Blow bubbles from Somatic Experience Workshops (2013)
Blowing bubbles is a way to start thinking about your body’s relationship with the world. You are blowing your breath into the bubbles and then your breath is contained, floating into the air.
Make bubbles using the bubble wand provided. Try blowing them and also creating them by moving the wand through the air. Do this inside and outside, with people and alone, at night and during the day. Notice if there is any difference in these experiences. Think about why they may be different. What is influencing your experience?
This is my friend Makeda being cheered by the unexpected introduction of bubbles to our morning. I haven’t given her much context, I just ask if I can we can try them and take photos. I am happiest observing – it would have been the same if we were children. They are much bigger than the ones I experienced as a child and I’m glad we are outside. They have room to be carried by the breeze. They sustain their imperfect shapes for longer than I’d expect.
The best part of this activity for me happened immediately after the workshop. I went to my partner’s house and was explaining to him our task for the week, I had the bubble wand out and as I was repeating your comments about how bubbles are usually more accepted indoors because everyone likes them I started making bubbles. This was met with an anxious ‘What are you doing! Stop that! If any bubbles get on my laptop…!’ Perhaps not everyone is so keen on them. Sadly I couldn’t get any photos of this.
Later in the week, I played around with bubbles in my own home. I found I preferred blowing bubbles over creating them through waving the wand. It was a pleasant way to spend some time, but the bubble experience was somehow lacking without a second person. It was also sad to watch them float down to the carpet just to pop.
I went outside and found it much more enjoyable to blow the bubbles into the sky. They seemed to last longer too. It was night time so the bubbles reflected the lights coming from the Inner City Bypass.
I was sitting at a familiar bus stop waiting for the bus. I knew it was going to be a while because it always was. I pulled out the bubble wand and started blowing bubbles, then whistling, then whistling and blowing bubbles at the same time. It didn’t feel like the right kind of setting for bubbles. It was night time on a m
ain road during peak hour. The traffic was unfriendly. The joggers going by enjoyed my bubbles and seemed amused by my whistling, which I maintained even when they drew close. I noticed that a couple of the bubbles had drifted onto the road. Then a car went past and they whipped up into the air. My whistle breath was floating up there with the cars below and the power lines above. I was inhabiting this inhospitable place. I was putting my body into it.
Somatic Experience Workshops (2013) promoted discussion about bodies by experimenting with each participant’s attentiveness to their individual bodily experience and the experiences of others. The workshops ran for a six week period with weekly group meetings. Participants received a take home task to complete in their own time. Each participant was given the opportunity to share and reflect on their experience of the task during the meetings. Tasks included using a netipot, focused attentiveness, bodily enjoyment and observing bodily experiences of others. Participants were asked to document or respond to their experience in the form of a still image and/or written response. These responses can be read here.
The workshops were held during Leena’s residency at LEVEL ARI’s Residency Program, at Metro Arts from July-September 2013. The outcomes of the workshops were exhibited at the end of the residency at the exhibition More Human in October 2013.
Thank you to all of the participants who completed the workshops, LEVEL ARI and Metro Arts.