Gamble on a walnut! Take a punt on a chestnut! Risk it all on an acorn! A pop-up casino with a difference.
Stine Marie Jacobsen
The world around us is in flux. With every day it feels like we move further away from fixed structures and predictable phenomena, upsetting the balance of how we prefer to interact with the world. This growing uncertainty plays havoc with our normal input-process-output model for interacting with the world, where we construct meaning from external stimuli and use them to plan our behaviours and responses.
This project takes the experience of risk as its starting point and invites participants to describe their perceptual imaginaries and visceral reactions to an uncertain and ambiguous threat. By capturing these “naive” descriptions, we aim to construct a prototype visceral language of the perceptual experience of risk. Moving beyond the traditional categorical measures of ambiguous (and unpleasant) stimuli used by the medical community, such as the visual analogue scale, Body Weather makes use of the full palette of perception to create a more embodied representation of responses to risk.
Drawing on the Japanese performance practices of Butoh and Body Weather, the relationships between bodies and their environment, speculative futures and neuroscience, Stine Marie Jacobsen is working with researcher Aleks Berditchevskaia to playfully recast a labatorial space in response to an imagined pandemic. Privileging situated, embodied understanding, the work questions the 'objectivity' of assessing risk, and the interpretation of science and research activities in relation to everyday experience. The future method of speculative design is used to create a plausible scenario for participants to explore these questions.
For the first part of this project, a group of workshop participants (aged between 30 and 60) were transported into the speculative fiction using a world-building object: in this case a news article about an imagined future pandemic. After establishing this foundation for the speculative world, Jacobsen delivered a narrative that cast participants in the role of research subjects presented with three isolated virus mutations. They were told these could be transmitted through air, touch, and food; and were then asked to describe their visceral reactions and sensory experience of the mutations in colour and shape. Mindful of established research that points to the priming of perceptual associations through the Bouba/Kiki effect, the participants were asked to describe their raw sensory reactions in response to the narrative without any visual or object cues.
Building on the discussions and sensory portraits created by the participants in the workshop, Jacobsen and Berditchevskaia will now produce an animated film, to be premiered in 2021. The animation film is made in collaboration with the group of volunteers (names will be announced upon premiere), animator Marion Habringer, child actress Zoë Willens and sound engineer Lupo Lubich.
Stine Marie Jacobsen is a conceptual artist working to decode violence and law through participatory means. She creates open-structured sociocultural projects with clearly defined themes, conducting performative experiments and creating platforms for critical thinking. These have included language, gender, violence, death, taboo and anonymity. She lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin. She has had solo shows at Nikolaj Art Center, Copenhagen; Flat Time House, London; Galerie Wedding, Berlin; Overgaden Insittute of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; and Galway Arts Centre. She is the recipient of an Innovative Educational Grant from Node Curatorial Studies, Berlin; a Peace Fellowship from the Rotary Foundation; and is a winner of the Berlin Art Prize (2016).