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Movement and moment: in-between discreteness and continuity.

Douglas, Anne; Coessens, Kathleen


Anne Douglas

Kathleen Coessens


This paper explores a paradox. We breathe in, and then out. We walk by making paces, alternating left and right feet. Walking and breathing are made up of discrete intervals of space and time, involuntary actions of the living body, sustaining continuity. Continuity in movement is constituted by its opposite. The necessity to transpose the weight of our body between first the left and then the right foot creates motion. By analysing these discrete movements, it becomes possible to transpose them into languages of signs and symbols – notation, drawing, documenting what has happened to inform what might happen. Creativity intervenes, allowing us to vary the patterns playfully, because it is possible to do so with this kind of notational knowledge or trace. Languages of form building in art thereby constitute an effective, visual, embodied method of understanding how the body moves: a complex dialogue between gravity's pull towards stasis, the centre of the earth, countered by the urge to move from that centre into motion, into life.We will take two examples of artistic processes: one in the visual arts and the other, musical performance to explore how notational practices such as scores that are used by artists in the process of developing their work, can and do inform understandings of embodiment more generally.


DOUGLAS, A. and COESSENS, K. 2014. Movement and moment: in-between discreteness and continuity. Somatechnics [online], 4(1), pages 149-167. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 28, 2014
Online Publication Date Feb 28, 2014
Publication Date Mar 31, 2014
Deposit Date Aug 19, 2014
Publicly Available Date Aug 19, 2014
Journal Somatechnics
Print ISSN 2044-0138
Electronic ISSN 2044-0146
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 1
Pages 149-167
Keywords Experiential knowledge; Artistic creativity; Discreteness and continuity; Interval; Movement; Music; Visual arts
Public URL


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