Sunday, June 22, 2008

Inner Choreography

Improvising on the dance floor is one thing, mirroring neurons another.

To mirror neurons in asynchronous realtime while relating is a move toward social cohesion.

Showing empathy is a rhetorical gift, the ability to stylize feeling so that what someones else is feeling is mirrored in your own moving-feeling.

But what about expressing it in the live creative act of dancing to music that is composed in such a way as to keep your inner choreographic response shifting toward the pulsations of the figures you share the dance floor with?

This is wearing stylized forms of rhetoric on your sleeve (unless its unbearably hot and you've stripped down to the sleeveless).

Philosophically, Whitehead might say every perception has a feeling-tone and the more we perceive the more toned up we get.

Moving on the dance floor with an actively engaged "dancing other" tones up feelings like nothing else can.

A feeling, says Whitehead, is "that functioning through which the concrescent actuality appropriates the datum so as to make it its own."

When the datum is being transmitted as an on-the-fly remix of affective emotional responses by the "dancing other," then the stylized rhetorician of pulsating movements (the co-productive Remixologist) can position themselves to appropriate the vibe in asynchronous realtime "so as to make it its own" and even then it feels something like mirroring neurons.

The act of mirroring can, in the context of Remixology, signal what at ELO I called literary presence.

If you ever wonder what happened to an engaged, moving literature, grab a writer and escort them to the dance floor.

The act of mirroring neurons is an alchemical dance that produces in and out states of literary presence.

Write your body on the dance floor and see if you can touch a nerve.

Move in Auto-Sequence mode.

Touch more nerves.

Maybe they will soon touch back and the ensuing neuron jam session will resonate in future outpourings of mesmerized sync.

The Remixologist (a stylized rhetorician doing their affectivity dance) fine tunes the art of appropriating selected datum that flows through and channels the feelings of the "dancing other" while instantaneously remixing the heated neuronic jam sessions those channeled feelings produce as an ongoing inner choreography that longs to experience social cohesion in narrative space.

Scientifically, here's the skinny:
  • Dance is a fundamental form of human expression that likely evolved together with music as a way of generating rhythm.
  • It requires specialized mental skills. One brain area houses a representation of the body’s orientation, helping to direct our movements through space; another serves as a synchronizer of sorts, enabling us to pace our actions to music.
  • Unconscious entrainment—the process that causes us to absent­-mindedly tap our feet to a beat—reflects our instinct for dance. It occurs when certain subcortical brain regions converse, bypassing higher auditory areas.
Those are some of the key concepts from "So You Think You Can Dance?: PET Scans Reveal Your Brain's Inner Choreography" in the recent Scientific American.

From the perspective of Remixology, where we use the experiential residue of an affective alchemy to further move emotions and create [visualize] direct images for our bodies to interact with, this inner choreography is all about style and the substance of our lives as reconfigurable narrative space.

But it's also about simultaneously reading each other's minds while shaking your booty.

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