Otherskin – Invitation

DISCOllective is inviting you to Otherskin in 2023. I am applying with this project to Ministry of Culture of Slovenia and City of Ljubljana. And I would need to know if you are interested and maybe can also provide unobligatory collaboration letter.

Otherskin is based on DISCOntact where initial proposition is to take the space (not just surface) of touch (of physical body) as a stage. Simply put: touch = stage. And then we explore there what is dance, how to choreograph such dance and how to “watch” such dance and choreography.

In Otherskin we focus on the touch of the skin and the clothes. A dress or clothes is/are second & other* skin 🙂 It’s the outer (first) layer of social self, a skin of social self. In Otherskin I invite you to explore what are clothes anyway and what else can be worn / taken as a clothing, through the experience of touch.

Otherskin is a practice and it is presented to public in form of a performative conference (which includes a performance as one of the events at the conference). We can actually treat performance as a clothing of the practice of Otherskin. Well, it’s just a proposition.

My production and financial experiment is to go with a simple proposition. Each person that is present at the (public) event gets 300€ (performer, light designer, musician, producer…). Since I do not work anymore in terms of rehearsals, preparations, premieres, performances etc it means that I invite you that you come to the conference only.

As I said this is a practice based work, it means we/I practice it, but the practice-meetings are not payed. Only public events are payed, in this case the performative conference. So, if you want to prepare, rehearse, practice, you should be aware that this time and work is not payed (or is comprised in the fee for the conference, or at least the payment does not come from me hehe). Yes, it is ok then that you just come to the conference, we do not need to meet before or discuss anything, if that suits you. Of course I am open to discuss, practice Otherskin all the way.

The conference consists of what is traditionally understood as preparation, performance and cleaning. This means that for example the conference starts with light being setup, and the space. This setting up is part of the conference and it is public, anyone can come, and everyone involved in the conference can be around and working as well. After setting up comes the performance. And after the performance, still as a part of the conference, the cleaning ensues. So, yes, the conference will last the whole day and the performance will be at the traditional hours like 19.00 or 20.00 (depends on agreed length of the performance).

I have already a choreography ready in form of a score. It is initial proposition and is open to negotiation in all its elements.

Public arrives at the agreed hour of the beginning of the performance. We are in the space with the people. When is the time to begin the performance everyone from the performance (performers, light designer, musician, photographer…) undress and stand together in a group for a minute. Then performers go to the other place in the space, light designer, musician… dress up again in the clothes they undressed and go to their positions. This way we clearly mark the beginning of the performance.

Performers lie on the floor and on each other to form a bodyscape, a landscape of bodies. We could treat other body as a clothing, a dress. By touch=stage we move slowly to the second station (the first one was a bodyscape) which is a roll of unprinted newspaper paper (lots of it). By this naked bodies are covered by paper partially and the focus from nakedness and bodyscape goes to forms, figures (in visual and performative way). Engaging with paper we move to third station which is a lots of gause. Here is evoked a state before the clothing becomes a clothing. It is also half transparent and yet is already covering and protecting. Working with the gause we come to the pile of dresses the performers put down at the beginning of the performance. They put on their clothes. Maybe someone also puts other people’s clothes on them. This is forth station. The fifth is the dance. Performers are invited to dance with all the experience they went through, treating dance as a clothing, they wear the dance.

Yes, this can take time 🙂 When I did this alone, it was around 2,5h hours. I imagine that with more people it can be even more time.

The time of setting up is also time for the whole crew to put questions, try things, give further proposals etc, of course in a format of conference ie present your case, question, proposition in any form. That’s why it is ok to come just to the conference. And this is also the way to build a safe and more playful environment for the performance to unravel.

At the practice I usually deal with one aspect of clothes and wearing and not the whole choreography as stated above..

As for nudity, nakedness, it is a proposition, so it is negotiable, like everything in this invitation. You can imagine I am not proposing it to be provocative. It stems in the fact that there are so many more ways to touch and what to do with nakedness beside being ashamed or exhibitionistic about it. I would like to gently and compassionately go through these cliches and explore other takes on being naked, being touch, being.

We are more likely to explore (which is a synonym of playfulness) if we feel safe(r).

*Other and second in Slovene is the same word, ie “drug”

Note 1

I met with the idea of performative conference when invited to take part of the 3rd performative conference by Četveroruka https://cetveroruka.hr/kazaliste-transfer-publika/ Later I worked on the idea of performative conference with Kik Melone http://kikmelone.hr/the-saddest-ever/ and also in Improvocations https://improvokacije.upri.se/navdih-za-format-uprizoritvene-konference/ (I suggest you use deepl.com for good translations)

Note 2

For me propositions include negotiation of all the elements of proposition. When negotiating an element of a proposition, I invite you that you come to the negotiation with a proposition for that very elements you are negotiating for. The negotiation can take form of any media (language, movement, drawing, sound, presence, absence, digital…), and does not need to be communicated only verbally.