What makes you move?

The question “what makes you move?” has moved me for a long time – physical movement is only one component of it. Today I can say that the interest in movement – the joy that lies in it, the manifold possible motivations within, the potential of connecting people … – has become the fulcrum of my very own … precisely!

Poster at “First-Person Science of Consciousness” Conference

I just visited the exiting conference “First-Person Science of Consciousness” at the University of Witten/Herdecke, having rewarding conversations with many scholars.

This conference assembled a whole lot of people who work with and make progress concerning methodological issues in phenomenology and first-person observation, not shying away to use the word “introspection”, and to fill it with life. Many approaches were based on Claire Petitmengin’s “explicitation interview” and micro-phenomenology.

I presented a poster, which was just the next step of mine to develop a framework of practicing somatic movement, to be published soon.

Feldenkrais @ Happy Campus

From 20.5. to 7.6.2019 there’s an amazing workshop festival on mental and physical health and wellbeing at Osnabrück University: Happy Campus. I recommend visiting these wonderful workshops, organized by four extremely engaged students of Cognitive Science (see program).

I invite you to three free Happy Feldenkrais Awareness-through-Movement sessions:

Happy Feet – 28.5., 8:30 Raum der Achtsamkeit
Happy Spiraling – 29.5. 12:00 15/130 (EW-Gebäude Innenstadt)
Happy Quadrupeds – 11.6., 8:30 Raum der Achtsamkeit

From the syllabus: “Willst du dich frei und gelöst bewegen? Deinen Körper in Bewegung spüren und explorieren?  Frisch und motiviert den Tag beginnen? Eine Balance zwischen Studium und achtsamem Umgang mit dir selbst entwickeln? Erkunde dies und mehr in spielerischer Atmosphäre in diesen drei Bewusstheit-durch-Bewegung Workshops.”

Feldenkrais ATMs after Thomas Hanna

In spring 2019 I gave a Feldenkrais course based on Thomas Hanna’s book “Somatics. Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement, Flexibility, and Health” as part of the Gesundheitszertifikat” at the University of Osnabrück. Hanna assembled a classic selection of Feldenkrais Awareness-Through-Movement (ATM) lessons combined with a concept of the main lines along which the body organizes itself in daily movement (i.e., somatic functions): extending, bending, reaching, turning, orienting.

Available downloads (all German):

Syllabus & Script “Strecken wie eine Katze”

Audio: Ankommen auf dem Boden, Erinnern der 7 Lektionen

Audio: Strecken wie eine Katze

“Betriebsanleitung” – Is this a new or interesting painting?

My friend Jan Kämmerling recently published a wonderful catalogue of his paintings, titled Bedienungsanleitung/Instruction manual.

I am thrilled that I could contribute an essay about my experience with Jan’s art, which I intimately know since 20 years now. My thanks go to Jan for asking me to author this essay, as he thereby encouraged me to elaborate on my reflections about fine art, about the artistic intentions of his as well as my own, and the many links that I trace to my new field of study, cognitive science.

You can download my essay here (German +  English translation by Tom Raab).

Buy the catalogue, it’s worth it! And you support a brilliant painter. Also, marvel Jan’s paintings 🙂


Internal circus arts

What is aesthetically pleasing? Public perception changes, and while external forms are still thrilling (see the usual activities promoted e.g. by the Red Bull sports “circus”), other circus artists develop performances which move me deeply, only because I feel with them. Not the danger, not the difficulty of the tricks … but their play with the experience of the moving body. Internal martial arts like Taijiquan have a long tradition of cultivating the sense of the moving body, not the least because of the effectiveness of this practice. Nowadays, “internal arts” have become object of aesthetic appreciation, or what Richard Shusterman aptly called “somaesthetics“.

Beautiful examples shows this short ARTE video: A trampolinist indulging in the experience of the mid-air turning point, a trapezist sensing and playing with the shifts of gravity in her body, an equilibrist enjoying the play with balance.

Chauvet cave

I was very fascinated to see the oldest paintings that we know of in (a whole bunch of) documentary (documentaries, one by the director maniac Werner Herzog) about the Chauvet cave, a reconstruction of which has just opened. Here is a short impression:

Someone seems to share my fascination – I love this game about staring at a cave wall.

I also enjoyed watching the short animation movies which have been produced for the occasion of the opening. You can find them on ARTE.