[-empyre-] METAFORMANCE__Redefining Relationality - continuation-Post2

jaimedelval at reverso.org jaimedelval at reverso.org
Sun Oct 23 03:05:17 EST 2011

METAFORMANCE - Redefining Relationality

Genealogies of perception: from proprioception to otherception

[continuation - Post 2]

There is no dancer behind the dance

In classical, modern and most of contemporary dance traditions, even  
those which abandon the architecture of the stage, the distances and  
framings of this architecture of perception are still shaping the  
experiences and understandings of the moving body, as it is seen from  
an outside. Indeed it shapes the experiences and body knowledges of  
dancers and choreographers, through technologies as widely used as the  
mirrors in dance schools and studios, which allow the dancer to  
approach the external view of the spectator and work for its sake.

Placing oneself as a mind that owns a material body is already  
problematic, if we acknowledge the mind to be an effect of the body in  
motion. Western dance traditions are thus mostly assuming the dancer  
as subject that owns a body, that can be external to it, or look at it  
from an exterior.

Centralized perspective, along the technology of writing, has ideally  
placed the subject along the time-line, has produced the fiction of  
linear time and real time. Similarly it has allowed an interpretation  
of space as extensive objective reality. Choreography draws upon the  
fiction of linear time and of movement as discreet and repeatable.  
Movements within a certain scale as suited for the framework of the  
stage or of the screen.

In his famous scultures for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, called  
The Matter of Time, Richard Serra confronts us with his account of  
sculpture as time, but more importantly he shows how linear time  
ceases to exist when cartesian perspective is no longer there. What  
dimensions of movement could we experience if we stop holding to the  
cartesian grid, let the subject dissolve, and let the body enter other  
scales of a non-linear time-space that emerges from the relational  
movement itself?

If we stop holding on to the body as possesive rational subjects there  
is some chance that it will start to dance in unexpected dimensions  
where there is little space-time left for the humanistic subject.

Transcending the subject helps us to transcend the machine as well:  
discourses on interactivity for instance care a lot about defining  
consiousness as that of a rational subject, while AI projects haven't  
the faintest idea about how a musical mind-body works, or that of a  
visual artist, or of a dancer-choreographer.
Interactivity, understood as the movements of the relational body, is  
transformed every time that relational technologies are displaced.  
There is no need to introduce reactive systems and parameter mappings,  
and if we do, then create relations!... without subjecting them to  
meaning and control. Invent new embodied forms of intelligence that  
defy the tyranny of reason!

Capitalism of affects:  interfaces and the panchoreographic

On of the reasons why movement is a crucial paradigm to understand  
power as it operates through us in contemporary capitalism is that  
bodies are increasingly choreographed by interfaces and globalised  
media that shape our perception and therefore our modes of  

Capitalism of affects is this conglomerate of technologies aiming at  
the production of the desires and affects of consumers-subjects. That  
affects are not an offspring of the free will isn`t something new.  
Marketing technologies are about producing desires and desiring  

Following philosopher of science William James we may understand  
affects as effects of bodily states, and these in turn as effects of  
modes of relational movement.

Choreographies disseminate affects at every level. By   
panchoreographic I refer to the diffuse set of globalised technologies  
that distribute discreet choreographies and affects in the bodies.

Amongst these, interfaces, moving images and music are some of the  
most significant nowadays, without disregarding transport  
technologies, urban planning and many others.

Stereo systems centralize our hearing while commercial music  
disseminates standardised affects through a reduced repertoir of  
musical styles and forms. A ubiquitous and immersive bodily  
architecture: the panacoustic.

Interfaces, as mediations between the face that represents the  
abstract subject, and the machine, are per se reproducing humanism's  
erasure of corporeality and assuming the universal abstraction and  
exteriority of the mind.

They aborb us in their movement paramenters and cause-effect  
relations, while HCI attempts to visualise non verbal communication  
"in its entirety" trying to subject once again the whole of reality to  

Fortunately reality has the capacity to escape any system of control,  
since it is embodied and specific, it doesn't obey universal  
frameworks, cannot be reduced to them and is impossible to anticipate  
in its emergence.

Yet it is true however that the implicit mechanisms of control of  
affective capitalism, disguised as they are behind façades of  
liberation and technopositivism, are incredibly effective in  
assimilating us into unprecedented apparatuses of global violence of  
which most of us are complicit, knowing or not, in our daily lives  
(the wars of coltan -the precious metal we have in our phones and  
computers- in Africa, are just one example, , the climate change is  

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