CAP WEEKEND WORKSHOP 2: Extended Form – Applying CAP to my research

This weekend was the second of a two part CAP (Creative Articulation Process) workshop in Siobhan Davis Studio, London, on 3-4 February 2024.



Naming activity: In pairs, 5 mins each, make some movements and feel and name while the other witnesses and reflects it (says it) back. Do not tamper or limit the process, it is not static defining, rather naming as a process, there is a dynamic interaction between the action and naming it. Focus, follow the changes inwardly, somatically, naming it out loud and continually checking to see if it is the right name. Then swap.

I closed my eyes and moved my hands and limbs while sensing my own body, in different movements, shapes, and pressures.

Reflections on the activity: (I continued to made similar movements with my arms, hands, my body as I sat and sometimes used a chalk to draw with one hand while I wrote with other, so that I was not just remembering but also living the action as I wrote)

Solid form, soft, floating, flowing, dry, gliding, flowing, separate, nearness, touch, caress, tender, sweet, connecting, together, watch, follow, watch, follow, move, mover, reach, touch, merge, unite, colour, dark, old, short, lifting, witness, stillness,, longing, invitation, ease, comfort, BLOW, BLOW, violent pain, resist, fight, stranger, fear, rigid, tension, outcast, fear, FEAR, bent, lost, fear, tension, blow, hit.

My hands are my body and my mind. Now they are separate, one is still, witnesses, while the other moves freely, making patterns. Now the still hand longs to join the other, make shapes, move together, each moving with the other, the chalk forms on the page, on the skin, skin on page, skin on skin, chalk, skin, chalk, skin. Each feeling the other. Intertwining. Then Anger, blows, pain, separation, resistance, solid, rigid forms.


A condensed activity- 45 mins: Using the 6 facets of CAP for my own inquiry


Explore different spaces in the room and work with what you bring and forms your inquiry. Situate your enquiry, with your connections and explore where is the felt sense in relations to these. Use dual attending, tracking, sensing.

Name the lineage on pieces of paper, all the things that feature in your enquiry, the practice, the skills, the experiences, and place them around the floor in relation to your enquiry. See image & clip: Naming the lineage


Reposition them as feels right, in order of importance/value for you and your senses. What you feel closer or further connect to.  

Then choose those that seem particularly important and write some questions that you would like to explore, i.e. how might I…, what if I …

Raising (Questions for my research)

  • What if I use the tripod and not feel and move with the camera? How might my being in front of the camera, instead of behind/around/embracing/holding it affect my embodied experience of filmmaking? 
  • Might I experience peak-flow states if as filmmaker, I am the performer in front of the lens? Might I experience peak-flow states in my embodied interactions with the camera in as both filmmaker and performer?
  • Does the choice of camera affect my embodied experience? How does this smaller DSLR feel against my body and affect my immersion and peak-flow experience compared to my larger semi-pro?
  • Might I experience peak-flow states without trancelike moments?

Anatomising: What if…? Deliberately allow yourself to shift and explore other ways of doing things. Let go of being precious about the ways of doing what you are attached to. 

Activity: Try 3 iterations of approaching your enquiry. 

I decided to try:

1-using the tripod

2- no tripod

3: no external performing subject in front me


Filming was challenging as there were around 25 people in the room, occupying various positions, each engaged in their own practice, with some moving around me and noise from their practice. My position was limited in space and positioning the camera was difficult as I had to position it very close to the wall I used for the performance to avoid capturing the activities of other participants.

My camera, which I hadn’t used for filming for some years, felt alien at first. Without my own tripod, I borrowed one from the premises. It didn’t fit my camera properly, causing it to tilt. It felt unstable.  

I felt apprehensive and unsure about how I could have an embodied filmmaking experience with such restrictions and be both behind and in front of the camera have the possibility to experience peak-flow states. 

Equipment used: 

Hand-held camera: Canon EOS 60D with 18-200 IS Lens. I used a tripod, which I borrowed from the organisers, for the first experiment.

Reflections on my practice: These reflections were written during and immediately after as part of the experiments during the second weekend workshop. 

To see all film experiments please visit PW: CAP24

(Study 1: Camera as Witness) 

1-Using the tripod 

I placed the camera on a tripod and the camera screen rotated so I could watch the screen as I made movements. I filmed my hands in front of the lens, making dancerly movements, coming together. I found myself focused so much on what was happening on screen, I wasn’t aware of the sensory experiences in my body. I had to really focus to pay attention to both. The process was strange, I felt I had to remind myself to pay attention to my own body and sensory experiences. I felt distanced from my body, more attentive to my mediated body on the small camera screen. I also felt removed from the camera, I could hold it and guide it, it didn’t feel like a limb as when I film Maeve. Dual attending comes much easier when I hold the camera. I am aware of my body, Maeve’s body, the camera’s body, we are all in sync. This felt removed from that. I may feel more connected while editing on a bigger screen. It would be interesting to see if I connect with it sensorially. Since the experience wasn’t. I felt I was performing for the camera (not with the camera).


Choose 4 from the 6 CAP facets (opening, situating, delving, raising, anatomizing, outwarding) in your practice. Write them down. 5 mins on each facet. 

I chose (My Intention and Methodology, using the CAP ‘facets’ of Delving, Raising and Anatomizing in my practice):

  • Delving: Sensing charcoal and drawing
  • Raising: On the wall
  • Anatomizing: On film
  • Outwarding: Sensory reflective writing 

Reflections on activities is the ‘outwarding’ facet (sensory writing as I continued to relive experiences by touching, holding and caressing the charcoal or camera to allow my body to re-live as I re-called the experiences in ‘embodied’ writing):

Delving (sensing charcoal and drawing – Not filming): Moving the piece of charcoal in my hands, sensing its surface, its ends, hardness, smoothness, the sudden ends. Sensing its texture and shape against my skin, the palm of my hands, holding it between two palms, my fingers touching, then moving, touching with the charcoal in my hands. 

Drawing on paper, feeling the smooth surface of the paper as I roll the charcoal on it. My eyes closed, just staying with the sensation of touch and the faint sounds (of charcoal moving on the page), drawing while holding the charcoal with both hands, all three, my two hands and the charcoal moving together, all part of the same action. 

Drawing with one hand and moving the charcoal on my other hand, as it moves along. 

Raising (on the wall–no filming): The charcoal on my skin, fascination with the marks on the page, on the wall, without the camera, the hand engages in a dance of mark-making. I can feel my hands, I can feel a smile on my fact, as I am drawn into the action. 

-I start to move my body as I move my hands on the paper, my whole body now engaged in the performance. 

-Now I bring my face close to the action. Now my body moves further from the hands. 

-The charcoals feels hard against my skin, but moves smoothly. It’s exhilarating! Moving and watching the marks appear.

-Moving suddenly into jerked movements, jagged lines, feeling the change in my body.

(Study 2: Camera as Performer)

Anatomizing: I turn the camera on and continue, while filming with handheld camera 

-Back to moving, this time holding the camera with one hand as the other draws on the page. The camera, it takes a little time to find a way to hold it and (rotate) position the screen.

-Now I hold it in my left hand and draw with the right.

-Now I switch. 

-I hold the camera still, then begin to move, with the camera, with the drawing hand. 

-I become engaged in the movement, the camera becomes a part of the action.

-I notice the shadow of my dancing hand as it lifts from the page,

-I feel a sudden euphoric moment of discovery! 

-I play with moving my hand in dancerly ways, only the shadow appearing in the frame.

-It feels beautiful! It looks beautiful. A floating sensation my dancing arms/hand continue in my body. 

(Camera off)

(Study 3: Duet with Shadows: Encountering an Altered Sense of Self  & Study 4: A Sensory Duet: Enkinaesthetic Entanglements with the Camera)

Back to the camera (I turn the camera on and film with handheld camera)

I start to play more with the shadows on the page, then move in and out of the frame, out of focus, shapes, they look ephemeral, feel ephemeral, I feel again joy!

-then I begin to touch the camera, my hand touching, caressing around the lens,, the shapes so blurred in the frame, very other-worldly, I start to get lost in the process, the shapes, I engage further, now with the hand holding the camera’s body, I use my fingers to extend the lens, the image becomes even more blurry, haunting! The light through the fingers caressing around and the front of the lens, creating black shapes of the fingers and light between. It’s a beautiful image that carries the moment, it feels so close to my body, my sense of the movements, my hands. 

As I reflect, I feel my body in a heightened sense of awareness of tingling in my mouth, my whole body.  

Reflection on all four process/facets

This was a very new experience. The willingness to take a different approach, move from behind the lens, and a very immersed connection with the camera, to front of the lens while operating the camera. It felt unknown and at first unintuitive. It was when I discovered the shadows dancing, which led me to a more immersive embodied way of using the camera, allowing the camera again to feel embodied in a very sensory way, the entanglement and sensing of the camera, the action, the process, the creative impulse that the action in front and with the lens became a very intense ‘becoming’ ‘entanglement’, ‘enkinaesthetic’ and intra-active. The visual frame capturing what was taking place most authentically/ I became the performer, the camera, the screen. It felt euphoric! It felt so intensely exhilarating. After turning the camera off, I continued to feel, as I do still, heightened sensory engagement. My body still carrying the experience, feeling warm, tingly, overwhelmed, I need to stop. 


This process so far has been about exploring what it feels like to step in front of the camera. To be not the filmmaker, camera operator and collaborating (with the performer/subject). This particular mode of collaborating, adding being also in front of the camera and as I moved, engaged more deeply, experienced, I found being in front and behind (the camera) and amplifying the sensory experience of my camera and screen, profoundly holistic. The collaboration, the intra-action heightened and my sensory and emotional engagement intensified. Feeling joy! Intense joy! My mind, my inner senses moving, floating, dancing, not just my physical body. 


Dancing directly with the camera, Eye opener and utterly beautiful experience and outcome. (In the next experiment) I will ask Maeve to play with me and the camera directly, physically. It’s joyful!

I can’t stop smiling! My whole body suspended in the moment. Sometime after the work., my body still processing it, experiencing it. I’ve been digging around the same mine for ages, finding gems I have expected to be there. It feels like suddenly I have dug a new type of precious stone. One I’m so keen to know (about). Very happy! I feel I need some time, some distance, to process it.


About the experience

This practice explores sensory experience of performing directly with the camera and the artist behind the camera. 

In this particular work, the performer in front and behind the camera (filmmaker) are the same person. The performance takes place by the human performer and the extended performer as the camera. It is an integration of performer and the camera. The physicality of the camera is explored and experienced by both cinematographer behind the camera and the performer in front of the camera, in an extremely intimate intra-action with the camera. The proximity of the performance of the hand in front of the camera is increased until there is no longer a distance between the physical hand and the lens. There is a directly sensorial experience of the camera through touching and caressing it. In this experiment, there is no distance between the apparatus, its operator and the performer, who are the same person. The operating hand also adjusts the lens to and from, so the left and right hand and the body are all feeling the camera. The image in the frame becomes increasingly blurred, displaying the hand as a phantom form of the fingers and the space between, becoming less distinct as they blur into black.  The shapes almost touch the front of the lens and caress the sides of the camera, with light between the fingers creating more abstract shapes.  The movements and shapes appear as ethereal floating forms. A metaphoric image that mirrors the felt sense of the creative experience and the unexpected forms and movements with the body, in the mind and on the mediated forms on screen.