I am grateful for the feedback I have received by my colleagues at AREAL Berlin and at the Performing Arts Research Centre (Uniarts Helsinki) in the course of creating this exposition. Many thanks for contributing in various ways, and at different stages, go to Undine Eberlein, Erin Manning, Dagmar Frohning, Otso Huopaniemi, Riikka T. Innanen, Tashi Iwaoka, Liisa Jaakonaho, Simo Kellokompu, Paula Kramer, Leena Rouhiainen, Vincent Roumagnac, Josh Rutter, and especially to Outi Condit who not only raised the initial question captured in the title, but also pursued its taking form through her constructive criticism and persistent dedication.









The model of inscription


The dominant idea of the body as


Diffusion of confusion


A passive surface of inscription


Who is doing the writing?


What is the power of this?




Timelines of thoughts


How would we think together?


How is that thought coming into being?


How do we coalesce?






Coming together not quite in the right order


What kind of thinking is enacted here?




What kind of ideology?



Thinking together



Not in your own voice, but in the voice with someone else


Writing with hands




With similar points of contact




Is it a co-articulation across gender?


Who is included?


Who is excluded?




Together and apart 


And at the same time full-body writing


Breathing through the winds of ghostly voices


Sensations pouring like ink




Does it speak with authority?


Is it open to critique and to


Finding together


Its deconstruction?


Breathing into and through the bones


What is it bracketing?


Is it joyful?


No hesitation




What kind of emotional tone does it have?


It seems to be so serious




Does it allow for play?




Through textures




Weaving in through the touch, the weight


Hosts and ghosts


Giving the weight


The direction


Only what it needs, and exactly only that


Would it be in any another situation?


If sensations can pass through so can thoughts


How different is it really?


Always to the point, finishing the line


Does my touch change it?


Does it affect your thinking?








To call that ‘writing’?




I can’t quite get through you


Words not always come together


How it could be


 The quality of its touch



Sometimes they seem to surface, but then


Searching for yet another mode of entering


It is a bit dense, there - maybe you can loosen up a little










They retreat again


Shared authorship




Creating the space for appearance


They reach towards


But then decide




Creating a different ecology of mind


To depart, to take another route


Becoming susceptible for his humour, his wit, his




A technique


Enjoy that place!


Knowing how to do


To decompose again


Without pushing




Give it the final touch




Without forcing


Be composed




Is that mind extended


But with some


In the sense of being expanded?




Spatially and temporally and whatever?


Writing from the place of touch


Where sensing and thinking are touching


Or is that mind a condensation, a crystallization of coagulated minds?






Streams of consciousness




With care for the other


Begins with a care for the self


Selfless selves











To call that 'writing'?

Diffracting the notion of writing with the research score


Diffraction troubles dichotomies, including some of the most sedimented and stabilized/stabili­zing binaries, such as organic/inorganic and animate/inani­mate. Indeed, the quantum understanding of diffraction troubles the very notion of dicho-tomy  – cutting into two – as a singular act of absolute differentiation, fracturing this from that, now from then.

Karen Barad, “Diffracting Diffraction: Cutting Together-Apart”, Parallax 20 (3) 2014, p. 168 (original emphasis).


Diffraction denotes the phenomenon of interference generated by the encounter of waves, be it light, sound or water and, within quantum physics, of matter itself. Such a superposition of waves produces a diffraction or interference pattern that records, i.e. incorporates the trajectory of waves. Donna Haraway draws on the optical phenomenon of diffraction as a metaphor and a method for knowledge production, because diffractions crucially differ from reflections. Whereas reflection is bound to ‘repeating the Sacred Image of the Same’, ‘diffraction patterns record the history of interaction, interference, reinforcement, difference’, as she points out.

Melanie Sehgal, “Diffractive Propositions: Reading Alfred North Whitehead with Donna Harraway and Karen Barad”, Parallax 20 (3) 2014, p. 188.



My doctoral research started out as an investigation into one of the core practices of Body Weather performance training—the so-called Manipulations.* Conducted in pairs with alternating roles of ‘giver’ and ‘receiver’, the Manipulations is a hands-on practice that draws on a range of diverse Eastern and Western somatic practices such as yoga, shiatsu, acupuncture, and manual therapy. As a pre-performative training practice, the aim of the Manipulations is to make the performer receptive and available to be moved by (human and non-human) agencies within and without the body.


Initially, one objective of my research was to articulate the impact of the Manipulations on the practitioner, and the bodily knowledge created through that practice.** The so-called research score became my main practical tool to accomplish that. The research score is a translation of the beginning sequence of the Manipulations from a duo into a solo practice: alone, the receiver recreates—with as much detail as possible—the sensation of being given. In addition and simultaneously to the task of physical recreation, the performer-researcher attends to the process of thinking and instantly articulates thoughts that arise in relation to a word or a concept chosen beforehand. The verbal articulation happens within the practice of the research score. Hence, the voice acts as a writing tool that is recorded on the spot, and transcribed afterwards.***



* For a video registration of Manipulations No. 1 & 2 see

** See Joa Hug (2016), “Writing with practice: Body Weather performance training becomes a medium of artistic research”, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training 7 (2), 168-189 as well as Joa Hug (2016), “Modes of Knowing in Body Weather Performance Training”. In: Enderlein, Undine (ed.), Zwischenleiblichkeit und bewegtes Verstehen: Intercorporeity, Movement and Tacit Knowledge (Bielefeld: Transcript), pp. 367–380.

*** See Joa Hug (forthcoming), “No solutions: The research score as a medium of artistic research”. The present piece was created on the basis of a series of six research scores that were recorded, transcribed, edited, and (re-)composed into one single track.