undertoe – which currently only exists in prototype form – fills a large, interactive room with the experience of walking on water, and watching yourself from the beneath the surface. It traces the almost imperceptible sounds of our footfalls into a pool of water directly above our heads. Hop lightly on your feet, and create a gentle series of ripples that disperses outward. Heavier jumps result in sustained rolling across the room’s expanse. Loud stomping produces large swells of undulating liquid. Each footstep, or sound we make on the floor below us, results in a “hum” of varying amplitude and duration above, and each “hum” vibrates the water, making literal “sound waves” that disrupt the reservoir and unsettle the environment around us. Soft lamps shine focused beams through the mildly colored fluid, illuminating bands of light and dark blue on the space’s walls and floor.
As more participants cross the threshold into undertoe, their movements erupt outward and in counterpoint to one another, making a cacophony of co-operative formations. Sweeping effects creep across the water’s surface, performing a multitude of possibilities in our unfolding, enfolded, and intensified relationships. undertoe asks us to attune ourselves to the world we inhabit, together, and to rehearse the potential in our reciprocal interactions within it. Our bodies’ literal “minor impacts” (footsteps) are shared with exterior space, things, and other bodies, and we respond in kind, again. The piece explicitly provides a habitat where we can collaboratively practice better modes of active relation with water, the environment, and each other. It invites us to perform otherwise, personally and politically, with matter, spaces, bodies, and their matters.