices.
A contribution by Mira Hirtz.
Video Tutorial #1: On negotiating a place to land: Grounding
Video Tutorial #2: On the dimensions of being: Densities
Video Tutorial #3: On the perspective of beings: Folding
Video Tutorial #4: On the state of flux: traveling through and with
Video Tutorial #5: On being part of the frame: Dwelling
Video Tutorial #6: On urgency: taking time to be productive
Mira Hirtz is a participant in the research seminar »Critical Zones« at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, where she mainly worked as a dancer and performer. In the seminar she focused on how theoretical and geopolitical considerations can be translated to a local, subjective level of experience through somatic and performative exercises and participatory performances. Tutorials on terrestrial existence were presented, stones were carried through the seminar room, warm-up exercises for body and senses were held and diagrams were choreographed.