Moving and Mapping: Exploring body-site relations through counter-cartography’

Heike Salzer, Vicky Hunter

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


2-hour workshop – situated indoors /outdoors (weather dependent).

This workshop will take place outdoors and participants are invited to explore exchanges between sensory, material bodies, architectures, atmospheres and visual responses, to ‘tune in’ to place and space and explore a form of ‘vernacular mapping’ that challenges the ‘representational certitude of cartography’ (Gerlach 2013:1).

Through simple tasks and exercises that incorporate moving, drawing and camera work, we will explore human-nonhuman material entanglements through playful intra-actions grounded in embodied, qualitative enquiry through which body-world relations will be fostered. Through practical enquiry the workshop puts ‘vital materialism’ to work in pragmatic ways and illustrates a form of praxis that works to ‘counter the narcissism of humans in charge of the world’ (Bennet 2009, p.xvi). Through moving and mapping the sites with our bodies ‘flesh and stone’ relations will be invoked (Sennett 1994) as we explore sensory and embodied knowledges of space and place.

This workshop draws on Hunter’s practice-based research into body-site relationships encountered in and through site-based movement practice and Salzer’s Wanderlust method, a site-specific holistic approach for the making of somatic landscape screendance (Salzer, 2019). Hunter’s research is informed by theories of New Materialism (Barad 2003, 2007, Bennet 2009, Haraway 2014, 2016) Human Geography (Massey 2005, Longhurst 2000) and non-representational / worlding theory (Stewart 2012) her work explores human-non-human engagements and body-site synergies and their implications for Anthropocene thinking. Salzer’s work is informed by Romantic themes of Heimat (Schüle, 2018), Wanderlust and Embodiment of Place in landscape art in relation to artistic and philosophical aspects of the early German Romantic landscape artists (Koerner, 2014; Rigby, 2004; Verwiebe & Montua, 2018). She collaborates with Ana Baer under the umbrella of WECreate Productions developing films, installations and multi-media performances, reflecting on place and emotional geographies of individuals, communities, and society. (Latent Spaces 2018-23, HinterTerra 2023, WECreate Spaces 2019-2021, Thule 2019, Wild-er-ness 2019)

The session will include:
1) An introductory overview of the facilitators’ praxis in relation to the conference themes.
2) A site-based movement session (for all abilities / levels of experience) in which participants will engage in movement tasks and short exercises. Tasks will practically illustrate philosophical perspectives that explore intrinsic relationships between bodies and environments in which bodies, objects, and place assemble.
3) A post-practice discussion and evaluation of the movement practice as a method of exploring and considering sites and spaces in and through the body.

Incorporating pedestrian, organic and somatically informed modes of moving and responding to tasks, scores and provocations participants are invited to consider bodily ‘utterances’ (Haraway 1991) and the ‘conversations’ between mobile bodies and moving sites.

Participants should wear lose, comfortable clothing suitable for engaging with the physical site through their body and appropriate footwear for moving (i.e. trainers) – no previous movement / dance experience is required. Please travel light and bring a camera device (such as a mobile phone or camera) and bring water, sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses as required.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2024
EventSubject/Object/Practice/Place: Connecting Creatively Through the Performing Arts: 10th Annual Conference of the School of Performing Arts, University of Malta, 2024 In partnership with Creative Europe Desk - Malta - L-Università ta' Malta (UM) - University of Malta, Valletta, Malta
Duration: 20 Mar 202422 Mar 2024


ConferenceSubject/Object/Practice/Place: Connecting Creatively Through the Performing Arts
Internet address


  • Site Dance, Body, Materials, Movement, Screendance, Praxis

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