APPROXIMATIONS (2024) 

MULTIFORM VIDEO INSTALLATION
SOUND, MOVEMENT, TEXT, VOICE
SOUND DESIGN x EMIR CHACRA






APPROXIMATIONS is a multiform video installation. 
a pluri-channel formation.
a de/composition. 
a reconfiguration.


APPROXIMATIONS is comprised of (at least)
three moving bodies: 

PALMSWEAT
SURFACETENSION
HOLLOWGRAM



PALMSWEAT for the sweat of the palm and the sweat of my body and the sweat of a threat. 



PALMSWEAT is a rendering of palm leaves blowing in a storm mixed with a close recording of a movement sequence in which the body rustles. the video runs in an ambiguous loop with no clear beginning or end. the field recordings of winds are jostling.

PALMSWEAT is ominous, a foreboding. PALMSWEAT is the first point of contact with the viewer. multiplied and refracted in the installation space, it is a foreground and a background at once. 





SURFACETENSION layers the moving body and voice. a body is constrained and expanded. refracted and sped up. a hand drips

.

the voice gives instructions of how to move the body. the voice is an intimate bodily extension that is often surveilled, often easily recognizable. the voice gives instructions that are simultaneously clear and abstract, incomplete and excessive. the instructions could come from a movement workshop or from a medical practitioner, an authority figure. someone monitoring your body. someone is always watching. 




HOLLOWGRAM is a play on the holograph - the technique of generating multidimensional images.



this work aims to evoke a holographic sensibility through the use of veils to multiply the videos away from the wall surface. it’s also holographic in that the video is a reconstruction of a performance that never existed; the multiplication of the bodies in the video itself, even without the multidimensionality of the projection, is a rendering of a performance that could not take place without (digital) media(tion). the work is, in a sense, a kind of contact improvisation with a ghost of a ghost of a ghost. the dancing body dances with someone that is not there. contact creates a kind of negative space, an inverting. 








installation notes



this current body of work attempts to distill movement from the body. the projections are perpetually out of sync but persistent in their repetition. a pulsing beat, field recordings, and voices instructing bodily gestures create consistency through dissonance.

the views of the bodies are obstructed, distorted, glitched. a dancing body leaks out beyond itself. a dancing body breaks itself. a dancing body replicates itself. a dancing body dances with itself, against itself, into itself. a dancing body removes itself from its container. i am interested in the ways that bodies leak in space beyond the containers of their bodies.

through installative performances mediated by screens in space, i seek to extend the physical movement afforded by dance beyond my body. it is an effort in transgressing the container of the physical body, a refusal to be contained. it is an extension of queerness, of gender fluidity, of mixed raceness, of existing between tongues and fields and disciplines.

by abstracting, multiplying, and refracting the body, i look to control access to the original body to invite an alternate reality that houses undertones of subtle bodies of spirit and the imaginary.

mediating the work through camera and screen transmutes the physical body into a data body. when the body is reduced, replicated and reconstituted into particles of data, what new properties emerge? how does the (uncategorizable) data body perform ?

this work presents (data) bodies as secretions into timespace.

secretions are ungraspable.

through my work i am trying to understand how bodily movements — these embodied gestural practices mediated by improvisation and choreography — are a practice of refusal, a practice of subverting + resituating power relations within violent social systems. 

i see this work as an extension and intersection of current research: of (1) experimental video installations that refract the body and (2) embodied performances that negotiate audience participation.

i install the videos as multidimensional projections to take up negative space, as membranes that the viewer has to pass through. it is not possible for the viewer to move through the space without be(com)ing part of the space as shadows on the proejctions.

i look to take on a genderless form through the body projected into space - i look to take a form where the gender of the body is perhaps ambiguous. where the form of the body itself is ambiguous and elusive.

within my practice there are questions emerging around (counter)surveillance. in cultures of hypersurveillance where mechanisms of watching, tracking, spotting, and gathering are used to control bodies and movement, what are rituals of counter-surveillance? is the glitched body a counter-surveillant strategy?

surveillance is impressed into us; it dictates our movements. is it possible to unlearn surveillance? is it possible to unperform surveillance? is it possible for performance to be an unsurveilling, or is performance inherently surveillant ?

surveillance is close observation. in each of these works, i am asking the viewer to observe with proximity and attention. but when does observation become surveillance?

in an age of documentation and archival, how do we resist surveillance? how might performance with the camera be a site of practicing countersurveillance strategies?
2024 / vimeo / instagram