Furling and unfurling
The smell of urine
Dust & dryness; burbling pipe
Cats, fat and thin.
Duet with stray
Soft meeting hard
When I’m dancing outside, particularly on manmade surfaces (asphalt), I’m often struck by how soft and spongy I feel against them. I’m more like a plant or a water balloon than a building. I collect in puddles and heaps. I press myself into nooks.
The ground is hard but accommodating. It offers a space for my head and the security of having no further to fall.
When I’m dancing outside, I often hesitate before committing to get down on the floor. It smells like piss and is covered in things that my socialization calls “dirt.” The dust and germs will get on my clothes and face and stick to me, marking me. It’s dangerous. I continue to reflexively set myself apart despite my ongoing efforts to imagine myself as a part of things.
I’m interested in the possibility of sensing before I can make sense of things, before I can understand what’s happening or classify the sensory information. I’m thinking a lot about hierarchies and how we prioritize certain senses over others. How does my default posture of standing relate to my dependence on vision?
Today I was struck by having two people watch me while I was moving along the paved ground with my eyes closed. It became clear to me that I had access to information (the smells, the textures, the extreme heat of the cooking asphalt) that my standing witnesses might not be aware of. My aversion or hesitation to touching the ground is still there, but less powerful when my eyes are closed. I end up wondering how vision and fear might be linked – the things I'm afraid of with my eyes open are different than those I fear with eyes closed.
Photos by Andrew Mandinach