Bodily Entanglements

Honours Research and Development



Bodily Entanglements

Realising the body through its intra-actions.


“Bodies are not situated in the world they are part of the world.” (2)
-K. Barad

The body should no longer be depicted as an anthropocentric ‘outline’ which moves through spacetime – the relation is far more intimate. Entanglements of the Body seeks to explore the relationship between the human body and the environment in which it is situated – space, time and the entirety of matter. To better understanding this relationship the body must be redrawn as part of, but not central to, the world. Building upon Karen Barad’s theory of agential realism, the project discusses these bodily relationships through various modes of representation, questioning their integrity and relevance. (3) By challenging the body’s traditional delineation and domicile, and instead opting to represent its relation, the body may be represented with limited dismemberment (disconnect from its environment). Through the lens of theatre, dance and performance art practices these investigative representations seek to understand the entanglements of the body, concluding that, instead of represented, the body should be realised through that which it intra-acts. By transcending the body as an ‘outline’ we might better inform our spatial practice, understanding our bodies not only as part of the world but essential to its manifestation.

1 Joshua Lewis, Performing in Limbus (performance). Produced as part of Bodily Entanglements (Wellington, 2016). Photographs courtesy of Joshua Lewis.

2 Karen Michelle Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (2007), 367.

3 Ibid, 132.