Choreographic Strategies in Moving Image Practice. Task-based improvisation and Somatic Inquiry
Kingston University, London
Year of enrolment: 2018 -
Supervisors: Elizabeth Price (Kingston), Alexis Teplin (Kingston), Adrian Heathfield (Roehampton)
Institutional email: keiragreene.com
This practice-based PhD is focused on task-based improvisation and somatic inquiry as strategies in moving image practice. They are referred to as choreographic strategies and employed within my own moving image practice, whilst simultaneously explored within visual art contexts that intersect with moving image and performance. Relative to my own artwork, task-based improvisation and somatic inquiry have been learnt through movement and dance studies, and this thesis is a way to attend to and reflect on the many ways that choreographic strategies serve my process as an artist. I use task-based improvisation and somatic inquiry as methods to give structure to layered, embodied, and mutable themes. These strategies have given form to working or/and practicing at the boundary of the ‘not yet known', and I reflect on how these strategies later become tangible in the artwork. I attend to seminal moments in the making of The Hide and evaluate how processual material, born out of task-based improvisation and somatic inquiry, has an aesthetic resonance in the artwork. To give ground to the terminologies I refer to in this thesis, this trajectory begins with Anna and Lawrence Halprin and in their unique relationship to somatic practice, scores and scoring. Following on from the Halprins, my interest in process, ‘being-in-process’, or ‘embodied process’, stems from a number of dance practitioners; namely Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer, and Okwui Okpokwasili. Concurrently, whilst making The Hide and developing this research, I have reached important junctures where I have intuitively called on task-based improvisation and somatic inquiry, rarely naming it as such, to make embodied and analytical inquiries to alter the course of the moving image production or/and the written components of this thesis. I attend to the contribution that these junctures offer the moving image practice as a whole. I trace moments where significant change has occurred and explore the processes and the processual material that brings them to fruition. I argue that these junctures involve a necessary process of embodied feedback and that this process constitutes a unique aesthetic in the artwork The Hide — but also as a reflective methodology for future artwork. This practice-based PhD develops out of the visual arts, specifically using moving image, and explores the fields of dance, movement studies and performance from the perspective of an artist working with dance artists, and as a person interested in and attending to movement practice. Another way to say this is that this practice-based PhD develops through a fascination with the non-verbal, the somatic, the unfixed and the fluid, being in motion, with practices that trouble at the boundaries of definition and that necessitate being undefined. To resist fixing ‘experience’ as ‘knowledge’ has its discourse rooted in feminist thought, and running through this practice-based PhD and it’s frame(s) of reference(s) are questions about what constitutes a feminist practice, in particular a feminist moving image practice, for which less discussion has been had and this PhD wishes to address.