© 2020 by Alethea Alexander

O B J E C T X

Developed collaboratively with Adele Nickel (M.F.A.), Objectx is a teaching and research initiative that explores an inclusive, collaborative, feminist approach to dancing with objects. In a 90-minute workshop, participants move in the studio with an ensemble of ten-foot-long PVC pipes.

On the practical level, Objectx workshops build skill in interacting with multiple bodies—sentient and inanimate—while moving. We practice embodied object-oriented ontology and consider objectx as co-inhabitors of a shared space, not as accessories to the human “stage.” We explore the generative potential of moving with objectx, and build a movement vocabulary driven by function and real-time problem solving, not aesthetic design. Participants in Objectx classes work individually, in partners, and in large open scores that encourage collaboration, spatial awareness, and cultivation of multiple loci of attention. 

*Please note that we use the “x” in Objectx to indicate our intention to create a space actively committed to de-categorizing all bodies, organic or inorganic.

Photos: Sam Houston State University Objectx workshop participants (October 2019)

Some of the theoretical considerations that underpin Objectx workshops include:

  1. Practical exercise for entering into relationship with any unfamiliar body.

  2. Investigation of objects-as-bodies in service of combatting the treatment of bodies as objects. 

  3. Noticing our habituations towards appropriating, assuming, and relinquishing power over.

  4. Collective decision-making, patience, listening, efficiency in indirectness, and alternative expressions of “force” and “strength.”

  5. Opportunities for re-imagining dance spaces and creating new realities.

We have thus far facilitated Objectx classes at Sam Houston State University and the University of Washington, and are developing a single and multi-day iteration of this studio-based research.