The Sensuous Society

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Hallberg, Gry Worre. “The Sensuous Society.” Global Performance Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, 2017,

Gry Worre Hallberg

Artistic director, performer and practice-based PhD student

  • The Sensuous Society Manifesto – The point of departure of our work in Greenland during Fluid States. The manifest is an invitation to performative experimentation with a potential future world governed by the aesthetic dimension.
  • Sisters Hope in GreenlandA film that in a sensuous way (cf. the manifesto) documents our intense and yet very still journey in and with Greenland.
  • Fluid Text – Associative text reflecting on the last day of the manifestation in Nuuk and the fluid times afterwards.
  • Sisters Hope in Greenland, PSi#21 – A series of photos from the North Atlantic, Greenlandic voyage, and the events in and around Nuuk.

Sisters Hope in Greenland

Sisters Hope is a performance group led by Gry Worre Hallberg. Sisters Hope contributed to The North Atlantic Cluster of Fluid States with a “sensuous classroom” (the Sisters Academy) in a telematic room at the Nuuk Art Museum, and with an exploration of the streets of Nuuk and the landscapes of Greenland. The sensuous classroom at the Nuuk Art Museum was digitally connected to two similar platforms, one in Torshavn (Faroe Islands) and one in Copenhagen (Denmark). People at the three sites interacted with each other through Skype-like internet connections. The purpose of the establishment of a virtual and telematic space was to investigate how to create presence, interaction, and intimacy despite the long geographical distances that defines the North Atlantic area.

Sisters Academy is an ongoing project that aims to develop new formats for sensuous learning. The project in its ongoing manifestations (of which the sensuous classroom in Nuuk was one) invites participants to step into other worlds that aim to liberate participants from everyday frameworks and structures, and invite them to explore the world from new perspectives. Classroom activities were organized by The Sister (Gry Worre Hallberg) and her staff (Nana Senderovitz, performer and project coordinator, Diana Lindhardt, performer and photographer, and Ulf Rathjen Kring Hansen, sound designer) in collaboration with local artists, The Greenlandic House in Copenhagen, and a number of international artists and researchers. (For a full credit list, see here). All residents of Nuuk were invited to participate. The project was advertised in the local media as well as through the Nuuk Art Museum, Katuaq, and The Greenlandic House. Schoolchildren (seventh grade) from the Atuarfik Hans Lynge School were also invited to take part. They chose to move all their classes to the Nuuk Art Museum for the entire week of the presence of the Sisters Academy. Under the guidance of Sisters Hope they practiced sensuous learning and contributed content to the morning gatherings that were streamed life from the telematic space in Nuuk to the telematic platforms in Torshavn and Copenhagen, respectively.

The telematic space was a narrow, flexible space equipped with digital equipment (flat screens, speakers, microphones, web cameras, and computers installed with internet, teleconferencing system, and other software). The set-design in the telematic space in Nuuk included evidence of “school” (blackboards, chalk, pen and paper, stamps, desks) while also deconstructing these “heavy” symbols by also including items of mundane character, such as sealskin, pillows and mattresses on the floor, hot tea and coffee, and chocolates, as well as mysterious objects, such as crystal balls, exotic scents, a gramophone with a crank, and other objects from bygone eras, like non-functional compasses and misleading maps. Light and sound contributed to evoke another, unknown universe and atmospheres of volatile or even spiritual dimensions, depending on the changing social situations that would arise in the classroom.