[-empyre-] Sense as space
sbasbaum at gmail.com
Mon Oct 25 11:49:30 EST 2010
Thank you for you beautiful message.
Most of my work in the last years have been exploring different aspects of
the multiple meaning of the word "sense", as body apparatus, direction and
meaning, with a merleau-pontian inspiration.
I'm happy to read what your doing, there's alot of common intuitions.
best vibes from Brazil
On Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 9:01 PM, Alexander Wilson <
01ek at parabolikguerilla.com> wrote:
> Hello Empyrecists,
> Thanks Renate for introducing me to the list. Though I have not yet posted,
> I have been following the discussions for a couple of weeks now.
> I'd like to write down a few thoughts, post Making Sense Colloquium, and
> hope they may spark some new tangent discussions.
> A lot of my theatre and art work has dealt with the idea that sense as in
> meaning and sense as in sensation, is inherently tied to a third homonym, at
> least with the french word "sens" : sense as direction or orientation. This
> lead me to conceptualize sense as space, space which is not only physical
> and through which our bodies move, but a heterogeneous space that also
> includes psychological space, that is, spaces through which our minds move.
> Sense as meaning and sense as sensation are etymologically derived from the
> idea of earlier words meaning "to find ones way" or "to orient oneself"
> (see proto indo-european base **sent-,* which means "to go"). So
> spatiality is extremely important if we want to look at sense holistically.
> If both are minds and our body are *in *sense, that is, if they orient
> themselves within sense in a holistic manner, then we must think of the mind
> and body as one entity. I have often used the term “topological body” to
> refer to this, though it is somewhat misleading. The idea comes from the
> topology of non-orientable forms in topology, like the mobeius strip and the
> klein bottle, the definitions of which give us a way of thinking how the
> outside, physical world, could be continuous to the internal mental world.
> If one were to stand on a gaint klein bottle's surface, one might get the
> impression that the ground on which he stands has an other side, below his
> feet, as it were, when in fact this “other side” is continuous to the “side”
> he is standing on : the klein bottle only has one side. Likewise, the
> topological body only has one side. The inside mental space of the subjet
> extends continuously into the physical world outside. The topological body
> is thus both mind and body.
> In my work with Parabolik Guerilla Theatre, I have often treated the
> question of the difference between “having sense”, that is, merely being
> determined by the space in which the topological body is embeded, and
> “making sense”, that is actively participating in the constant
> reorganization of that space. Merleau-Ponty wrote about the difference
> between *parole parlée* and *parole parlante* in this way. It is possible
> to “use” language in a non creative way, whereas it is also possible to
> create through language, to reveal through language something other than
> what a word means on a merely semiotic level. This creative use of language
> is *poïesis*. But this distinction between having sense and making sense
> extends to areas which we don’t usually call language : gestures also adhere
> to this principle. The body is constantly involved in automatic gestures, it
> relies on innumerable unconscious gestures that “make” no sense but "have"
> sense, that is, the body is on constantly decoding sense which is already
> there, inscribed in the repetitive processes which make up our present,
> inherited from the past. However, there are ways in which the body can
> attempt to become *poïetic, *and take part in new encodings of sense,
> create new propagating processes, revealing new meanings, new ways to move,
> new ways to interact with the world (or be the world).
> In our practice with Parabolik Guerilla Theatre, Japanese Butoh has been a
> huge inspiration, and from the very beginning was part of our physical
> training regimen. Butoh deals with exactly this idea of transcending the
> usual gestural and postural automatisms that are only decodings of sense. It
> is and active attempt to not be determined by sense, but actually take part
> in producing it. The idea of a topological body and of sense as space also
> ties in with butoh’s sense of the body and space, where the exterior and
> interior are incessantly forced to exchange places. A common interpretation
> of butoh is that in it’s practice, the body no longer moves through space
> but that the reverse is happening, the space moves through the body.
> I could go on and on about these ideas but I’m already rambling. Renate
> said at Making Sense colloquium to try to keep our posts short, so I’ll
> shut-up for now...
> alexander wilson
> Alexander Wilson
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
-- Prof. Dr. Sérgio Roclaw Basbaum
-- Coord. Tecnologia e Mídias Digitais
-- Pós-Graduação Tec.da Inteligência e Design Digital - TIDD (PUC-SP)
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