Research Studio: A Reflection on Perspective

“Less prep, more presence.”

After my initial read: this will be my mantra for this past week but it might become a permanent mantra for me.

Today: This is my mantra and I remind myself daily.

“What you pay attention to grows.”

I’m thinking about brown’s quote “We hone our skills of naming and analyzing the crises. I learned in school how to deconstruct–but how do we move beyond our beautiful deconstruction? Who teaches us to reconstruct?” –adrienne maree brown

This semester has acted as a period of reconstruction for my studies and for myself personally. These questions will continue to resonate as I expand what it means to constantly reconsider where I am, allowing for changes instead of making changes, allowing for rejections and not faulting them, allowing for two steps back to become three steps sideways.

The path is ever-winding, it is not concrete, it is me.

“How we live and grow and stay purposeful in the face of constant change actually does determine both the quality of our lives, and the impact that we can have when we move into action together.” –adrienne maree brown

A poetic response to adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategies:



look at the thoughts as they appear

leave the evaluation, listen


exhalation-wind tracing my inner-cheeks

passing my tongue

a part of this world

my air is nature.

my body is beautiful.

a transformation beyond me



healed communities

working on excellence

disrupt the pattern

hopeful as strategy

drop in.

annoyance aside

love listens

listen with love

take the next

elegant step

don’t let whiteness get in the way


stay human,

stay grounded.

embodied proposals




in community

strategic intentions

circulize an agenda

the work shapes me

world changing Individual transformation

everything is practice ground

l o v e.

I landed on a Japanse artist Yuichi Ikehata’s works about long-term memory and the decomposing body, I’ll let the images speak:

Moments in the studio: I got in the studio with Yildiz and Tara. I led them through some improvisational prompts including climbing someone, grips, holds, scaling a wall or object. Here are some highlights:

I’m really enjoying the different perspectives of the grips, seeing up close the varying pressures of the holding and grasping–the fumbling, the feet slipping, the hands slipping.

Feeling walls in my body and thinking of Simone Forti’s quote from an interview with Claudia La Rocco:

“But I still believe that part of what I have to offer is this kinesthetic awareness: how the syntax of movement—the energy, the timing, the shifts—and the syntax of language—the new thought, the staying with a thought—how these two modes of syntax interact with each other. When I’m not too lazy, I’ll record my improvisation, then transcribe it if it was a good one. I’ll edit it, maybe work it a little more. But also sometimes I do something that I call waiting for a thought: I’ll sit there at my desk until a thought comes, and then I’ll write and then I’ll put the pen down and sit there and wait for another thought, write that. And that’s a sitting down kind of writing.”

A semester for long walks… tracing my hands on concrete, brick, grass, chain link fences–how do those textures feel on my skin? How is my body responding? How does skin grip to these textures? slide? scrape? get stuck on?

While traveling to LA in later February I took a hike with my partner and two of our friends. We hiked 6 miles in total, basically 3 miles uphill and 3 miles downhill. The entire time I kept thinking about life and what it means to tirelessly travel with others—grad school. My feet were aching, my legs were exhausted, I was losing my breath–but I was third in line. Two people in front, me, and a friend right behind me. I didn’t stop or ask to stop, I just simply kept going because the group was going, because someone was behind me I felt this desire to keep pushing forward.





There was so much strength and accountability. When someone did want to pause–we all paused.

As the soreness in my legs leaves I think about how the memory of the travel remains…

I kept (and keep) thinking about the pressures and forces that contain us–regulation, confinement, borders, walls, labels. What does perspective do to understanding, to empathy, to opinions, to experience?

I made some videos this semester in response to some of the above:

And finally, I got to share with my colleagues in a group experience experimenting in group conversation and activity about what it means to see from the individual and how do we meet the individual where they are see with them. Here are some photos by the wonderfully talented Dan Channel:


This is my video response to this session:

After the video finished I shared what I am calling a choreo-improv reflection. It was a collection of embodied responses to what we experienced as a cohort since January. I remembered with language combined with movement what it felt to listen, respond, and carry the moments we all shared together. I found this to be extremely cathartic, but honestly felt like one of the most honest movement experiences I’ve ever shared with a group of people. I will post a video as soon as I get a copy.
My final thoughts–I am vivaciously visual. I am insatiably curious in understanding the world around me: people, myself, theory, problems, tensions, hell–the sensation of time. All of it. At times I feel suffocated by this. A lot of times I am judged because of this. But I think I am coming to terms with that just being who I am and as along as I stay just as eager to globally broaden those curiosities, preventing myself from letting them land in privilege or insular, then I shall carry forward and keep investigating, living, loving, and feeling.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s