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[Xmca-l] Re: Rhythm



I think your quote from Lashley makes a very useful point - that communication often depends on interventions within a continuing flow of interaction. The meaning is not in the message so much as in how the message is placed in this flow, how it refers back to what the speaker can assume the listener will recognise and relate to and how it refers forward to a possible future state of relationships etc. I think this relates to Annalisa's posting about rhythmic entrainment because a shared rhythm, whether at the level of embodied co-movement, patterned sound or, over a longer timescale, traditional patterns of activity, provides a 'carrier wave' over which very subtle nuances of meaning can be communicated. As an example - when a musician performs a familiar piece of music, which is already familiar to many in the audience, very small variations in how the piece is performed can communicate a great deal about the performer's relationship with the piece. Or - where people are required to wear any form of uniform, small variations in how it is worn may communicate much about the wearer. I suppose this could be seen in terms of the 'yes and' rule in improvisation - go with the flow/rhythm but also add something to it.
So while there may be much to be gained from losing oneself in the crowd it is also possible to find distinctiveness among the co-participants in a crowd activity.

This reminds me of what I think was an inspired piece of teaching which is presented in the catalogue of the exhibition of children's work from the Reggio Emilia preschools in Northern Italy - in a project focusing on crowds children were asked to choose one person in a photograph of a crowd seen and to imagine what that person was thinking - the children drew their chosen person and added a bubble to show the person's thoughts. In this way the children were encouraged to recognise the individuality of each member of the crowd and this was carried on into their representation of a crowd in clay figures - each figure was given its own unique identity in the form of clothes, shoes, accessories etc. This struck me as a powerful learning opportunity in preschools which were developed with the express intention of preventing any resurgence of fascism in this part of Italy.

All the best,

Rod

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces+rod.parker-rees=plymouth.ac.uk@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+rod.parker-rees=plymouth.ac.uk@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of HENRY SHONERD
Sent: 10 January 2015 18:36
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Rhythm

The link proffered by Annalisa has a section on hiving and rhythmic entainment, a phenomenon that I have been interested in for years. I see it in the morning flights of pigeons that fly overhead as I do tai chi and in the migration of geese, ducks and cranes twice a year here in central New Mexico. This morning, as I took part in a dance-exercise class, I took part in a rhythmically entrained activity. I have read about rhythmic entrainment in the interactions of child and caregiver that Vera first made me aware of as a prime aspect of language acquisition. I see it in the work of McNeill on the rhythmic integration of gesture and speech.  Karl Lashley said the following in 1951:

"My principal thesis today will be that the input is never into a quiescent or static system, but always into a system which is already actively excited and organized. In the intact organism, behavior is the result of interaction of this background of excitation with input from any designated stimulus. Only when we can state the general charac- teristics of this background of excitation, can we understand the effects of a given input."

Whether within an organism, or in interactions between organisms, this suggests a rhythmic pulse underlying activity and development, and that the temporal domain is, in some sense, what underlies all of creation. I would like to propose that this rhythmic entrainment fits nicely with Hutto's radical embodiment/enactive cognition (REC) hypothesis proferred by Larry.

I was wondering what others think about rhythm and all that jazz.

Henry




> On Jan 9, 2015, at 11:20 AM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:
>
> Hello sundry discussants!
>
> ?This landed in my email box this morning and figured it was a pretty catchy title that may intrigue others here on the list as much as me!
>
> I am practicing something I don't like to, which is post a link of something I haven't finished reading, with the risk I may not agree with it.
>
> However, then I thought I don't have to agree with everything I post on the list, do I? So just to say it is possible that I read it and be remiss that I shared it...
>
> Still, it can be looked at what kinds of writing are going on about consciousness out there, "outside." It may contribute to further discussion of the ideology of individualism?
>
> For what its worth? here's the link below...
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Annalisa
>
> Ritual and the Consciousness Monoculture
>
> http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2015/01/08/ritual-and-the-consciousness-monoculture/
>
> by Editor on January 8, 2015
>
> Sarah Perry is a guest blogger who blogs at Carcinisation<http://carcinisation.com> and is the author of Every Cradle is a Grave: Rethinking the Ethics of Birth and Suicide<http://www.amazon.com/Every-Cradle-Is-Grave-Rethinking/dp/0989697290/>.
>
>
>

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