Esmaspäev, märts 09, 2009

SHUNT / what REALLY happened

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What’s it about? The discussions underpinning 2 are a collage ideas which simply lead to an emphasis of cognition, of ones own and of others`. In particular ideas from Perspectivism are being highlighted and played with - that we are always seeing the world from a particular point of view, and others are too, but from a different point of view. 2 also takes the concept of ‘boundary’ as one of its point of departure. Specifically the liminal boundary of 1) the self; of 2) the extended self, e.g. oneself as part of a group, collaboration or network, or as attached to objects/actions in the world; and 3) the boundary between the audience and the work. 2 clearly destabilises the clear split or boundary which traditional structure of the spectacle makes between the audience and the performance. Whereas traditionally the passive subject is emphasised by watching actions made subjects and objects from a far, in 2 the head, the actual privileged seat of the subject is made into an object (separated from body) on the floor, which is then plays an intrinsic part within the performance space.

Example Background In Consciousness Explained, Daniel Dennett, makes the case that the mechanics of boundary making, are the mechanics at the beginnings of life, as well as at the very deepest vaults of the human psyche. The original distinction between self and other is a deep biological principle; one might say it is the deepest principle, for biology begins in self-preservation - in the emergence of entities (the simplest replicators) who resisted destruction and decay, who combated, at least for a short time, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, [...] As soon as something gets into the business of self-preservation, boundaries become important, for if you are setting out to preserve yourself, you don't want to squander effort trying to preserve the whole world; you draw the line. You become, in a word, selfish. [...] The psychologist Paul Rozin has shown in a fascinating series of experiments on the nature of disgust that there is a powerful and unacknowledged undercurrent of blind resistance to certain acts that, rationally considered, should not trouble us. For example, would you please swallow the saliva in your mouth right now?
This act does not fill you with revulsion. But suppose I had handed you a sparkling clean drinking glass and asked you to spit into the glass and then swallow the saliva from the glass. Disgusting! But why? It seems to have to do with our perception that once something is outside of our bodies it is not longer quite part of us anymore – it becomes alien and suspicious--it has renounced its citizenship and becomes something to be rejected. What will it look and sound like?For inside the box minimal group performance actions and sound are being created in response to the number 2 and questions such as: Can you feel pain in your central-heating system? Why doesn’t a lobster eat itself when hungry?Together these actions will create an atmosphere of being inside the mind of several people at once, invoking repeated text, ping-pong, writing and diagrams on the floor, spit in plastic glasses, studies of mental conditions and deficits, Sound artists are devising ways to work with recorded live sound and respond to the questions: What does it sound like in ones mind? And what would it sound like if more than one self inhabited the same mind? Minimal and repeated sounds actions will be developed during the week at shunt, exploring how best to convey strange feelings and thoughts to the audience. The performance would last about 1 hour each evening, audience can come and go as they pleaseduring this time. Outside the raised platform/box, one will only see the headless bodies, back lit. In a separate space,a video-feed from inside the raised space would entice audience to the space.

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