One of the biggest challenges I encounter working between experiment and activism as a neurodiverse queer emerges in the area of communication.
Anti-anticipatory aesthetics names the experimental creative strategy that functions according to a principle similar to “act first, deduct later,” which–in itself–is an homage-of-sorts to Deborah Hay’s choreographic strategy “ready, fire, aim.” The aim of “anti-anticipatory aesthetic” is to put observation at the centre of the creative process instead of anticipation.
The hypothesis guiding this strategy is the following: by placing anticipation at the centre of a creative strategy, one is bound to attune their sensibilities to, and so unintentionally re-produce those aesthetic values and working habits one is already familiar with, i.e., those values one is used to and comfortable with prior to the beginning of a creative process. Working with anticipation, in other words, at the centre of a creative strategy could be said to lead to the production of unoriginal material and to the reproduction instead of discovery of (new) knowledge.
note: Anti-anticipatory aesthetics is developed in collaboration with alys longley.
dance science, a glossary
What I like to call >dance science< is a research-based approach to (dancing) that explores the capacity of the medium to extrapolate at the scale of (the human body in) motion something of what otherwise occurs or operates exclusively at the scale of cellular and sub-cellular intra-action.
The purpose of >dance science< emerges with the question, What under-the-surface activity does motion registered at the scale of surface evidence or otherwise make observable? And how?
#intraaction #meetingtheuniversehalfway #karenbarad
I work with a non-verbal medium (dancing) in the context of professionalised art-making that tends to concern itself with experiment-conducting and knowledge-discovery. One of the key characteristics of the medium is in the fact that (dancing) instrumentalises duration as a restriction whilst calibrating the value of “restriction” relative to the value of “material”. “Material,” in other words, is inseparable from the restriction of (its) duration. Changing the duration of “material” means transforming or else entirely replacing “material.” To realise the duration of “material,” on the other hand, is to discover, i.e. articulate, “material.”
In comparison, classical approaches will name duration the responsibility of the choreographer or the dramaturg and calibrate its values to preconceived, i.e. conservative, theatrical and linear narrative standards. The dancer’s job will be to follow the directions given and adjust the duration without transforming the material. The two standards—classical and experimental—are incompatible, which makes them incomparable.
In the context of >dance science< the superficial (literally meaning: concerning the surface, the visible to the naked eye, the skin) is (only) as interesting as it is capable of evidencing that an activity under-the-surface has indeed taken place. This order of priorities is radical in the context of traditional dance making, where superficial goals condition all else.
The process or practice of evidencing is the process or practice of narrowing down, or zeroing in on, or developing, or organising standards for perceiving or measuring or interpreting the value of specific relational pathways in their capacity to orient specific evidence (the superficial) to specific data (the internal, the experiential).
#fractalisation #emergence #emergentstrategy #adriennemareebrown
What I call a performative practice is a set of parameters, or principles that function
In activating a network of specific relational pathways, a performative practice operates as an experimental orientation device or a measuring tool; it is a magnifying glass of sorts, or a large hadron collider.
a principle is a network of specific relational pathways
Orientation, the practice of orienting, constitutes one part of my approach to dance- and knowledge-making. Orientation is a fairly new term in my glossary.
I first started thinking in terms of orientation when I was reading the bit of Karen Barad’s Meeting the Universe Halfway that says something along the lines of, What we measure with determines what we can measure. One can hardly measure distance with a scale, for example. It didn’t take me long to associate Barad’s observations of scientific standards with my experience of a BMC® principle which states that to sense the bone of another you sense (with) the bone of your own. Meter meets distance, bone meets bone. It was the associated BMC® principle that furthered my process towards orientation. This because the BMC® principle doesn’t stop at bone meets bone. The principle—once established—asks, How does orienting relative to the sense of my own bone inform or influence my capacity to relate to the world? What do I notice, for example, when I orient relative to the sense of my own bone? Furthermore, What can I notice, when I orient relative to the sense of my own bone?
“Material” in (dancing) is a specific bodily state, behavioural or an affective state, evidenced by the dancer’s dancing in response to the dancer’s working on or with a choreographic principle or a research question. In that it is material, “material” in (dancing) isn’t necessarily dependent on the dancer’s mood, their will or intention, or cognitive capacity. Even their stamina. “Material” is a thing of affect, is a thing of being under influence. Working with “materials” requires skill, precision, and a detailed understanding of one’s psycho-somatic capabilities and psycho-physical boundaries.
“Knowledge making is not a mediated activity, despite the common refrain to the contrary. Knowing is a direct material engagement, a practice of intra-acting with the world as part of the world in its dynamic material configuring, its ongoing articulation. The entangled practices of knowing and being are material practices.” (Barad 2007, 379)
Dancers working with “materials” run the risk of being exposed by the “materials” they are working with in ways they might not choose to be, were they capable of making a choice. Sometimes dancers aren’t capable of making editorial choices in real time because they are under the influence of “material”, which may mean: entirely un-self-consicous. This means, amongst other things, that dancers working with “materials” are easy to exploit.