The importance of the body

in imagination and attunement

The body has the potential to connect more profoundly with the world, more than mind alone. As is it is constantly part of the active context that we *are*/inhabit from moment to moment – a living context that has physical aspects and “wave” aspects, among other – it can inform us in numerous ways, hereby shaping our reality, altering it even.

Our bodies are direct pathways to (re)connecting with the natural environment, enabling us to inscend and experience a non-dual time and space full of movement, richness and potential, a taste of holoflux as it were.

comic strip panel showcasing embodied imagination in a lively drawing (from Wind Sun Clouds - Sky++ Hoorne, 02022)Somatic (body-driven), prereflective imagination – before thoughts come into play – enables the viewer to connect with the feelings and sensations suggested by the artist, who also had to use his/her body to establish the liveliness and suggestiveness of the lines, colors, …

This type of generative imagination springs from “emptiness”, from the tacit infrastructure of human beings, from a combined flux of memories, inner movements (feelings, emotions, somatic  and psychic micro-movements…) and intuitions. These guide the eyes and fingers to make the invisible visible.

Whereas literature can only describe situations literally or metaphorically, leaving more to the imagination yet remain predominantly mental, vivid visual imagery can trigger the body and somatic imagination to mimic or mirror the depicted action more easily. Different qualities come into play and a different way of engaging happens with this type of art.
Animation and movies of course win when it comes to the amount of movement and visible action, but the viewer is forced to follow the predetermined rhythm and the focus of the camera, real or virtual. Very little freedom to explore, discover and unleash one’s own imagination and creativity.

I believe that “still” inscendental art (drawings, paintings, woodcuts, prints, …) incorporating movements, suggestions and intentions of the artist’s body has the potential for the viewer to go deeper into the generative order of the artwork and of their own reality-(re)creation by means of their own body and generative imagination. Upstream, toward the richer source of holoflux actuality out of which our (visual) reality gets filtered and distilled.
There are countless ways to materialize this prereflective layer of existence by subtle interplay of realism and abstraction, my artwork presenting only one of them.
+ This has all been done before by artists across centuries, but a lot of territory is still unexplored…

Consciously working with the body, becoming aware of the tensions and possibly stored trauma and pain, and trying to work with that, providing relaxation and relief will have a tremendous impact on one’s outlook and (artistic) expression.

Yoga, kiko/qi gong, Feldenkrais, tai chi chuan, martial arts, …

02021

PAPER: “An Analysis of Dogen’s ‘Casting Off Body and Mind’ ”, Nagatomo S. (01987)

“Attunement Through The Body”, Nagatomo S. (SUNY Press, 01992)

Creating visually like a dance performance or a jazz improv

  • Different qualities arise in art when one incorporates the bodily experience into the depiction…

  • Sculpting becomes a question of expressing some of the inner and the outer aspects of the subject|object

  • Working from a dynamic mix of generative imagination, observation, bodily intuitions and expressions, photographic documentation even,  allows a greater sense of presence and freedom to appear…