[-empyre-] METAFORMANCE - Redefining Relationality ---continuation - POST 3

Jaime del Val jaimedelval at reverso.org
Wed Oct 26 13:29:48 EST 2011

dear Sondra, thanks so much for your reply,

your might be interested in this: www.metahumanism.eu, the metahumanist Manifesto, a brief text where myself and colleague philosopher Stefan Sorgner summarize some of these issues.

I am certainly interested in Butoh, though unfortunately I haven't deepened into it's practice yet and my knowledge of it is very superficial, I hope though to get to know this relational practice/methuman technology better soon.

I believe there are several significant metaformitve/metahumanist practicies going on out there... I think that claiming the relational is a key issue in our cartesian culture of separations, exteriorities and distances, a major political issue...

warmest regards
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Sondra Fraleigh 
  To: soft_skinned_space 
  Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 5:25 PM
  Subject: Re: [-empyre-] METAFORMANCE - Redefining Relationality ---continuation - POST 3

  Dear Jamie and all,
  Jamie, you speak of inbetween-ness. The Japanese have a word for it "Ma,"  the space between. It is alive. It is also a Zen word, and many of its aspects are ineffable. Ma is a guiding aesthetic in butoh, but you probably know this. Endo Tadashi has a wonderful dance called simply MA. (To be a little phenomenological) When I dance, I feel the interspaces and the inter-timings between myself and others, myself and my environment. Finally I just dissolve into the dance of it all. This relationality is the reason I dance.

  I especially like the following from you:

  The metabody is the relational body, one that is not located here or there, but is constantly moving in the relationality of forces and affects. Reality is thus an unquantifiable field of metabodies in changing and constitutive relation with one another.

  This is what I see, feel, when I watch a dance or listen to music - electronic or traditional. My body is there in all senses, connected with what I'm sensing.

  Now my buzzer is ringing, and I have to go teach yoga to 80 seniors. I love teaching them. They are so receptive and able. All in all, its a metaformance when we work and play together. "Higher than actuality is possibility" Heidegger so aptly catapults us toward our possible-selves.

  Thank you for this informative, provoking post. I'm saving it.


  On Oct 25, 2011, at 4:29 AM, Jaime del Val wrote:

    METAFORMANCE - Redefining Relationality
    Genealogies of perception: from proprioception to otherception
    [continuation - POST 3]

    Anatomy and control

    Cartographies of the body have, within the best of humanistic traditions, fulfilled a number of reductionisms in our embodied experience.

    It is stryking for instance that such broadly overwhleming and oppressive frameworks as sexual identities are derived from the reductionism and measurement of genital anatomies in the new born, which leads to the assignation of a binary sex or an intersexual status, whereby genitalia are classified according to their functionality within normative reproductive heterosexuality.

    This gives us just a faint idea how strongy human(istic) anatomy is shaping the social body, as theories on the Body Politic suggest.

    In order to map the body one must have an exterior perspective to it. What happens if we abolish that condition? What happens if in our experience the body becomes amorphous, and yet is still moving, alive and present?

    Presence vs. identity

    Presence is not to be confounded with identity, much as though in information society it is. We may produce accounts of presence that do not rely on identity whatsoever. Indeed in our daily experience we go through many moments in which we don't operate through identity, we don't assume an exterior position. When we sit in front of the sea, or of a sunset, or wonder in the woods we don't identify, we get lost in the endless and amorphous movement of waves and clouds and leaves. (Unless we are an expeditionary scientist from some of our imperialistc journeys of discovery and conquest).

    The relational body in metahumanism - metabodies

    Metahumanism proposes an approach to embodied experiences in terms of their relationality, their inbetweenness, to understand reality and ouserlves, not as two independent entities, but as mutually contitutive and transformative relational processes, thus emphasising the meaning of "in betweenness" that the prefix Meta also had in ancient greek. In proposing the Metahumanist Manifesto, both Stefan Sorgner and I felt that this prefix was more to the point than the prefix post- since our point is in the relational, or starts there, leading into the amorphous.

    Every technology is a relational technology, is articulating or setting to motion of modes of relationality. We have seen what modes of relationality cartesian technologies of information society puts into motion: exteriorities and borders hidden behind façades and rethorics of conectivity, that are the condition of possibility of identification and form as instruments of control.

    The metabody is the relational body, one that is not located here or there, but is constantly moving in the relationality of forces and affects. Reality is thus an unquantifiable field of metabodies in changing and constitutive relation with one another.

    Metamedia Metaformance - relational technologies

    If we intervene in the modes of relationality being aware that this will transform us and that to which we relate - it will displace and eventually dissolve the identifying border -, we may work thorugh all of the given anatomies, cartographies and forms through which we usually structure our experience.

    This includes or starts with a reworking of our sensory apparatuses, the relational technologies par excellance.

    The process of reworking relationalities at different levels is what I call a metaformance, which exceeds the dualisms of spectacular control society, and goes beyond perspectivism to introduce immanentism: we are never exterior to that to which we relate, we are never exterior to the relationality itself.

    Arguably some of the artworks that have been called performances could be understood in terms of metaformance, since they were reworking relationalities at different levels (of the body in its capabilities and potentials, of the relation to the audience, etc). Even the most apparently non-procedural works of art can be reviewed under this light. It is tragic in this sense that the notion of artistic object, so suitable to markets, has pervaded discourses on art for so long, while I am almost certain than many painters, for instance, have experienced their work as a neverending relational process.

    Metaformance puts the relationailty in the forefront of investigation, though we could say, like Picasso, "Je ne cherche pas, je trouve", since the contingencies in metadiciplinary work are so great that we are often more imbricated in openning us a way amidst the jungle of things we encounter and have little time to look for other.

    Metaformance is metamedia, since it operates in the conditions of possibility of media themselves not trying to define another fixed sensory anatomy, but in an endless amorphogenesis, where new potential media emerge.

    empyre forum
    empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au


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