Body in Motion

2020-2021 Intrepid Credit Union Artist Fellowship

On view at the Holter Museum of Art, October 22 - December 31, 2021


Body in Motion is the story of Mika, a lost girl who crosses paths with a wondrous cast of animal characters on her wandering journey home. The story uses fantastical, comical narrative to explore human and animal physiology, anatomy, and evolution. The dance film, written text, and immersive, fabricated environment all explore a rich universe of animal life, comparing the diverse fauna’s visual and balance systems, limbs, and body plans. I invite the audience into a kinetic, sensory experience as they enter a world of found object sculptures, textile structures, paintings, photographs, and bodies in motion.

This project began as an inquiry into human anatomy and our interrelated auditory, visual, and balance systems. I wanted to understand more about how these systems and structures affect my body as I dance, and how they influence our cultural and physical environments. This research naturally flowed into comparing our anatomy with animals, and my fascination with juxtaposing animal species is where my process truly began to ripen. I began to  wonder: what can I imagine and observe by exploring the similarities between my body and other organisms? What can I learn from iterations of differences? What can I find in common with the sensory life of another organism with little or no cosmetic resemblance to me? In this self-reflection, I began to truly reflect on how our worlds are mediated by our bodies. We see the world through our range of observable light, hear it in the tones of audible sound, live in the scale of our three-dimensional surroundings, and feel Earth’s atmosphere and gravity as neutral and fixed. I celebrate and savor the rich world that my senses create, but am aware that they do not create the singular world. This project imagines other worlds as understood through other senses, other worlds in which humans are a part, not the center or the inevitability.

The characters in this film do not look literally like the animals they represent. This is intentional - they are characters built around how they feel, perceive, and live in the world, not animals that we feel we ‘know by sight.’ The intention of this project is not to provide a comprehensive survey of the animal kingdom, nor a catalog of all comparative evolutionary or anatomical phenomena. Instead, I hope to share an embodied and experiential way of understanding human and animal biology. I present scientific research through whimsy, humor, and imagination and I hope through this strategy, I can share with you feelings of wonder, awe, and curiosity about the world and our place in it.

Meet the Characters

A curious tweenager who falls into the water and meets an array of fantastical creatures on her way home
An etheral jellyfish and her floating comopatriots explore early evoltuionaty balance systems in water
Three creatures who represent major groups of bilateria, or creatures that are symmetrical left to right: molluscs, arthropods and chordates
An energetic sifaka lemur who teaches an aerobics fitness class
Five humanoid models who represent the essence of what it means to be human
A surly posse of punk rock crocodiles who live at the beach

Body in Motion follows the story of Mika, a lost girl, and the fantastical animals she encounters on her journey home. Click here to read the story that accompanies the film and installation.

Watch the Film