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Experimental Design

Laurene Pilastre

Laurene Pilastre is a multidisciplinary artist based in London, UK.

Her practice is rooted in a urgency and necessity of making visible what is invisible, challenging human perceptual realities in relation to nonhuman entities.

She studied Product Design BA (Hons) at Central Saint Martins in London in 2017, where she developed a materiality focusing on the significance of the animus or governing intention of matter.

Before starting her studies at the Royal College of Art she worked as a set designer assistant for theatre, museums and exhibitions which deeply influenced her practice and drove her to consider the way people, movements, objects and stories relate to each other to create meaningful phenomena.

Dwelling on the performativity of matter she hosted a series of workshops in 2020 across London and Bristol with performers, dancers and musicians coming in conversation with hanging sculptures she created. From this project emerged Quantum Touch, a moving image piece that was premiered last Summer at Redfest in Bristol and exhibited at the Shop Front 286 group exhibition last October in London.

Recent projects include developing prospective narratives in collaboration with Kings College Synthetic Anatomy Department and working on performative pieces with a ChiKung master and dancers enquiring about the spatiality of the body.

Her latest work The Space of Air will be exhibited at the Menier Gallery in London part of the group exhibition BEEP BEEP - The end of the end of the world, 23rd-25th of July, Menier Gallery, 51-53 Southwark St, London, SE1 1RU. More about the show at : https://www.rca.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/beep-beep-end-end-world-ied-experience/

Slowing oneself down, through performance, moving image and installation based work I seek to create embodied experiences in which the body is approached as a sensing territory, continually mingling with its environment.

Creating sensual fables enquiring about the relation between the Earth and our bodies ecologies I aim to foster the recognition that our environment is not a resource to be managed or an externality to which we must adapt but a web of mutual imbrication, in which we recognise humans as interdependent, porous organisms in solidarity with their milieu and the elements.

Exposing the relation and consciousness of the natural living spaces we - humans- inhabit and the relation we weave with the other beings that populate it, I seek to understand and become more attuned to the specificity of the environment I create in, to its pace and rhythm and engage people to realise things they rarely notice in our everyday lives, such as the Air we breathe or the way we move through space.


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Three different scales investigating how to come in an embodied relation with air

What kind of relation can we weave between human bodies and the space of Air?

The Space of Air : for Embodied Ways of Sensing the Air is an experimental research project, a triptych presenting three different scales of experiments to reinforce our bodily bound with air, the space we inhabit. Enquiring about the relation between bodies and the space of Air, the invisible spiritual matter that holds primal life energy and acts as a continuum between the Earth and our bodies ecologies the project investigates ways of creating new embodied experiences in which the body is a sensing territory continually vibrating, pulsing and mingling with Air.

The Space of Air : for Embodied Ways of Sensing the Air (2021) — A short film by Laurene Pilastre Performer Carol Blakemore Thank you to Mariam Bergloff, Vrinda Jelinek and Louis Grateful acknowledgement to the London Wildlife Trust and the Walthamstow Wetlands
Still from The Space of Air : for Embodied Ways of Sensing the Air (2021)
Still from The Space of Air : for Embodied Ways of Sensing the Air (2021)
Still from The Space of Air : for Embodied Ways of Sensing the Air (2021)

What kind of relation can we weave between human bodies and the space of Air?

Moving in the affective troposphere for embodied ways of sensing the air, this moving image piece acts as an affective and meteorologic presence to enter a different temporality and space-time, bringing spectators into new experiential and spatial possibilities.

“The troposphere, the messy space where we breathe and live along with other beings” - Nerea Calvillo, Particular sensibilities, e-flux Architecture

Medium:

Moving Image

Size:

Duration :19 minutes 19 seconds
The Space of Air, Collection of Guided Poems and Recipes for Embodied ways of Sensing the Air (2021) — Text by Laurene Pilastre Visual by Juliette Coquet
The Space of Air, Collection of Guided Poems and Recipes for Embodied ways of Sensing the Air (2021) — Text by Laurene Pilastre Visual by Juliette Coquet
The Space of Air, Collection of Guided Poems and Recipes for Embodied ways of Sensing the Air (2021) — Poem by Laurene Pilastre Visual by Juliette Coquet
The Space of Air, Collection of Guided Poems and Recipes for Embodied ways of Sensing the Air (2021) — Poem by Laurene Pilastre Visual by Juliette Coquet
The Space of Air, Collection of Guided Poems and Recipes for Embodied ways of Sensing the Air (2021) — Poem by Laurene Pilastre Visual by Juliette Coquet
The Space of Air, Collection of Guided Poems and Recipes for Embodied ways of Sensing the Air (2021) — Poem by Laurene Pilastre Visual by Juliette Coquet
The Space of Air, Collection of Guided Poems and Recipes for Embodied ways of Sensing the Air (2021) — Poem by Laurene Pilastre Visual by Juliette Coquet
The Space of Air, Collection of Guided Poems and Recipes for Embodied ways of Sensing the Air (2021) — Poem by Laurene Pilastre Visual by Juliette Coquet

What kind of relation can we weave between human bodies and the space of Air?

This collection of Guided Poems relate to gestures and movements as a way to connect with the air within and outside oneself. Rooting the project’s political aspect within the reader’s intimate sphere.

Through this collection I developed twenty-nine ‘guided poems’ one could use to deepen and explore their relation with air. A manual, gathering recipes to encourage gesture, to explore sensually and physically the power and necessity of air within our lives.

Developed in collaboration with designer Juliette Coquet, the graphic identity of the collection enacts a movement and aims to prompt a bodily experience that comes out of the page. The collection visuals and use of emptiness are inspired traditional Chinese paintings, considering voids and blank space as dynamic and active elements, the core of the composition.

Medium:

Book

Size:

198 pages - Width 119 X Height 200 mm
Breathing entanglement, our reliance on Air (2021) — Directed by Laurene Pilastre Performer Buket Yenidoğan Thank you to Nirit Binyamini Ben-Meir, Romane Courdacher and Bolim Jeon
Still from Breathing entanglement, our reliance on Air (2021)
Still from Breathing entanglement, our reliance on Air (2021)
Still from Breathing entanglement, our reliance on Air (2021)
Still from Breathing entanglement, our reliance on Air (2021)

What kind of relation can we weave between human bodies and the space of Air?

Through this performance and performative prop the breath is experienced as what enables us to be animate. Approaching the body as a more-than-human site of ecological exchange in which the prop allows the boundaries of the body to spill out all the while containing and holding the space of air.

“With every breath we take, we expose our lungs to the outside world, regardless of all the barriers we have erected between the environment and ourselves” - Luce Irigaray, The Forgetting of Air, 1999

“We cannot escape this air. It is the air that comes into our body through our lungs” - Nerea Calvillo, Particular sensibilities, e-flux Architecture

Medium:

Moving Image - Performance - Fabric sculpture - Silk

Size:

Duration : 39 minutes 44 seconds
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