Friday, July 10, 2020

Wittgenstein: first theses-results

during yesterday's after-talk about Wittgenstein at Leeszaal Rotterdam West (dank & nogmaals warm bedankt!) Joke van der Zwaard, who kindly supported and helped this project to be realized, asked what my results were of these dance-philosophical investigations.

the underlying 9 points are a first attempt, which will need to be further formulated.
rather than the mere 7 of Wittgenstein's inspiring Tractatus Logico Philosophicus I am happy that these points so far come to be 9, also used as the old medieval European number of the Holy Trinity x 3 = divine perfection ... :-)

(for more visual results such as notes, videos, photos, see also the project-blog)


1. dance as the experience and communication of movement has its own specific aspects, just like communication that is based on the use of breath & vocal chords. ( = in some human cultures traditionally the only recognised “voice” “words” "literature" etc. - this view is by now sensorially and cognitively scientifically untenable)

2. dance is a part of our process of being alive, it includes movement (= kinaesthetic) sensing, thinking, dreaming, remembering, abstracting into (audio-) visual imagery, notation etc. like any other sensorial process

ad 2. just like cells multiplying, plants growing etc. our organic actions, have organic consequences which need to be taken seriously. there is becoming/ growth, life / activity, death, destruction / dissolution, recycling.

3. dance is a fundamental experience, as well as communication and expression of our state of being, since it involves our entire physical aspect of existing as organic beings, closely linked to proprioception, emotions, interpersonal = social interaction.

4. there is no anatomical division between body ( = our physical aspect)  and mind ( = the functioning of our physical aspect)

ad 4. because there is no actual division, all (repeated) actions, instincts, "life-hacks", stories, myths, rituals, art, science, fiction, dreming, are all parts of these needed actions to survive.

5. dance as a way of being involves the full organic vulnerability of our existence. in cultures that assign aspects of hardness or softness to certain groups of people ( e.g. based on perceived and constructed genders ) these qualities are associated with those groups ( compare for example = “feminine intuition”, homosexuality as an inherently “feminine” or in any case “non-male” quality)

6. to silence, withhold, frustrate, impede the organic functioning of our bodyminds is not only a matter of control that can help with temporary survival: if it is done wrongly it leads to aggression, imbalance, with all destructive consequences (compare Reich, Lowen, et al.)

7. to silence and obliterate the personal aspect of a person, including their sexual preferences and life, as entirely separate from their professional achievements is dishonest, blocks information and learning for others who are in need of this information, and all too often used for the above (6.)

8. any simplifying abstraction, formula, pattern is on the one side a necessary and elementary function of survival, culture(s) are the direct result of many of such patterns collected and practiced. however, any such abstraction ( e.g. resulting mono-linearity) is never and must never be confused, let alone absolutely imposed on organic and chaotic multiplicity. Queerness, and many other kinds of “otherness” are good examples of such failures, all too often with catastrophic results, both on a smaller and definitely on a larger (e.g. planetary) scale.

ad 8 (via M. Tuk, T. Horvers) - communication functions via abstraction(s) of sensorial existence ( = signs) that are re-translated while drawing from personal experience: this is their potential richness in the case of shared ( = comparable) experiences & their shortcoming / limitation as well.

ad 8. ad 8 - successful communication creates communion = shared, common wealth
this is why art gets destroyed and controlled the more totalitarian a government turns out to be.
unfortunately such control often over-extends no-longer viable patterns of art / science / religion / communication / culture.

9. change remains possible. dance, as an organic function of the human body mind reminds of the chaotic existence and the balance with abstracted order, every day, every moment when we breathe, let go, re-tense, etc.