Seasons as Choreographers: Where Over the World is Astronaut Scott Kelly? was a one-year–long project that started in March 2015. The project examines choreographic sense and experience of different seasons, which means to process and materialize the embodiment of how four Nordic seasons choreograph a choreographer. As seasons set different material circumstances for my movements, I consider the seasons to be choreographic agents. Changes of light and temperature are the most obvious qualitative variables when it comes to the seasons in Finland. The project coupled together the sense and perception of the season, experience of the season, and accomplishment of movement through which I explored what kind of terms and conditions seasons set for my daily movement, namely slow-paced walking.
In the beginning of the project, I chose a route around the Theatre Academy, to be walked few times a week in a calm manner. At the same time, on 27 March 2015, astronaut Scott Kelly was launched to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s One Year Mission project. I followed Kelly’s journey through his Twitter account while I was doing my project, and in one way the project became a duet in which I and Scott Kelly were performers in a choreography formed by the movement of the planet while orbiting the sun.
The movement parameters of the project were as follows: Scott Kelly was orbiting Earth approximately 12 times ever 24 hours; planet Earth is rotating at approximately 1,670 km/h; and Earth is orbiting the sun at approximately 10,7200 km/h. To set one more layer on this rotation grid, I studied how our galaxy moves. I took the scientific data as a movement that conducts my body and which exceeds my lifetime and spatial understanding. These movements I cannot directly perceive, but through seasons I have access to the movement of the planet’s orbit around the sun.
The project led me to become more aware of ecological macro-movements on Earth: how migratory birds come and go, how whales move based on how the sun warms the waters, and how in order to fly, some butterflies wait for the morning sun to warm the air sufficiently. The project was framed by the awareness of how animals either come out or hide in the rhythms of day and night and how masses of warm air collide with cold ones. Through this perspective, Earth is a place in permanent movement, and my body is part of this kind of movement-world. In this place, movement does not have a linear beginning or end. In choreographic terms, I understand this in a way that the movement I decide to perform is already conditioned by the movements that surround me.
Over one year, various affective, experiential states were formed in the dynamics of reciprocity with the seasonal environment. These diverse states constitute the choreographic relation I embodied during the project and through which I examined the choreographies that direct my body on a planetary scale.