a collection of fluid spaces is a radical embryology laboratory, an installation of dance and somatic states, that uses touch and movement as doorways into our embryonic journey. We will reveal some of the morphological patterns of embryogenesis, a surging of forces and forms, that continue to shape each of us.

a collection of fluid spaces offers a series of dances, workshops, lectures, and conversations bringing the public together with artists, scientists, therapists, and philosophers in the medical museum. Conceived, choreographed and directed by Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad of BodyCartography Project.

Embryology is the description of the individuation process that underlies our coming into form. The first eight weeks after conception is when our body forms its basic structure. We transform from a fertilized egg, into two cells that multiply into a cluster of cells, fluid-filled spaces, to become a complex being. These fluid spaces and processes underlie our current structure and inform our current state of being.

”With embryology, anatomy ceases being the static, achieved geography of structures – a stillness that is primarily borrowed from the cadaveric inertia of the dissected body – and reveals what moved and still moves our seemingly silent interiors. Learning through embodiment may start from a choreographic-like mind, the one that takes images as maps, maps as diagrams, and everything as scores. In the case of embryology, the term score seems almost to be closer to music than to dance, and in fact lines and directions describing the all too busy movement of the forming embryo, in order to be “correctly” read, need kinematics being paralleled with dynamics: a play of intensities, rhythms, simultaneous events, different speed rates.”
Carla Bottiglieri, project researcher

When we investigate embryology with somatic tools, we engage our imaginations through physical practice to challenge the predominant medical narrative, often focused on pathologizing embryos and invisible mothers. Focusing on our own embodied embryological experience we can learn something from the gestalt of an embryo, a manifestation of a being in its wholeness, rather than individual DNA and cells.

The premiere of a collection of fluid spaces took place Nasjonalt Medisinsk Museum at the Norsk Teknisk Museum, in Oslo April 21-30, 2022 with eight 90 minute performances with performers Hanna Filomen Mjåvatn, Kristina Gjems, Gry Kipperberg, Otto Ramstad, Olive Bieringa and musician and composer Bernt Isak Wærstad. Workshops, talks and video works with guests including movement researcher Konrad Obermeier (DE), developmental biologist Scott Gilbert (USA), anthropologist and philosopher Stefania Consigliere (IT), and movement educator and therapist Thomas Greil (DE).