I+I: Variations on Alteroception – material / rearranged / to / be, 2017


In I+I: Variations on Alteroception a large scale mobile sculpture provides the architectural space for an active experiment into the possibilities of feeling through somebody else’s body. Building on current research into the intersubjective powers of human communication this work offers training exercises for a future human capacity – where we have honed our sympathetic and empathetic abilities to such an extent that we can feel through the actions of another.

Bringing together eclectic references from the research of Stein Bråten, Colwyn Trevarthen and Adam Kendon, to the concepts of asabiyyah and tsaheylu, the work looks to the space of performance, of dancer and audience, to consider the necessary conditions for one body to feel through the actions of another. As a hypothesis for future companionship, the work seeks to push experience beyond the ends of the body to co-action, where a feeling of doing can be embodied by all, no matter who is moving. I+I is an investigation into what is required to evoke a common sense.

The work is situated within an architectural structure of copper frames and hand painted paper scores suspended dramatically from the ceiling and providing a home and trigger for activity. The scores offer a permanent invitation to the public to test them for themselves at any time and are accompanied by a live programme of experiments and movement with dance artists.

The live programme was developed in collaboration with Professor of Psychology Manos Tsakiris at The Warburg Institute and dance artists Siobhan Davies, Helka Kaski, Andrea Buckley, Charlie Morrissey and Matthias Sperling. The scores for movement were developed in collaboration with choreographer Efrosini Protopapa.

I+I: Variations on Alteroception premiered at the Barbican, London, 2017, before touring to Whitworth, Manchester; Tramway, Glasgow; and Bluecoat Liverpool, commissioned by Siobhan Davies Dance.