The Holding Space: Body Of (As) Knowledge




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Book chapter

Peer reviewed


Body Of (As) Knowledge (BOK) is a collaborative practice-based research project reflecting and expanding upon the practices of dance artist-scholars Sally Doughty, Lisa Kendall and Rachel Krische. BOK examines the body as a living archive, focusing on the collection, articulation and dissemination of the moving body as opposed to more traditional archival materials of artefacts and documents. This multi-stranded project engages with Derby Museum Trust to develop understanding of how traditional processes of archiving work, and includes performative outcomes presented in the museum space, NottDance (2017) and InDialogue Symposium (2016). The three authors propose a radical contribution to the publication in the form of a link to an online holding space for this research project. The digital holding space is a repository for film, audio and written documentation of BOK and seeks to highlight and privilege the assertion that the moving body acts as a living resource of archival information. The authors recognise the inherent contradiction of constructing an online artefact of this living, embodied project, and therefore propose that the online resource, in correlation with the concept of the moving body as archive, has a finite life-span. The authors will utilise encryption technology that makes electronic data ‘self-destruct’ after a specified period of time: the holding space will ‘erode’ or ‘rust’ as time passes, and after a certain point the online document can no longer be read (Bleeker 2012: 1). Therefore, the content held on-line remains only in the memories, bodies and practices of the three artist-scholars and the readers who engage with the online artefacts within the identified timeframe. Challenging the traditional notion that ‘the archive [is] that which endures’ (Roms 2013: 45), this contribution promotes a time-sensitive archive which is ‘subject to change, or even disappearance’ (ibid), to reflect the condition of a mortal, corporeal archive.



Corporeal Archive, Memory, Autobiography, Corporeal Artefact


Doughty, S. et al. (2018) The Holding Space: Body of (as) Knowledge. In: Art and Dance in Dialogue Body, Space, Object. Palgrave Publishers.


Research Institute

Institute of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies