Justin's Post

(Right, well Ali’s got us doing these journal entries after warm-ups, I thought I’d share some – with commentary. They’re in quotes. Themselves, they’re not exactly lucid. – Justin) “There is an opposite pull to movement -- up-down, left-right, fast-slow -- often in-out -- that must be lived in to move without overcontrivance -- all bodies want to be everywhere at once, and in a sense are, so must be allowed to fulfill that impulse, the manifest destiny ----> FRONTIER-LIVING, wanderlust, becoming-feral... wheel about a point and leap through the bars, the body, space... becoming-panther, becoming-tiger, becoming-wolf, becoming-turtle, becoming-whale: my physical goals and challenges! -- Fluidity and staccato are not hard but presuppose the infinite potential rhythms available to motion and the moving body ==> see: NUDE DESCENDING STAIRCASE.” Rilke’s Panther, which has long been a source of contemplation for me: His vision, from the constantly passing bars, has grown so weary that it cannot hold anything else. It seems to him there are a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world. As he paces in cramped circles, over and over, the movement of his powerful soft strides is like a ritual dance around a center in which a mighty will stands paralyzed. Only at times, the curtain of the pupils lifts, quietly--. An image enters in, rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles, plunges into the heart and is gone. A rough translation, but suffices to show both the entrapment and expansiveness of the body. As the image “enters in,” so the body leaps out. In the passage through the bars is the only available freedom – momentary, vanishing, a connection and linkage between the body and its environment. The body itself is a cage of bars; the mind is a cage of bars; and the bars are bodies, that the panther, too often, can feel. Here we see that (so often in-out), the contradictory motion can be experienced quite simply in our constant retreat into ourselves and our constant explosion beyond ourselves. One needn’t move to be in motion; motion is a necessity. Just living is enough. To move without overcontrivance, then, is to experience this “just living” – perhaps in a step, perhaps a leap, a quiver of a lip or an eyelid – too move without contrivance is not to have purpose, intent, or poetic meaning – instead, it is to live in self-contradiction, arrested and unarrestable, terribly scared and awfully headlong, a sort of vibrant set of poles. These poles need not interact, overlap, or converse. There is no sort of consistency in organism, except an endless desire, that we see in the panther wheeling about its numb center, the paralyzed vortex of its “personhood.” Its pantherhood, tigerhood, wolfhood, turtlehood, whalehood. An animal at the zoo is a good picture of an actor onstage. One of these inconsistencies, these pole-pairs readily available to the actor is the fluidity-staccato gradient. Duchamp will help us understand. Observe the field available to motion: physically bound by two impossibilities (absolute zero and the speed of light). Between these bounds, as we must be, necessarily, there range an infinite variety of possibilities. Movement needs no justification, has no teleological coordinates – instead, because it is possible, motion occurs. If we are to believe Newton, which is perhaps ever in doubt, then “action and reaction” are “equal, opposite, and collinear.” This language is tricky; indeed, “action and reaction” are understood instead as a single phenomenon, some change in a field; which is action, which reaction is a point of view, contextual, referenced, determined; it is perhaps more accurate, especially as we act on ourselves, to understand this motion as a machinic process of opposition, an everywhere-at-once-ness, an impulse to wander and fill: endless evolving, revolving self-contradictions. “When A goes left, B goes right.” But this is not a causative process. Leftness and rightness are co-extant; up and down, in and out; and when Sally’s spring-legs push her into the air, they also propel Bobby earthward. All of us have Sally and Bobby in our arms, our legs, and our hearts. But what of our heads? “after this warmup, i feel my animal body, which is limbs, trunk, breath -- the "head" is an afterthought only in the sense that momentary thought-sensations can arise, in the same way as a breath, spontaneously, and life-giving, but escaping always and quickly, never really belonging to the body but enervating it... the feet are of identical value with the hands, or more, because the legs are stronger -- the spine and the warm "solar" plexus are the centers of movement and whatever diffuse "self" is swarming... the head is only the house of some sense organs, like antennae, rather than a focus or focal point... the bodies-aggregate forms (or perhaps, forms in the perception) from a release, it is seen, in a sense (ha ha), through the skin as much as the eyes, on the surface of the skin especially; the pores become countless eyes, but not like those of argos, for he was slain: these are not eyes that guard but eyes thatinvite, entice -- and the bodies of the aggregate expand and become contiguous with, coextensive with the bodies-aggregate, thus a confusion of limbs, organs, parts, and "too many" eyes, too many mouths fingers pores nostrils ears anuses -- too many for any individual body, but as the bodies-aggregate and constituent of the bodies-aggregate, no many is too many, there is an infinitely expanded capacity for additional parts which all plug and play, and THRIVE” The animal body – at last becoming-panther! For the animal, the head is another limb. This limb often has special capabilities: sensation, and fangs. Very well. This is called the totemic head, which is no longer facial. Instead of the body wearing the (social) mask of the face, the body itself is the mask. For what? An honest question. The body may be a mask for many forces – fine. For movement? For the theatrical bodies-aggregate? The theater-machine? To release the head from its faciality – to re-induct it into the body, as an extension of the trunk, as another limb – is to subvert, dissolve, undermine, topple the Axis Mundi. This cosmology is wildly common and undeniably fascist. It permits the world freedom of a single degree, which is no freedom but instead a closely-guarded, controllable enslavement. The actor’s common practice of “growing into the ground, rising on a string to the sky” – the old Ropes to Heaven – is an enactment of this enslavement. But it can be escaped. If the axis from earth to heaven (which is not up and down but IN AND OUT, as down is really only to the center of the earth, up really only out into space) is experienced as only one axis of a plenitude – if the expansion which occurs along one axis occurs along every axis – then the simplified exercise of vertical expansion can be instructive. But it carries its dangers like a porcupine, manifold and effective omnidirectional. One must dig under to get at the soft belly of the beast. The enslavement proposed by the Axis Mundi is understandable in Argos, the All-Seeing Guardian of Hera. Argos is covered all around with the fascist eye – as we must understand from Orwell’s Big Brother, the gaze defines the fascist, naught else. (Here we will understand the meaning of Argos’ epithet Panoptes, “all-seeing,” in the identically-named prison structure. Lacan will also elucidate.) To expand only along the Axis Mundi – to become a body-head, vertically oriented, with feet at the bottom, carrying the weight, pelvis in between, head on top – a socially-constructed golem – is to enact the fascist daydream within which everything is always watched, while nothing watches. Who watches? Big Brother is only a poster. We watch ourselves, lose freedom of movement, become ever a whirlwind, our only audience, a self-policing populace of paranoids and informants, we are deadly, fatal, suicidal, self-annihilating. Well… theater can’t happen like this. To expand along every axis is to see with the skin, to move the facility of sensation not away from the head but out from it. Very well. We are still covered in eyes. How is that different from Argos? Because our eyes invite,entice. We wish to seduce to lustful convergence. We expand that we might include everything, everyone, in a wide implosive embrace. We free our bodies by defying the gravitational axis – indeed, what is the name of the force which is directly opposite the gravitational force? That as we discover above, is co-extant with the gravitational force, is its Newtonian twin, its wretched double? What force conspires with friction to keep us inertia-bound? “The normal force.” Be not confused. Normality – itself a faciality, a social construction of personhood – is a fascist application. We escape into animalhood, extending our bodies along new axes: foot-to-hand, pelvis-to-knee-to-elbow-to-shoulder, the rotational arcs of our joints, our saddle, our hips, our shoulder-sockets, the slues of our necks, the weighted parabolas of our suddenly anciently heavy heads. A single body thus freed becomes itself a bodies-aggregate – its limbs are no longer numbered, either individually or totally, unitarily, but by their multiplicative movement – in this way, Siva has a thousand thousand limbs. A room full of such bodies is a vast bodies-aggregate: an aggregate of bodies, a machine for sheer movement, a theater-machine – suddenly, we understand the proposition deus ex machina. This machine is a differential machine! A differential engine! A churning vehicle, a huge calculator for the computation of states of reality, a million so-called truths a minute, all in Real Color. Do we see that theater is deus ex machina? A god-machine, a machine-of-the-gods, a divine machine, a machining of the divine, the machine which makes the divine and which operates divinely – and that the divine is that hysterically, mockingly whispered “magic of the theater”? But there is only the magic of machinery! This is the real magic, as we practitioners have always known! There is only the physical reality of multiplicities of bodies, in motion, dysfunction, concatenation. This is like Meyerhold’s Biomechanics, and the machining of a theater, a factory-theater within which human body-bodies are ever-exchangeable but not interchangeable parts. Yes, your body is different from every other body. Join the party. (That Russian wasn’t wrong… the body is technology.) It is important to understand, though tricky, that the bodies-aggregate is merely another part – it is not some “whole” which develops either as the sum or as larger than the sum of the parts. Every limb is a part, as every body is a part, as every bodies-aggregate is a part, as the theater itself is a part. There is never any totality. There is never really a “product” of a “process” – there are only interweaving processes from which can be extracted, like the derivative of a curve, an instantaneous picture, depiction of events, a frozen photograph stolen from the current of time and recycled back into it, as a new participant – and we see, easily enough, that a photograph is never really a totality of tableaux but a deadness, a stilled-life captured from a single angle, of the roisterers’ series of realities – but the photograph itself now enters those realities, tumultuous, and every reality continues to throb, intermingle, to plug-and-play in the endless machinic thriving. In this way, every limb, every body, every bodies-aggregate is also a photograph, a moment, as we perceive and understand and extract it, while it continues on, unabated, alteringly, like flocks of birds in flight. Yes: it is something, somethings with wings. Sea-birds, and schools of fish, fins limbs like wings. “being in the ocean, or rubbing against a wall, is a sexual prospect -- so is filling empty space, or conversely (is it though, converse?) emptying yourself to be filled, or to be empty; emptiness can rub against other emptiness, resonate, resound, reproduce emptiness or remain empty or reveal itself or become not empty at all, or is never empty ("space is not empty") -- OKAY -- look, there is a simplicity of focus which often can connect to the breath (this is an easy access, or a concomitant process) which is something like a "presence in the body," to use a mundane if overstated phrase... perhaps it is more like a heat, or a pushing outward, like air is only present in a balloon because... well, you understand -- somehow the balloon has gotten between the air and itself, and the balloon is in one sense the rubber sac, but in another sense, also the air in the rubber sac, so at some point, somehow, the air inside the sac has disconnected from the air outside, even ceased to be air in a sense, to become "balloon" -- it is in this way that one maintains or experiences an expanded, expansive "presence in the body" -- and it is tentative, as a balloon is always in danger of deflating or popping, it is always a temporal, temporaneous, temperary becoming-balloon... uh, do not understand the skinas the skin of the balloon, but the entire body, even its breath, even its sense of self, all of this is the balloon/balloon-air machine which floats in the air-air and is constituent of the balloon/balloon-air/air-air machine... OKAY...” What is this “simplicity of focus”? This “presence in the body”? Is it that philosopher’s “becoming”? Hold that… (Or rather don’t. What can be held?) The balloon is a precise association. The important detail is this: “do not understand the skin as the skin of the balloon, but the entire body, even its breath, even its sense of self.” That is to say: your skin is not the skin of the balloon, your breath is not the air inside the balloon. Rather your entire body, and indeed even your breath, even your sense of self, your thoughts, feelings, impulses – all these are the balloon’s skin, expanded by, tightened around the “presence in the body.” Awfully mystical. Be careful of that. It is possible that propelling, propelling, propel—becoming, angling, diverting, dysfunctioning is a way to avoid, avoid, a—no longer be at the behest, the militarization, imprisonment of the mystical. Unclear. Your dangers are your own. What does it mean to simplify the focus? To be in, to become the body? Become in the body? Become through the body? Become expanded, by the body? Okay, well, the “ego” can be carried along with all that – the doubts, the worries, the misappropriated energies – the hopes and dreams – these, too, constitute the body – the desires. What about the desires? Are they part of the body, or present in it, becoming with it? O desire! Still, despite the darknesses, the ignorances, the soundless shoals and overrun shores – still, the balloon is a precise association. In the discussion of the balloon, we become rapidly aware that it is hard to distinguish between the “balloon,” in our mind, the “balloon” which is the rubber, the “balloon” which is the rubber filled with air, the air which is “balloon,” the air outside – how quickly we begin to comprehend what is meant by “machine,” by “plug-and-play,” by interweaving, intermingle, recycled back into, merely another part. What does it do to separate these parts? What does it do to process them together in their processes, to machine them together in their machinations, to dream them together as dreams? “when one separates "another" from the near and distant surroundings, ("the environment") one runs the risk of catastrophe... collision, heedless useless destruction -- violence! --... "rules" want to be of games, not laws --... now, when one has become the leader, or is following the leader, or is playing the leader game, that game wants the leader to be temporary, as in a flock or swarm... one hopes -- wait, one? "one" dissolves, is revealed already and always a fiction, and a dangerous one at that -- hopes themselves are to avoid the fascisizing forces, energies, trends, which themselves arise whenever and wherever there is a leader, a head -- these fascisizing forces are forever introducing themselves -- "the group" is merely a whole which exists, as another shifting turning processing attachment-part-mechanism-work, alongside and coextensive with the assembled-assembly-assemblage-gears... beware, lest rules rigidify... and purposes order, organize, exploit...” The logic begins to unfold itself, like a lotus blossom, without any prompt but the light of the sun. The machines have been set in motion, primarily by their own desires, their desires to machine and to machine more, and to machine more machines, which machine, and machine desire – set in motion secondarily by their agents, other machines, desire-machines, desiring, machines which are theatrical machines, divine machines – omnipresent, omniamorous machines, bodies-machines. “Concerning relationships at world's end: Often view as Beckettian wasteland. Everyone is a tramp, or a master-slave, or a seeker, a schizo wanderer. Sometimes they clump, echo, rarely speak the same language. Personhood dissolves. Observe the always bleak geometry of landscape. A vast desert arena like a whirlpool. A cylinder full of robotic searchers in various states of searching, ladders, hooks. Decay and restlessness. A note on relationships in general: While "the group helping one shine" is a kind of group relationship, it need not (should not) be the only. Clumps may be self-echoing, for instance all producing the same gesture but without a leader; or "divisive," like a swarm, individual but discovering identity only in the group; or like a Rube Goldberg, disparate but turned to a single purpose. These are only examples of headless grouping.”


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