Gravitational Feel: Opening Performance
Gravitational Feel: Opening Performance
Gravitational Feel is an engine for intensifying the differentiation of our entanglement, which you continually reprogramme in the mutual rub, shift and lap of its sonic, wooden, steel, textile and human material.
“Gravitational Feel is a kinetic sculptural performance. It is activated in movement and touch, in the mutual rub, shift and lap of its sonic, wooden, steel, textile and human material. As you mix the sound, in your movement in and across a circle formed by (squared) speakers, the ropes move, becoming strings in having been brushed and strummed by you. In their turn, in the turning of the rotaries from which they fall, the strings move you with their touch, just as in touching one another you move one another, either directly or by the messages you send from strand to strand. In this way, Gravitational Feel is an engine for intensifying the differentiation of our entanglement, continually programming itself through incalculable combinations of disruption and convergence. Your movements, which are neither destructive nor curatorial, are both deconstruction and cure. Therefore, Wu and Fred kindly request your steadfastly refraining from any attempt to be still.” – Wu Tsang & Fred Moten
What if the feel of a poem was not just emotional, but tactile? How do we sense entanglement? Can the knotting of ropes according to a poem’s rhythm make the social pulse of language matter?
Tangentially: Gravitational Feel makes you wonder about Incan Khipu. When they first encountered them, European colonists thought Khipu (also known as ‘talking knots’: collections of multi-coloured, knotted ropes) were number systems used for administrative purposes like taxation or census, or in military campaigns. Indigenous scholars now believe they had a much richer, more linguistic use of number, capable of transmitting administrative information but also mapping pilgrimage routes or acting as memory tools in retelling oral histories. In movement, the knotted ropes of Gravitational Feel allude toward these differences between how Western and Indigenous minds understood number, matter and language.
“Friendship is a series of ‘spooky actions at a distance’ – the smaller the distance, the spookier the actions become.” – Fred MotenRead
If you ask him, Fred Moten might say that what people often think of as his poetic and philosophical thinking and writing — about fugitivity, blackness, blur — isn’t his at all. It’s better conceived as a temporary and fleeting emanation of open-ended friendships within the black radical tradition; queer and indigenous worldviews; the music of blackness; and sites of care. Most often, these have included Stefano Harney, Laura Harris or Wu Tsang, but also hundreds of others.
Fred has participated in Episode 4: Freedom is a Constant Struggle and Episode 6: Make a Way Out of No Way as well as at Arika’s week of events, A survey is a process of listening, at the Whitney Biennial in 2012.
Wu Tsang is a filmmaker and performance artist who combines documentary and narrative techniques with fantastical detours into the imaginary in works that explore hidden histories, marginalised narratives, and the act of performing itself. Tsang re-imagines racialised, gendered representations beyond the visible frame to encompass the multiple and shifting perspectives through which we experience the social realm.
Wu took part in Episode 9: Other World’s Already Exist and presented an iteration of their ongoing performance cycle, Moved by the Motion.
Gravitational Feel was commissioned by If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, as part of Corpus, network for performance practice. Corpus is Bulegoa z/b (Bilbao), Contemporary Art Centre (Vilnius), If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (Amsterdam), KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), Playground (STUK Kunstencentrum & M-Museum, Leuven) and Tate Modern (London). Corpus is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
The Exhibtion was open after the Opening Performance until 10.45pm on Thursday 21 and the for the rest of the Episode: Fri: 1 – 10.30pm Sat: 1 – 10.30pm Sun: 1 – 10.30pm. Entry Free.
Image Description: In close up, someone in a black hoodie holds their hand in front of their chest. Their hands are bound in maybe 10 or 15 different, irregularly knotted, coloured silk ropes.