“A journey implies a destination, so many miles to be consumed, while a walk is its own measure, complete at every point along the way.” Francis Alÿs.
One of a sequence of video stories I’ve made about walking along life’s path…
Often my work has related to clothing in action – being worn – and its relationship to the human body moving in space, through time and place. In this sequence I am looking at feet and shoes, the signs and metaphysical messages on the surface of the ‘ground’ and the rhythm of embodied time as it is paced, lived and experienced.
This sequence was filmed in Preston, Lancashire, UK and in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Mandvi in Gujarat in India, during February and March 2013.
‘”Dolna” sung by Shreya Ghoshal, from the Bollywood movie ‘Morning Walk’ (2009)
Walking from campus in to Lancaster, we (Malé and Fiona) worked with an iPad and a handheld audio recorder with binaural microphones, as well as our mobile phones. From the outset we resolved to allow the research to unfold as we made our walk, and to take influence and context from Barthes and Derrida, for whom photography was a medium of suspended mortality—every photograph or record made, a memento mori.
As we walked along the way, looked, listened and opened up to the experience, we learnt that the traces of movement that came to our attention were perceptions of something altered or dishevelled: where we saw or felt a shift in what would otherwise be constant and unchanging. We captured these traces as static images, video and audio data. Together we explored repetition and the pace of rhythm with our bodies, words and voices: “ribbon…rhythm…band…bond”.
By moving in step along the trace we made, we ceased to be dots of data moving in the landscape. We became the trace, the landscape and the path. We began making and editing the video even while we were ‘on the move’ and the iMovie app and its touch sensitive iPad interface allowed us to edit the material of time with our fingertips. Malé described her sensation of the editing process as being “like working with plasticine”. The interaction with the iPad reminded Fiona of the haptic gestures of stitch or collage. The process of making the video heightened our combined awareness and facilitated reflection on the apparent tensions between tracing live movement and the production of recordings.
This video was made by Malé Luján and Fiona Candy as an outcome of the Mobslab Experiment: ‘Captured in Motion’, a one day collaborative workshop at the Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University. The main aim of this Mobslab project “was to understand how the world is constituted in and through movement with ‘mobile methods’. This pilot project seeks to explore and showcase the utility of different methods and technologies. A deeper understanding of how the material world and social relations are made in and through physical and virtual mobilities ( and immobilities) is important not only in the context of academic research, but for policy, design and everyday life. The aim of the participatory research is to enable important insights and methodological innovation.”
Mapping multi-sensory modalities: a research event exploring the theme of body cartographies curated by Dr Rachel Sweeney at The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool Hope University. March 2016
The Earthtomes event revolved around a live Butoh performance led by international Butoh artist Joan Laage. Image of performance below.
Eight artists were selected to present time-based and site-responsive works engaging in themes of cartography and intracorporeality and that integrated body-centred approaches within digital media.
Featured Artists: Annalaura Alifuoco, Silvia Battista, Dominique Baron-Bonarjee, Fiona Candy, Kris Darby, Jonathan Gilbert, Simon Piasecki, Rachel Sweeney
For Earthtomes I provided radio headphones so that participants could experience a sequence of audio stories that I created using original recordings combined through digital collage.
The immersive sounds of footsteps brought attention to the presence of the body in motion and the acoustic qualities of places, spaces and moments – as they are stepped into life.
Participants could explore the theatre building and its surroundings as they listened. Access to drawing materials encouraged the production of tactile cartographic responses to their individual multi- sensory experiences of moving in acoustic space.