LISTENING TOUCH is a one-to-one interaction with a touch guide. For a duration of 30 minutes participants are offered an opportunity to receive touch that is not wanting or expecting anything from them. They may rest, move and respond. Heightening receptivity to more subtle sensations, this hands-on experience serves to support cellular expansion and agency attentional to what the body innately knows and needs.
The touch guides in this performance installation are trained somatic bodyworkers, Contact Improvisation dancers. Participation is voluntary and the sessions can also be viewed by gallery spectators.
Listening Touch was first presented at Medleys, Chistinnenstraße 19a, Berlin as part of the exhibition 'Attunement in Practice', on the 9th Dec 2022 (images below) and subsequently in Festivalen13 performance festival, in Gothenburg, Sweden, 6-8th Jan 2023 (images above).
Listening Touch is a performance emerging from my PhD research into touch as an encounter with Otherness and the vocabulary used in the dance form Contact Improvisation. Drawing on Karen Barad's new materialist philosophy, I am thinking about Otherness as a co-creative form of agency emerging out of already interdependent and entangled relationships. In Listening Touch we are exploring beyond the boundary of our skin to attend to accumulating forms of agency. It is a meditative practice that involves accompanying and supporting subtle movements, emotions, forces and atmospheric qualities, while maintaining the ability to feel and respond in relationship. As Erin Manning proposes “touch enables the creation of worlds” (2007: xv). Listening is also about giving space to be with nothingness and indeterminate possibilities. As a practice it responds to increasing technology and touch regulations that in western society reduce in person contact. It stands to evolve trust, empathy and awareness in how we touch, communicate and come together.
Listening Touch, presented in the exhibition 'Attunement in Practice', at Medleys Studio, Chistinnenstraße 19a, Berlin 9th Dec, 2022