alys longley


the book

research catalogue

[ bracketing ]

Bracketing attends to placement, replacement, and displacement, to putting ideas inside each other and to observing how insides relate to outsides. Bracketing attends to absence, to the experience of absence, to what is left unsaid in what has been... Bracketing is the study of a porous membrane, of the transformational space and the place of transformation. Bracketing is looking to document the contradiction that is perspective from the perspective of experience.

Bracketing is a study of documentation of embodied experience.

Anne Carson, a constant reminder, a touchstone in the organization of ideas. pavle’s work with Skye Reynolds explores Carson’s method of bracketing in her translations of the poems of Sappho. Alys had been working with Carson’s texts Anthropology of Water, and Nox in her explorations of liquid perception and folding as compositional method.

Similarly, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s work (BMC®) comes up in conversation, and we flip, slide, turn, and fall between somatic conversations and discussions of TV shows and everyday life in Stockholm and Auckland. We sometimes contain this flipping in the use of brackets. Doing this allows us to incorporate simultaneity into the work – passages of writing that refer to many things at once can sit inside/beside each other while still holding independent structural integrity.

book-making practice as a conglomerate of related "sets of permissions;" what is practice within a practice or to make peace with contradiction

the artists’ book as a dancing site of practice

The artists’ book presented emerged out of and names a conglomerate of practices or “sets of permissions” that evidence assumptions Alys and pavle are making (or: evoking; or: writing) as dancers, improvisers, and poets working within the field of experimental choreography and writing in the expanded field.

These “sets of permissions” include but are not limited to: non-anticipatory aesthetics, non-binary poetics, [ bracketing ], and anti-proprietorial language. These permissions emerge out of resistance, by carrying the tension of the not-this into the evocation of possibility, sometimes: queer futurity.

The artist’s book embodies poetics, conversation and drawing; working and feeling; ambiguity, viscerality, relationality, spatiality, and texture.

anti-anticipatory aesthetic

Non-anticipatory aesthetics are practised by not wanting to know in advance. We learn by following. We follow intuitively. We respond instead of predicting. We are deliberately unsure of what we are doing. We place our relationality and method of working (somatics, friendship, curiosity, humour) first.

“anti-anticipatory aesthetic” names the experimental creative strategy that functions according to a principle similar to “act first, deduct later,” which–in itself–is an homage-of-sorts to Deborah Hay’s choreographic strategy “shoot, then aim.” the aim of “anti-anticipatory aesthetic” is to put observation at the centre of the creative process instead of anticipation.

hypothesis: by placing anticipation at the centre of a creative strategy, one is bound to attune their sensibilities to, and so unintentionally re-produce those aesthetic values and working habits one is already familiar with, i.e., those values one is used to and comfortable with prior to the beginning of a creative process. working with anticipation, in other words, at the centre of a creative strategy could be said to lead

to the production of unoriginal material and to the reproduction instead of discovery of (new) knowledge.

anti-anticipatory aesthetic

made with the support of


read our report here