The Bodies Intersect Buildings working group is exploring how architecture and built environment shape our physical, social and emotional bodies and behaviors. The group held meetings where we experimented with social choreographies in public and private spaces throughout the city, including Grand Central Station, Penn Station, and a Williamsburg apartment. Through the BiB Working Group we are finding ways in which we can reclaim our right to move, feel and interact freely in the spaces we inhabit.
How do your surroundings affect your feelings, actions, relationships? Does a high ceiling expand your imagination? Does the smell of your bedroom give you comfort? What are the forces that impact how you move through a crowded train platform, a forest, a school hallway?
Space has such a strong impact on the ways our bodies move, the ways we interact with one another, what we see, and what we don't see. Its design is rarely arbitrary, and yet its power over us so often remains invisible. In raising your awareness, you will increase your agency, and in doing so, grow your power.
Working Group Members:
Danica Selem - Working Group Facilitator
Danica Selem is an architect, space designer and an artist from Split (CRO) currently residing in New York City. After receiving a BA in Architecture and Urban Design from the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb she completed a Masters in Architecture at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where she works as an assistant professor. Her work spans from architectural projects, set design, visual and spatial art to theater directing and performance. She is interested in the perception of space and its cultural, social and emotional implications and in how those and the way we design are affected by the innovations in technologies related to design. She strongly believes in the power of collaboration and transversality of disciplines.
Eugenia Manwelyan is a New York based choreographer, educator, and ecologist. She is the co-founder of Arts and Ecology, Director of Eco Practicum, member of Best Praxis art collective, and a founding faculty of School of Apocalypse. Her work is rooted in pedagogies of power, social choreography, and the connections between creative practice and survival. As a visiting faculty at Columbia University, Eugenia has worked on environmental planning and arts projects in the New York bioregion as well as India, Vietnam, and Jordan. Eugenia spearheaded a youth theater and peace-building project in Israel and Palestine that is now in its tenth year. She holds a BA in International Development from McGill University and her MS in Urban Planning from Columbia University. With a passion for cybernetics and civic engagement, Eugenia is interested in the powers of indigeneity to reorient civilization toward a new paradigm for survival.
Jaanika Peerna is an Estonian-born artist and educator living and working primarily in New York since 1998. Her work encompasses drawing, video, installation and performance, often dealing with the theme of transitions in light, air, water and other natural phenomena. She is often involved in collaborative projects working with dancers and musicians. She has exhibited her work extensively in the US and internationally. Her work is represented by ARC Fine Art and Galerie Ulf Larsson. She was awarded the FID Grand Prize in 2016 for her work in drawing. Peerna is currently teaching artist at Dia Art Foundation.
Chia-Yi Huang’s work reflects her interests in traditional art, new media, and restless exploration of architectural form. Based in Brooklyn, she has produced acrylic paintings, line drawings, digital renderings and animations, worked with performance groups, and exhibited in the US and internationally, when her first group show was presented at the MORPHOS - Sustainable Empires in Venice. As a participant in New York architecture community, she focuses on bringing the potential to spaces and re-interpreting the interior relationships and adjacencies to a future landscape.
Ino Badanjak is an actor, writer, and improviser based in New York City. She has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Triskelion Arts, Columbia Stages, among others. Recently, she co-created and starred in "Ino Badanjak: Private Eye," a comedic crime drama that had a five month run at the Reckless Theater. She is interested in performance that teeters on the edge of the absurd and the real, with the central focus being the body and the architecture of image.
Eleni Arapoglou is a singer from Athens - Greece, currently based in New York City. She performs in many different groups singing music from her country as well as traditional and contemporary repertoire from latin america, Serbia, the middle east, & the mediterranean with influences of jazz and soul she has been exposed to for many years while living in the US. She has performed at the Latin Grammys, has recorded her first album with renowned producer Javier Limon as well as collaborated with flamenco maestro Jose Merce. During her theatre and music studies at Tufts University and Berklee College of Music, Eleni has been combining movement, dance and visual art; an exploration she is now strongly engaging in improvised performance with her own group in the city.