Read Between the Lines

March 31, 2012

Something about the research process unfolded like an induction. The recent stanza of mm b’s poem that I was putting to memory starts like this:

When insight comes in a dream,

and events the next day

illuminate it, this begins your

streaming consciousness.

synchronicity, asymptotic lines…


It hasn’t been quite that clearly packaged this past week, more like a cousin of the phenomenon. More like when a friend years ago (2005)mentioned that he was working with the dream-like nature of reality through tracing, in that instance the color red. He followed the narrative of red as we went out into the streets to dance and aimlessly wander through the streets of Williamsburg as part of Pearl’s Movement Research Festival offering, bardo, and so it made a story, giving insight into the mind, the conditions in which our perceptions are embedded. Jumpcut to this past week, i watched a narrative of the lines unfold.

We were working with the Bagua, and here below is the first one I drew in chalk to walk around. The eight sides and their respective trigrams, the cardinals, elements, and a pathway to follow pre-heaven’s qi. Really, this was like regular day of qigong practice, but what proceeds was the streaming. In a way all practice is a kind of asymptote, as we more deeply practice, there is a kind of converging that never finishes.

This was the first time my teacher Micheline actually brought the chalk for us to draw the lines we have inscribed for so many years through walking the bagua within the different sets of the Wild Goose. What power it is to mark, and then as if sliding along the sticky mud, we traverse the sides, the angles, projecting out the base of the ball of the foot, so too much to get into here. I was proud of the lines, as each of us drew our own, it expressed something of our respective natures, instantiated in specificities like the rubs of the feet and the densities/ intensities of the chalk.

Later on in the day at the first-floor run-though for Macklin Kowal’s show (I am acting as a dramaturge in his new piece at the Meridian SF), the lines came up again. Phoenicia and Rachael walk these very specific rectangular patterns that conversely grow and recede in space and increase in timing. It is something of a meditative geometry in the form of live art and installation. The ladies in darkness, lace and so much more  frame and reframe the paintings in the gallery, stop time, form parallaxes, converge, tweak perspective, through the simplicity of action. All this in shift through the enactment of my watching as I resituate myself and compose their action with a kind of focus that who knows if it would emerge were I at the night of the show with people, other floors to see – a different context and a different set of lines. It is a pleasure and a gift to watch with intent. It grows me as a viewer. I found myself craving the clarity of the corners, not necessarily in action, but in intent, and said so.

Later in the day, as we were at Kunst-Stoff Arts teaching the art workout series, we found our environment embodying the themes we set forth: place (+ its integral partner, context). All the doors opened and closed as people emerged and disappeared like the comedy of Noises Off, perturbing any fantasy of sanctity of four walls as private. Something about the nature of this space requires a lack of clarity upstairs, and this enriched and disturbed. I made a circle of blankets as a rim for open space moving, and then we played with some resituatings of the whole composition. At the end when we were reporting on what had happened, Sarah mentioned a desire to mark the edges of the perimeter, and I remembered her lying there, changing angles, lying again, and realized that the shape I made was indeed more of an octagon than anything else. She slid through a dance bagua! Patterns. Material patterns and patterns of relations. Unfolding of the images of the dream.

If I read between these lines, this begins my streaming consciousness.

The next qigong class, i chose to make two baguas, with the smaller enfolded within the larger (see below). It had a mandala-feel to it, and its function was to mark the space of a supposed size to work with and then something more spacious to extend through as I walked. A place to start and a sense of possibility in its specificity. I positioned myself between the lines, and we began our steps….


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