Mapping the doing

Pitcom map1

image: www.headstar.com

As a continuum of my last blog post about reflection ‘in’ practice, I have thought more about different forms of how to write about my doing, understanding how interlinked both, my doing and writing, are.

I like the idea of writing in form of a map, where there is no direction how to read it,

everything is laid out on the same plane (Vincs, 2007, p. 104).

I enjoy writing in my notebook where everything is presented on one page, using different colours and different ways of writing, adding images and cut outs I’ve collected. This allows a non-hierarchical way of presenting ideas, of seeing it all in one glance, of placing different textures of thinking/making next to each other. Could this be part of my PhD thesis? Could I find a writing/drawing program, which works similar to how I write in my notebook? Could this allow me to have different meanings next to each other?

mapping

Working on an idea for a lecturer performance with more knitting (December 2013).

When writing about my work in relation to other discourses I find myself concluding too early. For some reason I do not allow questions to stay unanswered, I seem to close ideas too early, forcing the writing to a single underlying concern. This is also sometimes present when I create work; I have to force myself not to construct too early, have to let ideas float for longer, let the work lead me. This usually applies for choreographed movement material and how I place it in relation to each other. Working with improvisation challenges me even more. The work on the ‘visible choreographer’ forces me to stay in the present moment and observe where the work wants to go. Collaborating with artists who are better at dwelling helps. Deleuze and Guattari state,

The map does not reproduce an unconscious closed in on itself; it constructs the unconscious” (Deleuze and Guattari in Vincs, 2007, p. 104).

This highlights the nature of the map and how it lays out (constructs) the range of possibilities without a fixed order – without an already made decision, without being closed on itself.

original

image: lifehacker.com

 

In relation to keeping different ideas on one plane, Vincs states,

(…) the dances are productive, connecting a diverse set of previously unrelated elements of meaning. There is nothing prior to the dances that the dances articulate or communicate, which means that there can be nothing for the exegesis to summarize (Vince, 2007, p. 105).

How can I reflect this in my writing? When I first started working on ideas about the ‘visible choreographer’ in 2007 as part of my final project for my MA (London Contemporary Dance School), I did not know what I wanted to say or communicate. There was a physical idea of how it would feel to do it, an artistic vision of how it might look like but more in an artistic sense – a feel for the work – than the visualisation of actual movement.

I remember I was already interested in the audience being engage in my thinking even though I did not know what the thinking was yet; but as much as I had an idea of how it would feel to do the work I had a feel of how it would be to perceive the work – I wanted the audience to be able to witness my decision making, to get an insight into the making. Looking back, I think my work is about the struggle of working with a map – to lay it all out and see how/when an order unfolds, not forcing an order upon it.

images

image: spaceandpolitics.blogspot.com

When Vincs explains about how her thesis became a ‘dancing-writing desiring machine’, I wonder if it means choosing a form of writing for each idea/aspect of the ‘machine’, deciding to use a specific type for a reason, even if the reason is to experiment with it. To connect

stream of consciousness writing, movement description, explorations of dance history, historical narratives and philosophical arguments [and have these forms in no hierarchical order], to create a rhizomic logic on the page (Vincs, 2007, p. 107). [And] the ultimate destination of such writing isn’t as important as the territory it weaves through (Vinc, 2007, p. 108).

This now moves into the territory of researching practice – not focused on making an event but an exploration of how these things might connect. How can I link the mapping sense of writing with my mapping within my performance? What different moods of directing/writing excist and how do they correlate?

ANALYSIS IS UNDERSTOOD AS A PROCESS OF DESIRE

(Vincs, 2007, p. 108).

I agree with Vincs’ understanding of dance as

an exchange of elements of subjectivity, a kind of circulating economy of the subject (Vincs, 2007, p. 110).

If one writes about her own dances this sense of subjectivity needs to be kept. Sometimes my writing feels too stiff, like I distance myself from myself. I need to be in it more, see the writing as making, my making – viewing my writing not as an answer to the tension of its subjectivity but addressing it by particularizing the discussion (Vincs, 2007). Feedback I have received highlights my struggle with this notion of subjectivity. My supervisor (and dramaturge for my work in 2011), Fiona Bannon, stated:

It would be you allowing the ‘not-yet’ into your process, which you seem hesitant about in most cases. It is almost as if you desire to have this as an aspect of your work but are not sure or don’t trust or are scared by the idea of being ‘uncertain’ (Bannon, 2013).

Thinking about where my work could go I would like the making to be part of my writing. As thoughts and ideas get formed, links can be made to other discourses, previous findings can be re-visited and all can be placed in a rhizomic structure with the space for ideas to grow, change and interlink. This would help to unpick and reveal process – would help to start writing/mapping the doing instead of reviewing or evaluating the product and external organisation.

To be continued (as always).

 

References:

VINCS, K. 2007. Rhyzome/Myzone: A case study in studio-based dance research. In: E. BARRETT and B. BOLT, eds. Practice as research, approaches to creative arts enquiry. New York: St Martin’s Press, pp. 98-112

 

 

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