Drawing of a photogram of the "Doris and Gregory" film, illustrating Ray L. Birdwhistell's text "A Kinesic-Iinguistic Exercise." An Excerpt From The Cigarette Scene, in The Natural History of an Interview (Norman ed.) A. McQuown), 1971, unpublished
© Leloup

Action 2 : observer

November 2018 to November 2019

Leading institution: Manufacture (Lausanne)
Co-applicants: Christophe Kihm (HEAD – Genève), Rémy Campos (HEM)
Team: Yvane Chapuis, Laura Spozio, Rémy Campos, Christophe Kihm
Partners: Ici. Centre national chorégraphique Monptellier – Occitanie, HEM, HEAD – Genève
Dissemination: Publication, film
Financement: HES-SO

Led by a cross-disciplinary team, this research focuses on everyday action understanding.

The research process combines two approaches: one is based on the critical analysis of studies from different disciplines involving direct observation of human behavior in contexts related to its understanding (ethnomethodology, anthropology, sociology, physiology, ergonomics, communication). The second involves the development of a system of behavioral reading, from the analysis of a documentary film of a cashier at work (lasting 40 seconds). This perspective rules out all interpretation and tries to reach the finest scale of description in details of gestures and movements durations and continuities.

To choose description rather than interpretation allows the restitution of actions in a linguistic score, without going through a notation system or graphic symbols, to capture their nuances and singularities.

Pragmatism will still be at the heart of this research process when the scores will be tested with performers (actors and dancers), to identify any gaps in the description, to use the expertise of other areas in scoring the movement and action, and to point the intersection of practices and knowledge in the field of the arts.

In association with this research, Christophe Kihm will conduct a workshop "Behaviors: Observations, Studies, Practices", with 2nd and 3rd year students of the [Inter]action department of the HEAD-Geneva. A seminar dedicated to the reconstruction of actions will take place in Montpellier International Choreographic Institute of Montpellier (ICI-CCN) in Novembre 2019, with the students of the Master's degree. This research will lead to the publication of a thematic dossier on observation-description in a journal of humanities.

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