Sunday, July 22, 2007

"trance rituals in transfigured time...

... mobilize the body into a hynotic state of psychic awareness."

Or so the story goes.

One version of Immobilité uses the quote above (that I just wrote today) to tap into the unconscious relationship between images, bodies, generative rhythms, and landscape-movement.

This is a dance that becomes para-ritualistic for the practicing remixologist who is optimally situating their body to transform an otherwise shit-life into gold.

Cinematic precursors include, among others, Maya Deren, visualized here as an image source on a blogspot:

Deren embodied not just the trajectory of what we still sometimes call "the woman's movement" but, perhaps more importantly, woman's movement, in transfigured time, and in order to conduct deep investigations in this direction, she had to study rhythm.

The role of trance in the history of the woman's movement is of particular interest in an essay by Tony Conrad:
The structure of time-based forms, such as media, theater, literature, and lecturing, offer a more complex basis for engaging unconscious processes. Temporal extension admits the possibility that we might be able to manipulate the economy of desire through exchanges between eroticism and trance. [...]

I have alluded to the fact that in the late nineteenth century trance was an empowering system for numbers of American women, among whom suffragists were a significant influence. At mid-century Sprirtualist meetings, as Ann Braude describes them:
Men called the meetings to order, forcefully presiding over gatherings that could number in the thousands. They addressed audiences in a "normal: state.... In contrast, the women at the podium were unconscious. Trance mediums were understood to be passive vehicles, whose physical faculties were used by spirits to express the sentiments of these unseen intelligences. Mediums presented not their own views but those of the spirits who spoke through them.... The essential passivity of women was asserted in a public arena, displayed before thousands of witnesses...
Because the trance was viewed as enabling women to speak who were otherwise unqualified to do so, the claim of entrancement became a convention used to support women's right and ability to ascend the public platform.
That's from Renovating "Culture": Rhythm, Reorientation, and Neoformalist Agency, where he explores "the organizational principles of (what the 20th century called) 'formal' structures in art, on the one hand, and the communicative / psychological processes involved with (what the 20th century called) 'trance' on the other."

Although this is not what we are investigating in Immobilité per se, there is a mysterious resonance with the use of the artist as a medium transfiguring time through mobile ritual.

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