Our bodies have a unique microbial footprint, which comes to define us as biological identities and mental and social bodies. Our social choreography is often challenged by a lack of balance between the inner and outer worlds, which we continuously disturb. Following the events that have defined the recent history of our interaction with the environment and especially with the microorganisms with which we coexist, it is necessary to look at the body as a system that cannot exist outside the multitudes it contains. Contamination has become a term that inspires fear, although it is a natural process by which we change and transform resources.

BLOT proposes a series of performative situations that explore movement in relation to the bacteria in our body. The performance aims to rethink the body as an interconnected system, strong and fragile at the same time. The body is stripped of the social meanings determined by language and redefines itself through a continuous dialogue about coexistence. The two artists work with seemingly invisible connections, but without which the human body could not function.

BLOT analyses how human existence is translated by language through processes of dependence and control, focusing on the fine line between what is useful and what is toxic. There is an order in biological terms copied and reproduced by human intelligence through culturally behavioral systems. Human intelligence has limited control over bacteria through technology and science, but it is ultimately and inevitably subdued by the unknown.

Salt is a restructuring, cleaning, and binding agent. The human body cannot survive without sodium. In BLOT, our salts function as a conductor for creativity, electricity, and infection. Salt is shared by all, from ocean to soil and body, and an essential supporter of life on earth. A dune of 1000 kilograms of salt creates another body on stage. That specific quantity is contained in 900 000 liters of human sweat. Our perspiration system defines our biological identity through our unique body odor created by bacteria. During the 40 minutes of performance, another small dune is created by a device hanged from the ceiling.

Before every performance, the two artist grow their body bacteria in Agar-agar for one month and visualize a Petry dish’s content during the show. This process generates choreographed imagery of their microbe culture broadcasted on a TV. The images portray a micro-world that, when exposed, looks like a macro landscape of an alien world. This visualization creates a context for their nude bodies.

BLOT is a co-production between Simona Deaconescu / Tangaj Collective (Bucharest, RO) and Vanessa Goodman / Action at a Distance (Vancouver, CA), based on close collaboration in work ethics, body visions, artistic dialogue and exchange of resources between the two founding choreographers of organizations. The project benefited from a research residency at Cultivamos Cultura, in Sao Luis, Portugal following the selection of the two choreographers as resident artists in the Biofriction, an European BioArt project, co-financed by the Creative Europe program of the European Union.

The artistic team of the show created and filmed at The National Centre for Dance in Bucharest was completed by the curator Olivia Nițis who offered dramaturgical support, opening communication channels at an ideational level and processes of transforming the studied concepts into scenic actions. Monocube, a composer of Ukrainian origin based in Berlin, at his second collaboration with the choreographer Simona Deaconescu, signs the soundtrack of the show. Ciprian Ciuclea, visual artist and researcher, contributes to the design of stage objects, in a minimal, industrial direction, anchored in scientific principles.





Concept and choreography Simona Deaconescu, Vanessa Goodman | Artistic consultant Olivia Nițiș | Music Monocube | Object design Ciprian Ciuclea | Light design Alexandros Raptis | Assistant choreographer Georgeta Corca | Production Laura Trocan | Director of photography Carmen Tofeni | Additional camera operators Cătălin Rugină, Bogdan Marinescu | Video editing Alex Pintică | Graphic design PRETTY/UGLY DESIGN


In its exhibition format, BLOT is a four channels video installation. It contains a large-scale video projection of the performance, synchronized with three video works that emphasize the microbial body culture’s growth inside multiple Petri dishes. The videos were recorded during the artists’ Biofriction residency at Cultivamos Cultura through a microscope camera.


In its online format, BLOT is a multimedia installation built at plastic orchid factory (CA). It comprises a series of objects designed by Paula Viitanen, assisted by Juan Carlos Aldazosa Bazúa, light intervention by James Proudfoot, and minimal documentary video projections. Under the guidance of choreographer Vanessa Goodman, the installation is a performative 15 minutes one-to-one tour for each audience member. The virtual meetings focus on the balance between micro and macro biological levels and relate a mediated human experience to the concept of order.


Concept and choreography Simona Deaconescu, Vanessa Goodman | Music Monocube | Object design Paula Viitanen | Co-object design Juan Carlos Aldazosa Bazúa | Light design James Proudfoot | Video Carmen Tofeni


The project is co-produced by Tangaj Dance Association and Action at a Distance Society, co-financed by The Administration of the National Cultural Fund and Canada Council for the Arts. The partners of the project are The National Center for Dance Bucharest, Left of Main, Plastic Orchid Factory.

BLOT is supported by Cultivamos Cultura, in the frame of Biofriction, an European project co-financed by the Creative Europe program of the European Union.

Media partners: 4 Arte, Modernism, Munteanu, Spotmedia, Ziarul Metropolis, Zile și Nopți.

*The project does not necessarily represent the position of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or how the results of the project can be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the financing.