Physical Mind-maps (PM-m), is an intra-disciplinary methodology of artistic/ educational practice that investigates how to develop an embodied creative thinking specifically applied to the exploration and articulation of an individual artistic voice/ vision. This methodology is being developed within the ambit of the PhD research that I’m currently developing, which looks into the following problematic: with dance practice it is common to develop an intensification of the proprioceptive perception, gained specially with different sorts of somatic movement practices and release techniques. However, the particular knowledge generated with such intensified perception remains underexplored due to the difficulty of transducing the qualia of dance experience into a verbalized mode and, subsequently, the difficulty to integrate such knowledge with the regular verbal mode of thought. Deriving from this problematic the general basic endeavour of PM-m is to develop an embodied mode of perceiving thought and integrate the awareness of such perception with the verbal articulation of thought. More specifically, the realm of thinking explored by PM-m concerns the development of an embodied artistic vision, its articulation and contextualization.
Physical Mind-maps is grounded on the theory of Cognitive metaphors from Lakoff and Johnson and its strategy departs from the exploration of the inter-relation between embodiment practices, with associative writing and mapping exercises. And therefore it is structured through three main exploratory practices working in interactive mode: Body Awareness, Artistic Signature and Mind-maps.
‘Body Awareness’ is an approach to movement exploration that conciliates diverse principles and practices of release technique and contact technique to stimulate the development of the consciousness of movement in the body. This process applies touch and body manipulation as well physical imagery to stimulate the sensorial perception of movement.
‘Artistic signature’ combines the exploration of sensorial-motor experiences with associative/ intuitive practices using visual imagery and verbal expression. Within this module I’m developing 2 new lines of exercises, which I call ‘‘sensorial writings’ and ‘synesthetic exercises’.
Mind-maps: Originally inspired on the theory of the horizontal brain division suggested by the neurobiologist Roger W. Sperry in 1984, Mind-maps consists on the development of diverse mapping exercises that combines an intuitive and analytical manner of exploring interests, references and strategies intrinsic to the development of an individual artistic vision.
I started developing this methodology during a pilot artistic laboratory in 2009, with the 1st and 2nd year’s students from the Contemporary Dance Department of the Amsterdam Faculty of Arts. In 2011 I’ve developed it further throughout a 2nd laboratory realized with the Master students of dance from the FMH –UTL. Presently I initiated a second phase of this methodology by applying it to students from other artistic fields.