MobiuX is an ongoing multimedia performance project that uses improvisation, embodied textile prop, and choreographies to investigate the inner and outer inscriptions of movements.
The work was conceived in 2019 as collaborative performance research at York University into the notions of gesture and embodiment in dance archives. It has since been performed by other dancers, and non-dancers in a variety of events, community workshops, and installation spaces, including Open Work (2019), Variations on Broken Lines (2020), Shared View (2022), LaMashu Artspace (2022), and Nuit Blanche Toronto (2022). The performance is meant to be experienced live as well as through layers of other media, such as screendance, moving images, photographs, and multimedia installation.
Interior and exterior inscriptions of movement are explored through various choreographic methods. The costume-based choreography is created by the physical and psychological effects of the materials as experienced through touch, gravity, space orientation, and tension, and through a continuous dwelling in the space between one's own skin and that of others and of the costume. The material of the costume and the somatic intention that made it happen are the basis for the choreography. The transformative potentials embedded in the costume generate expressions of movements, subjective relations to inner and outer expressions, and openness for new types of communication. I draw on Deleuze’s notion of inside and outside surfaces in the folding of gestures and embodied memories, where the fold reveals that the inside is a fold of the outside, and the boundaries between them are volatile and elusive as each is folded into the other.
'The inside and the outside: the infinite fold separates or moves between matter and soul, the façade and the closed room, the outside and the inside. Because it is a virtuality that never stops dividing itself, the line of inflection is actualized in the soul but realized in matter each one on its own side…an exterior always on the outside, and interior always on the inside. An infinite ‘receptivity,’ an infinite ‘spontaneity.'”
– Gilles Deleuze, The Fold (35)
The title of the work derives from the mathematical object Möbius. The Möbius (strip, band, or loop) is a surface that can be formed by attaching the ends of a strip of paper together with a half-twist. The Möbius strip is a non-orientable surface, meaning that within it, one cannot consistently distinguish clockwise from counterclockwise turns. Thus the Möbius ring makes it possible to think of the continuity of two fields or planes when, at any given moment, moving over one plane (inside) dismisses the possibility of moving over the other plane (outside). When one side is outside, the other is inside, and when the outside becomes inside, the other side becomes absent. Though they are connected, the ratio of inside to outside is a ratio of continuity. This journey of the Möbius strip can be repeated ad infinitum.
Similarily, the feminist philosopher Elizabeth Grosz uses the Möbius as a metaphor to argue that the body is a historical and cultural product that is produced by the interaction of physical and psychical (or exterior and interior) inscriptions. Grosz highlights the ways in which our inner psyche makes sense of the body as an exterior representation of the self and helps to bridge interior and exterior into a cohesive sense of being. Grosz suggests that we think of the body as composing the inside and outside of the Möbius strip. Culture and experience would constitute the outside surface. The inside and outside are continuous, and one can move from one to the other ‘without ever lifting one’s feet off the ground.``
“WE ARE NOW well along the path of the inversion of the Möbius strip, at the point of twisting or self-transformation in which the inside flips over to become the outside, or the outside turns over on itself to become the inside”(Grosz, 1994)
The tension between our inner and outer inscriptions of identity is described by feminist geographer Gillan Rose as a "paradoxical space." The space between inside and outside is a state of being in which the borders of identities are constantly shifting, changing, replacing, and relocating, constructing and reconstructing body, memories, identity, and place (Rose 1993). Maurice Merleau-Ponty asserts that the difference between subject and object, self and other, and the individual and the world is lost in the flesh. When you look at yourself through the eyes of another person, you have to use your senses on the other person's body. This blurs the line between your body and theirs.
The body is lost outside of the world and its goals, fascinated by the unique occupation of floating in Being with another life, of making itself the outside of its inside and the inside of its outside. And henceforth movement, touch, vision, applying themselves to the other and to themselves, return toward their source and, in the patient and silent labor of desire, begin the paradox of expression. (Merleau-Ponty, 1968).
As a space for research and exploration, this project is an open work in which these performative events have been documented through various recording methods and the movement materials incorporated in different media and artwork, including screendance, moving-image, photographs, and installation.
Deleuze, Gilles. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. Trans. Tom Conley. Minneapolis: UP Minnesota, 1993. Print.
Grosz, Elizabeth. Volatile Bodies: toward a Corporeal Feminism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press (1994).
Gillian Rose, Feminism 6 Geography; Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.
Merleau-Ponty, M. (1968). The Visible and the Invisible. Translated by A. Lingis. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press (p143-144).
Rubidge, Sarah, 2000, “Identity and the Open Work”, in Preservation Politics.
This Secretive exuberance
שקישה פלאית זו In her cyclical making
A mysterious exuberance, occupied with speculations תפוספת הניחושים
Confined with possibilities
Her eyes open to wonders
As a dream come to reality
And reality to a dream
כמציאות הווה חלום