Futuring is the practice of guessing together what might be about to happen. How can we arrive in the moment right after now, all together, without knowing where we’re going next? Without leading or following, and therefore without abandoning either individual perception or desire to be with others, we try to move into the next moment, as one. A speculative project that manifests as faltering, hilarious and hopeful micro-heroics.
Coming Events Cast A Shadow
From the pattern of things past to predict what’s coming, my thoughts sit with the notions of always needing to connect to tangible experiences, particularly given the context of computer driven virtual space and market determined evaluations that are all encompassing at the moment.
We already have a virtual space in our brains which we can choose to exercise at any moment of the day or night, yet the moments of sheer pleasurable transformation occur daily and are completely free. Such as: marvelling at an exquisite sunrise or sunset, the expectation of stormy clouds, joyous new plant growth, the taste and smell of freshly picked fruit and vegetables, spectacularly coloured bird plumage, the warm touch of friendship and love, tingling bubble of a funny moment, the exquisite feel of a handmade object… all the multitude of experiences that are part of the everyday that stimulate all our senses and place use within the universe, on this planet, in this time and space.
This question, which does require some degree of prospection, inventiveness and reflection, leads us to reflect on the place dance holds within our society. In some 20, 30 or 50 years, will we still dance? No doubt about that. Of course! But on what occasions? With whom? Why? This will depend on the artistic challenges of the project. Will we dance for the audience? Naturally! Will the audience be there, physically present? We’ll see. Will the dancers themselves be there? We’ll see. With a similar body to ours? We’ll see. Prosthesis, implants, robotics, computer generated images, avatars of all sorts, all these will be potential new ways of mirroring the body. Just as we can imagine incredible new designs and relationships to space and time. And will we have to be sexually defined for dancing? Does all this radically alter what is so fundamental to dance?
The sophisticated tension generated by these diverse elements combined and which generates a non-verbal, yet meaningful discourse, has never been more at ease with the Other, the new. Can the need to create be diluted in time? I hardly think so. In its broader definition, dance requires nothing to exist. Dance is not doomed to incarnate itself, it can grow in the stars or in the mind. Neurons dance. Stars, as well. And this is precisely what all the anxious, the cowards, the reticent and the politicians fear above all: complete freedom, and therefore absolute frailty of this art form which stands no polish and at times offers the quintessence of intelligence. Everything is still to be danced. Eternity will probably not suffice.
F = N + ∆t
Note that modern physicists consider t to be non-linear such that all events occur simultaneously. The difference between any two moments can thus be expressed as: ti+1 – ti = 0 Therefore, ∆t = 0 and: F = N
Today Was A Sad Day
We (Bev, Denise and I) took mum to her new ‘home’. She was sad, confused, a little bit annoyed and very uncertain, like today was the first she knew of this arrangement. She cried at first, and then put on a brave face, not because she colludes, but because she does not want to cause her daughters any trouble. We hugged and tried to make space for her sadness. We said good bye to her unit in Ringwood; there was a big pink rose in the garden and the white roses looked lovely.
I cried, but not in front of her, or any of the other ladies (a few men) who sat waiting, chatting, waiting, sleeping, waiting.
I bought pink and orange gerberas and had her white chest of drawers in the boot of my car, the TV on the back seat. Bev had her suitcases and some framed photos, Denise transported mum.
We washed our hands with disinfectant, we were welcomed, we set up her room attempting to make the small space feel like it belonged to her. We filled in forms, deciding no to medical intervention to keep her alive, and ensured her choice to donate her organs was clear.
I remain sad this evening, I don’t think I like what’s coming.
What’s coming? The next big thing. The hot new choreographer. The innovative, controversial, challenging, successful, populist, demanding, emerging, unique, inspiring, persistent, ingratiating, self-aggrandising, well networked, talented, deserving, award-winning, funded, internationally recognized, nationally celebrated, locally demanded, undeserving, fashionable, critically lauded, constantly supported, young/ old dance genius.
We all know this.
But the exciting thing about What’s coming? is in the realm of the hidden, the unknown, the unforeseen.
And what matters then, is practice.
Doing. And doing. And doing.
Because in some ways, making dance is like digging a hole. It requires thought and action, and offers limitless possibilities – depth, size, shape, purpose, contents, substance. And, to paraphrase Jacob Lehrer, at the end, it is obvious whether or not you have dug the hole, whether or not you have done the necessary work. There’s a transformative power in hard yakka. There’s no time to think about what’s coming when you’re busy digging. And, after you hit gold and the celebrations are over, you just have to keep digging.