Repetition is characterized negatively regarding autistic movement. Yet, artists have stressed the importance of repetition for movement. At the A Collective, Adam explores his own repetition with objects thus creating new orientations towards how repetition is envisaged and what constitutes the intentional in art-making. We think with Marina Abromovic here: “You can start with any object and create an energy field around it again and again through ritual… because repetition of the same thing over and over again generates enormous power. Old cultures know this. That’s why they base their entire ritual structure on repetition” (1998, Artist Body).
Notions of intention and mastery are challenged within the rubric of humanism through characteristics such as independence, agency, skill. In contrast, autistic bodies characterized within the pathology paradigm as unaware or unable to produce work independently. In a collaborative practice that is mutually supportive, these notions have little meaning, as everything is agential. Following a vital materialist approach and Bergson’s notion of duration and freedom as not of choice but with the freedom to act (as in expression), we reorient these concepts as the movement of life and with objects that is always transformative. We are interested in repetition as a co-composition and a relational mutual becoming, and also, with ways of “landing” or “answering space” (Adam). With a sense of humour, Adam inverts the notion of mastery when he writes “I am master of my own movements,” to discuss how he needs to become in the world, and also as speaking back to those who problematize his movements:
I am master of my own movements. I am always creating an energy that is really important to music my amazing good-feeling body. I feel the good earth vibrations. I am really excited to think about easy action and I feel that I sometimes do things that are repetitive. I have a hard time making movements at the same rhythm and I can’t move like others but I try and I am boy of desire to join. I like to dance but I am not coordinated. I think that movement is a way to think about the way I can think and open myself to being in the places that are like sounds of painful noise that are not easy. I am amazing pattern of movements that are placing me at the centre of calm.
The object is something I make important each time I use it. The repeated movements of objects is making them about more than they are. (Adam, 2018)