Country side

Exciting summer news from Sensescapes

A New Era

WITH GRATEFUL SHOUTS OF JOY, it is a tremendous pleasure to announce the long awaited birth of Sensescapes as a sense laboratory, officially organized as an association where YOU can become a member.

This is our fundament:

  • Sensescapes is a laboratory for multisensorial exploration.
  • The aim of Sensescapes is to inspire people to become more sensuous, sensible and sensing in their everyday life.
  • The laboratory seeks to provide, facilitate and develop sustainable activities with aesthetic quality. 

Everyone who agrees with the above principles, can become a member of the Sensescapes association.

The official founding happened last week. On a wet summers’ day, six dedicated souls joined around the wooden dining table in my living room on fourth floor in the middle of Aarhus. Our purpose was to bring the work of Sensescapes to its next level.

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Regulations for our association where written. Papers where signed and a wonderful board constituted itself. The leaders of the Sensescapes association are now:

Chairman: Inger Kærgaard, teacher, biologist and environmental activist with special love for trees (read an interview with her here)
Vice Chairman: Lauge Rasmussen, MA in Experience Economy and co-founder of Pitcherific.com
Treasurer: Jacob Vibe, forester and owner of Vibes Træpleje
Board member: Ida Krøgholt, lector and Ph.D. at department of Dramaturgy, Aarhus University
Board member: Pernille Kølbæk, Ba in Aesthetics and Culture, MA in Experience Economy, project manager at LEGO

 

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Signing the regulations of the association of Sensescapes.

With this lovely, diverse leadership group, and with myself as daily caretaker and developer of the laboratory, Sensescapes is now open for new experiments, new encounters, new immersions and new horizons.

Thrilling.

Would you like to become a member and supporter of the laboratory? Then read more about membership here.

Exploring taste – eating the local

In the spirit of sustainable, sensory encounters with the everyday, a little experiment was made for the meeting. It began with a restriction: All servings was to be made only from locally grown ingredients. Usually my shopping basket contains lots of things that has been shipped from all over the world. By changing my natural behavior with this one-time restriction, I wanted to explore the personal changes in food perception and eating experience. Since I live in the middle of the city and own no garden, this seemed like a fitting challenge for an exploration of the local.

It was midsummer. I took my bike and a couple of books about edible plants and went along Brabrandstien, a path running alongside a lake just outside the city.

This is what I found and brought home:

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What Brabrandstien could not provide, I found and bought at the local farmers market and in local stores.

Coming home, another major change appeared. Usually I do not spend hours in the kitchen. Here there was no choice but to follow the speed of slow preparation. Chopping, baking, cooking, mixing, washing, cutting, spreading, sniffing, arranging, saving, waiting, tasting.

As hours went by, food preparations evidently became a sensory meditation. Not meditation in the sense of relaxing wellness, but in the sense of focused awareness of the present beings, movements, scents, colors and emotions in the here-and-now.

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In my living room the board meeting was at its end. In the kitchen, food was ready.

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Dinner was served

Værsågod (here you go):

Cherries from Brabrandstien.
Homebrewed mead from our wedding two years ago. Strawberries from Samsø. Apple juice from Fyn, and beer from Den Gamle By.
Beets from a nearby field, slowly baked with onion and chili from a family member’s green house.
Nettles and beet tops stewed in homemade butter from the local farmers market and cream from the south of Jutland.
Salats with potatoes from Samsø and goat cheese from Horsens, topped with rapeseed oil from the north of Jutland, and various flowers from around.

Plus some more.

In my home we have an everyday ritual of holding hands and saying thanks for the food before eating dinner. Not as a religious prayer, but as a mindful verbalization of the long procedure of growing, picking, sending, buying, making and sharing the food.

This night, performing the daily practice of gratitude made deeply sense. For the first timer ever at a dinner table, I had an actual, embodied knowledge of the origin of nearly every single ingredient on the table. The presentation took a while, as I listed all the things and the places they had grown or been made.

After hours of talking, the atmosphere shifted as we started eating. Collectively we fell into tune with each of our sensation of the time demanding preparation and the appearance of the food for our eyes, tongues and hands. It was a pleasure.

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A few days later, I read a short book about taste by the Danish food anthropologist Susanne Højlund. She describes taste as a multisensorial phenomenon, not only a sense located in our mouth, but involving all parts of our body. Besides the sensory stimulation of eating, she adds, taste is also a culturally situated experience, colored by our expectations, the history of the food, and the social aspect of sharing it (Højlund, Susanne, 2016: “Smag”, Aarhus University Press). This approach stems perfectly with my experience of our meal. For me, the meal became a full-body sensation of eating a piece of Danish summer.

With great hope for future projects and explorations to come!

Lotus

 

 

Categories: aesthetics, Birth, Cityscape, Country side, Dreams, Euphoria, Gratitude, Motivation, PR, Process, Sensorial meditation, Short experiment | Leave a comment

Dwelling in the Woods

Not far from the North American east coast, in the depths of the state of Maine, there is a small region named Denmark. Here, where country roads curve between pine trees and big wooden houses, a spring retreat was held a couple of weeks ago at Nurture Through Nature Retreat Center. Our little family went there in the middle of three intense weeks of travel in the US, rooted ourselves and found a home for the heart to dwell and be silent in.

Here we are. In the North.

Arrival. At first, the sight is met by a sign with the logo of the place. A turtle. Here the retreat begins.

Go slow.

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Next, we find ourselves embedded in wood. Trees, wood cabins, wood surface under feet, over head, smell of fresh wood, of dry wood, of wood everywhere.

Our cabin is next to the big one. It has a name. Harmony. And a porch.

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There is sun.

There is snow.

We turn off our cell phones. Aahhhh. Why do I not turn that thing off more often?

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We eat (organic vegetarian delicious stuff). We gather. Ten bodies in a studio space (with wooden floor). We stretch.

We fall into place.

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Photo: Nurture Through Nature

There is an encouragement to be silent from evening to breakfast. We accept, let go of words and become Beings. I think, how can I be silent with a baby to take care of?

It turns out just fine. She sounds. We, the parents, listen. She goes to sleep and we listen to other things. The night. The super clear sky. Stars. Forest floor. Forest.

In the early morning, before breakfast, we all do a silent walk together. The land is breathing, the air is crisp.

Time to observe, feel, reflect.

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Time to sit and read, or lie down and play.

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Time to (re)open all senses, walk with bare feet, share a spontaneous, intimate experience with a another free spirit.

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Time for a ceremonial sauna! And a dip in the brook.

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Or just a walk by the brook. Connecting to what is flowing outside and inside.

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Listening to the water. (Next time you come across anything worth listening to, try sharpening your hearing like this:)

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Time for scaping the land and saying thanks.

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Photo: Rasmus Skov

Time for nurturing family togetherness by dwelling. Together in the woods. Another silent walk, just the three of us. Baby Iris laughing, me laughing along, daddy smiling. Playfulness needs no words, naturally.

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Time for (re)connecting with something basic. Taking a shit in nature (or, actually just on a really nice compost toilet, but still…). Walking slowly, slowly in the pit dark night with no lights. Waking up in the cold morning, cursing over the ice cold air outside the sleeping bag. Sweating in the steamy hot sauna, afterwards dipping in the stream, blood rushing from head to toe. Element-brush-up. Internet-break-free.

And perhaps most important of all: Being honest to oneself. Taking what there is for what it is. Not pretending. Not even thinking of pretending. Just being.

20160502_095948-1If you should come across Denmark, Maine, do yourself a favour and visit the place. It offers both all-inclusive retreats and accommodation for self-organized retreats. And Jen, the facilitator, is wonderful.

From Denmark to Denmark, cheers! For unexpected blessings, baby lessons and spring sprouts.

 

 

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Photo: Nurture Through Nature

Categories: Country side, Gratitude, Silence | Leave a comment

Dreams, openings, connections

Today I did a guided baby walk in my neighbourhood. Nine mothers with nine babies in nine baby carriages made a spectacular body of moving legs, wheels and heads in the grey morning of Aarhus city centre. Together we explored some local gems: an old crypt, a hidden garden, a hip street transformed from slum, a mysterious pig monument and at last a café with more breastfeeding customers than not.

Doing guided walking tours the classical way is not directly connected to Sensescapes, but the stream of intention underneath is the same: To raise awareness of our everyday surroundings, getting embodied experiences of the things, beings and events that are already there. As the test walk today was a success, I intend to do a series of them this coming summer and fall. If time and space allow it. So stay tuned!

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As days come and go, new connections appear. I was honoured to be contacted by my main theoretical inspiration source for the master thesis about Sensescapes, Professor in Human Geography Edmunds Bunkse from Latvia. A kindred spirit, he concluded from our chat.

Yes. New dreams and visions of local and cross-country connections are slowly, slowly being formed:

A former fellow student, asking to pair up and share the depths of knowing life and death from a sensitive mind’s perspective. A soul to walk with in the everyday challenges.

A British artist in the inbox, encouraging Sensescapes to visit a festival of senses in London next year.

Sudden meetings like this one. Sudden openings.

A visit in the beautiful building Dome of Visions, which will soon move from Copenhagen to Aarhus to become a frame for experimental practices, dreams and creative events. Perhaps Sensescapes could and should contribute…

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A gift from a generous landscape enthusiast and artistic director: 4 days residence in the soft landscape of Mols Bjerge in June, on the farm where I have been researching, playing and working so many times now. I will go there with my little family and see what creativeness the land will inspire.

Gifts, ideas, encouragement, sprouts.

And through it all, a constant state of motherhood relations, preoccupying the mind with strangely down-to-earth impulses: Little one, are you tired? Hungry? Bored? Impatient? Hands, eyes, ears, nose, mouth and feet completely immersed in tiny sensations. Now we dwell in the living room together, now the bed, or the bathroom, or the local park, or a train. Without further notice, I have become an all-time facilitator of the babyscape created and maintained by the presence of my daughter’s curious discovering of the world. My world becomes her world and vice versa. What a responsibility.

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Next week we will travel across the Atlantic to make new experiences and reconnect with older generations. There is still some time before maternity leave ends and I will have an opportunity to turn (some… a few) dreams into real projects. Let’s see. Let’s see.

Oh, and did I mention this blog has been referred to in a (not-very-intellectual) Danish weekly magazine for middle aged women doing needlework and handicrafts? No kiddin’. A journalist from “Hendes Verden” called and asked to use a photo of a cairn my husband did in Iceland in the magazine. I said yes and so Sensescapesblog.wordpress.com is now to be found in a cheasy section about creativity online, along with adds for DIY table cloths and coffee scrub:

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Surprises and openings in all directions! To be continued when summer is around the corner.

See you!

Lotus

 

 

Categories: Birth, Cityscape, Country side, Dreams, Motivation, Playfulness, Process | Leave a comment

From landscape to sensescape

What is a landscape? How do you relate to your landscape? How do landscapes affect us?

Departing in phenomenology’s notion of the body and the world as inseparable, I approach the term landscape as an entrance to a specifically embodied conceptualization through the following three statements:

A) Landscape as relation.

As the philosopher Christopher Tilley has pointed out, using the term landscape in a phenomenological perspective will appear antithetical to the conventional Western understanding, where landscape is “[…]implying separation and disinterested analytical observation, a particular way of seeing exemplified in the linear techniques of perspective developed in landscape painting since the Renaissance[…]” (Tilley 2004:24). A search in the Oxford Dictionary confirms that landscape is still first and foremost understood as a picture, a painting, a view, a scenery, a map, a background or simply just “the object of one’s gaze”, depicting a piece of mostly natural inland (www.oed.com). This understanding, argues Tilley, is turned around in a phenomenological idea of landscape defined as “perceived and embodied sets of relationships between places, a structure of human feeling, emotion, dwelling, movement and practical activity within a geographical region which may or may not possess precise topographic boundaries or limits” (ibid.:25). From such a perspective, landscape is understood radically different than visual representations of beautiful, natural scenarios. It is not some object in front of my gaze, but a continuous dynamic process of relation between my embodied being and the being of my surroundings in “a consideration of fluidity, transition and motion” (Benediktson and Lund, 2010:3).

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Relations. Participant: Søren. Photographer: Christine Fentz

B) Landscape as more-than-human.

Phenomenologically speaking, landscape can also be understood as a dynamic relation between the human and the non-human. In the philosopher David Abram’s ecology, this implies a form of radical conversation, where “[t]he landscape as I directly experience it, is hardly a determinate object; it is an ambiguous realm that responds to my emotions and calls forth feelings from me in return” (Abram 1997:33). Continuing this conversation metaphor, geographer and anthropologist Karl Benedikson and Katrin Anna Lund defines landscape as a continuous dialogue between interdependent entities, in which: […]landscape implies a more-than-human materiality; a constellation of natural forms that are independent of humans, yet part and parcel of processes bywhich human beings make their living and understand their own placing in the world” (Benediktsson and Lund 2010:1). Because landscape is both shaped by human but also shaping the human, it is a more-than-human constellation that, after all, remains undisciplined (ibid.:9). Benediktsson and Lund goes as far as to state that landscape is “not comprehended as a predetermined, culturally contrived “text”, but as a conversational partner[…]” (ibid.:8) Now, if landscape connections can be seen as conversations or dialogues, how can such connections take place and how can they be experienced? This is part of my investigation.

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More-than-human. Participant: Birthe. Photo: Rasmus Malling Lykke Skov

C) Landscape as multisensorial.

My intention in the process of creating and facilitating sensorial walks with blindfolded participants, is to test and practice the geographer Edmunds Bunkse’s concept of landscape as “a unity in one’s surroundings, percieved through all the senses” (Bunkse 2007:222). This theoretical starting point adopts landscape as “embodied practices of being in the world, including ways of seeing but extending beyond sight to both a sense of being that includes all the senses and an openness to being affected” (Dewsbury and Cloke 2009: 696).

Now, landscape becomes multisensorial. It becomes sensescapes. In David Howes’ anthropology of senses, sensescapes is defined as the idea that the experience of the environment and of the other persons and things which inhabit the environment, is produced by a particular mode of distinguishing, valuing and combining the senses in the culture under study” (Howes 2005:143). An anthology by the philosopher Madalina Diaconu a.o., uses the term in the title “Senses and the city. An interdisciplinary approach to urban sensescapes” (2001). Surprisingly it does not seem to undergo any further definition in the book, though Diaconu do seem to encourage the same sensory revolution as Howes and Bunkse (Diaconu 2001:7, Howes 2005:1, Bunkse 2012:12). With Bunkse, however, the concept moves from an anthropological to a geographical-philosophical approach to landscapes as home. Departing in his own history as a Latvian emigrant trying to find his feet in the States, he states:

[…]contact with our primal nature is in more than pretty pictures or designs of landscapes. Pictures are abstractions, we do not enter the landscape by gazing at it and taking ever more pretty pictures of it. Having a handful of thorny needles from a devil’s club may hurt for a week, but it is thus that one becomes part of a landscape. It is how familiarity is acquired with many other sensory aspects of wild landscapes that Canadians fondly refer to as the “bush”. And familiarity makes the heart fonder. It then feels at home (Bunkse 2007:14)

Bunkse makes a crucial point that the dominance of pictures and words in our Western culture has moved us away from contact with our primal nature (ibid.:221). This refers to the phenomenology of perception as a movement back to a naive and sensuous contact with the world. Primarily I – the phenomenological “I” – am a sensing body. I smell. I touch and grab things. I eat. I am cold and warm. I constantly orientate myself by my senses. I hear directions, taste if the food is good or bad, observe the ground with my feet and store knowledge about places in my nostrils. Bunkse’s sensory turn moves away from objectification and distance in a paradigm of words and images, and towards new (or old) ways of encountering and relating to the landscape as home. Inspired by this approach, I suggest a definition in this thesis, of sensescapes as a landscape inhabited and experienced through a multisensory mode of being with and in the world. My proposal of a movement from a concept of landscape to a concept of sensescapes, leads to the production of Sensescapes as a multisensorial connection between the self, other selves and the surrounding land, and as a method of inhabiting and experiencing one self and one’s surroundings in the same movement.

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Smellscape. Participant: Stephan. Photo: Rasmus Malling Lykke Skov

(The text is an excerpt from the introduction chapter in the master thesis I am currently working on, titled: “Sensescapes. The Phenomenology of Sensorial Landscape Connections”)

References:

Abram, David, 1996, The Spell of the Sensuous. Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, Vintage Books, New York

Benediktsson, Karl and Lund, Katrin Anna, 2010: “Introduction: Starting a conversation with Landscape” in Benediksson, Karl and Lund, Katrin Anna, Conversation with Landscape, University of Iceland, Ashgate

Bunkse, Edmund, 2007, “Feeling is believing, or landscape as a way of being in the world” in Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography: Geografiska Annaler, Series B, Volume 89Issue 3pages 219–231

Bunkse, Edmunds, 2012, Sensescapes: or a Paradigm Shift from Words and Images to All Human Senses in Creating Feelings of Home in Landscape” in Landscape, Architecture and Art. Proceedings of the Latvia University of Agriculture, Volume 1, Number 1, p. 10-15

Dewsbury, J.D. and Cloke, Paul, 2009, Spiritual landscapes: existence, performance and Immanence, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol , Bristol, BS8 1SS, UK file:///C:/Users/acer/Desktop/Dewsbury.pdf

Diaconu, Madalina, Heuberger, Eva, Mateus-Berr, Ruth and Vosicky, Lukas Marchel, 2011, Senses and the City: An interdisciplinary approach to urban sensescapes, LIT Verlag

Howes, David, 2005, Empire of the senses, Bloomsbury Academic

Tilley, Christopher, 2004, The Materiality of Stone. Explorations in Landscape Phenomenology: 1, Berg

Categories: Blindfolding, Cityscape, Country side, Landscape Dialogues, Thesis experiment | Leave a comment

Sense experiment at Bart Art Symposium III

 

 

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Here is a tribute to my grandmother, who recently presented a thought experiment of sensorial walks without walking. Her question was: “Could I, who do not walk well anymore, get the same sort of experience as in your walks, by just sitting on a chair in my garden, blindfolded?”

Thus, on Secret Hotel’s Barn Art Symposium III in Mols Bjerge, a short sense experiment of blindfolded sitting was facilitated two days ago. Elements of text, touch, guided walking and change of place was added. But mainly there was just sitting. Alone. With very few sensory inputs, such as (outside:) the wind, the trees, the bench, my hands, (inside:) the sound of a noisy projector, the chair, the floor, the momentary steps of my rubber boots.

Afterwards, contrasting reactions were at play among the participants, which made it clear to me that in a shared physical place, with the same verbal instructions, in the same condition of restricted sight and movement, blindfolding sitting itself can be sensed emotionally and intuitively completely different from person to person. For some, sitting alone on a bench with eyes covered, might lead to a deep meditation. For others, plain relaxation. For others insecurity or irritation. For some, deep fear or anger.

At the end, the eight participants were asked to verbalize their experience in three words each. Some had words, others not. Here is what was said:

Hard. Wind. Happiness.
Space. Inner/Outer. Movement.
Isolation. Caress. Breeze.
Warm/cold. Wind. Unsecure.
Deep. Blindness. Light.
Simplicity. Trees. Contact.
Listening. Enough that I am not knowing.
Birch.

(Said by the photographing participant:)
Looks like peace. Harmony. I believe in you.

Photographer: Roland Schild

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Thank you to all the participants for taking the risk!

 

Categories: Blindfolding, Closeness, Country side, Hands, Sensorial meditation, Short experiment, Silence, Touch | Leave a comment

Summer update from Sensescapes

A midsummer tale

Oh, what an unintentionally long pause there has been since my last blogpost!

Here’s the main reason:

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Photo: Kirsten Lykke Madsen

Lotus og Rasmus Skovs bryllup 2014-301

Photo: Martin Wessel

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Photo: Martin Wessel

Ten days ago Rasmus and I got married. We marked the event by establishing a DIY wedding festival in a big camp by the sea. Most of our friends and family stayed for the whole weekend and contributed in the making and celebration. The ceremony was held in an old forest of oaks and beeches in the national park Mols Bjerge – just a few kilometres from the farm were Sensescapes took place in april.

It was one of the most beautiful, meaningful and emotionally overwhelming experiences I have had in my life. We couldn’t have picked a better environment for our union of souls than between old trees, on an old hill, under a shining midsummer sun. Being barefooted in the forest, writing our own vows,  keeping the programme informal and getting friends and family to contribute in different ways… all this resolved in a wonderful, almost magical atmosphere of deep love, care and connection.

I felt completely in my right element, surrounded by rural landscapes and people I love.

And there were strems of tears. From joy, from overwhelmed senses and from gratitude towards the favours, food, words and positive energy exchanged between so many hands and hearts. We had live folk dance music and a great dj and the most luxerious cake buffet seen. We had the sea right outside the door. We had summer solstice and wind and sky. We had a tipi for the wedding night. We had a fine old car borowed from a generous stranger. I had a wedding dress made from hand dyed silk, so light and soft I could have slept in it. We had a room full of yellow balloons, we had tons of fresh strawberries, wonderful speeches, hilarious entertainment, home brewed mead, a lovely, easy-going priest, a choir made for the occasion, and unique rings made from several pieces of golden heirlooms.

I think we were all drunk on love.

It took months of hard work to prepare, and I decided long ago that in June this would be more important than thesis work. And so there has been a pause in the thesis department. A magical pause, that is.

Now, with all the exhaustion and satisfaction that follows such flood of emotions, a slow return to the more analytical and not completely emotional self has begun. Academic life is calling.

Not that Sensescapes had been sleeping entirely. No, there has been life underneath the surface. Still growing, still on its way.

So here’s a short report with news from the sensorial working field:

Debate weekend and a test workshop

By the end of May, Sensescapes participated in Secret Hotel’s Debate Weekend, where around twenty people from interdisciplinary fields in both Denmark and abroad met for three days to encounter, share, discuss and investigate thoughts, themes and pieces related to Landscape Dialogues. For me it was a weekend of profound meetings, bondings and mutual inspiration.

On the last day Sensescapes was tested and found fit for being practised as a workshop! Curious about the importance of shifting surroundings and urban landscapes, the group had moved from Christines’ farm in Mols Bjerge to the cultural production center Godsbanen in Aarhus. And new faces had arrived. Since we did not have time to go through a long introduction, I had Christine interviewing me about the thesis work. Then she was blindfolded and we made a short demonstration of guiding methods in front of the group.

Then they formed groups of two and explored the area for themselves for about half an hour. In each group, one was blindfolded and one was guiding. And there were no words, of course. Same as usual.

It sounds so simple. It IS so simple.

Just put a blindfold on, and you will feel the world change completely.

Since there was no prepared route, all groups went in different directions, which gave us all quite different experiences, facilitating our own urban sensescape. My blindfolded walker and I had great fun and shared lots of laughter, driving each other around in an abandoned shopping cart outside the buildings. When he drove me, we both were out of our comfort zone, which made it even more fun. I had to create a verbal sound system of alarming sounds to signalize danger and communicate with him as our roles of guide and follower became mixed and blurred. Since we had allready spent a couple of days together, and since my blindfolded compagnion was a theatre person who seemed quite comfortable in doing crazy things like this, it became one of the most impulsive and fun sensorial experiences I have facilitated.

I hope to show more pictures from that day later. For now these are all I have:

 

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Photo: Secret Hotel

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Photo: Secret Hotel

In the end we met to briefly share our experiences. One participant asked me:

“Who is experiencing this sensescape you are talking about? The blindfolded person or the guide?”

He suggested that the guide must be more open to a multisensorial experience of the surroundings, since the guide has to have every sense highly activated during the practise of guiding.

That made me think.

So far, guiding has been mostly about facilitation, in my mind. I think this participant made me realize how important the guiding practise is for the door to a sensescape to be opened AND stepped through. I will reflect more on this.

Iceland coming up 

It is a pleasure to announce that I have been granted a student scolarship for participation in Nordic Summer University (NSU) this summer! On their website it says:

The Nordic Summer University (NSU) is a long-established institution within the Nordic intellectual arena. During more than 50 years of existence it has provided a lively forum for academic and intellectual debate, and involved many leading academics, politicians, and intellectuals from all the Nordic Countries. The NSU has always been at the forefront of intellectual thinking, juxtaposing views from the international and Nordic academic arenas, and introducing new thinking and influences into the Nordic Countries.

Expectations are rising! It will be one week from July 24-31 and it will be in Iceland. I can’t wait to go back to the special landscape that has given me so much.

In top of all this, Secret Hotel has offered to cover half of my travel expenses.

All in all I will conclude that June 2014 has been a month of enourmous gifts. To give and recieve so much makes me feel as rich as ever.

May life affirming exchanges continue to flow, in Sensescapes as in the surrounding lives and atmospheres.

A great summer to all of you!

Lotus

Categories: Blindfolding, Closeness, Country side, Euphoria, Hands, Landscape Dialogues, Secret Hotel, Short experiment, Trust, Workshop | Leave a comment

Impressions from the blindfolded walkers

Sensescapes has officially ended as a thesis experiment. Within the last three weeks there has been 15 sensorial walks in Mols Bjerge and Aarhus. I am delighted to say that the concept has been developed, tested and found fit for future practices! Slowly adjusting to the academic office life, I am now dreaming about more walks, more playfulness and much more curious investigation in the (near) future.

As dreams and visions of Sensescapes unfold, it is time to transcribe interviews, look at film recordings, analyze words and pictures, discuss, reflect… and start writing.

As an anchor and lighthouse in the beginning of this process, I open my guestbook.

A small book with big words.

Here it is.

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In the end of all 15 walks, a feedback session have started by asking the participant to verbalize the overall experience they have just been through, with the first 3 words that comes to their mind. These words have then created a basis for our talk about the walk. In the end of each feedback session, the participants – or the walkers, as I would call them by now – have written their specific words in my guest book. Sometimes, by then, they have chosen new words they would think fit their experience better.

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Here is a line of their first 3 (or more) words, the way they are ordered in the guest book. One line for each participant. (Translated from Danish).

Experiences on the old farm in Mols Bjerge:

Wet- Silent – Waves

Different – Intense

Haptic – Playful – Delicate

Magical – Sensuous – Life force

Trust – Calm – Timelessness

Sensuous – Life-affirming – Spring – Rewarding  – Nature

Closeness – Good guiding – Vulnerability

Presence – Warmth – Comfort

Familiar – Great – Shift

Experiences in the Botanical Garden in Aarhus:

Strong emotions – The present moment – Contrasts

Childhood – Unrestrained – Curious

Senses – Curiosity – Trust

Atmospheres in spaces – Intimacy between people – Smells/Sounds

Cool! – Silence – Sensory

Joy – Merging – Childhood memories

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A moment in a feedback session in Mols Bjerge. Participant: Birthe. Photographer: Rasmus Skov.

Later in the feedback sessions, I have asked each participant to describe the specific landscape they have encountered on the walk, also by 3 words. Here are likewise the landscape impressions, also ordered as they are written in the guest book.

Landscapes on the old farm in Mols Bjerge

Farm – Hilly – Weeping willow

Open – Calm – Silent

Succulent – Hilly – Luminous

Fertile – Hilly – Exceptional

Depth – Lightness – Accommodating

Stillness – Eternity – Joy

Countryside idyll – Intimacy

Wild – Magnificent – Calmness

Vital – Calm – Familiar

Landscapes in and around the Botanical Garden in Aarhus:

Spring – Fertile – Human made

Forest – Breathing space – Cultivated

Differences – Senses – Experience

Urban nature – Natural manipulation – Feel hand – Flood of emotions

Terrain – Different  grounds – Sun, summer, spring

Texture – The wind –  Surfaces

 I will not go into analysis here, but let the words create their own associations and curiosity.

With many hours of recorded interviews, hundreds of pictures and a full film recording of one of the walks, I am drowning in interesting, useful, emperical material. It all comes down to these first hand impressions. I am thrilled by the difference in experience and verbalization, and the various emotions and elements the walkers have brought with them to the feedback table. Though a bit overloaded and exhausted from the last weeks, I am so very grateful for the outcome of the project so far. I CANNOT wait to get the thesis writing done, getting ready to do more of this, that I am becoming more and more happy to do.

See you soon!

Peace and light,

Lotus

Categories: Cityscape, Country side, Feedback, Landscape Dialogues, Thesis experiment | 2 Comments

Sensescapes in Mols Bjerge#3

Today will be the last day in my experiment with sensorial walks in Mols Bjerge.

It has been magical.

Sensorial encounters everywhere.

Silence.

Streams and fields of emotions.

Playfulness.

Laugther.

Important states of exploring inner and outer landscapes.

Lovingly wonderful participants.

Today, in the last walk, I will be blindfolded myself. Christine will guide me.

Thanks to all of you: the participants, the photographers, the farm owners, the horses, the buildings, the land. You have made beautiful things happen, and for that I am grateful.

Here are some pictures from walk nr 4 out of 9 this week.

Participant: Martabolette. Photographer: Søren Gammelmark.

See you in two weeks for sensorial walks in Aarhus!

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sansevandring_10_04_2014_09

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sansevandring_10_04_2014_26 sansevandring_10_04_2014_31 sansevandring_10_04_2014_33

sansevandring_10_04_2014_39  sansevandring_10_04_2014_52 sansevandring_10_04_2014_56 sansevandring_10_04_2014_90 sansevandring_10_04_2014_96

sansevandring_10_04_2014_98

 

 

 

Categories: Blindfolding, Closeness, Country side, Euphoria, Gratitude, Landscape Dialogues, Playfulness, Thesis experiment, Trust | Leave a comment

Sensescapes in Mols Bjerge#2

Glimpse from the first ten minutes of today’s walk with Christine.

She lives here on the farm.

So in a way she was the host and I was the guest.

We had a wonderful time exploring her local landscape together.

Photographer: Rasmus Malling Skov

IMG_7381 IMG_7383  IMG_7387 IMG_7390 IMG_7394 IMG_7397 IMG_7401 IMG_7406 IMG_7408 IMG_7414

Categories: Blindfolding, Country side, Hands, Landscape Dialogues, Secret Hotel, Thesis experiment, Trust | Leave a comment

Sensescapes in Mols Bjerge#1

Yesterday I arrived at the farm.

Today I had the first two sensorial walks. On the first it rained.

Steady sounds of water drops on our hoods and boots and on the house and ground and everywhere.

Vertical landcape connections.

Soaked.

On the second walk photos were taken.

The participant’s name is Birthe. The photographer is Rasmus.

Here is a glimpse of the first part of the walk.

IMG_7203 IMG_7209 IMG_7216 IMG_7225 IMG_7239IMG_7264

 

Oh, and by the way, there are still two available walks in Mols this week. Friday and Saturday. Contact me at mielotus@gmail.com if you want to come on a walk.

Peace and light,

Lotus

 

 

Categories: Blindfolding, Closeness, Country side, Landscape Dialogues, Silence, Thesis experiment, Trust | Leave a comment

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