Karen
Christopher

thought process stimulated by footnote number 13 and NOTA c. Open Dialogues 2012

NOTA c. Open Dialogues 2012

I was reading a book along side an infuson of caffeine. I read the technical description (a footnote in the book I was reading) of binaural sound and how different directionalities and qualities of sound production stimulate the ear in different ways and how the brain contributes in the way compensation occurs in order to make sense of the sensation and I spontaneously organized in my head a section of performance in which a layering of these kinds of detailed and laboured descriptions and instructions occurs including one I encountered long ago in the old shower backstage at the Arnolfini (early 90s) whch involved an in-depth explanation of what the twin-mixer valve did--and these explanations which we obsessively collect around us as a buffer against the idea that NOTHING is within our control. This performance material played in my head and I saw that it creates an overflow which catalyses a shift in perception and I flashed on the reading of NOTA's inscriptions (one of which is excerpted in the image above) created during the work-in-progress at SHOWTiME (16 JUNE) [NOTA c. Open Dialogues 2012]. It was the memory of reading "she transforms herself, as if the light(ning) behind her eyes has changed" that caused a chemical reaction in my sequence of thought.

And what just happened as a result of the pile up in that chain link sequence of thoughts is that I had a micro-revelation: this kind of transformation is what I'm always intuitively shooting for. When people experience a shift in the reading of the performance or in a particular performer and realise that their own initial assumptions or reading of the performance or person in front of them was incomplete or is shifting, they might become aware shift is possible, change is possible, or that their initial assumptions are unreliable or mutable or based on unstable criteria as a matter of course in daily life. I guess I already knew that, but I was madly reacquainted with it this morning. An important realisation and catalyst for change is possible when people experience that kind of shift before them. Transformation is possible--a mountain can shift, a nest can be built.

Tags: NOTA c. Open Dialogues 2012, duet, Control Signal, coffee

Posted on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 by Karen Christopher

A suspension followed by a flurry

He arrived across the island from me, the big table by the door with the high stools around it. And instead of spacing himself to balance the table he heavily weighted the side I was on and I resented him for it. Then I softened, thought better of it. I mean, if I knew this man I wouldn’t begrudge him a spot at the table wherever he wanted it, so why should I restrict him to a place far from me just because he was a stranger--if even just in my mind. I wouldn’t have looked up at him to bark “step-off!” the way a New Yorker I once knew shouted at a man who stood too close to her “on line” at the post office. Once I’d softened I became interested in him and decided to look up. He was over 60, maybe way over sixty (how does one tell?), a bit of a pulpy nose, worried, in a motionless way, looking left out the glass doors, waiting. Then I noticed his right hand, poised, holding two long slim packets of sugar the ends already neatly torn off. They were waiting, in hand. I considered the possibility that I should take a photo of this hand. I wondered how he would feel about that. I wondered too long. Just as I got the camera out his espresso arrived, the sugars were dumped in, stirred quickly, and the shot was downed before I could lift it. And then he left. It was all over in an instant or two. A suspension followed by a flurry.

Tags: coffee

Posted on Thursday, 12 July 2012 by Karen Christopher

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