Dagmar I. Glausnitzer    
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Practical structure of workshop  "T.a.T.  I – IV"

a concept

renamism: former Bodyspeak now called T.a.T.
experience Perception Mover and Witness text, sound, voice T.A.T. idea
Awareness collaboration Paradox sites presentation
Impulse object self and being development
Authentic Movement     documentation

T.a.T. means art in total action.

All exercises within the workshops are structured, incorporating a gradual progression which follows an intense and enduring focus in the work with the artist’s body. Participants are being asked to commit themselves to attend each taught workshop. The workshops operate on a basis of at least 12 students. No experience is necessary. It requires an open mind: the curiosity and determination to explore a variety of different perspectives and the personal generosity to move beyond conventional assumptions. Participants are making notations and drawings during the workshop. Bodyspeak III incorporates the idea of place and live situations. Students are presented with external public places (by choice or surprise) where immediate action is explored and physically examined. This brings awareness to the idea of site-specific work and suggests notions of research and planning. The use of sounds, words, text and voice is being investigated in the advanced Bodyspeak IV workshop which questions and clarifies the difference and intention in Theatre and Live Art.

Day four of each workshop is a professional approach towards presentation and evaluation. The aim is to assess the process of documentation, incorporating the discussions of individual working process and materials. Students are given the opportunity of critical feed-back in the analysis of the quality of ideas, application of process and method and the clarity and understanding of detail.

  T.a.T.  Concept
An introduction into
the workshop

The workshop is aimed to be a liberating experience to discover a different context which is an area, so immediate in fact that it may in other conventional approaches be taken for granted. It is essential that the workshop can expand one’s own working practise. The exploration of the body-mind relationship is part of the creative process and regardless of the means of work, the participants encounter a view more sensitive and with growing awareness for details.


The creative process can only take place with the presence of a relationship between the body and the mind. The intense time spent in groups is aimed to be a liberating experience where emphasis is given to the in between spaces of the “Self” and establishing the level of self-confidence. The body is the medium through which the creative flow transpires into the world. The act of drawing seen through the momentary manifestation of traces and marks as imprints becomes layers of associations. This is a mandatory tool to be learnt.

Objects (personal, made, selected, found), drawing tools, special papers and text become the inventory of a growing archive during the process of performance.

Improvisation is used to find out what the body can do not by adopting somebody else’s behaviour patterns and by learning to distort and reinvent what has been observed. Observation and memory becomes a pool of resources which the performing body can access in the context of its own presence in a chosen environment.

Every performance workshop is the initiation of the serious play with the artist’s body, the object and a shared territory. The creative process can not take place without the presence of a mind-body relationship. It is the personal, internal space where the self perceives the difference of the projected self and the immediate action when “self“ seems forgotten.

A magnified glance is taken at the body to examine if the inner eye can open towards a direction of different perspectives which can surpass the limits of the co-ordinates of an assumed view of everyday life.

The body is the medium through which the creative flow transpires into the world. Connecting to the body is to de-socialize for a moment and to discover non-habitual ways of interacting, to take a different position and permit aspects of reconnecting with others.

It is assumed that the body is controlled by the mind alone. That idea is very limiting. Body and consciousness are invisible in practice, and the function of the brain cannot be separated from the function of the body.

  Key terms from the workshop  T.a.T.  
- The ability of listening -    

The key is to find and do exactly what the body wants.

What matters is that the person and the body are in dialogue. It requires constant listening to minute areas of the body and the possibility that movement takes place. The mind stays active and alert but does not interfere. The body takes charge while the mind abdicates. Awareness is on high alert and concentration remains with the self.

The workshop focuses on the experience based on the expansion of personal space. The participant begins to become aware of a body and mind relationship to encounter the deeply rooted, unconscious “nest” of being. The body’s energies are released through stretching and breathing exercises coupled with occurring sounds. The probing sense of self-consciousness is responsible for the dormant, unreflected aspects of “self”. The keyword of that experience is: Listen to the impulse.

It may require patience and stillness to detect those impulses. Once noticed they can be followed towards movement. Simultaneously the mind will react with images or dream-like visions but the body remains independent in its established movements. The two phenomena are connected. The mind is concentrating but is in a relaxed state so that judging barriers can be overcome.

- Mover and witness -    

The mover moves and the witness observes the mover. After a while the mover stops and the two meet in a private corner of the room where experiences are being shared. Drawings were made with marks and words. The different views of what was seen and what was felt become the “text” of a dialog reflecting the presence of self.

- Moving with the object -    

The objects may be familiar but they can be presented through the sense of discovery until the body begins to merge with the object and for a moment they loose their identity and dissolve in space, i.e.

a bag is not a bag, a person is a body and object, and the two are synthesis in space. Reason is the fabric which is woven with fears, self-consciousness, judgement, reflection and the power of memory. Here the objective is to accept reason as presence, learning how to differentiate the motive of action and reaction.

Existing objects are potential art objects beyond their singular entity and are integrated into the action, as icons and relics from a specific background. Performing with the object becomes part of a social act when the self becomes the object itself. The artist begins to be determinate. However his awareness has taught him of a role with a presupposed intent and he can divert this descriptive element immediately.

The mover multiplies the impulses and the mover may be interactive with other movers. Intimate spaces are made accessible in the body’s composition of ambiguous, defined and exaggerated movements. There is intervention with the object; narrative is being created in the process of the conscious mind and only the sense of “self” interrupts the flow with questions like: what am I doing? how do I look? what does it mean? These are questions which are being projected to an audience. The objective is to learn to accept and ignore these questions in order to relocate the self into the object.

Judgment and fear has been overcome and time is irrelevant when the mover becomes the object.

The training is to adjust and shift into different states of mind independent of space and time, to learn to accept, to withdraw and engage with different situations.

It will become apparent that there is a difference of perception of movement and the act of moving in the environment. The pictorial space of the artist’s work is splintered and blurred, it lies exposed as an undifferentiated matrix but the audience is free to create its own interpretation

„ The elusive pictorial space is a conscious signal of an unconscious coherence and integration which redeems any fragmentation. “ (Ehrenzweig, Hidden Order of Art, p.121)




   T.a.T. Performance Art Workshop, 2nd Cyprus International Performance Art Festival 2014

   T.a.T. Performance Art Workshop, Kingston University March 2014

   T.a.T. Performance Art Workshop, Kingston University October 2014

   T.a.T. Performance Art Workshop, Kingston University 2013

   T.a.T. Performance Art Workshop, Atelier, Braunschweig  2012

   T.a.T. Performance Art Workshop, Theatre Academy, Helsinki  2012

   T.a.T. Performance Art Workshop, kunstwirkstoff, Jerxheim-Bahnhof  2011

   T.a.T. Performance Art Workshop, kunstwirkstoff, Jerxheim-Bahnhof  2010

   T.a.T. Performance Art Subject Workshop, Kingston University, London  2010
   T.a.T. Performance Art Workshop, Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen  2009

   T.a.T. Performance Art Subject Workshop, Kingston University, London  2009
   T.a.T. Workshop, kunstwirkstoff, Jerxheim-Bahnhof  June 2008

   Kingston University Workshop T.a.T.  Nov 2007,  group work and students' individual work

   Kingston University Workshop T.a.T.  Feb 2007,  group work and students' individual work

   Kingston University Workshop T.a.T.  Nov 2006,  day four, site-specific, students' individual work

   9th Dresden International Summer Academy  2006,  T.a.T. Performance Art Workshop,
   day four, site-specific participants' individual work

photo credits: Cesare Stercken, Torsten Adrian, Leo Wohl

   Kingston University Workshop T.a.T.  March 2006,  day three, site-specific students' individual work

   Kingston University Workshop T.a.T.  2005,  day two, group work