Proposal: Israel Works and Birthright 2012/3

Proposal: Israel Works and Birthright 2012/3

In the context of my upcoming Birthright trip, I am interested in facilitating an intentionally creative experience to document, process, and respond to my time spent in Israel. My goal in this project is to explore the idea of “dance” as movement, moving, and being moved. I believe one can move with the body, mind, words, heart, history, soul, and spirit. I also wish to explore the idea of a “company” as a community of collaborators engaging in a given mental and physical space for a given amount of time- in this context, the framework of The Defiance Project company would relate to the Birthright experience. I also hope to process, reflect on, and encounter the Birthright experience in an intentionally creative and collaborative way. I hope to use my time in Israel through Birthright as a research experience about the specific sites we will be visiting in terms of the aesthetic and energetic manifestations of their histories, how these sites relate to the human bodies that occupy them, and how to use the human body to evoke those aesthetic and energetic manifestations beyond the scope of the physical spaces themselves.

The value in this project will be in receiving the experiences we have in Israel in a physical way and also contributing to our presence in various spaces in Israel with the intentional physical presence of our bodies. I believe a sense of presence is achieved when mind and body are one- through sensation and perception. By not only receiving sensations in a passive way but also seeking sensation from our surroundings in an active way, we can achieve a true state of presence that can serve the artistic process. I also believe that the body can be a source of memory and a site on which mental and emotional experiences imprint themselves through sensation. By capturing these physical responses to and engagements with our surroundings in terms of specific sites in Israel and the other people who occupy them, we can maintain an artistic integrity upon reflecting on and documenting our Birthright experiences beyond the scope of the trip. We can also use the body as a tool for reproduction of these emotional impacts of these experiences because of the relationship between the mind and the body promoted by presence.

I plan on facilitating the project Israel Works by:

  • Putting a call out for collaborators within the Birthright group
  • Exploring the idea of “asset mapping” as a way to communicate our skills, talents, and interests to best serve this artistic work
  • Exploring the idea of “embodied history” as a way to process our experiences and thus further contribute to that history as it exists in real time as OURstory
  • Addressing the various opportunities and setbacks offered by each of the historical and religious sites we will be visiting
  • Addressing the various aesthetic and artistic possibilities offered by the various sites we will be visiting
  • Anticipating various physical responses to the emotional, political, historical, and cognitive experiences we may have
  • Documenting our artistic “research” and reflection processes through performance, writing/journal entries, photographs, film footage, historical contextualization, etc
  • Communicating the artistic process in which I hope to engage through the creation and performance of a collaborative work both during the time of the Birthright trip and beyond
  • Exploring the idea of process as product in terms of the artistic process serving and acting as a product created in real time, improvised, raw, fleeting, etc.