RECLAIMING THE BODY AS HOME:
THE BODYBASED ARTS AS CENTER OF THE ‘NEW VILLAGE'

by Nala Walla

 

ZONEZERO—THE BODYREMEDIATION PROCESS

‘Life did not take over the planet by combat, but by networking.’
- Fritjof Capra

Another essential contribution to the cause of New Village building comes from the experience of freedom and creativity that occurs when we practice the live, participatory arts. In order to create a society free from all forms of oppression, we must have a firsthand experience of Freedom and a method for the practice of our own liberation. The live, bodybased arts are crucial to this liberation practice.

The imposition of the grid, and of Domestic, City, State and National boundaries during the industrialization of our modern nation-states was done with complete disregard for the natural boundaries of landscape, watershed, valley, forest, river. In the same way, this grid has also been imposed—in the name of mechanization, industrialization and militarization—upon our bodies and minds in complete disregard for their natural functions.

Just as we practice bioremediation to heal the biosphere, the “industrialization of the body” can be healed through bodyremediation techniques. The live, bodybased arts are an integral part of this bodyremediation process

Think of the well-meaning ecological designer at a green architecture firm, for instance. How can this person begin to think creatively outside the box, when he wakes each day to the digital pulse of an alarm clock, sits for eight hours a day in a cubicle, within a square building, staring into a squarish monitor? If there is music playing in the background of this scene, chances are it is in 4/4 time—yet another box. His body experiences nothing but the box, and in this box, it becomes very difficult for him to experience that flow of creativity and innovation which science itself has recognized to be the basis for evolution and change. We’ve known for decades that it isn’t hip to be square, now we must make sure that we design a way out of the box.

Also consider of the forms of movement which are publicly acceptable in our culture: walking and jogging in straight lines only, sitting at a steering wheel or desk with fingers, hands and eyes moving only, sitting on a couch with hands and eyes moving only. That’s pretty much it! If you doubt the truth of this statement, why not try your own little informal sociological experiment? Next time you are in a public space, try reciting a poem, doing a short dance or even some yoga, in an airport perhaps to loosen up after a long flight, or at a mall after long day on your feet. I predict that people will stare at you, in shock, in disdain, in curiosity. And if you continue long enough, Security will approach to escort you out (yes, I have learned this the hard way).

From its humble origins in the sea billions of years ago, life has diversified and spread across the Earth by following the strategy of sheer abundance. Quite simply, Life “covers its bases” by having billions upon billions of options available to deal with any changes that arise, and this is how it evolves through the ages. If humans are to continue to adapt to inevitable changes, we must follow nature’s lead. We must reverse the trends towards homogenization of movement and expression by dissolving the grid and reclaiming our natural bodies. When we cultivate the ability to move and express ourselves in a diversity of ways, we make ourselves and our species strong.

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