Exercises for Body of Knowledge


Scores, Concepts, and Research for Body of Knowledge (The Gallery section)

Concept… territories map for Body of Knowledge… territories vs processing mode

Physical/Kinesthetic Emotional Linear Intellectual Intuitive


The above table represents a map of different territories and modes of experiencing and processing. We all drift through many of them, but we all have zones that grab our attention more and others that we avoid. One person might spend a lot of time with their private kinesthetic reality, another with the emotional content of the relational/interpersonal, and yet another with the linear intellectual of environmental issues. Most people go deeper in some places and are shallower in others. An environmental activist might not spend so much time with the the emotional interpersonal, where someone who spends a lot of time with the kinesthetic processing of the interpersonal might avoid any processing in the territory of the political. Some people run deep in many areas. Some are more universally shallow. We live in all of these territories, have impacts through them and are impacted by them. The question is how much do we invest ourselves in different territories explicitly, allow our process to get more complex, sophisticated, and with more thorough connection between perception and reality

The Gallery section of BoK is a collage of micro-experiments focusing on specific parts of this map or interconnections between different territories, looking for where we are comfortable, where uncomfortable. One can investigate these territories Verbally or Non-Verbally… each mode of investigation brings different awarenesses AND different analysis process to bear on the territory. For example two performers might engage in a non-verbal exploration of the kinesthetic relational territory. Another performer might begin a monologue (solo verbal processing) of the emotional aspects of the political. Keith Hennessey describes how a useful strategy to find real meaning in doing political performance is to confront the audience with their own complicity. In BoK, the consistent attempt is to engage each other in trying to find personal complicity in everything in order to avoid the distancing of universals. For example, any statement about what “needs to happen” around environmental, political or social issues is redirected into personal experiences, personal feelings, one’s own complicity in any issue and what one is or is not doing about it and why or why not. General statement of “we” are brought back to the immediate of “me” and or “you”. We try to constantly bring statements from the abstract into the room.

We lay out this map and get very specific with the territories we explore in each micro-experiment in order to break up the habits of “what feels natural.” We try to expose our own habits by artificially breaking them. Especially as the actual actions are very close to the mundane, we use this specific container to break away from the magnetic pull of the usual, both as actors and observers.

Similarly, we will do explicit channel switches in order to explore connections. Rather than organically flow from one to the other, we employ hard shifts, often explicitly verbally telegraphed, again, in order to break with our habits hiding behind our constructed sense of “the natural”. The spirit of this is to generate a clarity of what is being looked at, as well as challenge our patterns in ways that are often veiled by “following an organic flow” or “feeling our way through” or “doing what ‘feels’ right in the moment­”. Examples might be being in a verbal exploration of the emotional processing of the political and then do a hard switch to non-verbally explore the kinesthetic processes that are being evoked as a subtext of this investigation.

The following is a list of training scores for Body of Knowledge. These scores follow after 3 weeks of research on Axolotl. The Axolotl training gives the performers a solid base in sensitivity to different channels of experience and meaning, as well as practice and comfort with the specific issues of interactive performance. These training exercises, then are meant to expand upon the base developed in Axolotl. Some of them are “optional” exercises from Axolotl, many of them are from Proximity, and some of them are new to Body of Knowledge, especially the ones focusing explicitly on environmental or political content. They are more explicitly provocative of internal processes for both self and other.

A Partial List of Training Exercises for Body of Knowledge

Note: The training for Body of Knowledge begins with a production of Axolotl, so the following exercises should be understood to build upon this experience. Click here for links to Axolotl and to Axolotl Training Process and Exercises.

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