“Wine got drunk with us, not the other way.
The body developed out of us not we from it.
We are bees and our body is a honeycomb.
We made the body, cell by cell we made it.”

Rumi (1207 – 1273)

Bio-OrigamiHuman Origami is a reflective movement process. The long form takes approximately 1.5 hours where movers are guided into a sensory environment that is rich in tactile-kinesthetic imagery. The process is induced first by the languaging…. By folding, enfolding and unfolding, movers revisit memories long forgotten, or even never known. New movement patterns emerge, freeing the mover from habit. Themes vary. One portal of discovery explorations revolves around exploring aspects of human embryonic development. The life of the embryo holds more mystery than scientific fact. Scientists can outline the stages, but the intricacies of the processes are yet to be fully articulated.

Photo, Susan Sentler, Now Gallery, London

Folding allows participants to enter into fractal consciousness. Here lies the possibility for fine- tuning the sense, discriminating a microcosm of movement pathways and patterns that are iterative and nonlinear. As the process deepens, a portal of micro-matter becomes apparent, which, like a coastline, has fractal-like properties.


Fractals are seen throughout nature. From the direct observation of nature it turns out that most cells, tissues, organs, in either the animal or vegetal worlds are systems in which component parts and unit fragments assemble with different levels of complexity and organization, and certainly in human biological development, where organ formation takes fractal pathways. The development of the heart, lungs and even the brain and thinking, demonstrate fractal principles of organization.

Living forms develop according to self-organizing morphological patterns correlated with a complex system of functional metabolic interactions which make the accomplishment of the adaptive response possible. Iteration, self-similarity, form invariance upon scaling, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, self-organization and energy dissipation are among the mechanisms reputed to sustain the emergence and maintenance of living forms, in contrast to those of homeostasis, linearity, smoothness, regularity and thermodynamic reversibility pertaining to a more traditional vision based upon the concepts and rules of Euclidean geometry and adequate for an ideal world.


Read Glenna’s article, Human Origami: The Embryo as a Folding Life Continuum, in the debut issue of the International Journal of Prenatal and Life Sciences.

In Human Origami, movement explorations also can take their inspiration from embryonic development. For example, we’ve revisited the known and unknown territories of the first fold of the primitive streak and the induction of the midline, heart expansion and rhythmic pulsation of the blood, and body shaping/patterning of the arms and legs.


Kenneth Snelson’s Dragon

Losa, G.A. (2009), The fractal geometry of life. Rivista di Biologia /Biology Forum 102: 29-60.
Losa, G.A. [2002], Fractal Morphometry of Cell Complexity. Riv. Biol./B. Forum, 95: 239-258.