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[Xmca-l] Re: Perezhivanie and Organic
- To: mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>, Ana Inés Heras <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Perezhivanie and Organic
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- Date: Sun, 5 Feb 2017 16:50:40 -0800
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As I read Beth and Monica’s contribution to this months special article on perezhivanie, I was aware of a subtext I was trying to flesh out that included performance studies. This connection you offer between communications and performance studies running through Dwight Conquergood and Patrick Anderson confirms my hunch.
As you say you have to see a playworld performed to believe it. Until that moment there is a type of blindness (not seeing). This also fits with Michael’s expression that we must acknowledge that we are blind (NOT seeing) before we can see. We must acknowled our NOT knowing before we can know.
Beth said we need to acknowledge what is mutual in exploring perezhivanie but she also called for acknowledging the differences within the various approaches, and that each individual article in this month’s journal may point to the necessity for its own special acknowledgement.
In this vein I pursued Beth’s acknowledging the NOT as negation and the not ...not as a doubling or negating the negation. ( i can Not see acknowleding blindness, doubling to acknowledging my blindness leading to NOT not being blind, meaning I can see.
Claire Chambers in her book (Performance Studies and Negative Epistemology) traces apophasis as a tradition that adds to this way of acknowledging we are blind and unknowing.
Claire does acknowledge Dwight Conquerwood and performance studies as exploring reception and encounter without domination while SERVING community and participation. The same ethic as Ana’s performance. The concern for efficacy in the creation of a ‘liminal’ experience is also about forging an ‘alternative’ space for community. This cultural performance emphasizing :
Mutuality, interdependence, and vulnerability.
Claire says Conquerwood, by using performance as a paradigm for ethnography, resisted the dominant discourse in the field of anthropology, which prized accurate description and categorization instead of working to *open up* the interrelated lives of both ethnographer and subject. By positioning the ethnographer as an actor, performing a role, a role the ethnographer vividly acknowledges she is performing, the ethnographer is able to engage her subjects as co-actors who collaborate in a fragile ‘fiction’. The performance paradigm struggles for cultural authenticity rather than accuracy. Performance for Conquerwood is a cultural ‘struggle’ – how to make meaning of the world, especially in the experience of disenfranchisement -that is shaped by the interdependence of self and other.
Claire Chambers is here outlining the ‘apophatic/ apophasis’ undercurrent of performance studies that acknowledges the preference for liminal transformation and commitment to an ethical encounter with the other : emphasizing mutuality, interdependence, and vulnerability.
I have taken an extended turn, hoping to open this particular door (metaphor of the pivot) that we can walk through into this unmapped territory.
Inspired by Beth and Monica’s contribution to perezhivanie and Michael’s appeal for acknowledging our blindness as a way of seeing.
My turn is up.
Sent from my Windows 10 phone
From: mike cole
Sent: February 5, 2017 10:07 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Perezhivanie and Organic
It may be of interest, Larry, that performance studies play a significant
role in the thinking of my colleagues in the Communication Department
here. So there is a thread of history that goes from Dwight Conquergood
through Patrick Anderson who was on Beth's disseration committee. You have
to see a playworld performed to believe it, as the expression goes.
The need for undergraduates to *perform *the after-school activity called
the Fifth Dimension was central both to the process of its reproduction
over a couple of decades and to the education of the undergraduates who had
to figure out how Dewey's ideas were, or were not, helpful in their efforts
at star performances.
On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 10:30 AM, <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Another scholar of ‘performance studies’ is Richard Schechner who posits a
> continuum for ‘performance’ that spans 5 categories: play, games, sports,
> theatre, ritual.
> Play is ‘free’ where ritual is ‘strictly’ programmed or designed, while
> games, sports and theatre MEDIATE between these extremes as more play-like
> or more ritual-like.
> This continuum is basically an elaboration of how performances are
> variations on ‘ritual’ as an encompassing category.
> This allows Schechner to extend the values of ritual into creation of
> symbolic reality that pervades the analysis of other performance genres:
> play, games, sports, ritual.
> Shechner explains performance studies in the preface to his book
> [Performance Studies: An Introduction]:
> Performance studies – as a practice, a theory, an academic discipline – is
> dynamic, UNFINISHABLE. Whatever it is, it wasn’t exactly that before and
> it won’t be exactly that again.
> One dominant metaphor by which performance studies has been figured is
> ‘the unmapped terrain’.
> This metaphor figures uncertainty, ambiguity, navigating the
> incomprehensible, the ungraspable, the unsaying at the heart of the
> certain, the graspable, the comprehensible, the saying.
> This unmapped terrain may be ‘’exhilarating’ for those scholars and
> persons who relish “not knowing” that is hard to pin down. So too is the
> study of ‘performance’ exhilarating and privileges open-ended questions.
> The potential to illuminate, instruct, an inspire, is enhanced not
> diminished by this ever present ‘uncertainty’. Don’t try to fix performance
> studies down is its central value and if you do the symbolic realm will
> become a mere idol.
> By insisting that performance studies cannot be fixed or defined,
> performance studies is situated as a NEGATIVE discipline trafficking in
> ‘denials’ and the unsaying of speech.
> This gives a flavour of the way performance studies is posited in
> apophatic terms of the unmapped terrain in the fashion of Schechner’s
> explorations of the continuum of ritual, play, games, sports, theatre.
> Beth and Monica exploring playworlds and perezhivanie can be put in
> dialogue with Schechner.
> I was channelling Claire Chambers above who is deeply engaged with this
> performance thematic playing out through historical epochs and becoming
> secularized in modern performance studies.
> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
> From: Edward Wall
> Sent: February 4, 2017 4:10 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Perezhivanie and Organic
> Yes, that was the difference I was noting. Vygotsky in the passages I
> was reading seems to using ‘organic’ as denoting something ‘natural,' while
> Stanislavsky seemed to using it s somewhat more holistic fashion.
> > On Feb 2, 2017, at 3:01 PM, David Kellogg <email@example.com> wrote:
> > The Russian word that Vygotsky uses for "organic" is the same as the word
> > we use, and I assume that the same thing is true of the word that
> > Stanislavsky used. It is "organic" transliterated into Cyrillic, rather
> > than translated into Russian.
> > What really makes this problem new-thread-worthy is that the meaning of
> > word "organic" at the end of the nineteenth century is not the same as
> > word meaning that we use in several important ways.
> > Take, for example, the crudest possible way: semantic prosody, or the
> > vibes" of some words (e.g. "organic food") vs. the "bad vibes" of others
> > (e.g. "artificial flavor"). The nineteenth century began with a romantic
> > movement towards nature and towards holism ("Gestaltism"), against
> > rationalism and atomism. So "organicism" had a semantic prosody that
> > involved not only naturalism (which it still does) but also a form of
> > proto-structuralism. Organic structure involved a complex whole with
> > that are interdependent like organs and not independent like ball
> > Today, this semantic prosody falls on deaf ears. If anything, it's the
> > other way around: we know all about cells, and we know that they are
> > independant and dispensible in large numbers (you slough off millions
> > day). But mechanical parts are precisely engineered to fit each other,
> > for the want of one, the whole machine comes to a grinding halt.
> > Nevertheless, we can still see this older meaning of organicism in
> > Toennies' distinction between Gemeinschaft (community, mechanical
> > solidarity) and Gesellschaft (society,organic solidarity) and also in the
> > work of Bernsetin (workers have a mechanical solidarity based on likeness
> > while middle class people have organic solidarity based on mutual
> > instrumentality).
> > (Of course, there's the same problem. Even working class families have an
> > organic solidarity, while it is sometimes hard to believe that white
> > office workers sitting at computers in cubicles are anything bt
> > mechanical....)
> > David Kellogg
> > Macquarie University
> > On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 4:20 AM, Edward Wall <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> >> Stanislavisk seems to consider what is termed ‘organic’ in his taking up
> >> of perezhivanie. Vygotsky also uses the term ‘organic,’ although as
> near as
> >> I can tell, without regard to perezhivanie. However, what seems to be
> >> called ‘organic’ is very different (or so it seems) in these two cases.
> >> the Rusiian different?
> >> Ed Wall
> >>> On Feb 2, 2017, at 11:15 AM, email@example.com wrote:
> >>> Beth and Monica explore the phenomena occurring in playworlds
> >> perezhivanie.
> >>> Playworlds are performance worlds and these worlds may be exploring the
> >> relation of ‘unity’ and ‘difference’.
> >>> Another term that may have relevance when Beth and Monica refer to
> >> negating the negation is the operation of ‘apophasis’.
> >>> William Frank (On What Cannot Be Said) describes the apophatic :
> >>> *In apophasis, which empties language of all positive content, absolute
> >> difference cannot be distinguished from absolute unity, even though the
> >> respective discourses of difference and unity nominally stand at the
> >> antipodes. BOTH configurations, unity and difference, are exposed as
> >> relatively arbitrary and, in the end, equally inadequate schemas for
> >> articulating what cannot be said. (Franke)
> >>> Claire Chambers in her book (Performance Studies and Negative
> >> Epistemology) comments on the above Franke citation :
> >>> *If unity and difference cannot be distinguished from one another (we
> >> cannot KNOW what makes them distinct), then it is impossible to
> >> what either ‘is’ – meaning that knowing and being, epistemology and
> >> ontology, are also impossible to distinguish from one another.(Claire
> >> Chambers Chapter 1)
> >>> I am not sure how far to go with this theme of : Negating the negation?
> >>> I hear this theme in playworlds.
> >>> If this seems relevant, i can post the first chapter of Claire Chambers
> >> book. I will just mention that Vygotsky’s Judaic childhood and
> >> would have encountered this apophatic ‘tradition’.
> >>> Enough for one probe or possible pivot?
> >>> Sent from my Windows 10 phone