[biari wraps up, today. a look around in the experience…]
Picking up some threads; then a sum.
Arjun Ghosh’s notes on the move from the mechanical, to the digital – also: a move back to the mechanical – the hyper-mechanical. Performance is the guarantor of the body – the body as witnessing and witnessed to in live transactions centered on play and hospitality.
Open sourcing, etc. – Who pays? Relax – a little – money always finds its way in… A careless monetization can play into our habit of professionalizing pleasure.
Cultural production doesn’t reflect the political context – it is the political context. “Esthetic reformation/deformation is the field in which politics manifests its power.”
It is con-text, with the text, embrace or imaginative possibility of the text – because it is not the text. It is outside. It is harder and harder to do work, not because we are being pushed out from the center, but because we are being included in it. In the new cosmopolitanism – there is no permissible outside – it’s all in somebody’s inside; the eye is swallowed (Blind Stomach). Poverty and madness are criminalized and brought into system; theater’s spiritual poverty is co-opted and institutionalized into the incompetent, immobilized form of the not-for-profit (we’re forced to a) live out a negative and b) in relationship tot profit). We lose our function in the civic poem – we function best as the empty space around the poem – this is where the poem happens – in the chaos of all possible rehearsals of the words. Light is light everywhere; unity outside: the delightful outside…
Horror and Beauty – joined so often in tales (what is beautiful becomes horrible and vise versa) because they both find that space where we are undefended. The sword of Justice is for making a wound – where we find our axiom – not what we can prove, but the ideals before which we are helpless.
To this add the uncanny, the strange – what puts us at the edge of the human. Follow queerness.
What are you risking? What in you are you willing to martyr? The word martyr = witness: to demonstrate by your actions that you are willing to involve yourself in actions beyond you. You are willing to give your autobiography to civilography: the writing of the collective history.
We have a new civil space – transnational not for the first time, but in new ways. We have pathways – for good and ill – that move beyond the narratives of nationhood. We have independent imaginations on the loose that are thirsty for new meaning; the biologic science of new meaning – our birthright laboratory of hermeneutics, is dreaming. Cause dreaming – provide the raw materials for dreams. Give your life to it. “If you won’t let us dream, we won’t let you sleep.” (From the recent protests in Spain, via Alejandra Prieto-Garcia)
We will work thread through the breadth of styles – the avant-garde and the people’s theater, at their progressive edges, are lovers; they are both trying to depict reality rather than solve it. They are trying to live prophetically, in a revealed present. Resist linearity and the “hetero-normative obsession with a future.” (Bretton White)
We will work across states – this is being resisted heavily by the old guard, but the pressure is irresistible.
We will work across disciplines – this may be the hardest, if theater is any example, requiring a shift in how we conduct our business on a daily basis (beyond how we theorize or experience feelings).
We are looking for a culture of translation – where we preserve difference while building common space. If difference is preserve then our motions will tend to be transgressive. If we transgress in good faith – at risk of rupture in repayment for the ruptures we cause – then we will require a transcendental space where we don’t average out our forms – where we can be present in our changes; not only transitional. And so we are the trans-form – we are across forms, sustainable by building the new in the shell of the old again and again…
We’re taking modest, confused, contradictory steps towards becoming “global citizens working in a transnational public sphere in a neo-liberal context.” (Patricia Ybarra)
I’ve quoted the quote before, but refer to it again because it’s axiomatic – it is wounding; not incidentally does it come from a fragment. Anne Carson, citing Sappho says: “pan tolmaton” – or, all must be dared.