The Open Body

The basketball court is an architectural drawing that relates to nature and the body, and offers new possibilities for communal interaction. There are numerous multi-purpose potentials on these basketball courts for the abstraction, symmetry and simplicity of their lines to be reconfigured for new events. The courts function like a cathedral: a contemporary sacred space. It is a horizontal, transversal and democratic space by definition. This flat floor ensures that everybody stands at the same level and there is no hierarchy.

On May 8, 2013, fifty-four bodies were assembled. A live performance with a participating audience too place at one of the basketball courts at the Pratt Playground in Brooklyn, New York. Al Pierre, a Brooklyn rapper, gave guidelines to generate collective action with the help of an audio piece consisting of 9 songs and 9 movements: an exhortation to walk and perform the body. The Open Body is a possible utopia: the essential manifestation of a culture. It is an effort to energetically engage with the world through physical activities that allow us to temporarily restore our identity. This event was a reconceptualization of the basketball court and the group of participants assigned a new meaning to it. 

Date: May 8th at 7:00pm, 2013
Site: Pratt Playground, Brooklyn, NY
Length: 25min
Number of participants: 54 persons
Lyrics written by Al Pierre & Raúl Hott
Vocals by Al Pierre
Music written by Andrés Zanetta
Music recorded and produced by Andrés Zanetta
Photography: Brian Wittmuss


Welcome to The Open Body
You will experience being a body.
Just pay attention to the colors and lines on the floor.
Follow the sound, follow my voice and follow your body.
If you feel lost in the space you can always follow the crowd; they will lead you into the action.
This is a journey and an opportunity to connect with others, the collective body.
Let’s groove. Let’s vibrate. Let’s explore.

Song (Movement) 1
Tell me again what the body is for
‘Cause I can’t feel it anymore
It is this strong attraction that I'm feelin’
Towards other bodies and the ground this evening
So first focus on your body
Emphasize your breath
Try to listen attentively
Your feet, your legs, your shoulders
Chest, arms, fingers and the rest
The soles of your feet
Is your point of contact, the ground holds you firmly
This time there is no contact
From side to side
Feet on the ground, feet on the ground (x2)

Song 2
It’s time to get funky
Stop thinking; give yourself a chance
You’re gonna do a step this time,
Your going to start walkin’, your gonna prance
Freeze, Everybody move yo feet
Left then right
No longer do you possess a body; you are a body
Don’t fight your feelings on the way
Let yourself be carried away
At the same speed as the beat of my heart
Walk (keep on walkin’ x2)
Oh, you can, you can do it very well
Don’t stop

Song 3
Let’s go to work
Get up, get up, you’ve got to keep on moving (x2)
Choose a body to walk with
We’re no longer one: we are two
We walk in pairs now ya’ll
I think I wanna walk with you
Tonight I wanna walk with a friend or kin
Now we walk alone again
Leave the body you’ve been walking with
You’re alone again; you’re given steps.
One more time (x2)
We walk in pairs again
We’re gonna celebrate
Get funky whit it, aaaaaaaaahhhhhh yaaaa

Song 4
Get up on your feet, yeah
Step to the beat
Follow the perimeter line
Everybody follow this line
All of us form a line; we are part of this procession
Do not change the view from these straight lines
As we continue walkin’ in this direction
Your body can be such a revelation
Start moving faster through this path
Use all your concentration
Yeah alright
Don’t stop walking
Don’t stop moving
Yeah alright
Now let’s slow down the movement

Song 5
Come on ya’ll, Check this out
Check these brown areas on the ground
Try to move with the others.
As a large block
You’ll belong to them.
Try to walk with them.
We move from one brown area, towards another brown area
We are all attracted to this brown space.
And we are movin’
Once in this area, we are still breathing, and still open
Alert and aware, get into the groove

Song 6
Don’t stop walking
We’re drawn to the large red circle
You can see your feet moving in the red circle
We head towards the circle; your body is standing on it
We decide to look out of the circle
Turn around, no stare from it
This time we look towards the center of the circle
We can see and be seen (x4)

Song 7
Open-body-structure works get in tune with
Now we walk
By this red line (x3)
To the left, to the left (x4)
Don’t flat line
Each time I increase the speed.
Your body accelerates. Need for speed.
We are moving at a high pace, we run.
This is called running. All in the same direction
You feel the effort of your body.
We run; we run; we run; we run
We slow down and we walk through the red-red-circle
Open Body, Open circle

Song 8
We form a single circle; we hold hands
It’s a continuous transformation
Super exchange for us nomads
Holding hands to holding hands
Modern man to modern human
Modern man to modern love
Yesterday’s hate, today’s affection
Let’s change direction
Let’s move all together
Let’s move through the weather
We’re gonna have a celebration
All across the world
In every nation (x2)

Song 9
You wanna know what’s going in the circular center
You head towards the middle and remain
Put your body close to another body
We move, all brothers and sisters in the membrane
Let’s celebrate the muscle and celebrate the bone
Flesh that touches flesh
And stay close oh so very close
We fill the void with our bodies
My body is in contact with your body
Super whole, super mass
Your data, my data
Let me hear you clap yo hands (x4)

Copyright © 2019 Raúl Hott, All rights reserved