"The edges of my fingers know air is memory."
In Stardust, I am reflecting on the practice of continuous skipping. Through text, video and music, I am elaborating on the experience of being in constant movement.
Elisa Zuppini, Laura van Bergem, Mina Tomic, Federica Dalla Pozza & Andreas Hannes
Scenography & Video
Stardust was presented as part of the Container program of Over Het IJ Festival 2019.
It is a dance. It’s always been a dance.
The way I look at the world, the world always dances. All I need to do is frame what is there, or what is not there. It used to be there or it might be there or it might be here.
It “might” only because it always lingers. The potential is always there.
Never and ever fulfilled.
I cross the city as I have done so many times before. Sometimes, I remember places because of a texture in the asphalt that will indicate the correct street to turn to. Other times, I just follow the map in my head, with routes that have been updated over time. And even if the map is not the territory, the places keep signaling information that I forget.
Then again, after years, I remembered that evening when the trees by the water were glowing happy, that the heat of the sun has touched them during the day.
I cross the city, with its bridges and bike roads and bus lanes and walkers and bikers and ducks and rocks and histories and movements that have been going on for ages, with no destination. A lot of reasons, a lot of construct, yet all ephemeral.
My thoughts jump from place to place, as the distance does not really matter. And then I wonder the distance. The distance between the canals, the conversations in my head, the song I heard as I was crossing the mall and another song that it reminded me of.
A plethora of difference. Hordes and hordes of distances and differences, of pleasures and beliefs.
My feet start feeling the work and I can’t help focusing on the synergy, the working together of energies and rhythms. The synergy of motions colliding and mixing and dancing. It’s a secret conversation that everyone hears and a few talk about. The synergy between my beating heart and the way that the pigeon keeps moving its head while roaming the alley.
Then I think of the stars being in constant movement and it’s hard to admit that feeling the synergy requires work.
We are not just tourists of joy.
Yet we are collectors of moments of flow. This feeling when our bodies and state seem to have no trouble with the gravity of the situation. The effort is no longer felt. For a moment…
In her book “Wondering the world directly or How movement outruns the subject”, Erin Manning wrote: “For movement has not stopped. What has stopped and taken form is but a subtraction from the total field of movement – a step, a shape, a figure always already on its way to something else.”
And here I am again with my sweat, the hot and cold merge inside me to remind me that there are other orders of sensation. And what is this capacity we have? To open up space and time in order to find space and time? Is hope embedded in our system? With all the death around, I doubt so. It still takes work. But life and death are much closer than I think. As if their friction is what brings change, keeps the world moving.
So I feel the moving again. The air caressing my skin, I see the city in lines, melting as the landscapes melt outside the window of a moving vehicle.
My willingness, my perseverance, my rigorous belief to keep on, is not an escape. It is a camouflaged rage that I call hope.
Moving forward leaves a behind. But the past has never left me. Because it’s never behind or front. Time floats. It ripples. It ripples my organization of time. It fluctuates in ways that I don’t understand, like some nights that I cry because I’m sure that something happened in the future.
Movement grasps me, I don’t grasp it.
The brief second of looking at the grimace of an old man, eating ice-cream, is a story by itself.
It seems that fantasy moves faster than me.
And in the night, I take flight. And the city becomes a valley of light, full of fabulous ruins and memory lanes. I weave paths of histories. Ghosts and shells around, crossing a million other gazes, waves of probabilities. My sweat becomes a coat that slowly leaves my body, to reveal a new skin. It spreads into the air, sharing my memories with creatures I can only imagine.
Imagine tilted flags and tilted columns. Curving the lines, feeling the pull of gravity. Almost about to fall.
I have always been a spaceship, I realise. I constantly travel in space and time.
This contract could not be more logical.
Suddenly it hits me. Does love become future?
I am as close to flying as I ever could be, with this gravity. I can’t help but notice the minor gestures. The little motions across my body.
One direction opens up a million others.
My body trembles. My body is a million other bodies.
Movement trembles with potential.
And I start again to think that I’m on a road trip, through the streets, as if I’m marching, ice-skating, gliding down and up, visiting places as the waves meet the shore, like the stars fall. Through hills and monuments and mountains and doors. Loosing track which body I hold.
SONG: Recovery - Rival Consoles
Memories that never happened.
I pass through memories that never happened. And can’t wait for them to appear again, till I forget about my excitement and then they come. Like strangers that become unexpected friends that will leave dinner sooner than you expected.
The edges of my fingers know air is memory.
To be within movement, within the force has always made me feel I disappear. With all the hardness of the world, disappearing feels like the biggest aggression possible, the softest rupture, an implosion that could maybe give space to other voices and bodies to be heard.
I wonder if my need to disappear is an act of empathy. A connective line that makes me spread all over the place, to become space, to be other bodies in other times.
And then I remembered that we are actually made of stardust.
It’s a dance. It’s always been a dance.
I guess that Erin Manning would come again and say: “Movement is always in the infinity of a crossroads between a where and a how, and never a who. Not me, not here, not there, where, in the middling of experience in-forming.”
And like that, I continue skipping. Skip skip skip and then skip again. Huppelen as the Dutch say.
I used to skip so much when I was younger. I don’t remember when. I just remember that I did it so much. And now it’s here again. I have been skipping so much, I don’t remember if it was a dream or if I was dreaming while skipping.
I lose the distances sometimes.
My feet complain of fighting the gravity. I skip skip. I skip skip. Just to say goodbye to the height each leap takes me to.
I can walk now.
Anyhow, the dance transforms all the time.
And the city, can never look the same…