Pretend that you select a book off the shelf. It’s not too heavy, nor too light. Open it up. It has a distinct smell, inhale it. Start reading it. Slightly press the top corner of the page. Feel the texture of the paper.
Flip it. Flip. Flip. Flip.
Going through the structures it offers you are filling in the gaps with your imagination.
In return for setting off this process, the book encourages you to be challenged, affirmed, relieved, changed.
You two are now performing for each other. You are constructing your meeting place.
This book you are reading right now has no weight and no smell but, like the other books, it is a space-time sequence. This book talks about some spaces, and it talks about some moments, and it talks about that meeting place of books and readers; that in-between world where books and readers converge.
From now on, I will borrow the name literary theorist Wolfgang Iser has given this meeting place and call it the 'virtual dimension'.
You might now be wondering who this ‘I’ is, so allow me to introduce myself and explain why I am here.
I am Delicia, a 28-year-old dance artist and I am writing this book to contain elements and reflections on some spaces and moments I created the past few months under the project name IMPRINTS.
This project was the result of my eagerness to explore the virtual dimension and to work with books in different ways than the ones I have experienced before. You might have already noticed that I am a book enthusiast. Books have been one of my dearest friends since childhood and one of my closest collaborators since the beginning of my choreographic practice. They have been in the background or forefront of most of my works. I don’t know if I would call myself a bookworm, but I am a passionate reader and I very often obsess over how inspiring and life changing a book can be. I rarely let one go. I carry their load from place to place; I am a hoarder that way.
In my practice, I have previously used them as sources of inspiration for exploring themes and narratives, as sources for generating movement, as material to be played with, interpreted, adapted, deconstructed, and re-imagined through the body. This time, I am placing my focus on the reader as much as the book, or better, on what lies in between them, on that virtual space that holds one of the tightest relationships I can imagine (can they really exist without each other?)
The spacetime sequence you are reading right now would not have come to exist if it wasn’t for the following questions:
How can the experience of virtual dimensions inform creative practice?
What is a book?
What do books do?
Is a body also a book?
How does the experience of virtual dimensions gets imprinted on the reader?
How could these imprints transform into creative/choreographic work?
What if everything I create for this project invites the audience to engage with some form of reading?
What if I view everything I create for this project as a book of its own and the audience as its readers?
What if we end up creating a book?
Can you read 'bodies' ?