Relearning Aquatic Evolution > Training

In June of 2022, de Onkruidenier arranged a session of nine performative trainings on the coast of the island Terschelling, during the OEROL festival. Together with our audience, we explored elasticity as an embodied concept, we activated our vocal chords and taste buds while moving through the porous zone between land and sea. This way, we performed the release and tension of this coastal ‘border.’ 

As a new chapter for SWEET – SWEAT, we developed a participatory training to be performed with 25 participants. During low tide, we would perform four exercises together. First we focused on the question: Where have we landed? With our ears, we tapped into the different layers of the landscape. What do we hear below, or above us?

After that we started making sounds together by activating and extending our vocal chords using an elastic as a tool. From high IIIIII’s reaching to the sky, to wide OOOO’s opening our hands at the ocean and low AAAAA’s moving downwards connecting to the wad. The group transformed into one polyphonic organism, while the elastics vibrated in the gusts of wind. The third exercise started by connecting the lung capacity of the group. We simultaneously breathed and walked together, casting shadows of jellyfish or octopus-like creatures onto the wet sand with our elastic ‘tentacles.’ Finally, arriving back on dryer land, we tasted a miniature perspective on the  landscape together. What do you taste when you internalize your environment with locally foraged ingredients?

Instead of transferring knowledge, the main aim of the training was to collectively embody the intertidal zone. With the training we wanted to explore how to move together with the tides and all organisms of the local ecosystem by creating a new language with all our senses. We looked for and found the elasticity of cultural and linguistic separations between land and sea, audience and performer, or body and landscape. Instead of explaining our idea of elasticity, we took nine sessions to train our audience in both their senses and their own cultural memory and language to explore this idea. Tangled together in elastics, we speculated on what a future of living with our seas might look, sound, or even taste like. What do you sense when you embody a landscape?

Read more about Relearning Aquatic Evolution in this article, published in the Circostrada reader