Time for an Urban (Re)evolution – Negotiating Body, Space and Food
Paper i proceeding, 2015
Food is rhythmical and reoccurring, permeating a major part of our everyday city lives; yet it is rarely considered in urban design. There is a missing link in the food-to-time rapport with urban space and how the body relates to it, in which the concept of a cyclical process has been concealed from the urban experience. In order to confront this, this paper explores and evaluates the artistic method of butoh dance in order to bring the body into the urban food discourse performatively. Butoh sheds light on how the inclusion of embodiment within imagineering can emphasize the timely aspect of urban space and food production as a cyclical process. Imagineering is a design technique that uses narrative to generate an imagined emergence of a concept. By placing the body at the centre of my methodology, I explore the negotiation it has with time, space and food. From within architectural research I pose the question: How can the interaction of the body in butoh practice and food production, set in relation to one another, improve the understanding and handling of urban space where time is an aspect in design? My methodology is framed in micro and macro perspective lenses, where the butoh body is brought into the process of shaping urban environment through techniques such as: rebellion, interaction, mimesis, agro-roots, transformation, metamorphosis and reflection. The micro lens is explored through the bodily choreography and detail of body technique in a butoh dance performance at the AHA festival in Gothenburg, Sweden. The macro lens is implemented in an experimental-making of an ecological living system and foodscape called ‘Paperscapes,’ which becomes the stage for that performance. These embodiments of making and performing are part of a process of imagineering, drawn from the butoh metaphor and biomimicry, to enable an imagined emergence of another way of approaching urban foodscapes. In exploring the butoh body in its spatial-to-corporeal relationship, the Japanese spatio-temporal concept of ma – an interval, gap, opening, awareness – helps understand how temporal progression relies on space awareness, how spatial progression relies on time, and the potential transformation which exists in this ‘interval’. The use of butoh exposes the landscape in an ‘circular-timed’ orientation, and this sheds light on the transformation of everyday collective ‘rhythms’ and behaviour with food.