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

  • From: "Jaime del Val" <jaimedelval@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 23:43:43 +0200

hello all,

I'd love to know what Matt means when he says "to speak clearly simply and
Anyway if he means that one must use language in precisely the way he does,
then I can only reinforce the arguments of my former message.

I think his message is important in this context for the blatant way in
which it shows the persistency of that impressive will to ignore the sheer
fact that not everybody has one's same idea about clarity, simplicity,
brevity and language altogether, and what is more that the notions of
simplicity, brevity and clarity, vary wildly according to context, already
amongst our narrow range of western "high culture" traditions, not to speak
of other transcultural domains.

This prejudice or ignorance of what diversity is really about is at the
basis of the postcolonial dominations that I was addressing in the former
message, ad which I see as a most important matter of discussion in any
community, it is therefore wonderful to be able to speak about the matter
with such clear examples at hand. Thanks Matt for making it so clear.

There is therefore also a blatant incongruity in that message, with the
pretension to understand the discipline's terminologies, which by the way
represent just a small part of the whole range of differences in the use of
laguage that difference each of us and our backgrounds.

It seems that there is a preference to put words in ther's peoples mouth,
since I never talked, mentioned or even hinted at the sheer possibility of a
poetic truth, in any aboslute sense at least. The suggestion about positive
cutural discrimintion is preposterous, and wildly incongruous with any idea
of clarity; and I would be very grateful, dear Matt, if you would be capable
of not disrupting the attempts of having conversation by putting fantasies
of yours into other people's mouths.

This again is incongruous with the pretension that we cannot judge one
according to the place one lives, Matt seems to want to prejudge me wildly
as an heir of colonial spain, to say the least!! Ja ja! as if I would wake
up every morning saying: Hail to Cristobal Colon! don't make me laugh...

Please let us know: is this chain of incongruicies your foremost idea of

To open oneself to the transcultural, or the transgender for that sake,
starts maybe with acknowledging the existence of an infinite range of
realities that we cannot apprehend at a first glace, though we may
familiarise ourselves after long periods of exchange and interaction, and
then, maybe start to understand what kind of language tends to flow in that
domain, which goes well beyond dry issues of grammar and syntax, and well
into the domains of the non verbal.

Now, the idea that poetic language can be as dominating as academic
monoliths seems to me quite amazing, to say the least, and I would love to
hear some examples.

One basic difference between both is that poetic language implies no
meaning, no single precise reception of meaning, its obscurity is therefore
the obscurity of oneself upon creating or not creating potentials of meaning
as "receptor". The obscurity of academic thinking is mostly that of a self
referential system, that relies upon colonial fictions of universal meaning,
that for the most cases closes its eyes upon every aspect of the world that
it cannot contain, which means most of it

I'd love to hear other's comments on the issue of postcolonial dominations.

all best, to say the least, to say the least....

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Matt Gough" <mpgough@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <jaimedelval@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2008 9:24 PM
Subject: [dance-tech] Re: dance tech network attacks - Postcolonial
dominations and the "superiority" of academic language - the need for

> 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
> sensibilities.
> 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
> 'artist'.
> there is a lot of 'us' and 'them' in your writing, and not much 'we'.
> that doesn't seem very open ...
> best
> matt
> On Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 3:34 PM, Jaime del Val <jaimedelval@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> >
> >
> > 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
> > very different uses of language that necessarily happen in a
> > transdiciplinary space like this one where there are artists, theorists
> > scientists and mixtures of these, and each one has very different
> > theoretical or scientific backgrounds on top of that.
> >
> > To assume that one needs to justify philosophically whatever one says,
> > 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
> > in possession of the holy grail of academic logic and language and
> > implies to abandon attitudes of prepotence, which are unluckily part of
> > western colonialism, by the way, and therefore very deeply inscribed in
> > academy and in people within the academy.
> >     -this former already implies to acquire a certain language of
> >
> > 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
> > difiiculties to approach any kind of transcultural arena in our
> > 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
> > poetic utterances is a very common form of dominance well known to
> > and colonial traditions, and it is perhaps not the ground for any kind
> > transdisciplinary arena, even less a  transcultural one.
> >
> > Some people on the list have already manifested in the past their
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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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