One significant insight that this project developed for my understanding of site-specific practice was to approach the place-site with the idea of going through it instead of working only on or in it. Of course these modes operate simultaneously in the project, but my emphasis and interest was directed towards the notion of ‘through’. In A Guest, ‘going through’ implies that there is no external environment onto which human a body-organism, with its closed interiority, steps into, but instead they both are formed in constant reciprocal dialogue; surrounding external material and intimate sense of place and experience of place operate simultaneously.
In my research, I consider going-through as a quality of the reading and place-taking described elsewhere in this commentary. From the reading theories, the relevant reference is what Wolfgang Iser calls ‘wandering viewpoint’ (Iser 1980, pp. 108-118). According to Iser, when reading, the whole text cannot be perceived at any one time. He writes: ‘Every moment of reading is a dialectic of protention and retention, conveying a future horizon to be occupied, along with the past (and continually fading) horizon already filled; the wandering viewpoint carves its passage through both at the same time and leaves them to merge together it its wake’ (ibid., p. 112). In this sense, the walks have been an interplay between the already walked and a future horizon unfolded by a particular place-invitation. The action on site aims to capture the moment in which merging of the wandering viewpoint operates and where it is a way of going through the particular topographic information by specific embodiments, which are documented in the images. In the project, the flow of the habitual Sunday walk has been interrupted by the invitation of a particular place. The change of the perspective, which is characteristic for the wandering viewpoint, is caused by unexpected graphic information. A Guest aims to catch and visualize this particular moment when the perspective changes, and at the same time the project experiments with the embodiment of the relational elements that have caused the change; the visual documentation aims to bring these elements together. The projects spof and Meteor have dealt with the similar problematic during the research process. ‘Every articulate reading moment entails a switch of perspective, and this constitutes an inseparable combination of differentiated perspectives, foreshortened memories, present modifications, and future expectations’ (ibid., p. 116). The wandering viewpoint operates as a synthetizing mode of various intimate temporalities, and in A Guest, a particular place is unfolding as an expanding matrix of various possible connections between the sense of place, the experience of place, and sense and experience of movement. A wandering viewpoint operates between these different sensitive modes in my choreoreading practice. It is important to note here that these projects do not aim to catch something that we could call ‘a presence’, understood as one unified moment, but to bring forth the multi-presence of various spatiotemporal forces and elements in which the body takes place and visualize the practice of choreography as a reading practice from this perspective. This process, including understanding the wandering viewpoint as a change in perspective between the sense of place, the experience of place, and the sense and experience of movement, is one constituent of choreography as a reading practice.
In the project, I have literally been wandering around, and the documented images are moments that embody certain places that have caught my attention. The point with this project is to acknowledge that the choreoreading practice is not superimposed on- or in-site but is reciprocally formed with the surroundings in which the human body goes through the material and social circumstance. The approach belongs to the genealogy of site-specific practices in which the site is understood as a phenomenological or experiential entity, but the contextualization of the installation can bring in the socio-economic and discursive approaches as well (Kwon 2002, pp. 11-33). However, I do not consider this project site-specific, but from the many proposed terms, site-conditioned practice comes close to the process of the whole choreo-photographic installation.
At the time of making A Guest, I was studying the problematic of place, and this project is part of building more understanding about the notion of place and space. Through this project, the understanding of places being fragmented instead of homogenous entities was fortified. In my understanding and practice, a place refers to an open relational set of movements, and maybe the word ‘site’ thus functions better when talking about A Guest. On a macro-level, this project examines the question of how I take place on Earth and in the movements that choreograph it. In terms of the shift in my practice, the relevant question is, How does one choreograph the un-choreographable, i.e., the contingencies of (spatiotemporal) planetary togetherness: tectonic, organic, and atmospheric? The complexity of the sense of movement, experience of movement, and the perception of movement, as well as the processing of this complexity is the source of my choreoreading practice, and A Guest significantly contributed to my development of this understanding during the research process.