23 August 2010

Videocartepostales de Paris

Paris Journal –Peter Sparling

8/6/10 Ann Arbor, MI.  In anticipation of my upcoming 4-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts...

I’m walking across the playground at dusk, when these thoughts come to me. I speak this into my cell phone, leaving this message (or the gist of it) on the answering machine of my home phone to retrieve once I return from my walk:

Sometimes dancing can be about making visible what you are thinking. Dancing as thinking, dancing is thinking, thinking is dancing--letting the dance make present (or embody) every activity (mental or neuromuscular) taking place in that moment, (activities that potentially have beginnings, middles, endings when embodied by the dance, that have come from somewhere and keep going beyond), so that the dance truly, completely reveals or makes visible, like no other medium, like no other transparency. After all, I’m always thinking, wherever I go or whatever I’m doing, I’m thinking about something, about that moment, a decision, a fear, a tangle of thoughts that I am trying to think myself out of. (And that thinking is seeing, is picturing and editing a moving picture of fleeting images, slow-motion dramas sped up…) And the thinking and the seeing are part of the dance of what I do, how I behave, how I direct my energies into being, making form and meaning. How I want to be seen in the world, how I work with gravity to ease my way and remain mobile, how I work to remain strong and live deeply within my muscle. And in the end, it’s the dance of how I want to see the world. Not out of arrogance or compulsion to control, but of aching love to sing it into being and in doing so, live deeply within it.

In Paris, I want to pursue this seeing, thinking, dancing man and embody him on every corner, along every street, and document this pursuit. So that the pursuit fits like a suit. (I make a silk pursuit out of a sow’s ear!) The dance is textual, is visual, is what I tape of myself in action on video, strung together along the DNA of a dance solo and movement fragments made before leaving. Perhaps the (pre-composed) solo will take on, accumulate, shed off multiple distractions, side-roads, detours, dead-ends, will try to reinvent or reconstitute itself in a body that is so rapidly changing amidst so much change and newness and the unfamiliar that it both wants to cling to that DNA for safety but also mutate like a m#*&fucker.

 View Cite Theme #1 here.

This document is a daily journal sent onto my blog in the form of edited videos w. music, text, etc… a daily log. A Call Me Ishmael to the Big Moby Dick of life. The Last Time I Saw Paris (which is different than all the other times) for the digital age.

I think, therefore I am. Descartes and The Enlightenment It’s all in the “therefore”: thinking proves that I am, or that I’ve “been” all along, long before the thinking about it, or along with the thinking about it. It’s just that thinking about it or in it reconstitutes being in an enlightened way. One is enlightened. Filled with light, made light. One’s pictures come into resolution, saturated or shot through with light. (Something to pursue: How did this world/body view shape or play out for writers, composers, poets, court choreographers during the Enlightenment?!) Enlightenment as mindful embodiment. An Illumination in the sense of emblematic illustration of/for medieval manuscripts. Les Très Riches Heures

8/8 Sitting back onto the big red twig-art armchair on our little back promontory/lookout perch aside the slate terrace, I think I feel the oldest I’ve ever felt right now. What does that mean? My skin is falling, giving in willingly, with deep relief and a sweet resignation, to gravity. Everything about the buzz in the thickening (thinkening) air, as greens fade with grace beyond art to black, and I’m OK with this feeling.


Idea for a film or play? A show about a young physical therapist with a deep, almost saint or martyr-like devotion, no, passion, for reviving and rehabilitating injured vets back to a state of nothing less than supreme being. And she exhausts herself in her passion, her performance, her blind devotion, and she falls in love with each vet, convincing them they are going to heal, that she will do anything for them. And when asked,  “What if your love is not enough and it doesn’t work, if my four blown-off limbs never will find their surrogate technologies?”, she simply says that, if and when that happens, her heart will break, she is sure she’s going to die, but she comes back from the dark place and keeps going because there are others who need her. And we see all the men who have fallen in love with her and believe in her scenarios of recuperation cum atonement. Choreograph/video edit a series of “miracle plays”, framed in John’s boxes and danced by severely compromised, disabled bodies. And against these radiant visionary vignettes or scenes, we see her alone at home, trembling in her chair, exhausted, lonely, afraid. Praying to whom, what? Her dark night of the soul.


8/10/10 Anticipating Merce’s company in Paris: Merce as Zen anthropologist, a maker of dioramas of being-as-doing-- leaving us on this last go-round of his soon-to-be nonexistent dance company with divine time/space capsules, living holograms of how it is/was at the (decentralized) center of the Post-Modernist idea(l).