This piece comprises recordings (aural and video) from two separate encounters with a Wall as part of Masters research in 2018. It represents part of an ongoing arts-based investigation into ideas regarding territorialisation as defined in Elizabeth Grosz, ‘Chaos, Territory & Art: Deleusze & the Framing of the Earth’.
Textual accompaniments of the work include the following, comprising quotes from Elizabeth Grosz alongside transcriptions of recordings from the Wall interaction.
Journal Excerpt: 12/8/18
The exercise for today’s session was to inquire into the ideas put forward by the following key paragraphs selected from reading Elizabeth Grosz’ ‘Chaos, Territory & Art: Deleusze and the Framing of the Earth’, Chapter 2: Art and Architecture, by responding to and interacting with a wall (i.e. an architectural form as partition). Specifically, I wanted to inquire into the idea of territory, and the felt sense of territory as articulated in the reading.
This is why the frame’s most elementary form is the partition, whether wall or screen, that, projected downward, generates the smoothness of a floor, that “rarefies” and smooths over the surface of the earth, creating a first (human) territorialization (p.13).
The partition projected forward induces the wall, which constitutes the possibility of an inside and an outside, dividing the inhabitable from the natural (the chaotic), transform- ing the earth itself into a delimitable space, a shelter or home. The wall divides us from the world, on one side, and creates another world, a constructed and framed world, on its other side. Though it primarily divides, the wall also provides new connections, new rela- tions, social and interpersonal relations, with those on its other side (“The wall is the basis of our co-existence” [Cache 1995:24]) (p.13).
In this process of territorialization, deterritorialization, and reterritorialization, the body becomes in- timately connected to and informed by the peristaltic movements, systole and diastole, contraction and expansion, of the universe it- self. Body and universe, entwined in mutual concavity/convexity, floating/falling, folding/unfolding are directly touched by that out- side now enframed, creating sensation from their coming together. (p.13).
In undertaking the exercise, I sought to record my interaction with the wall, but the wall I found felt overshadowed and the light was too poor for recording. On the opposite side of the driveway, however, I found that the afternoon light had lit up a wall and became enamoured with the interaction of my shadow against that wall. This emergent curiosity felt to me to animate some of the ideas that had been put forward in Grosz, especially regarding the exchange between the body and architecture. I then moved the camera to be able to record the opposing wall and my shadows upon it.
As I commenced moving, I realised that there were words and sentences that I wanted to speak, so I promptly stopped and attached a microphone to myself before proceeding the exploration.
During the exploration, I could feel that the Inter Subjective Responses’s of my words were of direct relevance to the inquiry, and that the interaction of my body with the wall through the shadows that it was creating was also an emergent form of dialoguing with the wall.
When the exploration felt to come to a natural close, I went to the camera only to find that my battery had died and failed to capture my interaction. I was very frustrated by this outcome, but grateful that I had recorded the words that I was speaking and not relied on the video. This is when I realised that working multi-modally meant that perhaps the failure of the camera and the parallel use of the recording had worked as a reduction to the key elements or distillation of the key messaging. This felt like a moment of content-in-process.
My verbal recording noted the following:
‘I feel it first in my face. I feel it first in my face. It’s a sense of resistance. The thing about walking towards a wall, is your consciousness of the space being finite. I know there is an end to where I can go, which controls how I am willing to move here. I might fold before I would normally fold.
There is something asymptotic about my desire to engage. I don’t want to touch it, even though this magnetism of my finitude, so there is intimacy. Some sort of organic, reflective, sense. But it is finite. I know that I am limited. So the expansion can happen this way, but not this way. Here, I contract. Relationship becomes cyclical, then. Can only be in this certain rhythm.
We are given planes within which we can interact with each other, here. Here. Again, this intimacy is conjured. The rhythm is here, and here. Everything else pivots.
There is a loneliness here. An isolation. Everything ends here. It reduces me, it reduces my dimension. It is reductive. Asymptotic. It changes my shadow and allows me a particular perspective on myself. Augmented, symbolic. But I feel it most in my face.
It is cold. And somehow, empty. It has nothing to say to me. Or does it?
I can’t help but feel like this division, here, is only me against myself.
And here there is nowhere left to go, except here, or there, and that’s impossible.’
Images Week One
Collages Week 2
Emergent Textual Relations Week 3
The partition transforms the earth into a delimitable space.
“I feel it first in my face”
Though it primarily divides, the wall also provies new ways of relation.
“we are given planes within which we can interact with each other”
the wall divides us from the world, but provides a constructed and framed world
“there is a loneliness here, an isolation”
New connections, new relations
“again, this intimacy is conjured”
In this process of territorialization, deterritorialization and reterritorialization, the body becomes intimately connected to and informed by the peristaltic movements of the universe itself.
“I can’t help but feel like this division, here, is only me against myself.”
Body and universe entwined in mutual concavity/convexity, floating/falling, folding/unfolding are directly touched by that outside now enframed.
Final Creative Synthesis – video – Week Four.
This work was developed in September 2018 as part of the Master of Therapeutic Arts Practice at the Melbourne Institute of Experiential and Creative Art Therapy.