object-gestures :: multimodal transcriptions

Kicking the Drawer

Inspired by the moment of suspension during the presentations and instructions, the piece dissects and re-assembles archival recordings, questioning performative semantics of different gesture.

Guidelines from US Office of War Information, archival films from British Pathe and online tutorials from YouTube. Samples of vocational instructions, skill demonstrations and body care advice. Searching for patterns among different registers, expressions and statements. Mashed up mini episodes, lists of verbal movements, prepositional spatiality and adjectival affectivities.

Anja Borowicz, KICKING THE DRAWER [v2], 2018, sound.

Overlaid Bodies

Anja Borowicz, Overlaid Bodies, 2017-18, video.

Overlaid Bodies [axis & levers]



I am studying the body positions of scientist and hairdresser. The similarities between their positions of spine, hips, shoulders, elbows. The angles and axis. The overlaps are captured on foils, displayed en masse, alternating the body of the performers.


  1. Three-hour session.
  2. I remain still while she slowly reveals the skill behind the smile.
  3. Checks of the body posture, stance, weight balance, arm position, hand alignment. The dance around the matter that is my hair.
  4. Focus on the head, the face, the façade, on the presentation. I am just the head.
  5. Make personal connections, enter social contract of trust, find beauty, provide therapy and bear weight of expectations. Welcome the opportunity to make another happy.
  6. Keep glancing in the mirror. Bear the gaze. I have no control, forced to face my own reflection again and again.
  7. You are still a trainee, enacting small corrections, unsure, returning again and again. Watching the relaxed professional with his efficient movements.
  8. We are all strange beings, the hair fell off our bodies but remained on top of our heads. I have a lot of hair, it is apparently a sign of good health.
  9. I am her aesthetic collaborator.
  10. She tames my unruly hair, proclaiming a war on wildness.



Her research is in neurorehabilitation, studying brain activity during robot-assisted motor adaptation (reaching movement force field disruption). Movement disruption as a result of neurological injury, translating instruction to dysfunctional motor abilities and mirror neurones function for observation/motor imagery for rehabilitation.

When she set me up for an EEG study, she is just an untrained professional, performing analogue, corresponding gestures. She provides me with explanation and care. I am simply another study subject. Moments of awkwardness and concern for the results as not all subjects have clear readings.

Anja Borowicz, Overlaid Bodies [axis & levers], 2018, text excerpt.

Kneading Malleables

The soundpiece combines the sounds of body massage with the acts of dough kneading and clay throwing. The source materials were selected from the BBC Sound Effects and The Internet Archive. This version was recorded as a live laptop performance.

Headphones are recommended for the binaural experience.

Anja Borowicz, KNEADING MALLEABLES [laptop performance], 2018, sound.


A textual response to thinking, musing and pondering inspired by working on the Kneading Malleables soundscape.

The text was drafted and re-edited while listening to the recording. A teleprompter software was used to create an electronic script, which sets the speed and rhythm of the encounter between the reader and the text.

The text has also been performed in a public garden, as a looped durational reading, which can be joined at any point.

I offer the reader a choice of a video or a recording depending on personal preference.

Anja Borowicz, KNEADING MALLEABLES [teleprompter text], 2019, video.

Anja Borowicz, KNEADING MALLEABLES [reading], 2021, sound.