I practise moving through the hallway on my face from the front to the back door. Two cameras held either side slide along the ground as props assisting my progress, but they also act, recording the scene of the task as located between body and floor, and recording my exertion, huffing and puffing, my reiterated effort. They incorporate context in my questioning, and ask how I am positioned in relation to this context.
Floorpress was developed during my recent studies at AUT. My PhD thesis titled Practices of Use proposes that in art and performance we find a space that enables practicing thinking oneself differently to how we may be required to understand ourselves, thus revealing processes of becoming a subject, and countering dominant histories and mappings of ‘a subject’. The research draws upon these propositions to reflect and respond to personal histories of the disciplined female body in the home.
Michel Foucault’s discipline and Judith Butler’s performative show us that our body acts—while seemingly located in the individual body—are relational social practices. Therefore Floorpress requires ongoing practise across various sites to ask questions about how body/subject meaning is ‘made’ and where agency can occur. In this way, as Shannon Jackson proposes, wider social infrastructures are able to be worked into. Here my task tests out what is allowable. I recognise Butler’s ethical relationality in these requests - all action requires support.
I learn that the audiences’ embodied positionings - as witness or participant - are also relationally becoming. It is here in our mutual encounters of ‘not’ locating one another—as pointed out in Alicia Frankovich’s ‘The Opportune Spectator’(2012) —that all our boundaries critically shift and blur.
I find this a hopeful premise.