Intentional Processes on December 11th 2023

Inten­tion­al Process­es are a gen­er­al­ized con­cept I am cur­rent­ly exper­i­ment­ing with. It is a more gen­er­al­ized con­cept based on inten­tion­al spaces, I wrote about earlier.

Intentional Spaces

The con­cept of inten­tion­al spaces was already a length­en­ing of a com­mon con­cept of safer space, which I want­ed to take a step fur­ther when I was won­der­ing around how “safe­ty” as a word can mean dif­fer­ent things.

I was inspired by a con­cept in an arti­cle about rad­i­cal fem­i­nist spaces I stum­bled upon this autumn (but haven’t refound yet even though I should have it some­where). I felt like nam­ing the space and vocab­u­lary used there might be used to define the space itself with more pre­ci­sion and accu­ra­cy. That is, even if a space is ‘safe’ for minori­ties, it might also a chal­leng­ing, com­pli­cat­ed and even threat­en­ing space for those who enter a space uneducated. 

Space in this con­cept means any space where the activ­i­ties hap­pen, room, build­ing, yard or an abstrac­tion of these con­cepts like a dig­i­tal space.

My sug­ges­tion with defin­ing this idea is sim­ply that instead of using a very gen­er­al con­cept with vari­ety of dif­fer­ent con­no­ta­tions like “safe” or “safer”, we always add some mod­i­fiers to name the con­cept. This is sim­ply a com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­e­gy that makes enter­ing a space a more informed and spe­cif­ic decision.

How is the “space”? For real?

Intentional Processes  

Since my work with Eskus’ safer space pol­i­cy and with Live Art Soci­ety’s Braver Space Pol­i­cy, I have stud­ied a numer­ous oth­er safer space poli­cies, prin­ci­ples etc to under­stand how they present to me. A sim­i­lar con­cept to the safer space poli­cies are the con­cepts of closed set and clos­er rehearsals, which I have worked with because of my expe­ri­ences as an inti­ma­cy direc­tor and inti­ma­cy coor­di­na­tor. All of these con­cepts fol­low sim­i­lar principles.

First, they don’t real­ly dis­cuss the phys­i­cal con­cept of space, but a more abstract ver­sion of things hap­pen­ing in a spe­cif­ic sets of envi­ron­ments. Nat­u­ral­ly, it is impor­tant that the space itself is also cho­sen and main­tained with inten­tion. The expe­ri­ence of the space is also very much shaped by the peo­ple in it, and how they behave. It is a prac­ti­cal short-hand though.

I liked how Dr Rachel Han­n’s “body assem­blages” (https://www.rachelhann.com/videos/v/e5beyondscenography) might help us think of a “body” in a more broad­er, real­is­tic way. This is some­thing I am after here too. 

I have noticed though is that per­son­al­ly, lan­guage of a “space” takes away some of my own agency but also puts in a lot of respon­si­bil­i­ty. Instead of speak­ing of clear, prac­ti­cal pro­to­cols, ways of work­ing or deci­sions to make the envi­ron­ment work in a cer­tain way.

Short­hand, a com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­e­gy, like “space” might not have any­thing wrong in it. As long as the word “space” is enough to clear­ly and con­sis­tent­ly gen­er­ate the intend­ed behaviour. 

This is also some­thing I am cur­rent­ly work­ing fur­ther on this con­cept, and might have to think and exper­i­ment with it further.

Juuso-Matias forming a triangle with their hands

Juuso-Matias Maijanen

Author has a background in physical acting (Bachelor of Culture and Arts in Performing Arts) and theatre and drama pedagogy (Bachelor of Culture and Arts within Degree Programme in Music and Stage Art). They are also an intimacy director with Intimacy Directors and Coordinators Inc. with a 'certification pending status' and have a vast amount of training with dramatic combat.

Author is currently preparing for their degree projecct within is a MA student at Stockholm University of the Arts (starting autumn 2023) and looking for people to collaborate with.