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Movement Improvisation as a Practices to Imagine Sustainable Futures

Antti Uimonen


This dissertation project is multidisciplinary research that combines discourse and practice from the fields of Sustainable Development, Futures Studies, and Movement Improvisation. More specifically, the research aims to examine conditions and frames for Movement Improvisation practice to speculate on more-than-human sustainable futures.
The research derived from the observation that sustainability discourse often sets plans and pathways toward more sustainable futures based on nature’s instrumental value to humans. In this way, humans put themselves above the planetary ecosystem. In addition, the sustainability discourse rarely touches on embodiment and embodiment knowledge as a source to speculate sustainable futures. That inspired me to take a posthuman standpoint and set this research to examine more-than-human futures and movement inspiration as a practice for speculations of futures.
Some essential findings of this research are connections, similarities, and overlaps between, within, and without this multidisciplinary research context. Based on the research conducted using Affective Methodologies, all fields approach complexity uniquely, and there are ways to combine them. More importantly, one of the critical aspects of framing Movement Improvisation is based on actualizing affective potentialities in the space. For a practitioner, all the movements are in the space, and there is no need to create new movements but to actualize the potential of what is there. By changing perception from the need to create and control the happenings in the space, movement improvisation can turn from a self-centered perspective to a broader systemic perspective to acknowledge more-than-human relationships in the space.
Similarly, speculating more sustainable futures asks human perception to open up to the environment and see and actualize what becomes necessary. Nevertheless, it is crucial to highlight that we need plans and pathways toward more sustainable futures. However, as an additive, we need to understand bodies and embodied knowledge more broadly to create sustainable futures narratives.

Supervisor: Dr.Joao da Silva
External Mentors: Katie Duck, Pilvi Porkola

Keywords: Sustainability, Futures Studies, Speculation, Movement Improvisation, More-than-human, Both/and logic.

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