[dance-tech] Re: dance tech network attacks - Postcolonial dominations and the "superiority" of academic language - the need for TRANSLATIONS

  • From: "Matt Gough" <mpgough@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: jaimedelval@xxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 20:24:58 +0100

hello jaime & all

there should be no need for 'translations', it would be more open and
effective if we all spoke clearly, simply and briefly.

'poetic utterances' can be as impenetrable, dominating and monolithic
as 'academia'. if we question the notion and function of 'academic
institutions' then we should treat 'artistic poetics' in the same way.
we also need to remember that 'poetics' is an 'academic' form.

if there is no academic 'truth', then there can be no poetic 'truth'.
it makes no sense to replace one 'dominance' with another. nor should
we reject 'western' constructs and values 'out of hand'.

a transdisciplinary arena requires taking the time to understand other
disciplines terminologies and thinking. even if they 'grate' our

the transcultural is more problematic. i feel you have a resistance to
former colonial powers. (yet that puzzles me as i think you are
spanish and also based in spain?). it is almost like you are
suggesting 'positive (cultural) discrimination'.

the problem is, that we have no idea what each others cultural
backgrounds are. where you work/live is not always an indicator of
genetic or cultural origin. nor does it define you as an 'academic' or

there is a lot of 'us' and 'them' in your writing, and not much 'we'.
that doesn't seem very open ...



On Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 3:34 PM, Jaime del Val <jaimedelval@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Dear all,
> the only way to generate an open space for debate is to be aware of the
> translations necessary between the different backgrounds and therefore the
> very different uses of language that necessarily happen in a
> transdiciplinary space like this one where there are artists, theorists and
> scientists and mixtures of these, and each one has very different artistic,
> theoretical or scientific backgrounds on top of that.
> To assume that one needs to justify philosophically whatever one says, and
> pretend that the "high level" and seriousness of the discussion is only
> there in so far one can argue within certain very narrow channells of
> specific and reduced fields of academic writing is perhaps not a way of
> approaching this issue.
> This doesn't mean that no hard critical comments can be done, on the
> contrary, but with a number of constraints:
>     -to be open to the diversity of bakcgrounds means not to pretend to be
> in possession of the holy grail of academic logic and language and therefore
> implies to abandon attitudes of prepotence, which are unluckily part of
> western colonialism, by the way, and therefore very deeply inscribed in the
> academy and in people within the academy.
>     -this former already implies to acquire a certain language of respect
> Of course this raises a much larger issue on the problems of the academy
> itself as a monolithic structure which is part of our colonial past, and the
> difiiculties to approach any kind of transcultural arena in our postcolonial
> or neocolonial present, since we are so much believing that we live in a
> perfect world without power structures, and ignore the current power
> structures themselves.
> Obviously to try to impose a "serious" academic logic upon any kinds of more
> poetic utterances is a very common form of dominance well known to academic
> and colonial traditions, and it is perhaps not the ground for any kind of
> transdisciplinary arena, even less a  transcultural one.
> Some people on the list have already manifested in the past their incapacity
> to communicate in a respectuful manner, and their rather rude way of
> preserving their territory of absolute "thuth", which is perhaps a manner of
> revealing uncertainty in our postcolonial present where academic turths are
> nevertheless put into question.
> This doesn't mean that others should run away and think that there is no
> room for them: it is up to all of us to generate the space for translations
> and carefull listening.
> Thess forums are hopefully not an extension of academic monoliths, but it is
> up to us to make them open... and make sure that no exclusions are made
> through old implicit categorisations with regard to the use of language.
> regards
> Jaime del Val
> _______________
> Jaime del Val
> Instituto REVERSO
> Aguila Real 24, 28232 Madrid, SPAIN
> Tel.: (+34) 687 558 436
> www.reverso.org

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