The Wilds of the Body and the Earth: Esalen Institute Symposium


I participated in a symposium at the end of June at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, which was called together by Don Johnson, an old friend who teaches somatics at California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco. Somatics practitioners, permaculturists and eco-activists investigated “the feeling many of us have that bodily experience, cultivated deeply and inquired into, is an important doorway to overcoming the alienation of humans from other beings, and from each other.”

My contribution to the conversation was a video-sculpture which explores the intimate entwinement of body and nature. Poetics of Skin 2 is a collaboration with multimedia artist Sarah Bliss ( Bliss’ video is projected into a shell-like sculpture made of translucent, amber-colored rawhide. The haunting images of a man and a woman moving together, as seen through skeins of rawhide, seem trapped in the small space of the sculpture, as if inside a body, an animal, or under the sea.The original Poetics of Skin can be seen documented at: