SBI Analysis – Stage 1
WHAT + WHY: Read about sensation-based interviews + cognition research, HERE.
|About this research:
A small group participated in an improvisation-movement session. Each participant was asked to chose one moment during the session in which they experienced some amount of awkwardness, confusion, or “not quite right-ness” when interacting with another. Each participant was interviewed about the sensations they experienced during this moment; additionally, the person with whom they were interacting was then interviewed about their respective experience.
The moment of interaction explored is often less than 15 seconds in length. The entire length of this style of interview often takes 1 – 1.5 hours. In this style of interview participants describe a continuous experience, of one micro moment unfolding into the next. Often, within this ocean of continuity, sections emerge which have a similar tone, flavor or feeling. These sections arise like crests of a wave. They are not strictly divided. The division, here, is to highlight that each crest has a particular set of characteristics.
Analysis – Stage 1: Below is Stage 1, in which I include only those passages of the interview which relate to my interests in sensation + social cognition. (Full interviews are accessible in the link to the left.) If you scroll down, reading phase 1, then phase 2, etc, you can get a sense of the chronological nature of the moment discussed.
During the interview process certain passages of the experience are repeated, several times. In each re-telling more details generally emerge. The additional information gathered about this same phase, retold, can be noted via reading this table from left to right (A, B, C, etc.) Again, these divisions are not tight categorical boxes. They are used in order to relay some of the particular character of this sort of interview.
Analysis – Stage 2: HERE.
0103A – Interview Summary – Stage 1
Phase 1 – “Pre-contact/First Sensing Approach”
-I was in a really, like, kind of calm, flowy moment
-in tune with what I needed to do…super calm, everything was… not super physical. Everything was very like, “ah.” Yeah, super simple. And all the movements just felt really easy and really nice and soft… I imagine like the inside of my chest, like the red fleshy color also..very soft…the fleshy bits inside are like sinking and melting…at the same time a bit of a spreading of energy…it kind of like melts but also on the inside…just a little point of something that goes like, “ahhh”…finds space…
really middle. But…I don’t feel it in my back…more in the front…it stays like really inside the rib cage…
…when I notice it I think that it goes a bit with the breath; that it moves also. Up and down…spread also
I had this image of my chest and then this kind of thing inside that’s more like yellowy, shiny…yeah, it’s yellow-like light thing.
– Were your eyes open or shut…?
– When did you first sense [0103B]? Was it in touch, or before?
A little bit before…
– …In seeing [0103B] did anything shift?
not instantly…a thought came up…of like, “Oh, she’s coming.” But I was still like in the same state… I think the whole approaching was fine. I was just with myself and I was, “Oh, ok, she’s coming.” I didn’t see a problem in it…
I remember it fast and playful…[her] chest really approaching…a lot of energy, a bit chaotic, child-like…arms just kind of like following
Phase 2 – “Split Second of First Contact”
then [0103B] kind of like really caught me in a way, with a lot of energy.
…contact where [0103B] really…grabbed me…and then it was a mix of all kinds of things then…
– …did that split come up at the moment of touch? Or at the moment after, or?
…a little bit after…but really split second after…I think that in the beginning it’s Ok.
Phase 3 – “Wanting/Not Wanting – Frozen”
then I felt like…it really took me by surprise…my instinct is… I need to go with it, I need to do something with this. But I was like, “but I actually don’t really want to.” And that was a moment where I was, “aghhhhhh”, like stuck between these….it wasn’t really until the moment of contact that there was like this problem, I would say…
…it’s not like my state [soft/flowy] disappeared, it was still there…in a way I was completely fine with it. But then at the same time I felt like I wasn’t…- so contstantly going between like, “Oh great, I can go with this” between like, “Ah, I don’t really want to.” And then nothing happened and it was just kind of frozen….only when I notice I don’t want to do something with this, or I don’t know what to do with it, then came a bit more panic of like, “augh“… little bit of surprise feeling…
the wanting to go with it and the not wanting to go with it…the wanting to go with it is like…still very calm and like you’re scanning your whole system for options in a way…you’re trying to be open so you’re like looking, like, “what can I do?”…soft and calm and more investigating
…the not wanting is very like rigid…suddenly very closed off...a bit more panicky and then you can’t think clearly anymore. Then there’s – it’s weird because there’s more happening in my mind I think, when I want to go with it. But it feels like when I don’t want to go with it it’s so much. But it’s actually not, it’s just one thought that’s like, “no, no, no, no, no.” that kind of takes everything over and you don’t allow anything else to come up and it becomes very like this panic where all clarity is gone and you’re a bit like, “dagh.”
–…watching [you]…describe it, do you feel it more in your head?
-Yeah. For sure. I feel a kind of chaos in my head that really disconnects me from my body…I just feel like something bouncing all the way around [the head]…feels like there’s so many things up there but…I’m just sending noise into my brain that cancels out all the thoughts…I’m not even really thinking anything it’s just like, “dagh“, yeah…all over…super fast and also like more things at the same time…
it suddenly becomes less clear where my body is in a way, and how I can move it.
…more on the inside…my energy before…I was very happy for it to come out. Then it was suddenly like, “no.”…I didn’t want to share it any more…so it was more an internal closing than a physical one…
– …how does it close?
– …everything more to the midline…
– this bodyscanning, did it stop? Or did it keep going on?
– I think it was still there.
-how you scanned the options?
-it feels very like “wooooough” like up and down and side, all the time…
-very much from my head that I send something down…I think [the “wooough” and the sending down] comes from the same part [of head]. Yeah. It’s all like up here, like brain area.
-then I just freeze basically. And… there’s still that [fast movement in the brain] going on inside… but I know it’s also this state where you’re like just waiting for something to be over. It feels like you’re keeping your mind busy until it’s over. And my body’s not really responding. It’s like “aaaaggghhhhhh”…
–more stillness in the waiting… my mind is like “ughhh“, but…more and more I shut my body out…
– describe how this stillness was? -[I] don’t actually think that physically it was… super tense… I relate it to this feeling that I had also when I was like in my teenage years… problem doing homework… watch television… that’s the feeling like I’m just in a sofa, like super passive. Just distracting myself and my body’s… I don’t even know if it’s there. Like I’m just distracting my mind because I need time to pass… I think internally it feels harder; for some reason it feels more rigid than like closed. I think…muscle-wise, I think it was, yeah, quite still soft…
Phase 4 – “Release/Returning to the thing before”
|(apx. 35:00). Once the moment was over and I can feel [her] release… I just kept going with the thing I was doing before… but then there was… a lot of thoughts… A part of me was like, “ok, it’s fine, just keep going. It’s ok.” But then another part of me was like, “Oh, I don’t know what just happened… ah, fuck…” –
– and the “waiting” ended by [her] moving away? – “Mmhmm” [Yes.]
|– [could you] describe… simultaneous things… the parts not done “processing”?… these different pieces you speak of… how they feel?
– in a way my body could find the first quality that I was going with, very easily again… but then I felt very much like that my head was still busy with thoughts. That like my body was just moving with the memory… in my head there was this conversation of like trying to encourage me to keep going… but on the other hand also like, ah! I don’t know if this is actually fine. I should have done something…
– did these “conversation thoughts” happening, did they feel different than, like, the before…?
– Yeah… these ones felt more like talking speed… a bit more… observative and calmer… not so much like, “ahhh”…
-… This “memory from before”… [was it like] going into the pattern without actually being in the pattern?
– Yeah… because with my head I was not there.
– was any of the sensation in the center area back? Or not quite yet?
– It was still in a way there, but not as present, I think. Like, I could still feel the softness and calm. But the glowing, I would say, wasn’t so much present.
– I took just a moment for myself to… focus on my movement again… I think the thoughts just probably faded away. Like, also with the realization of like, “ah, well, it happened.”… took a moment for myself and tuning back in through the sensation in my body. And then once I… felt a bit more secure again, like, “ah, ok, I’m here”, in a way, I could go back, open up more to other people.
|– Do I have this right: the thoughts faded away, but the memory of the thoughts fading away isn’t really clear?- Yeah, yeah. Yeah, ’cause I don’t actually know how long – maybe they were still there, but I could focus back on my body…
– when you were able to come back, were the sensations… are they a bit different now? Or…?
– … a bit different… I think they might be a bit drier afterwards… this, maybe, soft chesty feeling was not so like…
before… it was a bit more emotional, in a way… now it was just like “ok”. Like kind of still soft but drier… it wasn’t this like “ahhhh [sigh]”, super nice, yeah, more emotional chesty feeling. It was more like evenly spread…in the body. Just an overall calm, soft. But drier.
|– this “drier”… and the “sighing”… are there any more words to describe the difference in quality?
– Yeah, the second one… more like this zen, martial arts thing. Like air that’s super neutral but still soft and nice. Yeah, more neutral… really reminds me of this Tai Chi kind of thing, where you just do everything and you are soft. But without emotion. Whereas before it felt closer to me… I think before it felt more important to me. I was really doing “me”. And then after… this drier, martial artsy quality… it felt like maybe it didn’t necessarily come from “me” anymore… that it came a little bit more from the outside. Still me but, yeah, yeah…
|– the fact that I was calm again and, like, in control. Yeah, once I had the feeling that I had the control back, I was like, “ok, now I’m confident again to… go towards the group”.
– … Do you think that there is something else, that feels important to add?
– … I definitely found a lot more information, yeah…. it made me realize, also, many things about this… closing. Because it’s something that I do a lot. And I never really knew what it was; ’cause it’s this panicky moment. You design, kind of, this moment to forget it. It’s like, “ahhhhh, just get it over with.” And then you… never really look back on it ’cause the purpose of this moment was just to let time pass and then you continue. But, yeah, that’s interesting. I never realized…
I also… hope I remember things right…
Phase 1 – “Seeing Her – Going Towards Her”
|I was moving around a lot and also talking, giving instruction…A particular feeling seeing Eva…her being in my perception and the intent towards her before [physical contact.]||Seeing her…her tonality…intaking the quality of her movement...very much like a pull…[around me] torso area. Not in a sense from her but…as though water’s going this way. Like following…a feeling of being magnetized in that direction…I saw her and then this feeling of [shwoough]. It was definately in front of me…sort of tingly in my skin…some sparkles of it throughout my torso but the main gust of it felt in front of me.||….magnetized. It definately didn’t feel like she was pulling me…if there was a net around me and the net was pulled that I would feel the reverberation of the net…feeling it as a torso – and real light. Not any thing significant…feeling a bit of myself going, “Oh, we’re going…“||…it didn’t feel like [the group was] in an open field. It felt like we were in a closed field…[I could] feel the others nearby but no sense of magnetism towards them…there’s a light string. Like a “Oh, …the trail is … not here.”
I was like, “Oh, I want to play with her.“
|There was some continuity…[the sequence is] like: being pulled, not quite sure, touching “sigh”, and then listening and like, “yeah-nugh.” And this kind of like “yea-nugh”…as this magnet pull is happening, there’s already some “yea-nugh” information there.
…the information, the sensations that I feel…a little bit of back-shoulder, not in the head at this time…there’s subtle…tension…I was already feeling a lot before I landed in touch.
|– Interviewer: how did you know you wanted to play with her?
– It feels like “burrrrrrrrrdhg, burrrrrrrrdhg, burrrrrrrrrrdhg!!”
– Was that feeling there at the same time as feeling pulled.
– [nods yes.]… this energy [the playfulness] was there pre-this-moment and remained throughout… had already been established… it was definitely upward but more like a trampoline. You also have to go down but the big action is upward...throughout [my body]….feeling it a bit..maybe a little bit past my skin too…
|in the approach it didn’t feel like the head was saying listen. It felt like the listening command had already been ignited…the listening was already happening and there was no relationship to head; I just felt it in the…places I was talking about [back-shoulder].|
Phase 2 – “Landing”
|[I] wrapped my arms around her.||…physical contact felt in total continuity with my visual perception of it prior. It really matched…[a] luxurious tonality of capacity, supple…and strong at the same time…firm clay…feeling that through the areas [of my body] that were touching her…a sense of ease with myself…capacity and aliveness and ease. There wasn’t any particularly strong need for anything particular…a feeling of, “Oh, this is what it’s like to be in contact.”…||upon touch arrival it did feel like there was a moment of like, “Ahhhh.”…a moment of landing and being like “Here. Sigh.” …This “ahh” is more of this dropping down feeling; relaxing downwardly.||even coming into the touch, like I didn’t just like, “swooooump”. There was some, already caution… even in the approach and the landing.||simultaneity of things…the tension that was already there…brief moments where it…stopped in the relaxation…for a split second...and even the kid energy went like “suuugh” in the relaxation moment of landing.|
Phase 3 – “Listen!”
|[I was] having an abstract thought of “how is this?” to myself.||… simultaneously…it felt like what we were doing was a bit awkward…in a very subtle way…it didn’t feel like we were in symbiosis or something. It felt like I’m trying something on her…and like tasting the reaction…there was an intention of that even going towards her…really comfortable with her…and comfortable with her capacity to take care of herself...I didn’t get the sense she was wanting to come play with me. I was like, “Ok, I’m gonna try playing with you. This doesn’t feel right but I’m gonna just feel it…like once I landed I’m like “Oh god, both of our bodies feel great…what I percieve of you feels really relaxed and I feel relaxed. And yet, this is weird.||interviewer: How did you know it was weird?
– …I feel a little bit of head movement … like, “doo bluuu bluuu bluuu“… weren’t super chaotic, this head sensation … moving kind of like, “shuuushuu..” and like a little bit of tension [in neck and head]…through my shoulders. And kind of on the backside. This sort of similar, this [gestures]… tempo [of the head] … moving like sparkles…and also feeling muscle tension along with that kind of movingness.
|And then this pause that slipped into…more tense….abstract thought at that moment of like, “Listen.” I very much had the intent to listen after I landed… I didn’t stay in the like, “I’m going to like soak you up.” I landed and I was like, “ahh.” And then, “listen.“..And then the “listening“…kinda like picking back up again, going again more upright. and then as the listening happened…the tension in the back and shoulders and neck and head got louder. Or, like, the intensity turned up. Like, assessing…||the “listen” …feels like it’s coming from my head…this feeling of the head talking downwardly, like, “hey.“… like, “yea, yea, yea, this puppydog thing – chill the fuck out. Listen to this creature.“…the “listen” was like a self-command.||Like, I already knew to be listening…and then I landed and there was like this comfort, and then it was like, again, this renewal, this sharper like, “listen“…so, feeling the playfulness…and being like, “shhhh.” So it had this…muting…
the command to listen didn’t feel tense. The information that I heard felt tense…The command felt like, “shhh“…what I heard was like, “uggggghhh…“, which was the continuation of what I heard in the approach also.
|like the tension felt more related to “this isn’t right…there’s not an easy flow here…this person doesn’t want to play with me…they’re doing something else.“…I felt…her body got maybe like a micro-meter tense or still. And I felt a similarness in me...and that moment felt like it was longer. All the other moments felt faster. And this phase, the act of listening, rather than the command to listen, felt like it was like awhile…it felt like it kept being this tension, rather still…|
Phase 4 – “Departure/Separation”
|when it felt like…she [was] moving away, letting go.||…and then she was moving a bit and then – there was some kind of like waiting-for-her-to-move-away. Like, I decided I was going to stay here already…like, “I’m waiting here ’til I don’t know what. Unless I know that she’s trying to leave.” And then I felt her…trying to leave…as soon as I felt her trying to leave being like, “ok, cool.“…I actually felt her move away and I feel like those sensations were in [my] arms first…
her overall…supple, it remained…
|…it didn’t feel like there was an axe to [the separation]…some like…feeling her still and then not, in the really quick separation…
it was like a, like, “I release you from my attention. You’re doing something else. Ok.” and really just instantly letting her go – it just didn’t feel like an axe…
like a: “ok, bye” – shhhhhhuhhhht – gone. So it took this whole – this much space [approximately one full arm length]…
Yeah, once I got here, then I felt out of contact with her. Which felt, uh, there was like open air then around me…the little kid returning, the “brruuuuughhh…” – just real easy shift.
“Perhaps there is more sense in our nonsense and more nonsense in our ‘sense’ than we would care to believe.” – David Bohm