Parasitic Noisification: A Four-Part Dance Blog by André Lepecki, #4

It has taken me a decade to finally get to write about all of this, moved by piece that had truly marked me back then. The piece is Mårten Spångberg’s Powered by Emotion. It is even perhaps, in the parasitic non-communicational force of this work, the theory that is Spångberg’s consistent practice since then (which he named “Spångbergianism”) had yet to be fully unfolded, so that the full power of Powered by Emotion, could emerge, retro-actively. The solo activates how Spångbergianism functions. It goes more or less like this: 1) I (the dancer) know not how to dance; 2) I (the singer) know not how to sing; 3) I (the Nordic man) know not of “Latino” affect. Therefore: I will dance; I will sing; I will express Latino affect. I will do all of this on a stage before an audience. I will not engage in “performing failure” (the failure would be linked to a system of successful semiotic transmission, a system of judgment) but in absolute commitment to the task.


Parasitic Noisification: A Four-Part Dance Blog by Andre Lepecki, #3

I would like to try out the following experiment instead – what would happen if we approach the current emphasis on dancing as an investigation of the conditions of affirming actions among the ruling parasitical? A resistance or even opposition to the ruling hegemony of communication as the rule. This would necessarily lead to an investigation of the noisy nature of all transmission once a choreographic score is activated by a dancer. What would happen to approach dancing as a mode of expressing the dancer’s task not as “transmitter” or a “channel” for choreographic ideas or forms? Particularly not one of communicating ideas, feelings, affects, words, images “of the” choreographer to the audience — as if the dancer was but a stable, noiseless channel linking neutrally emitter and receiver in supposedly shared (sympathetic) “code”. What I think it could happen under such model would be the revelation that dancing displays the highly “amazing” (Serres) capacity of making beyond any communicational imperative; dancing affirms a capacity to actioning amongst the plethoric noise. This a-semiotic formation of affirmative (or actioning) dancing as a doing of the dancer, rescues not only the aesthetic away from the semiotic, but pulls dancing away from theological images about “creating” that infest our collective imagination (artistic creation as the smooth expulsion of a content [idea] into form [direct communication of the idea into matter]). Parasitic paradigms privilege the fuzzy diagrammatic concatenation of unfoldings in the plane of composition and the eventful occasioning of the aesthetic act as pragmatic appearing (see Massumi, Semblance and Event) of “a very great improbability” (Serres): not of meaning, but of dissonant, indeed noisy, harmonics.


Parasitic Noisification: A Four-Part Dance Blog by Andre Lepecki, #2

Dance, particularly theatrical dance, and most particularly dance after its modernism, has always had a difficult relation to semiotics. And to theories of communication at large. It is well known the series of statements in dance’s short history as a new art form within the “aesthetic regime of the arts” that have consistently and explicitly removed dance from semiotics: from Isadora Duncan’s “If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it” (dance is beside linguistic meaning, it does not pertain to it); to Merce Cunningham’s “It is what it is” (dance is ontologically immanent to itself, it reiterates its being by simply being, it is beside the question of meaning). We can also see how this (modernist) history of a semiotic crisis provoked by dance has always produced one single answer from the part of dance theoreticians. (more…)

Parasitic Noisification: A Four-Part Dance Blog by Andre Lepecki, #0 – 1

I do not know what a blog is. I have never blogged, and probably will never blog again. I suppose it has something to do with “spontaneity” and the “moment.” My contract with New York Live Arts states that: “Each writer will additionally produce 4 blog posts for the New York Live Arts blog, on topics of their choice that somehow relate to New York Live Arts, the performance community in New York and abroad, and current events.” I believe what follows does all that. Apologies if it does not. Anyway, it will not happen again. But, it is as spontaneous as I can get. And, it is nothing but “of the moment.” (more…)