Donna Haraway reminds us that orientation is not necessarily bound to living beings. Machines and gadgets also have ‘eyes’, as they are in a way extensions of the human body. The challenge is to learn to exchange between these different situated knowledges.
Luc Sanciaume and I have generated an artistic research project (summer 2018) investigating somatics in relation to nature both as material and concept, which also let to a workshop. The site of investigation, phytology, operates as a space for artistic production exploring approaches to resilience and the role and perception of nature in an urban context. It is located in the area of Bethnal green in Tower Hamlets, it is home to a diversity of plants and species with a few discret architectural additions.
We pursued movement explorations on site by awakening sensorial awareness, by simply removing shoes, getting in touch with the textures of the wood chips on the ground or the leaves of the plants, listening to present sounds and by depriving our sense of sight. Curious about the possibility to document this process we placed a phone/camera in one hand, acting as an eye, seeing but not seeing. We came to navigate the space in a playful way.