fluvial is a choreographic research that deals with the interaction between human and non-human bodies, specifically between human bodies and their environment. Environment here is: all living things, elements, minerals, organisms as well as their phenomena and cultural imaginaries. It exercises an anticipated exposure to a community to come and a critical, feminist engagement with the Anthropocene.
With fluvial, I want to draw attention to fluids and address the question of how dance can be experienced as a regenerative, relational and indicative practice for everyone. I want to raise the awareness of existential, fragile, multiple communities and ecologies of our coexistences through the dancing body in a playful and sustainable way.
fluvial relates the study of the fluids of the human body to the rivers and streams of Vienna. Through the exploration of bodily fluids and their bodily-spiritual connections, specific patterns and qualities of movement emerge. The exploration of the different places and landscapes of the rivers and streams in Vienna puts the physical research into an expanded context.
fluvial realized in cooperation with the Volkskunde Museum and various dialogue partners:
Alix Eynaudi (Artist), Sabine Grupe (Head of the WGM Technical Office for Geology), Jack Hauser (Artist), Claudia Heu (Artist), Tom Klien (BSc – contemplative landscapes /mindfulness training /sustain*ability), Elisabeth Schäfer (Philosopher), Agnes Schneidewind (Cranio-Sacral Body-Practcioner, Artist), Nurit Sommer (Cultural and social anthropologist, body therapist, movement teacher), Herbert Justnik (curator, cultural scientist) Lito Walkey (Artist).
The heart. The heart as impulse. The heart as pulse generator. Pulses poly-rhythmically. Plays its* own melody. Embedded. Independent. Always connected. Very close to the breath. Like in the dream of these two women tonight. Very close to each other they are. Almost into each other they go. Each pair of legs in their own steps. Pattern. Nevertheless. One in blue, the other in red, tight-fitting clothes.
My heart is two women. Is many women. Women. Are also people. My heart is many people. That is the cycle. Connected. Connected with others. Our cycle. With the cycle of nature. With which we circle. Which we run after. Of which we are a part. A tiny little part, by the way. Geologically seen. And everything. Circles around us. People. Although.The cycle of plants is especially close. We share one air. And not only the air. Also the water. Blood is water. 70% of it. It needs water. Good water to nourish the organs, the cells. Yours and mine. We need good water. Where does it come from? Where does it go? The water. The heart pumps the blood through the body. Connects my organs. With many organs. My cells with many cells. I am connected with many others. With all the others. I am only a small part of all these connections. I draw a border where there is actually permeability. Boundary here does not mean separation. Boundary means rest. The pause between the breath. The pause between heartbeats.
We stand in a circle and hold hands. We want to engage in a rhythm. Through a squeeze with the hand. First in one direction. Then in the other. Laughing confusion until silence comes. And with it a shared, wandering rhythm.
The heart is a three-dimensional organ. It has a front and a back. And so many more sides to it. Are there. Back there. At the back of the back. Support is created. And with it an additional space. A different feeling. Please put it there again. Your hand. Between my shoulder blades. So that my heart can open with every pulse. Something like freedom. Freedom here means: to be cared for. To be nourished. To be refreshed. With every pulse: oxygen. Nutrients. With every pulse: clarification. Detoxification. With every movement. Every gesture. One beat. And the other. Almost simultaneously. And at the same time. Very orderly. With this freedom, a space emerges. Almost as a matter of cause. A space. With which to connect. A green grope.
Now. If Vienna were the heart, the rivers the blood, and our thoughts and actions the nutrients. What would there be to do then?
I take these thoughts in my hand. Let them pulsate. Let them flow. Be in motion. As we go on our way. And beyond. Through time. Through the city. To the border. To the divisions of the rivers. The distribution of the water surface. To be with these different flowings. Rhythms. Which I also feel in my body. This restlessness. This awkward tenderness. This powerlessness. These connection. Here. With the vastness. With the lands. And their waters. Up to Ukraine and this miserable war. With every wave. Connected with this war. It is war. And. Everything is wrong. … It’s peace. And. To make everything more right, to make it right. We’re going to have to take our lives more seriously in what contexts and what consequences we’re in the world with.
 Marlene Streeruwitz, Handbuch gegen den Krieg. baho books Vienna, 2022
… If we are all bodies of water, then we are differentiated not so much by the “what” as by the “how.” The question, then, of “what is” is never sufficient. How is it? Where is it? When is it? Speed, rate, thickness, duration, mixture, contamination, blockage. But what are the specific mechanisms of this differentiation?…
… The mostly watery composition of my body is not just a human thing.
To say that my body is marshland, estuary, ecosystem, that it is riven through with tributaries of companion species, nestling in my gut, extending through my fingers, pooling at my feet, is a beautiful way to reimagine my corporeality. But once we recognize that we are not hermetically sealed in our diver’s suits of human skin, what do we do with this recognition? What do we owe, and how do we pay? …
… We could say, using the language of Haraway or Karen Barad, that these various bodily interfaces – biology and mood and culture and context – are always co-worlding the phenomen we call our bodies. Rather than 2 separate things interacting, they intra-act; they become what they are only in relation. Co-worlding is always a collaborative process and always emergent. The “thing” called body, as Rich has already suggested to us is a congeries of other bodies, and always on the move. Nonetheless it also settles down enough to be accounted for , and to give an (always provisional) account of itself. We shall see, without such accounting, building an ethical relation to the world would be impossible. …
… If our bodies are mostly water, where does this water come from? Where does it go, and what does it make possible? How does our wateriness condition how we live as bodies, and how we become implicated in the bodies of others? To ask these questions, much less to answer them, we need to divest from the idea of bodies as only human, as contained with our skin, as beginning and ending with an „I“…
… In these ways, tapping bodies of water as figuration is a phenomenological exercise – one that, taking heed of Edmund Husserl’s (2001, 68) famous dictum, goes „back to the things itself“ in order to count for things as they appear in experience, once sediments of the natural attitude have been scraped away. Phenomenlogy is „a matter of describing, not of explaining or analyzing“ (Merleau Ponty 1962,viii); it is achieved through a direct description of our experience as it is (vii). In this accounting, language stretches to accommodate experience. (Astrides Neimanis, Bodies of Water)
I realize again and again how water is taking care of us. How can I take care of water?
I decide to collect the garbage on the river sites I am visiting.
WALKS in the compnay of: Sabine Grupe, Jack Hauser, Tom Klien.
Tanzquatier Wien, 25., 27., 29.04. 2022
During the workshop I shared my ongoing choreographic research concerning the interaction between human and non-human bodies, specifically between human bodies and their environment. By bringing the awareness to fluids in and around us, we connected to the systems through which communication with and transformation of internal and external environments occur. Fluids are connecting elements. Fluids are like touches; they cause exchanges between bodies, allow bodies to merge into each other, make boundaries fluid or reveal differences. What performativity do they reveal, what kind of dances? How to choreograph fluidity? What scores, poems and imaginatives support a flow? What can we learn from nature-cultures around and within us?
Liquid Journey (1) @ Volkskundemuseum,
6. & 7.08.2022
Opening, practice and reflection of the artistic research FLUVIAL – on bodies, water and urban landscapes.
The workshop was designed to get a sensing-feeling connection to water in the body and the city. We exchanged stories and experiences of water in our bodies and surroundings.I provided some basic knowledge of water, which then was to be felt through encounters of
weight and surfaces tension of water (water in vessels) and the explored in the body.
In the second part we went to the riverside of the Donaukanal and connected our experiences with the citynature. MORE: HERE
Liquid Journey II @ Volkskunde Museum Wien
17th & 18th 12. 2022
Opening, practice and reflection of the artistic research FLUVIAL – on bodies, water and urban landscapes.
Looking for correspondences between the human body & city body we connect with the blood circulation and the heart. Blood is a fluid tissue that supplies all parts of the body with vital energy. It is used for nutrition and communication. It also carries away waste products and toxins that are no longer needed by the cells. It maintains the balance between expansion and contraction, between movement and stillness.
We will go together to the Brigittenauerspron. There, where the Danube Canal was branched off from the Danube and channelled into the city, we can let the pulsation of our heart be accompanied by the water.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCES @ Volkskundemuseum Wien:
28.02. – 02.03.2022
18.03. – 22.03.2022, guests: Kilian Jörg (philosopher, artist) Cornelia Scheuer (artist)
Exploring the interplay of theory & poetics, by reading, moving and exchanges resources.
03.06. – 06.06.2022, guests: Agnes Schneidewind (artist, cranial sacral practicioner),
Claudia Heu (artist)
Exploring the interplay of somatic practices with philsophical texts and narration.
26.07. – 30.06.2022, guests: Alix Eynaudi (choreographer, dancer), Lito Walkey (artist)
Developing methodologies of attention and relations, by connecting walking, writing & moving, writing on site.
to extend touch into fluidity
03.08. – 05.08.2022, guests: Tom Klien (BSc – contemplative landscapes /mindfulness training /sustain*ability)
Exploring attention and awareness of different sites in the city and how to read them in relation to their ecologies.
everything is writing
everything is dancing
writing and recording traces
choreography traces spaces and times
time flows, water flows
light refractions, wave refractions
caught, captured, released, jumped away, forgotten, reappeared
* light movements on water
* i wanted to settle in another place but then
* the movment of sea writing
fluvial is supported with a research grant by the City of Vienna for 2022.