Process Blog: FEB 15, 2016
1. The living world of the words.
This video is a rehearsal of a trio called Rafters that I’m working on for a show on March 3rd -5th in Toronto. It is set to an audio score from my meditation practice. It’s about witnessing influence, and our interconnectivity. Some things we’re working on: the difference between a projected and actual path (seen in the beginning percussive section), constructing and moving through peripheral frames, witnessing the inner world, the space, and each other, and seeing each other with strangeness (for example, in the end section in silence we’re looking at each other while projecting an incompatible creature version of ourselves onto whoever/whatever we’re looking at. We call this state 'creaturing'). We become the projectors and the screens for each other. It slips between spatial, dancerly, and direct influence, and moves towards subtle, or more pedestrian modes of communication. We’re going to add more stillnesses and listening to the space next week (we’ll be in the performance venue, not the one seen here). The audience will be in the round, and the camera person wont be in the performance, although he does add something…
This piece makes me wonder ‘how do you know another person’? Are we the same person in this work, or sharing the same parts of each other?
I’m remembering the work by Angela Schubot, Jared Gradinger, and Aleesa Cohene I recently saw called “All my Holes are Theirs”
2. Methodology to connect research to text production, talking at the same time as moving, and writing after the improvisation session.
Here’s an example of how I’d like to work to generate the body of my paper.
I read a chapter on Intimate Immensity in The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, then I went into the studio and improvised while talking into the audio recorder. I listened to my affected jargon, then came up with this directive: “Poetry as an opening: follow the indirect pathway of light through an infinitely dense forest”
I then danced that directive for 30 minutes (could have gone longer, will do this one again). Here’s an excerpt (fyi I had a collaborator in the room for the purpose of feeling the affects of a witness. He was working with a mic, guitar, and text. I gave no instructions at the time other than the score I was working with. I’d like to continue this exploration). From here, I’ll refer back to the score, look at the dancing, and simplify the movement vocabulary/ add more physical limitations, looking for the crystalline moments.
In the same rehearsal, I then wrote a freeform response. Here’s what came out:
Ignoring the internet and going with Bachelard: the poetics of space
Thinking about how to prepare by way of influencing my mind with the space of thought, research, and books.
Words I take into the meditation: immensity, vast, volume, the forest, beyond objectivity, poetic opening
Poetry as an opening: follow the indirect pathway of light through an infinitely dense forest
Moving from the body I think I have. But what is a thought? An inscription of an already-has-been and inputted way of feeling, understanding a delineation of arm, torso, trunk, concern, safety, pathways. The impossibility of undoing, or re-encoding, the indirect pathway as an elusive way, locating in the dislocating, the loss of identifiers that meant something to my body. The volume of the body, the volume of the room, the volume of the space of movement is the thing, the thought, that pushes the movement into the blur, into the unspecificity of previous pathways through the labyrinth of the dense forest of the present. To not register the present through a looking back, or an understanding of the breadcrumbs I’ve just left behind, but that each step along the path, each dot, is connected to the last, and preemptive of the future, the causality is a trap. But what if the density increased? This density of the pathway might also mean an increase in the volume of movement, of the inner density of attention to the body, the weight of each particle surrendering to gravity, or converging like mini anvils of vast weight beyond what I can hold. I trick my muscles to retain the anticipated weight, but then have to deal with the cellular anvils. They are surprised by the unsuspecting multitudes of trees and root systems and heavy water that suspend on each leaf the blurs the sightlines. It is all at night. The sight is no longer a navigation tool, but an unfolding into the present. Sight is no longer for distance, for planning, for placing the foot, but a flash of the meeting of impulse and arrival. To be lost in the present is to be drawn into a fullness of being. Becoming is processual, and maintains an awareness of the pathway, a spot along the creases of a map, but being is a flash of the present, an all-in immersive pressure of a fullness of unfolding senses that hold no vested interest in before or after, but only operate by necessity, contingency, and the horrors of nonsense that summon operations of the body’s mechanism to be in constant question of the now, or now, or the location of the room as the here, or here. We hold each other up, and we pull each other down. The roots interrupt the footing, the leaves blur the sightlines, the fog lets it be know that the true density of this forest is unknowable, immeasurable, but constant and surprising.”
I like how this text is affected by the space of research, of reading, and provides some kind of influence for the words I generate while in the improvisation.
I want to keep going I this direction. I’m showing something on February 26th-28th in an informal setting. I’d like to keep this attention to the preparatory process of the text, or how to prepare in general, as this space always comes through in the content of the words and movement.