Our intervention revolved around triggering spontaneous movements, uncoordinated muscle memory while being partially bound to another person. Using Lydia Lunch’s spoken word poem, we took to ourselves sporadic movements dictated by the audio which led to multiple instances of pulling and pushing. The harsh words triggered mildly violent responses as we negotiated with one another, reacting to and interpreting the words spoken. This created a fast paced and reactive piece that in time, taught us to understand the response we had to each other, and therefore making it seem more fluid as time went by. The entire process lasted for mere minutes, which we found ourselves breathing heavily after. The intervention was performed in a restrict space and the blanket acted as a physical bond that held us accountable to each other’s movements.
Despite having little to no physical contact, the intervention made us trust one another with our reactions. This created a profound experience that left me in almost a trance, being emotionally absorbed by the audio triggers that left me dwelling on what happened. The intervention was inspired by the exploration of intimate communication without speaking through our muscle memories. Given that everyone has a different interpretation of space, movement and of the audio triggers, it is likely that each process is never the same and different outcomes would emerge from this experience.
Vincent Van Gogh’s mighty obsession with houses and nests; his letters of which he shares to his brother describing his art and his thoughts behind them may reflect his longing of a peaceful, relational space in which he creates through his actions. As someone who is often shunned, a crevice forms within his intimate space, a sense of longing lingers in his head space. The nests and thatched cottage painted may be unconscious actions that he use to materialize his needs. No matter where we are, our priority will always to create a shelter for ourselves to put us out of harms’ way. It is not merely a shelter, but also a space for us to be unarmed and feel an ease of mind. The space which allows us to be in meditative almost, of which we relive experiences that are positive in nature. I had recalled a jungle survival course which I had undergone in my national service days, in which we created temporary shelters in the form of A-frame structures deep within the jungle. Though it may be temporary shelter, I took the liberty of creating one that was big, sturdy and ‘perched’ a large root enough to shelter me from the rain, though it took more than a day’s work. The reality of the elements motivated me to work even harder, the first night I had not managed to construct a sufficient roof to shield me from the continuous rain from dusk to dawn. In which, I have learnt that suffering is part of home-making, like how birds press their breasts against the nests to created a solid structure. I have also realized that every one of my friends had their shelters slightly different, each catering to their own needs. Although the shelter was really meant to be a test, every shelter was made good based on instincts.
Gaston repeatedly recalled his discovery of his first nests and the profound experience and memories that would accompany his find. The exuberance in his recollection highlight the importance of the discovery to him, a body that witnessed space through a singular object which some may only identify as an reference to a physical home. The environment of which a bird chooses its nest intrigues me. Must the tree present certain values for the birds to choose its resting? As a human, it would be difficult to make a decision between two trees in a forest, as they would appear identical and we can only guess that the birds chose based on gut feeling. As humans, we choose locations based on practicality rather than gut feeling most of the time, but many will think twice before separating from their ‘old homes’. It is beyond a physical space of shelter and it transcends to a space of precious memories that are grounded to the location.
The breakdown of Space in that it is a complex set of ideas, transcend that of a physical space in which we build our lives around. In fact, it provides a deep overview of how Space and our bodies interact, in that we are in it, that it in us. The spatial values, as propelled by the notion that space has a bias toward the front and right not only coincides but is agreeable with values shared by Feng Shui and Daoism. I do subjectively agree with the ideals of spacial bias, in which it is human nature to keep relations of positivity to the front and ascend. In the English language, we often associate ‘Reaching the top’, ‘Paramount’ and ‘Climbing the ranks’ with the idea of moving forward and achieving beyond our expectations. The idea of progression is always associated with moving upwards and into the future, thus following the diagram in Figure 2. As I am recently intrigued by the principles of Feng Shui, I have created certain co-relations that was asserted through the text, in which both have mentioned the hierarchy of space. Briefly speaking, China has long upheld its beliefs in Feng Shui and has shown through its cultural background that even the name 中国 (China), is loosely translated to Middle Nation, which indicates its assertion that it believes to be the center of civilization, an exemplification of elevation of status in relation to other nations.
Feng Shui teaches that we are one with nature, and that everything around us have energy (Qi), and in order to create an environment that channels positivity, we should orient our surroundings to the South East. As mentioned in the Text, the Ruler faces South and the Sun, and the Left, which represents the East, which is the direction in which the Sun rises. In metaphysics, the understanding of ascension and being ‘one with nature’ leads us into the mountains, where it is believed that that is the dwelling of the immortals, in which that is the place closest to Heaven. Thus, the relation that higher is better is reflected through Feng Shui as well. Feng Shui teaches about Space and how we can command it in our lives to enrich our habitability, create better environments that ultimately enhance our intentions of success (and not directly giving us success). In religious teachings, we are taught that Heaven is in the skies and Hell is beneath. This creates the hierarchy reflected in our modern society, where we are subconsciously subjected to this spatial relation. Previously, I believe that we have all been acquainted with such understanding, that we are living in the principles imposed by space, yet not having revelation about the philosophy surrounding spatial studies. In the future, I hope to revisit this reading after gaining a more in-depth understanding of Space and its values.