[-empyre-] "(E)MOTION FREQUENCY deceleration" Week 4

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Tue Oct 25 00:39:57 EST 2011

dear all:

just having read Olu Taiwo's most eloquent defense of a politics and ethical awareness and position towards cultural deceleration, I feel humbled as we take stock at the beginning of this fourth week of the month-long
open forum and workshop on "(E)MOTION FREQUENCY deceleration"  -   so many of you here offered your time and your thoughts to us, in a busy month, and this is not something we ought to take lightly, as it is always
easy to be swept away by duties, commitments, sudden events, family matters, deadlines, health concerns, and care that may need to go elsewhere, not to quasi-blind discussion in a virtual space. 

we opened three weeks ago, from a physical lab, named "Choreolab," and one underlying physical practice in its configurement of "facilitation"  [which in Olu's spirit of his post I also take to mean "propagation of culture" and creativity]  – of  "Empathy, Trust & Openness" // Being in Relation with Oneself and Being Related to Each Other // Experts as Participants  — Participants as Experts // Research  with / through / of  Body & Mind //[Michael Weiss]–  one underlying practice was butoh, and I wish to return to butoh, and propose again other constellations in this coming week, with physicists and architects, without ever leaving our threads and the fascinating insights, and critiques, that you all have shared with us.  

butoh, if I may link it here with Olu's street arts workshop, excites me physically and intellectually, particularly as i cannot logically locate it in a predeterming "technology of perception" (Jaime), although i may be wrong, about its positioning on the periphery in Japanese culture.   Olu wrote:

>>On the one hand there are performers perceived to be on the periphery of society and performers perceived to be in the centre of the state designed architecture for the propagation of cultural values. Aspendos was and still is a place for professionals to perform; however, something of the street design still echoes in the structural ethos of its plan....""

Olu also spoke about playing (basketball) and the vagaries of injury to our bodies and ligaments  (echoing the findings that Scott Taylor had cited, regarding "Deceleration Mechanics: A Lost Art"), and  Olu's emphasis on meditation but also on ritual practice I find immensely inspiring if we take these forward into the trans-cultural performances and mixing rhythms, regarding a wide spectrum of cultural action and reflection.   Sonja made an initial foray into the "city" and urban rhythms and memories, and I hope this can be picked up by our discussants this week, and i also felt David Hughes had pointed us towards a potentially larger cosmic view,

“There was the big bang.
The universe accelerated and expanded.
Then it slowed down. Consolidated, condensed, contained. Expanding still.
Then it started to accelerate again. Faster expansion.
That's where we are now.”
Hmm well not so much even when full.

that I am going to ask Akram Khan to take up.  I am very anxious to introduce him and our special guests for this week, and will do so immediately in separate mail.

allow me to end with an image (Nilufer, Mine, greetings to you in earthquake shaken Turkey) that has rested under my eyelids, since the events of the tsunami in Japan last year.  It was sent to me by a butoh dancer, Biyo Kikuchi, who had come to London last year and taught a workshop alongside Olu Taiwo on what she and her teachers/her group in Tokyo call the "Artaud System." 

The picture shows persons dancing on a street, or being still on a street, or listening to "that lateral space down there" (Kazuo Ohno), that invisible realm beneath the feet.

with best wishes
Johannes Birringer

*photo credit:  
Biyo Kikuchi and her friends in the performance "From Listening," May 2011 © Courtesy of the artist

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