You're not the first to ask...
We Are = Movement makes embodied public spaces
An astounding abundance of knowledge currently exists about intelligent body movement. We would like to see that reflected in our public discourse & education, as well as in most peoples’ understanding & movements.
By engaging with the public artistically, we’re taking embodiment out of the health & wellness arena & into a context that broadens the dialogue, incites curiosity & informs the public’s direct experience with body literacy.
We Are = Movement started because we wanted to engage the public in really surprising ways about body literacy.
It was clear to us that the context that most people learned about their bodies and applied that knowledge was way too limited.
When it came to the body, every conversation we began or overheard, every article or blog that we read was overwhelmingly framed by health, wellness, fitness or science. Or the discussion was about athletic or theatrical performance, most often separated from us by a gulf of expertise.
Changing the context of where and when we think about our bodies, and how we directly engage with our bodies, and each other, is key for We Are = Movement. While we applaud the work of others, for us it’s not about bringing yoga to the streets or wellness to the workplace. That’s somehow still too within the present frame, and not public enough.
Our response was to launch We Are = Movement with a week-long Pop-Up Event in a corner storefront in the Mission District of San Francisco. In 2012 we invited people from varied fields to share their work with the public through the lens of the body. Participants included a NASA robotics engineer, a violinist, a public speaker on education, a professor of applied sciences, a painter, a biologist turned yoga instructor.
There was one part of the event that was really different from the rest. We had set up “The Practice Gallery,” in which people shared their private movement practices in view of the public. It wasn’t performance, it wasn’t a class, it wasn’t a rehearsal. For the duration of a week, people walking to work, people who worked on the block, people who lived on the block & on the street, were presented with concentrated, intentional human movement that they normally didn’t see.
In retrospect, we realized that we had created an embodied public space–a form of sorts which refocuses & then reorganizes attention & awareness. The space was vitalized through shared physical (not virtual) experience, and invited curiosity about our circumstances and our participation in our circumstances. *
“Everything we do is through movement.” -Twyla Tharp
If we are always embodied, how is it that so much of what’s ‘out there’ (and perhaps what we feel ‘in here’) tells us that interacting from an ‘embodied place’ is not really our shared reality?
We’re curious about that. We’re curious about what happens when that paradox is brought into our immediate physical experience.
Art commands participation. We will make something that is decent and interesting and you show us how we’ve done.