[xmca] From Play to Art

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at mira.net>
Date: Sat Oct 25 2008 - 05:32:38 PDT

I think if someone who has a theory of communication is also
a great communicator, it probably bodes well for their
theory. So I was quickly very positively disposed towards
Ana and Ljubica's article in MCA.

The core idea as I see it (please correct me if I'm wrong
Ana) is a conception of meaning-making which is situated in
a consideration of play and art production. There are four
concepts involved in the conception (a change from three I
guess!): TOPIC, ME, YOU and COMMENT.

So imagine that ME indicates something and draws the YOU's
attention to it, making it a TOPIC. One or the other of us
can then COMMENT on the TOPIC, giving it meaning, and what
then ensues is the creation of an imaginary (play)
situation, a succession of "propositional acts" in which ME
and YOU explore each other and ourselves through the TOPIC,
while the TOPIC undergoes continual change and reinvention.
It is like a game whose rules are subject to change. Indeed,
the TOPIC may be a culturally inherited game.

The relation between the imaginary play-frame and the real
frame in which it sits is then highlighted. The meanings
created in the play frame can be moved back into the real
frame. Ana and Ljubica consider the production of artwork as
an outcome of such a process, bringing a new meaning created
in playlike activity, into the real world. They also
demonstrate not only the creation of original meanings in
playful interactions between children, but how making a
metaphor may introduce a new meaning into very serious adult
interactions by drawing people into the imagined frame
evoked by the metaphor.

Excuse the sketchiness of the above. There is much more of
course. But I found this idea, this way of conceiving the
production of new meaning quite inspiring. However, the
theatre sports used by the reseachers to explore these ideas
really leave me dead. I don't understand this kind of thing.
What are people supposed to get out of it, I mean I didn't
find the claims for this convincing. I also have a lot of
doubts about the foundations sketched at the beginning of
the article. But the core idea I found very engaging. I
shall keep the idea in mind when I find myself in a
situation needing to make some new meaning with others.

Also, I think the paper sheds great light on the richness of
the notion of "collaboration" which I have been taking an
interest in of late.

Well done Ana and Ljubica!
Do we have an on-line version for people to read?


Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ +61 3 9380 9435 
Skype andy.blunden
Hegel's Logic with a Foreword by Andy Blunden:
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Received on Sat Oct 25 05:32:58 2008

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