All Voices, Nameless and Singular is a dance performance in which Emilie Morin uses choreography and commercial telecommunication technologies (Skype) to construct images of herself with her own personal laptop and iPhone. The lens of the ‘conventional selfie’ acts as the conceptual framework of her performed and performative experimentations. Morin explores how a conscious embodiment of the choreographed gestures can create new relations within her dancing body, between the body and the images, and between the audience and the images.
Morin intuitively explores bodily exhaustion, which she associates, as a contemporary dancer, with the sense of accomplishment she feels, out of breath, after having dedicated herself entirely to the choreographic piece. Through her various performance projects (Trou (les beaux jours), Skype Duet, super pose super impose toi, F(L)(V) ocalized),she develops a growing interest in the coexistence between her dancing body, simultaneously becoming exhausted and producing its own images, and the mediated images themselves.
Her choreographic method focuses on the potential for change and transformation, positioned in action, rather than in an aesthetic or preconceived idea of what is to be represented. In All Voices, Nameless and Singular, gestures take precedence over visual representations, created through the repetitive and accumulative movements of the body, and through the manipulation of her iPhone. It is specifically through this attention to movement that new relationships can emerge, that is, new relationships between the different bodies (human and non-human) involved in the choreography: her own body, the audience, the digital images and the technological devices.
The repetition of gestures also triggers her awareness of this iterative process, creating a particular kinesthetic experience (or kinesthesia) through which gestures become abstracted, altering their usual meaning to create new relationships. In Agency & Embodiment: Performing Gestures/Producing Culture,Carrie Noland develops a theory around the agency of the body expressed through gestures, an agency that informs the actions of the subject. In her research, the experience that is “agentic” (Noland, 2009) manifests itself in the specific kinesthetic awareness of mastering one’s trained body that feels itself moving through this repetitive process. This sensory experience can provoke modifications or even resist the habits of gesture.
The overlap between Morin’s choreographic methods and the manipulation of her iPhone allows her to reflect on how the mastering of these gestures, through repetition, changes not only her body, but her relationship with the images produced by moving and manipulating her iPhone. A well-known gesture, the selfie, is thus transformed. Through the selfie, Morin recognizes her work as a gesture and an image. In this sense, her research-creation can both reinforce and resist the meanings evoked by the conventional selfie.