Exercise 57 – Wednesday 29th of November 2017 “Green Peas”

Green Peas

This exercise is done on a flat surface using dried green peas or other small round and hard objects, approximately the same size as a pearl. Every green pea is unique. Its individuality comes out as one tries to roll it on the floor by pushing it forward with the finger. Because its surface is irregular, the pea does not necessarily follow the direction in which the operator attempts to push it. Instead, it tends to find its own trajectory, over which the operator has no control. If the operator continues to push the pea forward there is a moment when it seems to move by itself, and the finger of the operator only follows its wandering. This moment of transformation is short, but it can be produced over and over again.

At the moment when the green pea starts to move by itself, its body and the body of the operator enter into a state of affective and unconscious exchange. The operator-body lends its capacity to move by itself to the pea-body, and the pea-body simplifies the operator-body by engaging it in reciprocal play.

This exercise has been developed by the Other Spaces group. Initially, it was used as a preparatory exercise in the public workshops the goes organised with the title “Secret Re-Education Camp (2009-2013). It was used as a pedagogical device for “simplifying”, i.e. both singularising and equalising the participants´bodies.

Toisissa Tiloissa. From the Performance Artists Workbook, Pilvi Porkola (ed.)