the boundless body

The performance is a participatory choreography for Bacterias and Humans. It is also a performance that runs over a period of one month.

The human species is a biological success. Our bodies are a living buzz of cells, viruses, fungi and bacteria, and we are expanding enormously across the globe.

With LIVE recoil performance group is beginning a study of the microscopic organisms that effortlessly crisscross between us. Over a period of two weeks the participants in the LIVE laboratory will go on an exploration with their own bodies, they will look into the perforated borders between individuals; they will examine the boundless body. On the two final days the laboratory will welcome the last participant: The audience.

LIVE is:
The culmination of two weeks of research from an international team consisting of an artist and an engineer in biotechnology, both associated with Biomedia Art, as well as a choreographer, a scenographer, a dancer, a dramaturg and a performer.

An open laboratory, an informal get-together, and a performance lecture where the team wishes to share their process with an inaugurated audience and receive active input to the study of the collectivistic forces that live in our bodies.

The start of a two-year choreographic and microbiological examination of the human body as habitat for microbiomes, added human consciousness and ethical considerations. LIVE is the first of a series of research periods and workshops prior to the premiere of recoil performance group’s performance in 2017.

Engineer in biotechnology, interaction designer and management consultant: Martin Malthe Borch
Scenographer, artist: Annesofie Norn
Dancer: Hilde I. Sandvold
Choreographer: Tina Tarpgaard
Dramaturge: Inge Agnete Tarpgaard
Performer: Taneli Törmä
Artist, designer: Pei-Ying Lin

The performance premiered on 21st & 22nd November 2015 at Laboratoriescenen, Dansehallerne and was presented on the Click Festival 2016
LIVE is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation


Context for LIVE:

Our present time is by geologists and scientists referred to as the Anthropocene Era, characterized by the irreversible anthropogenic impact on the Earth’s eco system. From the anthropocentric view point, man is on top of the food chain and perceives the surrounding non-human entities, animals, plants and objects, as merely resources of man.

Recent scientific studies try to rethink and reconceptualise the anthroprocene view of the dualism man/nature. In line with publications of among others philosophers AnaLouise Keating and Kimberly C. Merenda, we will in the laboratory experiment with the decentering the human body.

More than being human, the body must be understood as a unifying unit for vira, bacteria and fungi. Together, these elements in the body make a microbiota; an extensive community of microorganisms. The human body thus contains more than ten times the number of microbial cells than human cells, and the microbiota at least a hundred times more genes than the human genome. The ‘I’, in other words consists of a large ‘We’: A community of vira, bacteria, fungi and cells that together compose ‘our’ body.

What new learnings can arise from these considerations of our organic condition? Where is the line between microbiomes and thereby one’s own body and the bodies of others? What does it do to our perception of ourselves and others that we are part of a larger habitat?

LIVE is an experiment built on the acceptance and observance of the boundless body. In the laboratory we optimize the environment for the study and exchange of microorganisms. We produce and document new measurable knowledge to use for further scientific and artistic research of the decentered human and choreographically: The decentered performer.