Xavi Arqué

Xavi is a researcher at the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC). His PhD is on the movement of biohybrid nanoparticles and based on his degree (2012-2016) and masters training in molecular nanobiotechnology at the University of Barcelona (2016-2017), along with his experience in academic research at ERIBA (Groningen, Netherlands, 2015-2016) e IBEC (Barcelona, Spain, 2017-2022), recently creates synergies between science and the arts and with audiovisual narrative based on studies of Script (2021) and Film Direction (2022) in La Casa del Cine Barcelona.

He is also involved in outreach and education activities: Association of Biotechnologists of Catalonia (2016-2020) and professionals of the sector (Congress of entrepreneurial scientists of AEEC, 2017 and Conference “Start up in life sciences” of ASBTEC with YEBN, 2019)


The general hypothesis of this work starts by placing the body and its movements at the center and letting it express honestly without intention/meaning and without forcing any uncomfortable posture (meaning well within the range of ergonomic and biomechanical possibilities), the movements that result are mainly rotational following a parabolic and ellipsoidal/circular pattern (in any part of the body). This curvature of movements accumulated over time continuously create general body patterns that the human mind identifies as similar to natural events that take place at any scale (micro- meso-macro) for instance the rotation of a galaxy or the Solar System, the cellular division and embryo morphogenesis, the movement of the bacterial/sperm flagella, the movements of the tertiary structure of a protein or the distribution of electrons around the atom. 

Hence, when the body expresses within its natural and ergonomic limits, we unveil the idea that the human body has evolved to imitate or is based on the events and processes that were taking place throughout the story of the universe, since we as human beings are already made by elements that were generated in the nuclear fusion of stars. This would not only be applied to the specific movements, but to the series of movements and its narrative, finally understanding that our psychology is built upon stories as our highest motivation (that is why cinema is one of the biggest industries among other art-entertainment fields) because there are stories out there outside life: the birth-growth-death of a star, the fusion of atoms and creation of heavier elements, the universe from the Big Bang to its quiet or implosive end. The second part is that since consciousness evolved under these narratives of rotational and ellipsoidal patterns like moon cycles of 28 days, earth rotation on its own axis of 24 hours and rotation around the sun of 365 days, our mind is also attuned to detect these patterns in body movement if this is truly honest with its expression. Honesty here is understood as empty of emotion and intention, only playing to move within the comfortable limits of the body biophysics. 

The idea is that the viewer could relate those movements to natural and surrounding events of its life, since the mind of each would connect with their field of expertise, and this presents the possibility to see all events of life through body movement. Not only by watching it on someone else, but also feeling it with your own body. We are animals, we had a body way before than consciousness and visualization and processing of reality through the body makes a powerful sense when understanding that the physical world (and hence our body) may be the only real thing, while our mind is just a tool evolved to navigate reality in a (sometimes) too complex way. This offers an avenue to a more healthy and holistic living, and to put a specific example where this could be revolutionary that is the field of science. Scientific progress has been more and more centered on an intellectual view of the world and forgot the body/animal perspective by judging it biased, subjective and inaccurate. The fundamental problem with that first and foremost we are animals and bodies, and the intellect emerged on top of that, hence you no complete conclusions can result from taking only one perspective (specially if its not the most primal one). 

By means of embodying this body honesty perspective and exercising the view of the world through body movement, it could provide to scientist a new perspective on their own research, since they would see and feel the protein/bacteria/galaxy they are investigating in their own bodies and arrive at otherwise difficult to attain revelations and maybe revolutionary conclusions. This would not eliminate the quantitative and rational view, but we propose to add a body and organic intuition perspective into the rigidity of intellect. 

To actually achieve this, we are proposing to first study the internal and external events that are happening in the body throughout this process. For instance, what is the actual difference in an almost static position with slow rotations in contrast to a highly active non-stop rotation of the whole body? By measuring this externally through body movement detection and internally through temperature and heartbeat sensors we also aim at elucidating if the static state contains more energy since entropy is really low and an effort is applied to contain everything. While on the other hand the active state can actually be calmer mentally given the high level of entropy and freedom, meaning a release and less constrain. This would also be revealing since in the century we live in and this intellectual view we have of life and the world we have tended more and more to static and sedentary routines, where to be calm and resting is to be laying or sitting. The average workplace where we spend most of our time is an office, then the sofa at home to watch TV and finally the bed to sleep. But in reality (and coming back to the perspective of us as bodies and animals) everything about ourselves has evolved as hunter-gatherers, nomads in constant movement, posing the revolutionary view (at least in this century) that actually our most natural state is in motion. To actually find a way to register and quantify internal signals that are calmer and in harmony in movement rather than being still would be revealing for this hypothesis. As a final point for this last part of quantifiable research is important to highlight that the subjective perspective will also be assessed, as the feelings and perceptions of both the person in movement and the outside viewer of that movement provide valuable information, as stated before, body intuition built on thousands of years of evolution, and if everyone involved perceives it (although being subjective) a powerful intersubjectivity of the human being is proven, which is as close as we can get from an objectivity of the human experience. Basically an essential tool to find what all our experiences have in common and understand this shared identity of the human being. 

Xavi Arqué Portrait Tipperary Dance International Residency