CAVES ARE ALIVE
Since time immemorial, caves, both natural and built, have provided potent spaces for dwelling, meditation, refuge, and creativity.
Cave Forms is a transdisciplinary dance inquiry that emerged in 2014 from Margit's exploration into "caving" as a way to replenish life forces. Cave Forms refers to a constellation of aesthetic/artistic investigations, and “caving” to the receptive and incubatory practices that focus specifically on nourishing the person in their environment, -- and the two streams have developed and intermingled throughout the arc of the work.
This project has developed through multiple collaborations with manyfold people, and would not have been possible without the collaboration of cave hags Frances Rosario and Mara Poliak, as well as the Point Reyes sessions with Asia Wong.
An ongoing project, Cave Forms has expanded into multiple community-based, personal, collective, and cultural art inquiries – events and practices that discover the vividness and togetherness that unfolds from the fecundity of caves. Some of these projects include the collective liberatory and aesthetic research of the Cave Coast Continuum; the development of learning method, based on the streams of cave art research, aka “Caveagogy”; experimental lectures on “How to Incite a Vivid Archive,” and Cave Forms workshops shared in places such as Austin TX, SomaFest LA, Sonoma County, Point Reyes, and numerous workshops at the homebase, Temescal Arts Center.
Cave Coast Collective
CAVE FORMS CONSTELLATION
Cave Forms Gallery, 2017 - present
The Gallery is a traveling installation. It demonstrates a vivid archive gallery, and can include elements such as: Cave Forms video installation including shorts by Avery Hudson, Chani Bockwinkel, Erika Mijlin, Margit Galanter, and Sarah Pritchard; caving opportunities and informances; cave drawings; Photos; and public facilitated conversations.
Cave Coast Collective, 2016 - present
The collective group that was initiated through Cave Coast Project 2016 continues to gather in different configurations, creating events based on caving and Cave Forms transdisciplinary practices. Through our process of examining economies and decolonizing, we have a long-term commitment to offering the Shuumi Tax to the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust. Collective participants have included: Asia Wong, Avery Hudson, Chani Bockwinkel, Crystal Jiko Sasaki, Emelia Martinez Brumbaugh aka Jubilee July, Frances Rosario, Geana Sieburger, Isa Leal, Kevin Lo, Lara Durback, Margit Galanter, Mollie Moorhead, Mara Poliak.
Cave Forms Workshops, 2015 - present
These workshops delve into the practices of Caving, - nestling, darkness, and stillness - for incubation and nourishment. We move through some embodied practices to expand from the richness of fecundity into actualizing vivid dance. By moving from inside to outside, we will felt together connections, accessing a reciprocity of doing and non-doing, form and formless. The workshops are context-specific, and will help you access your own creative furnace as a basis for watching, participating, and performing dance. Workshops outside integrate the inquiries of nature culture and live space.
Cave Forms Group Cave
Cave Forms Codex
Cave Forms Merchandise
Collaboration with GDS Clothgoods. There are still some pieces available. To purchase pillows, personalized caves, and eye masks:
Cave Forms Constellation Videos
Cave Forms Constellations.
By Margit Galanter and Erika Mijlin. Edited by Erika Mijlin. Footage by Chani Bockwinkel and AHud.
For more videos, go to Grove
Cave Coast Continuum Seaweeding, 2018
A project that combined deeper intimacy with the Cave Coast, through seaweed harvesting and cave arts research in Mendocino, facilitated with herbalist Tanya Stiller, 2018.
Cave Forms Landings, 2016
Cave Forms Landings invites no creativity, going into the deep dark yin potency to find vivid space dance. Cultivating the richness of inner spaces as a source for many generative forms of art and togetherness.
Performances, workshops, vivid archives, and collectivizing multi-disciplinary experiments from the fruits of several years in the Cave Forms world. November 2016 - constellation of events include:
Cave Forms Swifts
A performance with cave hags Margit Galanter, Frances Rosario and Mara Poliak ~ constellating, homing, and finding their way in. With lights by Elizabeth Ardent, sound by Kevin Lo, and set design by Geana Sieburger.
Cave Forms Workshop.
As part of the Cave Forms Culminating Events, this third dance mosaic workshop delved into the nourishing practices of Caving, nestling, darkness, and stillness as a place to begin. With this potency, we will uniquely move through some embodied practices to expand from the richness of possibility into actualizing vivid dance. By moving from inside to outside, we will felt together connections, accessing a reciprocity of doing and non-doing, form and formless. The workshop will help you access your own creative furnace as a basis for watching, participating, and performing dance.
No Creativity | Cave Coast Collective
***Blind recognition***Sludge witches***Pussy Resonance***Coastal Curl***Dance Order***Yes Magic***No Creativity***Crunchy Jelly***Mud-covered desire***Beast recognition***Vast let-go***Fractal recognition***Trance bonding***Wind softness***Anemone enemy***Sandstone rave***Multiplicitous understanding***Actual bites***Compassion Crows. Alex Cruse, Asia Wong, Avery Hudson, Chani Bockwinkel, Crystal Jiko Sasaki, Emelia Martinez Brumbaugh aka Jubilee July, Frances Rosario, Geana Sieburger, Isa Leal, Kevin Lo, Lara Durback, Margit Galanter, Mollie Moorhead, Mara Poliak, Randy Reyes
Cave Forms Vivid Archive + Gallery
A vivid archive gallery, including short videos from several editors, caving opportunities, cave drawings, video installation, and public conversation, with Alex Cruse, Denise Leto, Eleni Stecopoulos, Frances Rosario, Jess Dorrance, Mara Poliak, Margit Galanter, Maureen Whiting, Olive McBlack, Philip Huang, Rob Avila, and Tessa Wills.
Cave Forms Open Exchange with Julie Tolentino, 2016
Joe Goode Studio, FRESH Festival
Cave Forms Performance Constellation, 2016
Cave Forms, a vivid space dance research, rose up from the deep waters into Temescal Arts Center March 2016. Throughout two weekends, there were a series of events that formed a constellation for artist and participants. Most events were intimate performances, to create an atmosphere + vibe.
Cave Forms is:
An ongoing inquiry instigated by Margit Galanter, with feedback and exchange with the primary movers Mara Poliak + Frances Rosario, in conversation through dancing with Asia Wong in the outdoor caves. Cave Forms expands time, makes time, and gives space for the invisible to reveal itself and be seen. The project is nourished through exchanges that forge its versions, inviting a transreceptivity in choreography, empowered through felt-sense choice-making and composition.
Darkness, no creativity, togetherness, star-gazing, reciprocity, perceptual vibrancy, gathering, seeing and being scene, hermeticism, constellating, fecundity, channeling.
As F/ Genesis said the other night, “In-your-face Yin”
Cave Forms WORKSHOP. Experience caving practices — for perceptual vibrancy, as a way to slow down, for fun, + to enhance your view for the performance constellation to come.
Cave Forms DARK PERFORMANCE. In the Dark: watch the forms appear and disappear, and your perceptions change. This nested cave show takes place in the lowest light possible. Very limited seating.
Cave Forms BARE PERFORMANCE. The bare show caving performance. Single images, sensation + design, no creativity, cave mounds finding their communication together in the vivid space. Limited seating.
Cave Forms UNFOLDING. This culminating performance will arise in response to the earlier discoveries in the constellation, and the fecundity of the Cave.
This event was followed by a dinner from neighborhood restaurant Shangri-La Vegan and a Slumber Party and the unveiling of the Group Cave - a massive nine-sided Cave Form created for group cave experimentation
Cave Forms SLUMBER PARTY. Quiet, together, hermetic, slumber, and party. We will experiment. You can do your own thing. Some just might dance.
Cave Forms CAVING. Hermetic together. This event features The Group Cave - a massive nine-sided Cave Form, and provides time and space to practice caving on your own, as well. With the potency & materiality of the Cave.
How to Incite a Vivid Arc
The Dance Studies Working Group of the UC Berkeley Performance Studies Graduate Group hosted Margit Galanter for an artist talk / feedback session. Alongside Galanter’s multi-year and multi-varied Cave Forms performance research, she has been involved in asking, with collaborators, What is a vivid archive? In part an archive can extend beyond the bougie-ness of a Catalogue and work with what is underneath, how we index. An archive can be an extension of (non)activity, an opportunity for it to see itself from new angles, and a method for transducing and branching into new forms, breathing new life. Writing, video, graphs, drawings, and transdisciplinary materials have emerged from the Cave Forms project, some of which are surprising, and some of which offer the specificity of propositions on how to make meaning from the things made in the live(d) space.
Cave Forms SomaFest Audio, 2017
Password for Video Link:
BioDiversity Somatic Summit, Interview with host Teri Carter, September 2017, SomaticSummit.
Caves, both natural and built, provide potent spaces that have been inhabited for time immemorial. Cave Forms is a somatic and dance inquiry instigated by Margit Galanter with the intention to nourish life. Cave Forms is a project that works both outdoors and indoors, working with the potency of the environment, and finding the inherent connections between human-nature. Indoors, for a time, we work with cloth and fabric to create caves. Through the practices, we work with sensory-perceptual movement, sound, stillness, imagery, solo and group practices, all to access a multi-sensorial and engaged relationship with our body-environment-expression.The experience of discovering new relationships to time and space has a profound effect on one’s being and artistic imagination, to access a unique and vivid experience in space.
Cave Forms Forgers, 2015Temescal Arts Center, Oakland
An intimate project in the development of the vivid archive, and the proposition that the mover and viewer of the meaning of Cave Forms are inextricably linked. Forging refers to the alchemical process of creation, bringing matter into world use.
Cave Forms Vivid Archive
Vivid archive responses as a part of and after Cave Forms events:
Ca’av Incubations, 2018Temescal Arts Center.
Intimate art life ritual gatherings inspired by cave forms and collective imagining, curated by Margit Galanter. Participating artists: Angela Reginato, Asia Wong, Denise Leto, Eleni Stecopouls, Erica Newton, Frances Rosario, Kevin C. Lo, Olive McKeon, Mara Poliak, Margit Galanter, and Rae Diamond.
REFLECTIONS / AKA CAVEAGOGY
Since the practices of Cave Forms and Caving are based in quietude and fecundity, they have been unusually generative along the way. This is not only in terms of the plethora of performances and events created out of stillness, but also in the generation of ideas, pedagogy, and materials that can function beyond the art pieces in their original context. All of the facets work in constellation, and enact the potency of Ca’avs. Here are some examples:
The Arc of Work
As I started to develop the practice of Caving and watched it develop aesthetically thru Cave Forms, I found a set of processes growing that were generalizable for a creative live art project.
Inspiration / Felt Sense > Idea > Experiment > Practice > Practices > Indexing > Performances > Rest
Cave Forms specifically has felt so slow, so deep, so powerful, that we have likened its ride to a whale in the ocean, with most of its experience underwater, and every once in a while coming up and spurting out into the air.
When an art project is given the space, time, and context to grow beyond a singular set of events, then the ideas that emerge can be generalizable, and pedagogical tools and practices.
Art can become pedagogy / Cave art can become caveagogy
The more we slowed down in the caves, and the more I made space for slowing in the arc of the piece, the more the arc of the piece emerged as an arc, with nodes along it explicated and named. At some point in this slowing process, it became clear to me that art is odd in the sense that there is so much shared inquiry and research, and then the ideas and growth that come in a project “end’ somehow when the project does, and a new project begins, with what was learned composted to help grow the next one. This is an important process, and from the slowness I felt the importance to extend some of those spaces where one switches to a new vision, and let the ideas simmer, compost, and grow even more. So then, the proposition arose: what if the ideas that grew had space to be cultivated and explicated? The movement operations and scores, the ideas, the practices, they all began to take more form, and could be figured and formulated into something more like a pedagogy, and in this situation, more aptly a caveagogy. Through mapping, through teaching them in various contexts, and assemblages, Cave Forms and Caving began to emerge as approaches for learning, that could be applied to making art, to nourishing life, and to one’s creative evolution. The caveagogy is growing still, slowly.
Some of the most salient aspects of Cave Forms are the ones that can continue beyond the project. Cave Forms has become a set of pedagogical practices, or in its own language, caveagogical skills that can support creative process, practice, and praxis. The basic actions that are the foundational research, such as caving, working with sensation and design, with the inextricable relationship of mover and viewer, with the potency of opening and closing of the cloth, can be used as a set of elements to develop an artistic process, dance, and presencing in art and daily life.
Cave Forms worked with collectivity from many angles. The Cave Coast collective practiced foundationally and explicitly with the inquiry, “what is the dance between authorship and collective imagining?” The Collective was invented as a stream of Cave Forms from the onset to explore what could be learned or developed together that could not grow in personal research. Another basic question that was the basis of this collective stream: how to create social spaces that support the work of the instigator, and at the same time have enough room for people to be in their own creative inquiry and growing, simultaneously?
At base, Cave Forms works with connectivity, exchange, and togetherness. One of the paradoxes of being in a cave or a cloth “cave” is that one is provided personal space, but that space is necessarily in relation (to the cloth, with the environment, in place). The very nature of the aesthetic research of Cave Forms that differentiates it from Caving is that there is an intention to feel more than one side, that one can experience sensation from within and also practice with the quality, understanding, or perception that they are being seen. This came to be called “sensation and design” (thank you karen nelson for the phrase), and it is a basis for many ways in practice and in scores that Cave Forms works with imagining and collectivity.
Also in terms of collective imagining, the concept of three was primary in the project. The Three Treasures — in Taoist practice essence (earth), energy (human), and spirit (sky)— are interconnected aspects of life vitality, and are conceptually and formally the seed for a panoply of trios of Cave Forms (see Codex in middle column). This interconnectivity is best seen in the iconography of the vivid grove site: cave, channel, and constellation, aka earth, humanity, and sky-mind. This tripling provided an imagistic form that is embedded with collectivity from its base.
Art seems to be best when there is space for its reflection
Art seems to attain (deeper) meaning when there is space dedicated for reflecting, digesting, drawing off of the experience
Cave performances seemed to gain meaning through the spaces in between, the ways feedback was built into the events (thank you lisa and tuning scores)
Walks, dances, and journeys seemed to gain meaning magically through space for their reflection. This is one of the seeds of the vivid archive, because once someone has agency to work from their own growing, art begets new art. It is no longer a captured relic, as it is imbued with reflection.
The Vivid Archive
Through developing artistic and archiving processes for Cave Forms, I picked up on resonant creative practices of my peers and colleagues, and experienced the use that comes from giving space for each person/s respective artistic unfolding as part of our collaborations. This lead me in a few salient directions for Cave Forms.
1 > The archiving project became clearly one that would enable each person who participated to follow their own creative stream, thereby inviting the re/generative capacities of artistic growth to be embedded in the reflections of the work. The fecundity of the caves invited vivid expressions to grow, and so too the archiving methods and materials. For example, in making videos for the work, each one was an experimental collaboration that was lead by the maker, creating new artistic forms.
With a Vivid Archive, the material that was originally created finds new meaning through the practice and procedure of open reflection, transducing from one form to another. It’s a direct response to Capital, in the sense that it does not invite directive, lineal time, but rather is imbricated and in collage-time, slowing-down time, and giving-space time. The vivid archive is one which is shared, multiplicitous, and constellated.
2 > One of the primary inquiries that emerged through collective practices of Cave Forms and Cave Coast Collective was this: what is the relation between authorship and collective imagining? And this was related to another question: how can the practice of direction nourish both the research of Cave Forms, as well as the creative inquiries of the respective participants of each event? Even to ask the question, and to provide the incubatorial space of the caves led to people’s experience of agency and creative support.
A Codex Image
Through mapping out relations and connectivity, I was able to explicate the deep roots of Taoist alchemical study and Chinese energetics that underlie Cave Forms. Specifically, this showed how the three treasures -- earth, sky, and body-being, (aka essence (jing), life force (qi), and spirit (shen) fueled, nourished, and guided the qualities and tones of the streams of the multiplicitious constellations of Cave Forms.