* I sense immediately that this environment is the most challenging I have encountered yet, to feel into the connective relation with Jens and the surrounding people. I note the sound-scape created by voices, movements, vehicles, construction, camera shutters, and feel into this collective hum.
*What I sense prevents us from establishing clarity in this space has to do with the movement patterns and agendas in the space, which are very transient.  There is arrival, then posing with a frozen expression for photographs, then leaving. I sense a kind of vacant presence of the people, perhaps because for the most part, there is no memory-relationship created in this place. Rather, there is a memory manufactured – by virtue of video or photograph which captures the site these visitors ‘achieved’ on their trip, kind of like one of many destination items on a “to do” list which are ticked off when collected or done. This “memory” then goes to reside in a slideshow or album or other repository. I sense there is not much residual presence or imprint from the majority of the visitors which results from the lack of any memory-relationship created. In contrast, to walk through a cathedral or any sacred place of worship creates a residual presence, and collects in the space over time along with all other experiences there, and can be sensed very strongly. This is prayer, hymn, upliftment, ecstasy, grief and many other things reaching to the beyond from the heart and soul. How strong that is. As another example, the museum setting collects this residual presence, as well. There is contemplation, learning, provoking, interaction happening here. It is this imprint that we as performers in these spaces tune into. What has happened and is happening in these spaces/places shapes the imprint: and this is in large part because of the quality and nature of attunement and attention of those present in the space.
* I reach for the natural elements as a way to connect into the space on a deeper level. This is a place on this earth and it is exposed to the elements of nature. I sense the wind is my anchor here. Unseen itself, it causes movement and sensation that lets us know its strength, temperature, direction. When I feel the wind on my face and hands, I am simultaneously sensing myself and the wind. It is through this element that I am able to finally feel and trust into the space with Jens.


* We connect initially through talk and touch, which I am appreciative of. We need to listen to, see, and touch each other in order to know each other. Generally, we come to know something or someone deeply or more fully through all our sensory channels, through different perspectives and different ways of understanding or seeing. Doing this requires a continual release or dissolving of ideologies or blockages that limit our capacity to know or understand.  And I have a feeling it ceases to be overwhelming when you master the centerpoint of your own being in relation to the other. I sense that these ideas relate very closely to the kind of state of beingness that allows us to
tune into each other and into the dimensions of space, time and communication that Jens speaks of.
* We are opening space in a subtle way, and we realize that this reaches all in the space – no matter what their roles. The museum staff seem more tuned into what we are doing: on some occasions we are allowed to proceed for what seem to be lengthy periods of time while they are noticing us, while on other occasions, the camera is noticed and we cannot even begin filming.
* The nodal triad John, Jens and I hold throughout the Met is tangibly different than the triad in the open spaces of Times Square. The art is the other “node” that is there with us, and the enclosure of space creates a certain focus or amplification to our work, so we do not have to be as “loud” with it.
*We pass through an installation with moving mechanisms and a sound installation. The sounds carry through to the gallery space we film in and I feel this element of sound very strongly informing how I perceive the space and our interactions together…it is vibration, after all.
* There is a Picasso that wants to be heard. These paintings are meant to be seen, not heard, though i sense there is the vibration of sound incorporated in them.  I create a sound in my throat – a steady pitch that is not very low in tone – one that I sensed corresponded a bit more with higher chakras, or the chest or throat area of my body. I maintain this sounding for a long time. It just felt right, and that must be the feeling of trusting, and of not being afraid to express.
* At the end of our collaboration through the gallery spaces, I felt a kind of satisfaction of completion even though I do not consciously know what we accomplished. I rather liked that feeling of having trusted completely in the process I participated in, because it felt like there was nothing more to do or ask or know. No unanswered questions, no new ideas, no dilemmas, just a clarity of space deep within that is ready for the next thing. Almost like a sort of unconditional loving gift to the universe – giving, trusting, setting free, and letting go.


* Filtering out all the surrounding stimuli — ideas, sounds, language, colors, flashes, structures — it seems conceptually to be a cumbersome task, but I find it is not. To connect with the space and Jens and John, I need first to feel myself in this point on the earth, as independent as possible of all the rest of it. So while I am fully aware, conscious with all my senses, I extend my energetic body down, down into the earth and up up into the sky. My heart is my centerpoint and from there I radiate. From there I connect to form the third node to the triad John, Jens and I create. No matter where we are, practically, we create enclosure along the red steps. A kind of boundary of relationship and orientation and space-creation.

* I wonder at one point as people pass by, “am I in your way?”. Then another thought sequence follows: “I am my way. I am this way. I create my way and I create this way.”

* I am remembering the dissolution of the second filming by the tour bus hustlers wearing red jackets… We were there sharing the space together harmoniously for such a long time without any ‘correspondence’ until that moment. when it just happened in the right way, I could trust that any intentions or goals or egoic desires were dropped and out of the way, because that is when the unseen forces can flow through to create the waves we can ride.


“All that is solid melts into air.”

For me to attain something like focus in Times Square, I had to invent
games for myself that allowed me to dwell in this place rather than be
scattered by the many many stimuli. Games are activities that have their
end in themselves.

Reflecting back and continuing my games in thought, it struck me: Times
Square = time + space, a place where time and space become
indistinguishable, where space is dissolved into movement and where time
is spatialized at the same time, caught in an eternal present.

What kinds of games? For the most part, I was playing with my own
reflection on the red steps, observing how it crossed over the pattern
beneath, how the wind was tugging at little bits of hair. I was tracing
the outlines of surrounding buildings, I was looking at the angles
formed by buildings and searching for similar angles in other places. I
let my eyes follow the bird occassionally passing over us.

These games were fairly individualized, but I also played with the
reflections of other people. But overall I think I was seeking focus not
in relation to others. Occassionally I thought, is this too
narcissistic, too self-absorbed, too self-satisfied? Like I was doing
something wrong, not following the rules. But then I could just get back
into my games, which didn’t have any rules, at least not any that I
didn’t invent for myself.

I was amazed how I could be absorbed in these games, not become cold at
all, and I was also especially amazed how I never seemed to be getting
in anybody’s way.  Maybe because I was moving so slowly and had the
outward appearance of focus. On the street corner it was more difficult
to dwell in the same way, but still I was amazed by how little I was
getting in other people’s way.


* Jens and I must be close – touching really – to begin this journey. We need to feel and resonate with each other’s breathing and groundedness to gain enough comfort in creating distance without losing each other. We relate to each other mostly with sight, as the space is too large and with many people crossing through it (and we are perhaps not enough related [a physical warm up together would have been best for this kind of environment] or amateurs in this work) to do it only just by sense.  The sound is a constant murmur that swells up and dies down sort of like the tides, and I sense this the most when I become aware of the contrast that it is either softer or louder than before. there is much space above. I want to use it, to bring this sense of expansiveness to those walking on the ground.  I breathe vertically through myself to capture this feeling and share it. I notice the clusters of people, their pivots, pauses, strides and direction-ness.
* Jens and I need to be clearly related points in this mass. we are creating sacred energetic geometry, even if it is the simple form of a line.
* I radiate in all directions from my heart. I am safe and related in this space. Can you sense this, passers by? Can you know it in yourself?
* We make a sound together, Jens and I. It is very much about the engine-energy in this place and is anchoring.  I like this sound we feed our breath into. We turn around our sound. It may not be heard, but perhaps sensed by those around us.

* I am feeling all my senses open to receive from the artwork, an element that will reach me in an inspired way to embody and amplify in the space in which I am walking, relating to Jens, and moving through space. He says to trust, so I trust and feel into all my senses internally that for me allows the expansion into this attentive and meditative field.

* I feel strongly certain elements as I consider them inside myself: the way the painter has made his figures outline not with distinct lines of color or edges contrasting each other,  but a smudged, cloudy, fuzzy, indistinct interface between figure and environment. I am captured by this feeling of where my own boundary is, how I can extend my attention and vibrations beyond the surface of my skin. I embody this as I continue to relate to this artwork and to jens and the people mingling by. i try to see other people’s body edges as soft and blended, like in the painting. i imagine my own body boundary is like this, soft and blended with the environment and that i can send my self out beyond the distinct limit of the skin containing my body. I wonder how others will sense this? Perhaps not only as a perceived sense of the physical or perceptual realm, but as a corresponding deeper message about inspiration that you can expand yourself beyond your limitations, reach out a bit further than you think you can.

* The silky pink satin of the large, embellished skirt mesmerizes me. the way the sheen and drapes and shadows are drawn. i imagine i am touching this material with my hands, running it over my skin…then i want to become the sense of cool, silky, smooth satin. i transform into this and see what happens around me.

* somehow, jens and i have backed up slowly and at the same time from different directions to sit comfortably next to each other on a viewing bench. i was not aware how we got there, but the field of energy sensing must have guided us there exactly in that way.

* the sphinx to the right of the temple: this draws me in, and I am relating to this regal feline as i approach it. the couple taking pictures with the sphinx must sense this line of energy is happening between us and it must happen uninterrupted, as they move to the side a bit as i approach closer. what is this resonance we are creating? how is it felt? how can we know? we cannot. just trust. do this as a catalyst, as a transformer, an energy node for others, and that is enough.


As part of the conference, Berlin-based performance artist Jens Reulecke will offer a performative workshop.

+++Shifting Weight: the production of space as an act of trust+++

October 31 – November 1, 2013
The Graduate Center, City University of New York,
Rooms 5409 and 5414

The workshop Shifting Weight experiments with a certain potential of intuition while getting in contact with public space. The process deals with that which is hidden rather than which catches the eye. There is no obvious or explicit performative attitude, since the center of the process is formed by an attitude of restraint.
The workshop leader supports participants in entering a state of mind where increased focus brings to the fore a force hardly noticeable to the public. That force develops a powerful presence with the result of shifting weight away from the spectacular and the well-known. The overall movement is a turning away from the familiar; it goes beyond mere understanding, like a removal from certainty, so that possibility moves beyond the present. This kind of production of space is an act of trust.

Four workshop sessions are offered:
Monday, October 28th – 10:00- 2:00
Tuesday, October 29th – 10:00-2:00
Wednesday, October 30th – 10:00-2:00
Thursday, October 31th – 10:00-1:00

The participants will engage in connecting with the public sphere through their body while moving or not moving in order to facilitate sensitivity and imagination. Using their voices the participants produce hardly locatable sounds thus transforming each scene.
Participants attending all four sessions will experience the most intensive process. It is also possible to attend only one, two or three sessions, since each session is prepared in a way that allows newcomers to connect.
The participants are asked to bring snacks for lunch if desired.

Venue: Graduate Center, City University of New York (365 5th Avenue at 34th Street, NYC) in room 5409 or 5414.

Workshop presentation: Friday, November 1st – 3:15 – 4:45 – Graduate Center, City University of New York (Room 5414).
All the workshop participants are asked to attend the presentation, if possible.

No experience is required.
Please register by email to Jens.Reulecke@gmx.de by October 21th. – All the participants will be listed for permission to enter the building.


Shifting Weight – Performative Workshop

My idea is to gather a group of interested people on a casual level and see what‘s possible to do while focusing on personal and group issues as well as various situations that present themselves as we move through the openness of the city space. My role is to facilitate a process, to inspire the group to move along, to connect, to experience, to receive, to imagine, and to allow shared visions to develop.

My aim is to support the group so that trust can grow—trust in oneself, in others, and in various situations that the group will face during their inner and outer pilgrimage. I focus on trust because trust allows us to enter into a dialog, which takes an important part in personal growth, freedom, and transformation of the social relations in which we live. The dialog has its own temporality depending on the nature of each relation while stepping out of our rushed existence.

The fragile utopia presented by NYC itself, and Manhattan in particular, provides a perfect setting. At first glance it appears static with the impenetrable facades of its buildings and its inhabitants. Nevertheless there is the strong desire towards a spirit associated with a personal space for the act of living, a way of life existing below the norm of everyday life.

Imagination marks an important center of a process where each participant allows the inner and outer world to appear in new ways. Since this “emergence” is about presence than rather representation, it frees every participant from the temptation of obvious performative acting. I am interested in shifts of reality, a destabilization of the moment that is almost unnoticeable while another certainty is not yet established. The attention focuses on the transition itself, a state of instability, a fluid field, generating a new stability, a process provoking a new awareness and sensitivity.

The ”audience” can hardly tell what is going on, because he is not experiencing an obvious event. What might strike them is a subtle sensual experience, a possibility to relate differently to reality. This setting allows the participants to form a group of conspirators respecting boundaries but at the same time transforming various powers by releasing new possibilities. While the inner and the outer space is getting changed things start to appear slowly, a process releasing energy, an inner shift away from the already known to the unknown, like a view of the unseen.

Jens Reulecke

Assistance: Florian Erdle