(Un)Balance – Work in progress
Un(Balance) is a series of affective experiences inviting the participant(s) to play on the edge of stability. The aim of this project is to develop new forms of mindfulness practices.
In term 3, I developed a series of physical and virtual tools aiming at shifting bodily sensations, environment perception, and coherence between the two. This triggers an exploratory behaviour, much like a child playing at the edge of stability. The participant(s) become more aware of their movements, balance and relationship to the environment.
Firstly, I designed physical tools creating bodily sensations as well as sound feedback, through weights travelling across the body . The different properties of the various tools, and their location on the body trigger different behaviours, movement qualities, as well as emotions in the wearer. Some will prompt slower, sustained movements, some faster, explosive ones. Some will create a sensation of connection between different body parts and therefor more connected, flowing movements, others will disconnect them creating more angled, abrupt movements.
Secondly, I created an experience that merges physical and virtual elements altering the participants’ relationship to their environment. A tilting platform (pivoting around the center point and cushioned with foam blocks) functions as an unstable floor and is combined with a virtual world, responding to its angle. A harness helps to encourage an exploratory behaviour in the participants even as they getting dorientated.
Different combinations between those tools will create moments of coherence, and moments of incoherence, shifting the attention from body to environment and back. Collaborating with dancer Tia Hockey enabled me to get a greater understanding of these interactions and how I could push them further.