Aistė Jančiūtė: Laboratory of the Senses / WEIGHT


" Weight is not only a physical, scientific or objective measure, nor a constant or a given like many other notions, but a historical and social multifaceted construct to be questioned and deconstructed. It is mainly used to describe external (physical) properties of the world, but can also include descriptions of human psychology, an internal state, and philosophical concepts.

Our perception of the body ('our own or others’) and the environment takes place through the senses. The force of gravity is the main law of this fleshy reality. The return of the focus on the body by using weight and a conscious experience of this law can change the perception and test the boundaries (or their absence) of our bodies, our environments and ourselves. By mixing up and playing with established notions and subjective experiences, I am looking for unexpected results that could help turn the scientific facts into poetry and experiences into science. "


" For this laboratory-exploration-performance, I have created an installation where during particular times of the day I hold performances with visitors/participants. The performance involves 5 voluntary participants, who are blindfolded, and the rest of the group are observing visitors. Together, with a team of assistants, we guide the participants through the installation. During the performance, there are particular stops, where each participant can experience and explore the sense of weight through different forms of movement, touch, sound, smell, text and interpersonal interaction. It becomes important to explore and record the effect that different objects and bodies have on each other as well as the memories, images, emotions, and meanings that are created in the process. I am searching for a universal language, which could help open up new experiences for the viewer/participant and contribute towards their understanding of human physicality through the sense of touch and the feeling of weight. How much does a heart or liver weigh? How about the soul? Can an unfulfilled dream be heavy? What about a bad dream? Can it be light? I am researching whether the physical or psychological experience of “weight” can be heavy and oppressing or can it also help ground, root, release and relax? "

The laboratory is brought to life through a collaboration with sound artist Jon Law.


" During the residency with Folkestone Fringe, in order to meet the local residents in Folkestone and to better understand the concept of weight, I held a number of creative workshops-laboratories. During these workshops, I observed the participants as they responded to different objects/weights (from small stones to specially fabricated objects) being put on their bodies as well as engaging them with the help of text, sound, movement, smell and other senses. I observed what meanings, states, images, associations and visual compositions the locals created and how their experiences inform my field of research.

In order to broaden my field of research, I collaborated with the Touchbase Care charity and held workshops at their day centre. Touchbase Care is a dynamic charity which assists in providing care and opportunities for adults with physical and/or sensory impairments, Autism, Asperger’s, learning difficulties, the elderly and for those living with Dementia. "


Aistė Jančiūtė (b. 1987) is an artist based in Kaunas, Lithuania, with a particular interest in movement as a creative process, during which her ideas, senses, skills, and knowledge come together in innovative ways. Whilst studying for her BA (2008–2012) Aistė analysed the techniques used in making textile art- in particular, weaving, which she then combined with movement. She was interested in changing the weave from a 2D to a 3D space, turning it from static to dynamic movement. In 2013, through practicing and holding contact improvisation dance classes, Aistė started to form her field of research around the notion of weight. Contact improvisation involves the exploration of one’s own body to the next by using the fundamentals of sharing weight, touch, being kinetically aware and finding a point of contact between partners. In 2015, Aistė started working with the “Theatre of Senses” and her creative field expanded into experimental theatre. It became important to involve audience members in the experience of art by using the senses. Aistė’s MA studies (2015–2017) helped her combine the practice of visual art, dance and experimental theatre.

Main themes in Aistė’s work are the human body and the exploration of its relationship to the environment through movement, senses, direct experiences, associations, intuition, emotions, and laws of physics. The inspiration comes from the direct experience of physical reality using different surfaces, textures, movement, bodies or objects, smells, sounds, tastes and touch (sometimes eliminating the sense of sight).


1 May 2018

MagiC Carpets // 2018
Progress Agency