[dance-tech] Re: Sensordance, etc........The language of technology - the technology of dance

  • From: "Jaime del Val" <jaimedelval@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 7 Oct 2006 23:53:10 +0200

Hello all,

I am really grateful to Matt that he reacted with "impotent rage"  because
that's just
what I needed to exemplify what i meant in the first place: that our
epistemological gap has a lot to do with a certain overdose of rigidity,
narrowmindedness and  presumtion within some areas of science.

I mostly agree with Marlon, though one should beware of essentialism when
saying that one wants to understand what the body does as if it were an a
priori, I am more happy with the idea of generating models and
representations that are meaningful and useful in a certain context yet
always aware of their reduced, discreet and contingent character.

Also I think that an open use of language has not only served to bring
feeling of doom to some artists but that it has served the purpose of a
consistent  critique within philosophy, at least since the time of Nietzche.

Well, thank goodness academia (at least a small part of it) already opened
itself up decades ago
to the idea that laguage can be used exploiting
the associative potentials, and indeed I am drawing from some very specific
areas of academic research of which Matt is obviously unaware.

Now Matt, if you really
are interested just take a look at these keywords: poststructuralism, queer
cyberfeminsm, deconstruction, performativuty, to start with ...... (I
haven't read the
articles in wikipaedia but you will surely find something.)

Whenever I read something I try to be keen enough to understand if the
language the person is using is akin to mine or if on the contrary it
implies something so utterly different that it is not worthy to go into the
discussion - or if it, is then the language issue is the first to be dealt
with. But I will not be assuming to have the "right" language.

I will try to avoid entering the game of responding to Matt's "impotent
rage", and try to focus in the elements of the discussion that are useful to
us all. Although I do have something to say about this rage along the lines
that Simon was pointing. It is indeed true that the positions of Matt and
myself are pretty irreconciliable, yet it important to note that the problem
lies not so much in the pure philosophical disgressions, as I noted before.

I am also happy about this "coming out" since I had naively thought that we
didn't have such positions in the dance-tech community. Thank goodness we
are normal then and can claim technopositivist trends like everywhere else.

I could easily say: It seems clear from your writing that you are a
modernist who is unable to
cope with the idea that your whole discursive architechture is breaking down
into pieces since the 60 (or should we say sine the XIX century?
I could equally say that the style with which you (and others) write leaves
and technology in the position of oldfashioned early XX century academia or
even ideological fanatism
rather than interdisciplinary contemporary research. But I won't do so
since I try to avoid that cheap  kind of rethorics, and tend not to prejudge
people so quickly.
You seem to erect yourself as the judge of what it is worthy to speak of in
this list... I wander on what account.

The more arguments I give the more anrgy you seem, and less willing to
understand so I don't see much of a point in going on with the discussion.

Just some points: my text seems contradictory to you becouse you wont give
away  your own predefined position.

> if we return to 'old  discussions' it because you and others have
> failed to deal with the issue. it seems that your post-post-modernist
> discourse is restricted to "no, but neither yes".

If we return to old discusions it is because people like you have obviously
not succeeded in imposing their views upon everybody else: luckily that
shall never be possible and difference wins over again and again...

> i'm sorry, its not my idea, its part of something called academic
> rigor. communication is about clarification of meaning,  perhaps the
> lens for your communicating forces is miss focused?

Believe, you need not teach me about academic rigor, I was pretending to
sound friendly, which you seem not to care about at all.

> I gave an example which you were unable to counter, here the ball is
> in your court to explain what you mean by embodiment. Even then i
> suspect an analysis of your explanation will reveal a dependency on
> simulation and synthesis.

 repetition and difference. (deleuze) and genealogy (Foucault) as I already
Which example did you give?

> Discourse and representation are external practices, they support
> simulation and synthesis. Indeed they  are dependent on both. if
> embodiment deals with the 'excess' of simulation, it is also dependent
> on simulation. The same is true if you mean 'outside' simulation (or
> else you would not 'simulation' in the context of the body). Perhaps,
> more interestingly you are not claiming that embodiment deals with the
> 'real', in not doing so you tacitly acknowledge simulation and
> synthesis.

You seem to be more concerned with fixing the similarities that you see and
pretend that they are universal.
I am more concerned (after centuries of such essentialism as you are
with the potential and real differences.

> perhaps now you will say that there is no disembodiment, or embodiment
> in an absolute sense, then what is there .. the liminal? if so you
> should use concepts relating  to liminality not embodiment.

embodiment deals with the liminal as much as it deals with the established.
The liminal only exists as such in so far as it is excluded from the
established. Some are too concerned with reaffirming the territories of the
established and pretend that they cannot change (not too much at least, not
in the foundations of the thinking... only ).

> if i write for an instrument that is a score. So if the score and the
> technique make the instrument, and by virtue the performance (the
> utilisation of technique) i can reduce the music back to these
> elements. but again you seem to have contradicted yourself:

 who said that the score and the technique make
the instrument?

> domains of style are the result of technique.

Style is the effect of multiple specifities that relate to one another and
that generate shifting sedimented forms of the practice. The style in music
is generally absent form the score "per se" - which also means that the
score "per se" has no meaning whatsoever - , it is learned through embodied
practice that has the score as something complementary, not central.

> If there is no body 'a priori' from where does the discourse come, the
> dis-embodied? And then, if the  dis-embodied has no substance (body)
> how can they become embodied? With what do they perceive and
> communicate?

you are generating a rather simplistic
reductionism relating discourse to disembodiment that needs a substance to
become embodied (how does that happen in your view, through
transsubstatiation?? (of course I never invoqued such a framework).
Discourse is embodied (disembodyment we would have to deal with in a
different way) - the mind and consciousness are embodied processes (and I
would say that  some scientific research is pointing in that direction,
such as the theories of the mirror neuros, of proprioception, of enactive

> layering indicates putting something on top of.

That is not necessaily true: you refer to  a bidimensional or tridimensional
framework of linear representaions. i refer to a multidimensional framework
of non-linear representations. read deleuze

> motion causes sound, but can exist without it. we can perceive motion,
> even if it does not occur. can you hear in a vacum?, why does
> animation appear to move?

have you never heard about
proprioception or synesthesia, about how the different sensory information
relates all the time  and how that is relevant for the eventual emergence of
meanings? (yes I am taking examples from science)

> how do you know what a chair is, and how does a chair differ from a
> stool. how do you drive your car? when looking at a spiders web are
> you confused as to its structure?

the sedimented use of the concept chair has given it a shifting meaning
(surely the images we invoque when thinking a chair are different in each
body and more so in each cultural context. That I think the chair doesn't
mean that it exists a priri it simply means that i am revinoking a
form, which in every invocation is subject to transformations, and which may
eventually dissapear if it stops being used and thought.

> simulation and synthesis; if the 'forces' do not exist a priori then
> they are experiential constructs.

simulation is not a very good word I think, you could try repetition, which
is rather different... and what i see is that in every embodiment there is
no pure repetition, whatever we may attempt to repeat will always and ever
subject to shifts, however small these may be sometimes. And what I am
trying to say is that this difference is important, that the time and place
of each word matters, and that we can go well beyond in articulating that

> how do you measure the forces? how do you identify and organise them,
> can you share some of the pattern shifts and changes you have
> observed?

technopisitivist logocentric determinism allows for the
quantification of its forms (for example the speed, a parameter of
logocentric thinking, can be measured within certain constraints).  Whereas
other domains  can only be analised in qualitative terms,
rather than quantitative: in music there is no way to quantify how good, or
expressive, or intense that
music is, it always to do with qualitatuve relative values, never with
quantitative absolute values. So there are ways to express that qualitative
value in a relative context.

> you claim metaformativity, as a critical framework of study of
> contemporary technologies that can  propose new fields and strategies
> of production. is this simply an abstract proposal, or can it be
> applied to current praxis? how does it function and what does it
> reveal. for me this is of greater interest than your question on
> adaptive tools.

you will read some of this in the paper.

I would really like to have some feedback from the others on the initial
questions raised, not only on the nascent flame-war!

will try to gove feedback to the transsubstantiation post another time.

I am again rather busy and travelling, I will answer further posts as soon
as I can.

By the way, did Lucy dance classical ballet, or modern dance? I guess they
hadn't come to contact improvisation at the time and even less to konzept
Tanz.Though I guess she might have had a good release technique.


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