Incorporating Creative Technologies: A choreography for the ears


In a time of life where the body is often dematerialized, de-centred and fragmented and the material world seems exhausted, the practice discussed in this article investigates the potential of choreography as a strategy for coming together and an attunement to place and time. Practice-led creative research is presented as a series of sonic choreographies that resituate choreography through thresholds of body, place and prosthetic technology. The participatory nature of the choreographies discussed in this article challenge the notion of the spectacle through a recovery of listening and processes of collaborative encounter. The language of the threshold as it meets headphonic sound, language and the body is considered as a theoretical context for thinking through the dispersed, disembodied and accelerated social conditioning of digital infrastructures.

How to Cite

Wood, B., 2014. Incorporating Creative Technologies: A choreography for the ears. Body, Space & Technology, 13. DOI:





The rise in sound- and voice-oriented art could be connected to the visual overload in contemporary culture. (Schaub, 2005: 163).

Sonic social choreography unsettles perceptions of place and body through site-based performance research. Situated in a time of life that is perceived as fast, unsustainable and fragile, through practice-led research I am responding to a volatile economic and geographical climate. Choreographic methods are discussed here in reference to a series of aurally delivered and geographically dispersed social choreographies located in Prague, Sydney, UK and around Auckland over the past three years. These events are strategically positioned outside of conventional performance venues, housed in a national gallery, a shipping container, an old folks association hall, a former radio station and a university gymnasium.

Within the highly mediated conditions of contemporary life, we operate in increasingly complex spaces in which the body is distributed, connected and multiplied by prosthetic technologies and digital infrastructures. The consequence of these conditions is a perceived shift in attention to the material world. This complexity and multiplicity of our perception as it meets intensely technologized environments opens up the politics of material thinking. Within the limits of this article, feminist theorist and philosopher Rosi Braidotti's opens an argument for the nomadic subject. Braidotti presents a case that delves into Deleuze and Guattari's 'body without organs' and calls for 'rethinking human embodiment in a manner that is coextensive with our technological habitat' (Braidotti, 2002: 61). This position suggests that technology, positioned 'halfway between mind and body' has the potential to fortify the bodily configuration of both human and machine and the way they relate (Braidotti 2002: 57).

The choreographies referred to in this text mobilize processes for connectedness and for the recovery of place within the insignificant and the everyday. Participation in these choreoauratic1 scores is enacted in an outwardly silent social space that is mediated through listening and performing in response to headphonic sound scores. The term social choreography is introduced here as a mechanism for rethinking the role of the 'spectator' in specific relation to a choreographic event. Andrew Hewitt's Social Choreography: Ideology as Performance in Dance and Everyday Movement (2005) proposes a continuum of the aestheticization of dance, from the everyday gesture to highly virtuosic and rehearsed choreography. The term social choreography situates the choreographic as a continuum of movement from walking to dancing. This enables a socio-political context 'beyond the communicative gesture' where the limits of movement become a threshold between direct and indirect communication (Hewitt 2005: 83). Hewitt suggests that choreography might inscribe a polemic that interrupts aesthetic drives 'confounding hegemonic meaning' (2005: 83).

This research aims to resituate choreography as a method for attunement, both critically and somatically through site-based participatory events. Tuning in to place and body via listening, these somatically informed choreographies configure everyday encounters into site-based participatory experiences. The effect is a series of emergent live events that are both fleeting and unspectacular.

Headphonic sound is used as a means for reconsidering the conditions of choreography in response to the technologically augmented, dematerialized and de-centred contemporary subject. Braidotti introduces the contemporary subject as 'a postmetaphysical, intensive, multiple entity; functioning in a net of interconnections' (Braidotti, 2011: 66). Braidotti's nomadic subject helps me navigate this research journey through a poststructuralist, post-human era where hypermobility, globalization and capitalism in a global recession draws attention to the exhaustion of the material world.

In the activity of 'principles of mobility' (2011: 235), as Braidotti suggests, there is a process of multiple flows of intensity through tuning, adjusting, repeating and reflecting on research parameters and questions that enable a transformative praxis. Shifting and slipping through and in and out of a critical spatial discourse, both practice and thinking respond to one another and vice versa. The process of rethinking, remaking, reassessing and redoing transpires as a critical nomadic practice. Braidotti's theoretical nomadic methodology intersects with practice-driven somatically informed incorporations of bodily and spatial perception. In her latest book, Nomadic Theory (2011), Braidotti eludes to processes that are recognizable in somatic and meditative practices in which she describes 'points of contact between self and surroundings' as a state of heightened awareness, 'more focused, more precise, more accurate perceptions of one's potential, which is one's capacity to "take-in" the world' (Braidotti 2011: 234). Her description of the emptying of the self, where the 'I' disappears, construes a meditative state universally encountered in somatically informed practices such as shin somatics, meditation, yoga, BMC, Skinner Releasing and Butoh dance. These states can at first glance appear 'aimless' yet can simultaneously invite a capacity for creativity through self-reflexive practice that endure the potential for transformation.

Defending a post-structural argument towards practice-as-research, Robin Nelson also supports Braidotti's 'commitment to process ontology' (2002: 225). He suggests that experimentation and 'knowing through doing' (Nelson 2006: 111) is a qualitative and track-able method of inquiry 'aiming not to establish findings by way of data to support a demonstrable and finite answer to a research question' (2006: 108). Rather, as Braidotti offers, practice-as-research is a process of insights and potential transformation through juxtaposition as 'thresholds of aimless acts' (Braidotti, 2011: 235).

Focusing on two of the most recent events in this series of headphonic social choreographies, this article investigates the concept of the threshold as recognized primarily in the work of feminist philosophers Rosi Braidotti and Julia Kristeva. The concept of the threshold proposes a polemic for subjectivity and spatio-temporality. Braidotti negotiates the notion of the threshold as a fluid, cartographic process (2011: 13), unfixing territories, repositioning borders and interrogating boundaries through the body, technology and language. This she says is 'about becoming situated' (2011: 15) whereby the subject is effected by 'constant flows of in-between interconnections' (2011: 17-18). Here she follows philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's lead on difference as 'multiple subjects of becoming' (2011: 18).

Bulgarian-French feminist writer Julia Kristeva's 'choric' space is configured as a politic for the unsettled and the borderline (Kristeva, 1941: 135). Drawing on the 'subject-in-process' of poetic language, the semiotic and symbolic dispositions become a threshold space where process is indefinite. Kristeva links the semiotic to Plato's 'chora', (1941: 133) as an 'unnameable, improbable, hybrid' that through poetic language may 'awaken(s) our attention to the undecidable' (135). The state of chora, which Kristeva identifies as a pre-verbal, playful state, is re-thought in this practice through the participatory experience. Choreographic methods and augmented headphonic sound enliven responses from the participants. Their collective activity in the space, invites fluidity and embodied intensities in playful, multiple responses through processes for listening and moving, through what is not spoken.

Cultivating the idea of chora, I have developed the term 'choreoauratic' as a potential choric field that slips between language and movement as a means for bringing attention to the body through listening. This study of the choreographic via the ears stimulates bodily listening. The participants respond to a series of operations heard through headphones (prosthetic attachments). Transposing the internalized text-based sound scores through personal negotiations of perception, movement and social space, they create group choreographies. The headphonic sound provokes the activation of multiple and mercurial thresholds of body, place and prosthetic technology in a collective choreographic encounter with two related but geographically dispersed sites.

Tracing Spaces

This account focuses specifically on a pair of consecutive social choreographies; both titled Instructions for (re)membering (#2 and #3) - A Social choreography for the ears. The latter was presented at the Somatics and Technology Conference in Chichester, UK in June 2012. The former was based in Auckland and was created as a 'test event' for the Chichester version. This forged the incorporation of two dispersed sites as sources for the vocal sound scores; the Kenneth Myers Centre of the University of Auckland, in Auckland, New Zealand and The University of Chichester, UK. The two sites activate a doubling of space in the choreographic process that trace the remnants of both sites through movement, narrative, sound recordings and voice. Vocalized text and sound-based scores ask participants to perform a series of operations in response to instructional sound scores, listened to on MP3 players through headphones. The participants move together, mobilizing thresholds between intimate and private sound spaces. Listening heterogeneously - the cocooned space of the headphones, the leaking, spilling sound of the outside space and the moving together space - a collective of bodily listeners diffuse the borders of bodies and of places. Out of these fluid spaces emerges a social spatiality. The aural choreographic scores comingle with the historic narratives of the distanced sites heard through the headphones. The sound scores transmit memories specific to each site, their current use as institutionalized spaces, as well as some remnants of movement scores from previous social choreographies. Accumulative traces of (re)membered movement from other places remain in the choreography. A process of 'locating', or as we referred to Braidotti earlier, 'becoming situated' brings us to a 'politics of location', which may in turn lead to a process of 'consciousness-raising' of place (2011: 16).

In Auckland the research process is engendered through site visits, interviews, online archives, meandering through the space, drawing, recording sound, video and still photography. For the event in Chichester this is achieved remotely using Google Earth Satellite view and digital viewpoints to navigate place. Stories and images are found in the complex labyrinth of Google searches and through emails and the University site maps. Remote and site-based encounters with the two sites present distinct ways of experiencing place. This brings attention to the diversity felt in remote encounters using digital networks such as Google as compared with the experience of feeling space physically through the sensate. The physical experience of the site activates the senses in multiple ways, through aural, haptic, kinesthetic, osmatic and occular engagement. Whereas the digital realm is often limited to an occularcentric experience, augmented by the flat screen and compiled in a network of pixels arranged according to binary code, synchronicity and coincidence is found in the histories of the two places. These stories, imagined through narratives and found images are woven together, intertwining stories of radio transmission and war that evoke poetic possibilities. The editing process interlaces into a collage of narratives from both places, which are then re-arranged into somatic choreographic instructional scores. The 'choreoauratic' scores become poetic movement compositions for the participants to embody. Moving together in space participants listen, not only with their ears, but also with their whole bodies, engendering the sensate and attuning to place.

Synchronous Spaces

Excerpt from the sound score Instructions for (re)membering #2: A Social Choreography for the Ears - Kenneth Myers Centre, Auckland. The studio space is shrouded in large black velvet curtains. Although the lighting grid in the roof indicates a theatrical space, we gather under fluorescent lighting. The participants have arrived to the event space at the agreed time. The text below is an extract from the sound score. At this point in the text they have already assembled, they have made a circle together in the space and have heard a series of vocal prompts. They may have looked up at the sky, perhaps looking at the other people in the room. They may have raised their arms. They seem to be listening intensely and interpreting the sound score. In between the choreographic prompts, they hear other voices, telling of stories from other times, intersecting the movement. Images from this time, and of this place and of another place are entangled into the choreographic directions and into the stories. Recorded field sounds form a sound-bed, exterior spaces are brought into the building, captured through the choreoauratic score inside the bodies of the participants. The headphones transport the sound waves through ear channels, shaking up the cartilage, transmitted through bones. Bodies make words appear as unspoken extensions into the space and the sound is transformed into movement.

Voice of the choreographer: Have you been here before?

V2 - Female English accent: Exercise Tiger was transmitted from here. Chichester was the nerve centre controlling the fighter planes in the D-Day operations.

Voice of the choreographer: Walk all the way to the outside edges of the space.

V3 - Male English accent: Male students weren't introduced until 1957 when the college became coeducational.

Voice of the choreographer: Stop when you reach the edge - turn around and face inwards, looking towards the centre and the other bodies in the space.

V3: During World War II, from 1942, the college was occupied by the Royal Airforce.

Choreographer: Look at the people in the room. Who stands out the most?

The events begin with an invitation sent out to potential participants and a link to download one of two different sound scores. I view this first engagement with the participants as the beginning of the event even though this early encounter occurs in dispersed spaces, by distance and at staggered times. At both the Auckland and Chichester events, the participants gather on site at a pre-arranged time. They are given instructions presented on a sheet of paper to begin the live choreography that brings them together as a collective at one side of the space. They are then directed to press play on their MP3 players in unison. This beginning strategy is used to fabricate a chorus like effect, coercing group ensembles that might incite the group socially. To this end, the sound scores asked at times for the participants to be responsive to other members of the group.2

The participants begin in the centre of the space as instructed in the sound score and form a large circle together. Their movement is tentative. In Auckland it becomes clear that the beginning times are staggered, despite the attempt to orchestrate a simultaneous beginning. Gaps open in the group's timing. After a while, the distinction between the participants' selected soundtracks becomes obvious through their movement activity. The group is mostly absorbed in listening intently to the sound score on the headphones. I am acutely aware of my own role in the room, as witness to this silent chorus, watching others listening. The space is intensely quiet, apart from the soft shuffle of feet and occasionally some more decisive steps (this is heard most clearly in the video documentation picked up by the microphone recording of the sound of the room). Positioned as a witness, observing and documenting the work, I feel at times like a voyeur, watching a community that I am outside of. To counter this I soften my gaze and locate myself on the periphery. My spatial awareness is heightened through the intensity felt in the space and I also become aware that I am engaging in modes for witnessing that I have used before in a number of somatic methods, particularly in my training in Shin Somatics. This mode of witnessing diffuses the gaze and acts as a support mechanism, witnessing in such a way that holds the space using multiple senses as opposed to a more typical occularcentric focus. In this almost silent space the participants generate a collective choreography together and individually, mapping out spatial relationships, memories and histories with their bodies.

Figures 1 & 2 (left to right): Instructions for (re)membering #2 - A social choreography for the ears, at the Kenneth Myers Centre, The University of Auckland, New Zealand June 2012.

Within the framework of the two distinct and simultaneously played sound tracks the subject's role is ruptured in the exchange between the voices heard through the headphones, the perceptions of each participant and the unpredictable interactions of the community body. The participants' bodies become receptacles for sound. They collectively contain the sound score, absorbing narratives as well as activating directive prompts such as: 'Turn around 180 degrees to your left so that you are facing inward - you will see people opposite you. Do you recognize anyone? Does anyone look familiar to you in anyway? Notice what they are wearing. If you can see a friend, raise your left arm and point towards them'. The movement choices they each make are influenced by personal experiences as well as their emotive and social responses. The voices they hear intimately through the headphones take form through their bodies, configuring and performing the space.

In Chichester, three people watch from the periphery of the space. Without headphones, they cannot hear the headphonic sound score as they witness the social choreography as a kind of 'choric' embodiment of the sonorous. This fleshing out of sound through movement generates a kind of speechless and visceral affect of voice. The embodiment of the voice in these choreographic encounters enacts a trace, or fleeting remnants of speech through both moving and listening. To those witnessing without headphones, the space became uncannily quiet, intensifying the process of witnessing. Watching from the edge of the space, one couple became enthralled by the way the performers synchronized in space. From this viewpoint, the shifting intensities of patterns and flow give shape to the collective. The silent moments in these mobile acts enflesh what might be called a post-verbal space, activated in response to the voice. Moving and listening in such a way engenders a quality of movement that appears differently as individuals and this community of bodies create space together.

One participant commented afterwards that at times the social pull to belong with or be in sync with the other bodies in the space was greater than following the audio score itself. On reflection, this engenders agency in the participant's role, presenting choices and social respons(abilities). With this heightened respons(ability) to both the physical space and the social space emerges an intensification of the sensate that I identify as a somatic state. This somatic state could be described in the terms Braidotti uses, as a nomadic methodology, aimless, wandering acts of mobility where there is a loss of the sense of the 'I' similar to meditative states as mentioned earlier in this text. Felt in varying capacities of intensified heterogeneous sensation this heightened state is similar to the embodied experience found in many somatic methods.

We held an informal discussion at the end of the event in Chichester. Most participants in Chichester indicated towards an experience they identified as a quiet attuned state. A few experienced performance anxiety around fulfilling the instructions, which seemed to disrupt the sense of attunement. I documented the event with a stills camera, shooting from the hip, not wanting to raise the camera to my eyes as it seemed this would magnify my gaze, the very politic I am bringing to question. This exaggeration of the gaze through the prosthetic attachment of the camera emphasizes a difficult position: as a spectator I feel displaced. My voice as author and performer is dispersed, multiplied and divided through the headphones, further dismantling a sense of bounded subjectivity in the room. This occurs through the action of the choreography as the participants perform and become the movement score - the space rethinks the subject. This performance framework appears to entangle the agency of the subject; through sensate responses the performer of part of the text (myself) becomes the spectator while also assuming the position of author and the maker; simultaneously the participant also becomes author and subject. My subjectivity and the participant's subjectivity within the work become porous and entwined.

Figure 3: Instructions for (re)membering #3 - A social choreography for the ears in the Gymnasium, The University of Chichester, UK, June 2012.

Figures 4 & 5 (left to right): Instructions for (re)membering #3 - A social choreography for the ears in the Gymnasium, The University of Chichester, UK, June 2012.

In addition to my own process of documenting the work discretely on both the stills camera and a video camera set up at a distance and on a wide shot, Marlon Barrios Solano from Dance Tech network recorded the Chichester event on his iPad. Some dramatic moments occurred when Marlon, holding his iPad in his outstretched arms was drawn into the choreography, one participant pulling him into the choreographic score. Marlon's role embodied the encounter of the threshold precariously and unexpectedly. The thresholds of performer and witness, inside and outside became beautifully confused.

The participants in Instructions for remembering (#2 and #3) enter into a process where their bodies become the threshold (the passage) space, between an intimate and internal private sound space and a somatic social spatiality. Positioned at the threshold, the subject is fractured in the exchange between the voices heard through the headphones, the perceptions of each participant and the social space of the multiple bodies. Through transforming the choreoauratic score, the subject becomes ruptured, doubled and multiplied by the text, prosthetics and activity.

The Spectacular Spectator

with the acceleration of reality itself ending in the dawn of a new form of madness, la folie de voir. This entails having to see at all costs - to the detriment of hearing, as well as of handling of touch, tactility, as well as of contact (Virilio, 2010: 38).

Troubled by the connotations and histories that are triggered within singular and discipline-specific terminology such as 'performance', 'installation' and 'event', these nomadic social choreographies are spatial encounters that manifest in multiple processes for participation, reflection, questioning and repetition. Braidotti's nomadic philosophy informs the practice, not as wayfaring, but as the potential for minor and molecular exchange.3 Braidotti suggests that the discursive event 'emerges from the creative encounter of the doer and the deed', naming these as creative transpositions which she perceives as thresholds of 'aimless (principle of mobility or flow) acts' (2011: 234-235).

The participatory nature of these events challenges the notion of the spectacle. Disrupting the occularcentric prejudices of both conventional proscenium arch performance and screen-based technologies the auricular is brought to the fore through the use of headphonic sound. The activity of listening and responding becomes a socially choreographic device. The social space that emerges out of the choreoauratic score opens the potential for connections, recoding the spectator's behavior through listening and participating. Attempting to unsettle the spectacular and dissolve the power of the gaze also enlivens a responsive social space and enables an active process of attunement to place, body and connectivity.

The methodology that underpins this practice-led research activates a processual opening of space for experimentation, for defending the unspectacular and for the unknowable. The intention here is to question conventional theatrical spatial codes and reconsider the culture of performance and place as it relates to contemporary living. In digitally mediated platforms, the roles of spectator and performer are often confused. In this case, the author/performer is almost invisible, caught within the headphonic score; the author meets the spectators/participants inside their heads, inside their bodies. They listen and respond to the sound score and emerge as performers/participants themselves. Drawing from somatically informed choreographic methods in relationship with prosthetic technology, the research questions modes of sensory perception in practice-led performance situations. The complexities of these fields create a methodological weave for thinking through perceptual performance practices to deepen the understanding of the mediated performing body in increasingly fluctuating environments. Braidotti's notion of post-structural subjectivity opens the potential of a relationship between space and the body in new media environments.

Kristeva's concept of the chora, as a post-structural spatial and theoretical threshold also argues for a politics of transformation. The possibilities for thinking outside of language and through the poetic - as in Kristeva's concept of the chora - suggest a process where the psychic drives are privileged and activate the sensate, the sonorous and the fluid. Within somatically informed choreographic encounters, the 'chora' implies possibilities for a matrixial sensory space. In practice, this fluid transformative space augments a social spatiality that could be thought of as a chorus. Moving through the space, silent from the outside, the participants in these social choreographies come together. Silent receptacles4 of sound, they enable the sensate and the invisible matrix of a chorus-like headphonic sound space called choreoauratics.

Braidotti's nomadic ethics returns us to the concept of the threshold as the potential to examine the margins that help to determine the diversity of life. She proposes the potential in difference to rethink sustainability, extended by technology, the information age, place, gender, insect and animal life (Braidotti, 2011: 231). Braidotti opens up a post-human argument that directs thinking away from an anthropocentric lens, where the concept of life becomes slippery and the interconnectedness 'between non-human and human agents' triggers positive 'processes of transformation' (2011: 113-114). The subject in Braidotti's thinking experiences a re-grounding 'in a materially embedded sense of responsibility and ethical accountability for the environment s/he inhabits' (2011: 222). In this way Braidotti brings a priority to the flesh.

Writing Distances

Through stories of war and acts of 'being in (and out of) time' (Lepecki in Heathfield, 2004: 126 brackets my own),Instructions for remembering (#2 and #3) play for attunement to the disappearing, the unseen and the unspeakable. Choreoauratic transcriptions based on both sites knit together the two geographically distanced locations through somatically informed choreographic scores and headphonic sound. The histories of both locations are brought alive through movement, sound and the body, spanning through time and recalling stories and contemporary reflections of world wars and radio transmission. The University of Chichester was the home to the RAF Operations Room in World War II where early radio communications were used to communicate flight strategies for Britain's Airforce. The New Zealand site, (the Kenneth Myers Centre) which is now part of The University of Auckland was originally built as New Zealand's first national radio station, 1YA.

Being in Time

Stillness is a generative threshold of dance's critique of modernity's fabrication of embodiment, subjectivity, and the sensorial, by means of a vibratile body engaged in a microscopy of perception (Lepecki in Assman et al., 2000: 362).

Attention to temporality is embodied in this practice as a political counterpoint to the accelerated condition of contemporary life and particularly digital infrastructures. I have adopted Andre Lepecki's strategy of a 'slower ontology' as a critical link to somatic practices. In slowing the temporality of the body, the site and the sound weave into what I have been calling in my own practice (borrowing from Lepecki) - 'being in time' (in Heathfield, 2004: 126). A process of slowing holds the possibility for attunement: as the senses 'tune inwards', perceptual openings might occur. In this choreoauratic practice, the headphonic space opens a process of 'tuning inwards' through vibrational intensities as sound is contained within the body. This vibrational sound space, cocooned by our connective tissue, intensifies the process of listening through the receptacle of our flesh, shifting the focus of the sensate from the scopic to the aural.

Sound artist and theorist Brandon LaBelle's term 'hinge' is used here to situate sound strategically as a link to the body and space, an articulation of the voice and of language, 'bringing into contact particular contradictory forces or conditions' (LaBelle, 2010: 1). The incorporation of the aural he identifies 'as a vital articulation or lens onto the body and the tensions of its social performance, by making corporeality explicit' (LaBelle, 2006: 104). Introducing the notion of LaBelle's 'hinge' enables a tactic for rethinking dialectical concepts such as inside/outside. Rather, as a way of coming together to create a social dimensionality of the experience and what is at stake in this collectivity within the social spatiality of these scores, 'sound operates as an emergent community, stitching together bodies that do not necessarily search for each other, forcing them into proximity' (LaBelle, 2010: 1). The way I perceive this (with the assistance of Braidotti's nomadic ethics) is that a rethinking of inside and outside, or binary thought takes place. Participants shift into and through openings that emerge as a web of connections and 'heterogeneous "becomings" of the subject' (Braidotti, 2011: 236). In Braidotti's terms, 'the motivation for the social construction of hope is a profound sense of respons(ability) and accountability' (Braidotti, 2011: 237).

This move away from the occularcentric makes space for multiple senses to come to the fore. In the choreoauratic practice discussed in this article, sonic and kinesthetic encounters are developed, soliciting Kristeva's 'chora', where sounds and rhythm enable a creative space that shifts the codes of language. The moving body generates a vibrational shifting between intensities of the senses, in the between space where there is both visibility and invisibility, or that which is inside and outside. Andre Lepecki's chapter Still on the Vibratile Microscopy of Dance in The Remembering Body (2000) advocates towards a shift in sensorial awareness of the microscopic and a vibratile stillness. A 'sensorial threshold' 'reconfigures the very relationship between embodiment and subjectivity' (Lepecki in Assman et al., 2000: 354) suggesting that a more introspective proprioception might shift the focus away from the spectacular scopic. The visibly still or imperceptible but infinitely pulsating vibrations of living, when focused on, can transform the temporality of body. This temporal somatic tuning brings a sense of corporeality to Braidotti's description of nomadism.

Social Discourse

The choreoauratics discussed in this article perform as a kind of somatic social discourse through assemblies and dis-assemblies of subjects in space and via sound technology. The author's voice, (my voice), performs the instructive text heard on the headphones. The matrixial encounter within headphonic listening, the voice and the choreographic, speak to the thresholds of language and subject, in loosening language, its meaning and the subject's position. As Labelle suggests: 'sound brings into conversation the unnameable with the nameable, the representational with the non-represented' by which the complexity of oppositional forces are manifested in 'an unsteady flow of information, sensuality, energy' (2010: 1).

In the choreographic encounters of Instructions for remembering (#2 and #3), the participant mobilizes the space between the enunciative act and language by engaging with a somatically informed choreographic framework. Through the process of listening and doing, intensities of 'interconnectedness' open thresholds for the recovery of the social imaginary as nomadic movement pathways. Exploring the potential of a nomadic subject opens to the disappearing, the marginal and the gaps between, as well as the politics of language, speech, gesture and body. Choreographic shifts in intensity, awareness and perception are magnified through doing less and in slowing down. Engaging in the unspectacular there is potential to open to our own limits of respons(ability).

We move through remnants of histories, place and myth across multiple sites in a nomadic choreoauratic practice. These choreographies draw on philosophies of place, language, the body and somatics while attempting to arbitrate the power of the spectacle as Western capitalist politic. This practice-led research moves towards a poetical politics of self that is fleeting, and that works precariously and nomadically in processes for coming together and allowing creative transpositions to happen. Seeking the potential in the intensities of the poetic, through listening, through the voice, slowing and through somatic tuning, the practice suggests that we tread lightly through these sensate territories.


1. Choreoauratic is a term I have introduced to the practice to describe sonically initiated social choreographies that operate through semiotic drives towards attunement and listening (Oliver ed. 2002: 24). This is expanded on later in this section in relation to Julie Kristeva's 'choric' space.

2. The choreauratics in 2011 predominantly incorporated individual sound scores. Timing was incidental and the choreography created by the group based on chance. In the final choreography in November 2011 at the Old Folks Association at Gundry Street in Auckland I included a small sub-group whom enacted moments of unison. I was interested in the social implications of these interactions and how they might play out with a larger group. With Instructions for (re)membering (#2 and #3) there was a return back to a site-based practice which became the premise for the development of the events discussed in this article.

3. Braidotti identifies the nomadic subject as being in 'complex in-between states of social (im)mobility and stages of transit' (2011: 10). Identified as pointing to 'a decline of unitary subjects' she describes these as 'homeless, a migrant, in exile, a refugee, a tourist, a rape-in-war victim, an itinerant migrant, an illegal immigrant, a mail-order bride, a foreign caretaker of the young or the elderly of the economically developed world' (2011: 10-11) In Braidotti's earlier writing Metamorphosis she discusses Deleuze's attempt to undo the power of dualistic modes of majority/minority through becoming. This becoming-minoritarian she identifies as 'woman/child/animal/imperceptible' (2002: 84).

4. The 'chora' as a receptacle, is a concept Kristeva adapts from Plato's Timaeus as the space before language and 'as anterior to naming' (Kristeva 1941: 102).


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Becca Wood works in performance practices that slip between the intersections of the body, space and digital environments. Her interest in this interdisciplinary area comes from years of working between the disciplines of design and dance practices. Becca is currently completing a Ph.D. at The Auckland University where she also lectures in Dance Studies. Her practice-led research examines the potential for attunement within the somatics of social choreographies for the ears, through digitally and prosthetically augmented listening. Through her research and practice she continues to work across the arts in performance, somatic research and education, and digital-based art and design.



Becca Wood





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