our encounter


Catalina Hernandez-Cabal and Natalia Espinel, have come together in an urge to share, contrapose, deconstruct, and re-make our thinking.


We exist as a long-term improvisational duet, experimenting with different sensitivities, proximity, multiple approaches of thinking, and making. In our duet, we have focused on the richness of meeting each other: We understand encounters as a practice. It is an intentional effort for committing to openness, learning, vulnerability, and openness to transformation through the textures, rhythms, tensions, and contrasts that emerge when at least two bodies enter into contact. Encounter is in this way a subtle or radical movement outside of one’s self. It is to bring to one’s body the other’s language. We believe that it is in encounters, where our vision of the world comes alive, becomes actions, and construct spaces.

Natalia Espinel is a Colombian artist who works at the intersection of visual arts, performance, somatic practices, and movement improvisation. Natalia is currently faculty at the School of Art at Universidad Javeriana-Bogotá, where she teaches drawing and body-space creative practices. She holds a BFA in Visual Arts and is an ongoing practitioner of dance and somatic practices.  As a Fulbright scholar, she completed an MFA with an emphasis in Integrated Practices at Pratt Institute New York, where she also studied Dance/Movement Therapy. Through relational objects and methodologies for collaborative art-making, Natalia’s projects position the relevance of becoming-with-others. By articulating theoretical and sensorial-corporeal explorations, she inquiries how our bodies are mobilized and modified by the proximity and contact with others, positioning this as a radical gesture in our opening to the world. She has exhibited her work in places like the Peace and Reconciliation Memory Center in Bogotá, the main Bus Terminal in Bogotá, and the refugee camps of Western Sahara in Argelia (within the Art and Human Rights Festival of Western Sahara, Artifariti). 


Catalina Hernandez-Cabal Colombian-American artist, movement researcher and educator, currently pursuing a PhD in art education (University of illinois). She is also an ongoing practitioner of contemporary dance/improvisation. Catalina studies the intersection of shared movement, critical and feminist pedagogies, and contemporary art practices, as a potential articulation to generate encounters that can become instances of learning and political action.  Her work examines and instigates modes of perception, relation, organization, and orientations, which challenge hegemonic practices and discourses that fix others’ bodies. Catalina teaches university introductory courses to art at the School of Art and Design-University of Illinois, and interdisciplinary movement-art workshops with different audiences. She also occasionally participates as dancer and collaborator in dance pieces choreographed by colleagues and friends. She holds also holds an EdM in Aesthetic Education and a BA in Sociology and Political Science.



People and work we think-with and about

Sarah Ahmed
Erin Manning
Charles Garoian
Estanislao Zuleta
Gloria Anzaldua
George Didi-Huberman
Erin Manning
Donna Haraway
Tyson Lewis
Jorge Lucero
Sarah Travis
Ricardo Toledo Castellanos
Tania Perez-Bustos
Lygia Clark
Ricardo Basbaum
Helio Oiticica
Cecilia Vicuña
Trisha Brown
Ivone Rainer
Anna Halprin
Janine Antoni
Pauline Oliveros
Jennifer Monson
Kirstie Simson
Janet Adler and Mary Whitehouse
Luis Camnitzer