COVERT: A Handbook ~ Melanie Kloetzel & Phil Smith
List Price: £15
Format: ~ Paperback - 110pp
Size: 14 x 21.6 cm
Tags: somatics; movement; movement meditation; walking arts; embodiment
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Do you ever feel you live in a world where other people see your
online presence as being more important than your physical one?
Do you ever have the sense that your deepest fears, loves
or aspirations... even your dreams... are not safe from online algorithms and advertising?
Instead of delivering up your psyche wholesale to online retailers
and information moguls, Covert: A Handbook suggests a
way to resist this invasion.
Using 30 carefully crafted ‘movement meditations’ – each with
an accompanying photo to explain it – Covert outlines a
straightforward, embodied practice that we can use to defend
and preserve ourselves in the everyday world.
The Covert practice is a way to diminish the lure of the screens, sidestep invasive scrutiny, and nurture the dialogue between our conscious and unconscious selves.
By prioritizing introspective interactions with the quirky and
complex world around us, Covert shows that we have the
means to cultivate our interior and imaginative selves through
a dynamic, physical engagement with the wider world.
The algorithmic infiltration threatens that profoundly personal nexus where our hidden hopes and desires tentatively emerge from our unconscious mind. Covert is about protecting and developing this process. It offers — through its ‘movement meditations’ — a way for the emerging self to unfurl in a sheltered way, seeping into spaces of hidden potential throughout our bodies and connecting our inner selves with the wider world. The Covert method allows and encourages us to safely re-permeate our interior spaces for our own elusive inner dance, cultivating the ‘wiggle room’ necessary for a more intuitive life and a more imaginative self.
Covert responds to three converging afflictions in society:
To address these challenges (amplified in the Covid-19 pandemic) this handbook compiles 30 ‘movement meditations’ that encourage readers to put down their phones and tablets to reclaim both an active and contemplative lifestyle, one that is highly integrated with, and inspired by, our surroundings.
Covert joins-up inner reflection, subtle physical play and public space to suggest ways of resisting invasion and activating the self in an era of sedentary screen time and surveillance.
"Covert is a fantastic book, I highly recommend it. Practical, to the point, challenging, and maybe more importantly just damn right enjoyable."
Mark Offord (contributor to Arcane Landscape and an organiser of the Pyre Parades)
How COVERT works:
The Covert approach has 5 steps:
1) identify likely areas/spaces for movement meditation scores
2) make a movement meditation map
3) do the movement meditations (alone or with a friend)
4) pay attention and look away
The handbook offers 30 movement meditations. Each one appears on a single page and includes basic step-by-step actions (a ‘score’) for how to allow your body to interact with specific places. In other words, each score describes what to do on a physical level in order to foster a meditative state.
The text ends with a final contemplative section, ‘What bubbles up’, that reflects on some of the larger benefits of the practice. It acts as an aid to readers who are inspired to broaden their experience or want to share it with others.