Sessies / Sessions #1-5

From November 2016 to May 2017 Martin Brandsma and Sibylle Eimermacher organize five sessions, that take place in Kunstruimte Hiemstra in Oldeberkoop. Close to the artspace the Delleboersterheide is situated, a nature area where usually one Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor) spends the winter. For Martin Brandsma and Sibylle Eimermacher their field encounters with this bird function as a starting point for developing the five sessions, each of them lasting one day.

A so called awayday is a moment for a group away from the usual workspace, often in nature, in order to brainstorm and reflect on a particular issue or to develop a new vision or strategy. Martin Brandsma and Sibylle Eimermacher base their sessions on this concept, while looking for a new course to present and communicate their observations and the fol- lowing ideas.

For them the presence of the Great Grey Shrike at the Delleboersterheide raises questions about social interaction, strategies of observation, behaviour connected to species and individuals, and identification processes with the other.

More information: Sessies / Sessions #1-5

Sessie #1: Speelveld / Session #1: Playing Field)

Date: 20th November 2016

Time: 7:20 – 17:32

Performance with Sibylle Eimermacher  (private and public part)

The territory of a wintering Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor) on the Delleboersterheide, Friesland, as a playing field for an encounter between human and bird.

A game of mutual observation and curiosity, of respect, challenge, acceptance, follow and hide, fleeing, giving way, evading and hiding, brings forth a motion pattern through the landscape away from the beaten tracks, with the tops of the trees as benchmarks.

During the public part of the performance the dynamics between the human movement in response to the birds movement were translated into a map of lines.


Sessie #2: Waarom en Wie / Session #2: Why and Who

Date: 22nd January 2017

Time: 11:00 – 17:00

Material:  7 posters, 170 grs polyester with satin coating (size: each: 841 x 594 mm), branch of a pine tree.

If you look attentively you see that all organisms have their own personality and behavior. But how does it come that we behave the way we do? And who or what is the motor for that? There are many theories. Some Neo-Darwinists think that we are all just vehicles for egoistic genes. But isn’t it that learning processes evoke changes? Isn’t it mainly our behavior, the environment and messages from the body itself that steer the genes?

And what if we don’t behave the way we behave?

Sessie #3: Opstelling  / Session #3: Constellation

Date: 26th February 2017 

Time: 11:00 – 17:00

with Sibylle Eimermacher

In session #3 questions are formulated about the nature of things, the different ways of being, the manifestation of presence. At the same time the focus will be laid on things that are absent but nonetheless present, the presence of the absence of things, the manifestation of absence.

Although the bird is absent, the image of the Great Grey Shrike of the Delleboersterheide can be imprinted on our retina, nourished by its distinctive presence in our memory from earlier observations. What stays is form, a silhouette, emptiness, the absence of the image. But in this emptiness the content stays explicitly present. The presence of absence is manifesting itself: emptiness is form, form is emptiness.

Also in language, written and spoken, the absence of characters – emptiness – and the absence of sound – silence – have a meaning. In a constellation the presence can be called up by asking questions, moving through the structure and looking from various points of view. Each position offers a new possibility to connect with the absent.

Sessie #4: (Ver)handeling / Session #4: Treatise

Date: 2nd April 2017

Time: 11:00 – 17:00

with Sibylle Eimermacher

What does behavior say about a species and what about the individual? How do we read the behavior of the other from our own perception, and translate what we perceive to our own understanding?

Sibylle Eimermacher and Martin Brandsma explore these questions with an ethogram and protocolling the behavior of their object of observation, the Great Grey Shrike of the Delleboersterheide. This protocol will serve as operating manual for session #4, where mutual identification between man and animal will be practiced.



Sessie #5: Botanische verkenningen / Session #5: Botanical explorations

Date: 7th May 2017

Time: 11:00 – 17:00

with Sibylle Eimermacher

In session #5 the botany of the Great Grey Shrike’s territory on the Delleboersterheide will be explored. The approach will be on aspects of efficiency, according to the functional considerations characteristic for the species.

The explorations bring about a tactile experience and physical understanding of the practical possibilities the botany on site has to offer. According to a treatise by Konrad Lorenz & Ursula von Saint Paul from 1968 about the development of certain aspects of shrike’s behavior, specific criteria of shapes in the surrounding of the bird function as stimuli for instinctive actions.

So what happens if we imitate the strategical actions of the other without the necessity for these practices? To what extent do we get closer to the animal’s being by adopting behavioral patterns?

See excerpt Botanische verkenningen on vimeo. Original film: 11:32