We are part of a complex evolving system: reality, where bodies emerge and move in multiple directions, always in relation, creating pathways and networks, making one continuous event. Each individual movement is unique and never repeats – but happens as a reaction to a previous one. Past and future are in every moment of the present. Henri Bergson (French, 1859–1941) calls this process of transformation Reality is Becoming. In Bergsonian terms, no part of reality is fixed or given, but is a “reality-as-becoming”, where multiple processes contribute to the becoming of one event.1 The individual is not an individual by itself, but is a product of the process of individuation: the individual is becoming in a relation to other individuals.
Becoming is a collective process.
I have chosen the ongoing active transformation of the world as my lab. Our experience of the world is fluid, landscapes change and have no boundaries, water moves between materials, rocks create partitions – together, they make space and choreograph us. We are moving-sensing bodies, in an incomplete transitional space.
When the work arises from this mode of being, it leads to a very particular form of making, where what can be applied to the work is applied to the space, and the viewer. As a reaction to an event, the work becomes a process with no fixed beginning or end. This process-based approach to making puts the viewer in the role of an explorer – to see the work, one has to become part of the work. The viewer moves as the work suggests, and allows activating senses like navigation, spatiality, balance, touch, and vision as movement. Movement happens in the work because things are in relation. Movement happens because the work is temporary. Movement happens because vision becomes rhythmic and durational.
In Process and Reality, Alfred North Whitehead (British, 1861–1947) states: “Things are at work in process. Processes come to be an event because of their influence to one another.” In his book Semblance and Event, Brian Massumi, continues on Whitehead’s idea and talks about the experience of the passing. To experience an event is to experience the passing. Practices of art that are relational and event-oriented are referred to as the “occurrent arts”. Massumi places the “occurrent arts” in activist philosophy: “Activist Philosophy, always begins in movement and never stops moving. Activist Philosophy arises from the subject-object relation, where movement is primary to form, subject and object. There is neither object, nor subject: there is only event.”2