Monday, 28 May 2007

Ownership of Spaces: What makes a space a place? What makes a place a non-place?

Through my dance practice, I am currently investigating how Contact Improvisation Dance, or the self-regulatory movement discipline of Authentic Movement (or, indeed, any kind of 'formal' movement) may be sufficient or appropriate to the task of activating or temporarily at least, creating a sense of ownership which is missing from a given place - or 'non-place'.* (By 'ownership', I do not mean ownership in the legal sense. I mean ownership through energetic presence - in the space).

At this point I am engaging with small, subtle, yet not-everyday movements and filming public responses, in places which could be thought of as interfaces between places and non-places: service entrances at the back of supermarkets and on the edge of busy thoroughfares full of people; carparks, entrances and corners of shopping malls, inter-street linking passageways ... the Interislander ferry, airports ...

* 'Non-place': Marc Augé coined this term in 2000, in his definitive book, 'non-places. introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity'. He uses it to describe how our ability to 'be' fully present and 'be-long' in this kind of location in our world, atrophys or contracts when we are in locations - specifically, non-places, like supermarkets, airports, service stations and forecourts - places of transit, where we - some of us in particular - expend much of our time and energy displacing space in a cursory manner, without emotional investment.

I welcome all comments on this topic.

Augé, M. (2000). non-places introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity / Marc Augê translated by John Howe. Verso, London / New York.