Environmental Walking to Sensuous Performance

Questioning where we walk and whose footsteps we follow...

This presentation will report on the events that surrounded and supported Psi Fluid States #21 Greenland as an intercultural event.  It explores how contemporary international performance potentially connects up diverse landscapes and ideas through the embodied practices of artists and scholars in a localised site.

Sisters Hope, with their ‘manifest’ for the ‘sensuous society’ against neoliberal economic rationalism, became a catalyst for those attending, and were relevant to my own interest in enfolding and unfolding sensory emotional experience in performance. I was also pondering human–animal relations in a continent where the ice, sea, and rock landscapes mean there is no farming as such.

As planned, the event in the Nuuk Art Museum Gallery worked in telematic space at set times, connected with the Faroe Islands and Copenhagen, but this could only be achieved by the artist scholars working live within far more extensive and, at times, arduous processes. In what seemed like an extension of journeying to Greenland, preparations for the presentations included walking the snow covered hills and environs around Nuuk and its gallery. Was there an idealisation of remote Greenland from afar, given Howard Brenton’s future named utopia? The tension between hopefulness and anxieties about climate extremes manifest in environmental realities. As Freya Mathews explains about Australia, thinking about the natural world invariably implicates Indigenous culture. Accordingly, Fluid States participants too must question where they walk and whose footsteps they follow.