fugitive poetics of a moving body

What language is apt for the volatile experience and fugitive poetics of a moving body?

…dance is very good at taking advantage of vague… But vague is not always a verbal short-coming.

The logical resources equal to emergence must be limber enough to juggle the ontogenetic indeterminacy that precedes and accompanies a thing’s coming to be what it doesn’t. Vague concepts, and concepts of vagueness, have a crucial, and often enjoyable, role to play. […] Generating a paradox and then using it as if it were a well-formed logical operator is a good way to put vagueness in play. Strangely, if this procedure is followed with a good dose of conviction and just enough technique, presto!, the paradox actually becomes a well-formed logical operator. Thought and language bend to it like light in the vicinity of a superdense heavenly body.

…the idea of what we are doing takes a back seat to the facts of what we are doing. Rather than modeling the concept outside of dance and then executing it, the dance is the concept and the model.

Without metaphors, thought doesn’t travel very far. […] “how about all language is arbitrary.” […] Language is the original open source code.

…catching the momentum of whatever had sparked my interest, without having to finish entire books. […] …not to mistake political theory for an instruction manual for art making. Productive misunderstanding means to use what is said or written, not necessarily to fully grasp the intended meaning.

open questions which indicate direction, informational questions which build contextual understanding, leading questions which point to a blind spot or necessity, and closed questions which delimit, place, and define. Mapp emphasized the questions themselves, including the ability to change the questions according to new information, as the conditional force behind research.

Holding a question and doing to find out what the doing does, to the doer, to the watcher, and to the idea itself, is a way in which dance can be research without ever having to come to a conclusion, or “research outcome,” as in scientific methodologies.

…attention is the medium of performance. […] …perhaps the only difference between habits and knowledge is attention.

Choice cannot reinvent, it can only select from within the givens. Choice can be evolutionary, but never revolutionary. […] When we consider that the doing does the doer, the image of a free subject today is perhaps presented in one who decides what they do, as they are deciding what shapes them. This implies freedom of choice as attached to privilege, as in the privilege to choose your practices. Not all bodies not all workers, not all people in the world have such a privilege. The choices of what patterns one inhabits are determined and informed by geography, mobility, ability, access, class, status, gender, race, age, and all other distributions of inequality that structure social identities. Which is to say that the movement of thought for the movement researcher is not automatically an emancipatory movement. It is always contained by and in negotiation with a set of larger patterns. […] …

the free subject is not necessarily one who decides what they do, but rather perhaps one who decides how they do it, as in, how they position themselves in relation to the doing. […] Shifting the attention from movement as displacement on a predetermined grid to movement as transformation within, and consequently possible transformation of the grid itself due to what such transformation manifests in the world, is where even the smallest possibilities for change do appear.

In order to recognize a pattern… time is a crucial aspect in movement research. …movement is done slower in order to study it, … movement research usually requires doing something for long enough to… how it feels and how it makes one feel, makes one see, hear or think.

The whole iceberg below the tip of what can be revealed by our own movement research is the unknowable, unobservable dance that escapes being named, the doing that does us without our grasping, and so we continue to rely on the subtler intuitions and stranger sensibilities, effing the ineffable indefinitely, observing as closely as we can to decipher how dance thinks through us, and shouting back over our shoulders from time to time at the symbolic ordering of our language to catch up.

Effing the Ineffable, Eleanor Bauer

I find most of this writing agreeable, except for a couple parts. Though she sounds like her position is more grounded on phenomenology than and speculative realism or object-oriented ontology, I’m not sure what her stance is on “subject.” She seems to be somewhere between phenomenology and speculative realism. Perhaps process ontology? Another thing is that her statement about choice being evolutionary, but not revolutionary seems to rely much on Bergson’s theory of Elan Vital. The fact that she doesn’t consider the “public” character of revolution and privileges evolution and change from within, though she’s being critical about neoliberalism’s apolitical character, seems to reflect second wave feminist “personal is political” without being able to suggest a concrete alternative. This can entirely override the theory on Other.

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