Large piece of plexiglass (1.5 x 2 meters) to be laid down on finished collages so that the collage-maker can crawl on the collage during the early collage interviews, and the paths of his / her movements (“bodily free association”) can be traced with a wax marker. This technique enables the geometry of the psychological landscape to be ‘pealed off’ and abstracted from the image-networks in which it is embedded.

“The ego is first and foremost a bodily ego; it is not merely a surface entity, but is itself the projection of a surface.”

— Sigmund Freud

The Ego and the Id, 1923

“…when two dissimilar aspects of reality are juxtaposed on a plane which would not appear to suit them … [the] very fact of their being put next to one another leads to a mutual exchange of energy. (‘Collage’ is the word for this, in plain speech.) This exchange may proceed calmly and steadily, or it may take the form of an exlplosion accomplanied by lightning and thunder. I am tempted to consider dit as the counterpart, in either case, of the phenomenon known to classical lphilosophy as IDENTITY. IDENTITY (to paraphrase André Breton’s remark) MUST BE CONVULSIVE OR WILL CEASE TO BE.”

—Max Ernst

“Beyond Painting,” 1936

“Identity formation, finally, begins where the usefulness of identification ends. It arises from the selective repudiation and mutual assimslation of childhood identifications and their absorption in a new configuration.”

—Erik H. Erikson

“Identity Confusion in Life History and Case History,” 1968

“Everything can be used, but of course one doesn’t know it at the time. How does one know what one thing will tell another?”

— Joseph Cornell

Joseph Cornell, n.d.

“…crawling [is] the stage that usually accompanies, or slightly precedes, the first efforts at speech.…”

— Lewis Mumford

Technics and Human Developement, 1967

“Language is a labyrinth of paths. You approach from one side and know your way about; you approach the same place from another side and no longer know your way about.”

— Ludwig Wittgenstein

Philosophical Investigations, 1953

“I had already thought of [that particular image] many times, but I had not approached this memory from the same angle. For, if our memories do indeed belong to us, they do so after the fashion of those country properties which have little hidden gates of which we ourselves are often unaware, and which someone in the neighborhood opens for us, so that from one direction at least which is new to us, we find ourselves back in our own house.”

— Marcel Proust

In Search of Lost Time, The Fugitive, 1925

Psychotherapeutic theory has long recognized the relations among emotional growth, internalization of new models of object relations, and verbalized expression of feeling. Most theories also insist upon the emotion-laden personal therapeutic relationship as the setting for crucial internalization processes which are at least consolidated, if not actually consitituted, through verbalized interpretation. No school, however, appears to have recognized and systematically developed the fertile structural connection between bodily enactment (and tool use) on the one hand, and language development on the other, where, taken together, these two strands provide a converging path leading to the capacity for emotional appropriation of new inner form.