impulstanz – settlement… (perhaps day 4)

So perhaps I admit I’m going to blog about this most days…

Somehow I found myself doing yoga at WUK in the morning, drifting through and then warmup with everyone was… yoga! I could barely stand. Actually it was rather short and nice, I think most people are a little sore and tired.

Badminton! Shuttlecock! 板羽球! (Battledore?)

Hans certainly has many ways to keep us entertained. We played badminton instead of bootcamp. Things got progressively weirder until we were pretending to be in serious competition until the music stopped and then all freeze… slow motion…

I’m reminded a little of Wendy Houston and other former DV8 people making dance-theatre who use unspecific tasks to create a tableau or mise en scene onto which they project meaning. I have found this approach rather unsatisfactory, as the lack of commitment to saying something definite means ultimately what you see can mean more-or-less anything. Which is the same as watching an hour of nothing. Hans though has tasks and means of directing them, or even through inaction letting them evolve that seems, from the inside at least, to not fall into this ambivalent trap.

I’m not quite sure how, or maybe it’s that the tasks, and he himself interest me. I want to ask him if he’s done any Lacanian group therapy…

We have a table arranged at one end of the space, opposite the doors, and much clutter about. Three chairs in front to the right if you are facing. A small desk and chair beside the clutter on the left, facing the other chairs. A laptop with a series of images. A single 500W lamp on a stand facing the ceiling. Midway down the room still, the Badminton net. From the entry doors we see through the net to the table at the end of the court. Chairs line either side of the court.

The lights are turned out except the one mentioned. Three people sit in the chairs, one person is looking at the photos, their verbal thoughts, noises, responses to the images, their own memories, like looking through a box of polaroids in a recently dead relative’s house, from words and sentences, coherent and comprehensible meaning to breath, noises, a return to the primeval. The images rescind our evolution until the viewer no longer can communicate except as a desultory mumble and indistinct groan.

Badminton starts again. Sometimes the shuttlecock is lost and there is just the martial slicing of rackets through air. Things happen, people move around, the game is a metronome. I lie under the net, along its length, watch the shuttlecock arc and twist in the air above. A tent arrives, Ivan arrives. The concrete is cold, so warmth is welcome. The space contracts and dims towards the table and solitary, incomprehensible narrators, I play badminton with Ivan, smaller and smaller, everything pulls in, fading light, the heat-death of the universe… The door outside opens.

Lunch. Much Pakistani curry at Deewan again. I eat too much and need a coffee and a lie down before the afternoon.

Yesterday or the day before I think, we worked in small groups of four on therapy methods for phobias. I thought the task was differently understood by people and… varying degrees of success. Perhaps Hans is deliberately obtuse. Perhaps I should stop thinking about Lord of the Flies. Anyway, The Wasp Factory was a far better book, Apocrita beat Diptera.

We returned first to aquaphobia, and somehow made a not so complex but for me with immanent brain-death oh much blllrrrrrr… trying to learn… and then many people got quite wet. Then to aversion therapy for cigarette smokers, swatting the smokes out of someone’s hand, finding some kind of rhythm or interesting things in doing this.

Ummm… that wasn’t very clear. It’s late, I need the little oblivion of sleep.

Later in the café/bar at WUK a passed remark about how it will be boring without conflict. It was pointed out in reply that small settlements deal with conflict rather successfully as their survival depends on that quite underrated and extremely complex skill of cooperation. People are, after all, rather social. I was wondering what paleoanthropologist John Hawks would remark.

For me, conflict is boring. Like watching a male and female pretend hostility towards each other in dance, it says and means nothing. Far more intriguing is the desire to imagine a different way of living together. Hans on the first day talked briefly about isolation and anxiousness within a group, and somehow this is a far more prevalent feeling. Despite doing many things together over three days, there seems to be a calculated loneliness or distance between all of us; together but unreachable.