A performance that made me believe in performance!

– reflections on my visit to Riken Brain Science Research Institute.

I expected that the experience of having my senses hijacked and experiencing virtual reality would create a sense of unease and fear in me. But the experience I had at Riken Brain Science Institute made me feel quite the opposite. I felt exited and inspired, a sensation that reminded me about one of my first theatre experiences as a child. I was fascinated and completely into a fictional world, but at the same reminded of how this world was created. In the play between my until now known world and the world that was opened by the hijacking of my senses, possibilities of multiple realities arose.  And with that the recognition of how reality is a belief and a perspective.

For someone who has not experienced the about 10 min. performance of Ph. D Naotaka Fujii and his staff at the Riken Brain Science Institute it can be hard to understand what the experience could be like. I will not reveal all the secrets, in case you might be lucky to try this yourself. But, basically they use a technique where you see the world through video glasses and earphones. What is shown and heard is a mix between the real surroundings and pre-recorded material. The illusion dimension is highlighted by that the “actors” were wearing the same cloths/costumes in both realities. The scenario that unfolded was a scenario where they revealed the secrets of the technology. At the same time, I was unable to tell if this was a recorded reality or happening in real time. A “lie” or “truth” . This play between recorded reality and real time was experienced through the same mediums; the glasses and the earphones. This made touch, smell and taste the only senses I could use to separate the “real” realities from each other.

This inability to “understand” dragged me into, or you may even say left me in the hands of, the performance of Ph. D. Fujii and his staff. The here and now performance of the team made me want to go into a possible other reality. It was a strong reminder on how performance it self could be used as a tool to drag you into other worlds and possibilities.



We have been digging into the world of  Arakawa and Gins. This is an glossary (in progress) of some of the basic vocabulary of them:

Landing sites –

Landing sites are used (by Gins and Arakawa) to describe the way attention operates and to simultaneously map the way these attentions come to know themselves and situate the body, albeit tentatively, within an environment. It is not “it” and it is not “you” but the energy or relationship between “you” and “it”. It is was catches your attention, what makes you aware an able to act, be, feel…

Were nothing being apportioned out, no world could form. What is being apportioned out, no one is able to say. That which is being apportioned out is in the process of landing.

—   Arakawa and Madeline Gins

You may say it is where you “land” – what draws your interest and shapes your understanding in a space. The cluster that makes it “meaningful”, “interesting”, “graspable”, etc.  It is more than a perspective. They make you present and able to grasp the world.

You look at a forest and you see a forest. Then a tree choses you, or you chose the tree. And you are drawn towards this.

Landing sites operate on three levels or scales that are singular to themselves yet also overlap simultaneously, slipping seamlessly into and out of each another. These are “perceptual,” “imaging” and “dimensionalising” landing sites.

Perceptual landing sites

Perceptual landing sites are what grab attention in the immediate; the object in front of you, the text on a page, the nearness of anything that is so proximate as to be right there in the here and now. It is what just appear to you! It is the perception of the world in shapes and color, where shape and colors are experienced as just this. It is purely perceptual.
It is immediate and in direct response to probable existence.

Imaging landing sites

Imaging landing sites can be thought of as the next stage away from the perceptual, what’s happening later in the day, what’s going on just around the corner, what you can feel but can’t see, the not quite here and now but getting there as the pre-cursor to the perceptual.
It is an imagining relationship.
An example could be how the shower suddenly appears as teleport, the tree appears as monster, and so on…

An imaging landing site it that what gives you an idea about that site.

An inuition. What beeing in/with the site evokes.

Dimensionalising landing sites

A dimensionalising landing site is quite different from the imaging and perceptual landing sites, as it loosens and widens its cast of attention to draw in the bigger picture so to speak, even if the elements thereof are imperceptible in form and substance.

Dimentionaling landig sites = mapping.

A dimensionalizing landing site combines the qualities of the perceptual landing site and imaging landing site, and in so doing, simultaneously ranges narrowly/tightly and widely/diffusely.

Something that engineers depth and dimension.

A dimensionalising landing site registers location and position relative to the body. Building, assessing, and reading volume and dimension.

Architectural body –

A body that manages to produce

– the body proper.


Coordinology –

Organising of space and time. Coordinating logic.



First impressions of the yellow cocoon room

Monday the 21st of October I arrived at the Mitaka Reversible Destiny Lofts. With three hours alone in this structure I wandered around in the space. Not really sure where to be or what to do. Should I sit down? Should I explore the space? Should I rest? Should I work?  After wandering around for some time I was drawn into the yellow cocoon shaped room. I attached a hammock in the ceiling and took up my camera. I laid the camera on my stomach, imaging the camera to be the eyes of my stomach investigating this round room. After some time I fell to sleep…

Se video here: https://vimeo.com/77478750