Sunday, November 4, 2007

What's your artifact and why is it an antique?

In looking at the pictures that sue posted (in particular the body as locus of memory) i was struck by the extents people have gone to find ways to memorize and retain information.

In Emily's improv class we've been working from the organ systems and their corresponding meridians. Again and again I am impressed and surprised by how often the path of a meridian or acupressure points are points or lines that multiple of us have been accessing and massaging nearly all of our lives to deal with very specific issues, all without a direct knowledge of what we were doing. It's amazing!

Compare that (and all these memory retaining techniques) to this idea that one of the greatest steps is human evolution was when we as humans began to write things down so we wouldn't have to remember them so we could in turn think more...and where does it take us? To me, it seems like it provides us with the benefit of having a colossal base of knowledge potentially available to us, with the drawback of a) becoming apathetic to the knowledge that isn't immediately presented to us and, b) becoming somewhat dependent on the ability to store everything we create (ideas, languages, paintings, dances) somewhere else.

So in my mind, that brings us to the present - where we are in some way, thinking too much and creating too much to be contained, and have a need hardwired into our system to put it somewhere else. Making dances with huge amounts of knowledge, material, process - whatever you want to call it (at this point i'm referring to the movement of a piece as the viscera, and any meaning/process/ideas/etc. as subviscera or "subvisc") is a complex process to say the least. However, our ways of containing and preserving dances have not evolved
at the rate that our hardwiring has...which brings us back to this problem of how to truthfully capture dance - what are our artifacts? antiques? notation systems? preservation modules? re-teaching methods? And more importantly, are they 100% exactly what we want them to be for us? Of course not. Let's get started, we have so much work to do!

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