In 2016, filmmaker Larry Asakawa and dancer/media artist Jhalak Kara Miller collaborated in Hawai‘i to create a video dance installation and performance called Habitat. Asakawa and Miller, conceived and then subsequently joined with other artists to produce a performance score for the installation, based on solo dances and video recordings that each undertook, produced, and filmed. Habitat explored the interconnections among humans and marine mammals as they relate to the controversial sonar testing activities in Pacific waters. The Habitat performance modalities included visual media, sound, and movement as tools for an embodiment process that might offer human communities a deeper awareness and understanding of the body in a holistic ecosystem. Somatic disciplines that include meditation and dance offer theoretical paradigms to understand the body as a site of knowledge production. Throughout the creative process, the artists ask how personal experiences in these marine habitats may be effectively translated through live embodied performance captured on digital video and then reframed in a gallery video dance installation? Grounded in movement practice, the artists also inquire how the blurry edges of somatic intelligence, feeling, and sensing through the body might focus our human perceptions, go beyond scientific analysis, and inform our intellectual minds to remember to care for the planet we live on?
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