Keynote talk by Ben Spatz
International Choreographers Week: “I Am My Body”
Dans Brabant, Tilburg, Netherlands
This talk responds to the theme of the week by asking to what extent we are our audiovisual bodies, the manifestations of our being and performances that circulate through audiovisual channels, especially online. Obviously we are not our audiovisual bodies in a literal sense: The AV body is a sign that moves independently and only affects our lived bodies indirectly. Yet our audiovisual bodies are linked to our real ones in deep, intimate ways that are very different to the circulation of words on which so much of public and academic discourse has been built. One’s audiovisual appearance represents oneself in ways that one’s words do not, raising questions about the inseparability of technique and identity, knowledge and appearance, self and practice. Through a juxtaposition of online social and popular media, emerging scholarly platforms, and my own attempts to redefine the performance laboratory using audiovisual tools, I will invite us to rethink and reconsider the ethical and political dimensions of embodiment in the audiovisual age.
Thanks to Nazlıhan Eda Erçin, Caroline Gatt, Ilona Krawczyk, Agnieszka Mendel, and Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz for essential work in and beyond the Judaica project.