About “Body & Machines.” The first Facilitated OL session of the Spring Term 2018

machines_bodies 115
In an age where Big Data and AI are invading our personal space and our bodies, is there any data left that we own? Is our body the last place that is truly ours? Or do we need to surrender that we do not own our body anymore?

I am Emma Zangs, choreographer, performer, movement and communication coach. I am facilitating the OPENLAB on Friday 19 January and proposing to explore these questions and coming up with more questions, thoughts and reflections around the data we collect from our bodies.

Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2012, I started using a range of devices to manage my health. I realised that it changed the perception of myself. Data and numbers are constantly running in the back of my mind even while being asleep. Throughout the years I realised that analysing data could take many forms and that there was not one method and not one to use constantly. I tested many different ways of managing, calculating, planning, forecasting and I discovered a spectrum.

Logic ⟷ Intuition

The logical analysis is factual. I look at the number, calculate what I eat, how long I ran/will run for, walk or when next am I going to eat, weight my food, google the carbohydrate amount; and this gives me a sort of logical answer.

The intuitive analysis is felt. I look at the number, does that feel right? Is it going to change soon, or stay stable for a while? Look at my food and guess how much carbohydrate it contains, feel if my sugar levels are lowering or getting higher; then, I adjust my medication.

The intuitive analysis is as good as the logical analysis. I get similar end results on my health, so I decided to try to play with both.

The intuitive analysis is easier for me because my life has no routines. The logical analysis works extremely well when you know exactly your moves for the next 24 hours – when you know what you will have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a thought-through method and you know quicker the mistakes you’ve made or the decisions to take.

The spectrum of logic and/vs. intuition is what I am bringing to the OPENLAB. What is logic and what is felt? What is objective and what subjective? What do we retain and what do we leave behind?

I have never worked on this topic before, I am bringing my personal experience into the studio for people to play, explore and hopefully discovery other aspects of themselves in their performance practice.

My creative process includes improvisation, meditation, tuning into what the body needs, wants to do, allowing movement, listening to thoughts, letting it happen, giving space to emotions, being in flow, present, taking movements from Youtube videos, from other choreographers and sometimes letting them know. I use text and video if needed. It happens in a studio, in a kitchen, in an office, in a corridor…

I graduated from Trinity Laban MA Choreography in 2011, since then co-created the artistic and entrepreneurial duo Marquez&Zangs, and co-founded Metaspeech a consultancy that brings body language into large and small businesses. I now work as a freelance choreographer, performer, coach and I am part of the Sadler’s Wells Summer University Programme (2014-18)

Bodies & Machines – Friday 19 January 2018, 10 am-1 pm.