Artémise Ploegaerts

Artémise Ploegaerts
Cohort 6: 2012-2014


Removing the indelible: towards the creation of disorganised bodies

During my artistic research I have been interested in choreographing bodies that refers to a sensitive experience of their context in order to challenge any particular actualization. I like to imagine bodies having more power regarding their readability, regulation, and recognition. In opposition to a body artificially constructed, it is to think of the human body having more possibilities regarding its realization and definition, acknowledging the beauty of its biological potential.

Working both on movement and video through editing processes, I have reflected on the body’s structure in motion for the creation of imaginary/potential bodies that show a certain resistance to their actualization. I call those bodies ‘disorganized’. They relate to the body as sensible experience. They are a try to escape the human form and the images produce out of it from a historico-cutural, social, but also political background. They show a wish to free content from form. I have researched on how to disengage from an understanding of their representation and to concentrate on the production and reception of sensations. I consider this organized structure (the human body) as going beyond the visible and the perceptible. These imaginary bodies are represented in an abstract way but not to a point of losing their complete recognition as human. The virtual dimension of the body has been an important aspect of the research in order to work with a performer and to actualize movement differently; I have looked at how one senses and imagines her body in relation to a particular environment. The latter could be a certain focus on sound, images (mental, visual), touch, movement, or taste. It can then become an imagined stimulus to which the body has a particular response; it is the emergence of intuitive bodies. I have recognized a multiplicity of bodies in each individual. They are devoid of a core or essence, but are an infinity of re-constructions, transformations, which makes them osmotic. I consider the body as filter rather than container. I have looked at movement as going through bodies rather than belonging to one. This divulges movement autonomy outside of a specific object or body, and its possibility of actualization through different media and in my case video. In relation to my notion of disorganized bodies, I have worked on a resistance towards a specific actuality by looking at dance for the screen.

Research Question/Statement

How can the human body be thought/perceived as an experience of the sensible rather than a determined entity?

My research is looking at movement and its realization through live performance and digital technology for the making of choreographic projects. Until now dance has been worked for the screen (both mediums influencing each other), but live performance hasn’t included video work.

I understand choreography as the structured actualization of an idea that works with different senses and mediums. I therefore consider video as a choreographic tool and an outcome able to generate a body of its own. Both dance and video go beyond supporting each other; due to their differences one cannot be without the other when it comes to video dance. Choreography works with movement in space and time. It can then use different media through those aspects having to consider their differences. If the choreographic outcome is live performance only, light, setting, and movement are also part of an editing process that plays between the visibility and invisibility of the body, and work on the distortion of images the body can produce.

My research considers philosophical notions such as the virtual, the actual, the potential, and the ‘diagram’ (from Francis Bacon’s work). Some of those aspects were influenced by Gilles Deleuze’s thinking.

 Method in relation to Discursive Practices and Art Branding

My choreographic practice uses editing as an act of choreographing both with performers and video. Departing from a movement research to find what I like to call an ‘intuitive body’ (intuitive movement response to a particular imaginary/virtual stimulus), editing processes emphasize aspects of what had emerged. It allows the manipulation of movement. It is a kinetic highlight as much as a visual distortion. It plays with the rhythm of a dance, its structure. It refers to the performer’s experience and to mine. The editing appears through the whole process rather than a final step

In terms of discursive practice I have clarified my understanding of movement and its impact on what the body is able to generate. This has included the idea of movement without a body. I like to think of the different possibilities of actualization that movement has by working with its virtual, phenomenological, and digital dimensions. It allows the emergence of potential bodies. This has implied philosophical readings, notably of Gilles Deleuze, Brian Massumi, and Bojana Kunst (referring to G. Agamben). I have looked at philosophical notions such as the virtual, the actual, and the potential. By working with the senses, and considering the body’s sensible experience of its environment, I have found interesting connections between what has emerged and resistance towards actualization. This aspect was enriched by Boyan Manchev’s idea of ‘disorganization’. I have also been reading about video art and the use of video in contemporary dance. This has clarified my own practice and my use of the digital. My research as a whole reflects on how the body could question encoded meaning notably projected through images (working first in relation to its context to then isolating it).

Regarding Art Branding I have focused my research on the plurality of voices and mediums influencing the making of a project. It is directly connected to my identity as artist and to the singularity of each work I have been making. How to acknowledge this tension between the plural and singular aspect of the work?

The wish to recognize a plural signature has for instance given rise to the creation of a website ‘SomeBodies/’ ( Somebodies/ wishes to challenge the notion of artistic identity. It will gather all peoples’ names important to the research I have undertaken so far. This plurality also includes the different artistic identities part of one artist; using different mediums such as dance, video, pictures, and text. They are all part of my artistic practice. As artist I am not chosen by a medium but chose which one(s) is the most appropriate to work with. The artistic work is such as an organic development that constantly grows, transforms eats, and digests; it is influenced by its context and influences it.

(v. April 28, 2014)

Choreographic projects:

  • My human bodies
  • Au-delà d’une écorce
  • My Digital Bodies
  • HER


Disorganized bodies: choreographing with the digital

My thesis looks at the act of choreographing using dance and video for the creation of what I call ‘disorganized bodies’.  Starting from the idea of movement as different from language, producing and being produced by sensations, I have reflected on how certain bodies could be created from a sensorial awareness to be then transferred into digital images. Although going away from the materiality of the body, it is to come back to it through the moving images that are produced and choreographed. The spectator can then experience the images and the new kinds of bodies that they generate, in their qualitative aspect. They are able to produce a sort of diagram. The latter is neither abstract nor figurative. To choreograph relies then on editing processes in the creative process as well as for a specific outcome to arise.

My disorganized bodies refer to a multiplicity of the body: bodies that we imagine, bodies that we could have but won’t, bodies going beyond ‘formatted’ readings of their appearance, political bodies. They wish to challenge the ways one reads the body by removing it from its cultural and social context. It is a wish to detach the body from the images that can be performed on it, transforming it into a meaningful entity, and creating prejudices and discrimination. Those disorganized bodies are a constant search whose definition(s) still remains to be completed, thought, and re-thought.