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letters from TryAngle

Tuesday, 11th of September 2012

 Dear Grandpa,

 We want to do so much.

Do we know what we want to do?

Do we want to do what we are actually doing?

On the second day I witness different processes happening in the open cells of the convent. Projects go in as many different directions as there are people meeting in the white room this morning. Even more: the number of people involved multiplies each project. What is the relation between acts and will I kept asking myself, how do they relate (in life) and how do they found creative experiments.

There are different kinds of wills.

1. I want to do this and just do it. It happens. Efficiently.

2. There is something I don’t want to do and I don’t do it. Or I think I have to and I do it; it would be reasonable, or restrictive.

3. I want to do something and I still don’t do it. There is a first contradiction. Oh, it happens often, because of circumstances, a lack of time or resources, I could say – and I would believe I couldn’t do what I wanted to do because of this or that. But often this is just an excuse to the fact that I don’t do what I actually want to do, which is quite enigmatic. It happens with little things in the day, with main decisions in life. With a conscience split between the will and acts one becomes a stranger and an observer of his own. Is this where experiments start? Where distant and concerned enough with life one might not be in an easy flow but possibly reinvents, shapes its reality?

4. I want to do something without knowing what it is that I want to do. I could fulfil someone else’s will. I could do it blindly, to escape from inactivity or from the responsibility that goes with a will. Or I could wonder about, will-less, overwhelmed by sadness or frustration and only afterwards, perhaps, when an action is accomplished, would I realise it had to do with unengaged will. This shows that we actually want to engage willingly. So will is an undetermined but determinable faculty, founded in itself (free will), and not identical with the action that is necessary to accomplish it. There is another contradiction. Self-determination is active when engaged in something different from itself. And in the gap between a determined action and the free will transformation and creative activity can begin?

Now how is self-determination linked with another one? Is this where collaboration begins?

I can willingly fulfil another will. My free will would be founded in another (as in itself). The will and the action would then inextricably be linked and find a destination. Also can two free wills found each other in transforming the common acts.

Could it be so? And souls are born way further than these thoughts. Could it be so?

If collaboration emerges from shaping action together, what shape does collaboration have?

Shaping starts with movement, break and repetition. It could start with the fall, for instance into different surfaces. Leandro the Argentinian choreographer wants to record people falling. How the body hits different elements, qualities: puffs on the floor, water… How does the interruption of the movement look? How does the suspension of movement decay, when the weight is caught by another substance? When the loss of the own carriage is taken over by another body. Many were curious and amused, wanted to fall, started to play, repeatedly jumped against material resistance, breaking what normally holds us on our feet.

Leandreo keeps asking as fast as his mind goes from one to another and searching for links: why do this and not another thing? Each action excludes so many we would not do instead. What do we kill when we make this alive? And what is the sake of this? Without thinking of a utility, a result, or a specific product in focus, there still remains the question of continuation in an exercise.

Emmi likes to get lost. She is in a room with Ola. There she moves with her eyes shut and Ola watches how she moves. Emmi gropes about, she tries to feel which part of her body would evoke an image to her mind. She then follows this image; she explores where it takes her and how it would affect her movements in return. Then the two dancers change roles. There is nothing she wants – at least nothing that she knew beforehand. There is no aim.

She doesn’t need to talk much. She looks and smiles. Never have I seen eyes as light as hers.

“Active imagination” she called the experiment. How can one activate receptivity, how receive activity? In body sensations Emmi starts and she risks to go nowhere and explores where it would take her. When she looses the notion of time something would have worked out, she says. She would have entered a different dimension then, would have experienced a superimposition of spaces. What becomes the sight of a moving body that closes its eyes? And what insight would the awareness that the movements are testified give to it? What could a witness see from a body that closes its eyes? And what changes in the perception knowing the roles will change?

In the mean time the “digesting pig” is installed. The pig’s capacity of mediation and substance transformation as we were told on Sunday in the farm gave Andrea – who finds himself working with ideas as a farmer grows his crops – the idea to build a tool that captures images and sounds then projected in a different scale and a space in town that is yet to define. It could also be a tool for other projects. There is no ownership, Andrea says and all around the object would try to understand and to find some ideas for a possible destination.

In the back yard of the convent Philippe gives instructions to a group of people. Un moustachu, always dressed in white, Philippe is as French as a Frenchman could be and gets bored of France, comme de la bourgeoisie (le cœur sur la main I guess). Hunting without being shot is the game. Based on the Greek chorus and the act of defining the actor, each one focuses on different spots with a camera, moving as spies in a bevy, each on their guard until without predetermination they agree on a person who tries to escape and they start to track him. Jacinto sings an old Portuguese song during the hunt. This is what I see and it will change again.

Like in an anthill everybody seems to move and carry little stones through a corridor, go from one cell to another, up and down beneath, round each other in dynamics that work and you don’t see it all at once.

What is visible in the embryonic state of elaboration?

In some places it would look deformed or as a promising living organism.

It would make me think we are constantly beginning now and now again, as we are continuing and breaking, continuing and putting an end to a process, in various layers.

Sometimes we can say: this is a seed, there it blooms and now the fruit is ripe, then it rots and hopefully would have sown seeds in the earth to grow again.

But the seeds grow hidden, and how seldom can we follow the time that belongs to the cycle?

In human works the cycles my not be defined before the work that is elaborated exists. And until it has taken a shape we wouldn’t know it’s specific time.

In o espaço do tempo the focus is put on the starting point, on the complexity of a shape that grows out of individuals in collaborative work.

It is a human laboratory after all. One disposed to make both artistic practices and human beings evolve, and one through the other. I would like to tell you about the unique contradictions each one manifests as no one else could do, as if they had come here to carry them out. Contradictions they ignore or battle against, they escape from or face, needn’t to solve, but live with: in a gesture, a look, or a smile, made out of an inner tension and surpassing itself.

With affection yours,

Isis