The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Uncomfortable notes on the poetics of captured human behavior:

Part 2: the Wringing (Part 1 repeated below):

Laban, in Modern Educational Dance, distinguishes ``eight basic efforts'':
Wring, Press, Glide, Float, Flick, Slash, Punch, Dab. ``Each of these 
efforts contains three of the six movement elements: strong, light, 
sustained, quick, direct, flexible.'' Four of the group are strong: Slash, 
Wring, Press, and Punch. Wring and Press reconfigure the avatar; Press 
preserves both topology and topography, but Wring transforms at least the 

Wringing slides one against another, in combination with pressure: 
Wringing distorts the body. With physical bodies, wringing breaks 
connections (slashing can also break connections).

The wrung body, the hobbled body. Wringing occurs when the body is 
simultaneously twisted and restrained.

Gravity restrains and locates the body. With mocap, gravity may be 
'eliminated' through the use of harnesses, or through edge phenomena 
that carry the body elsewhere.

The heaped or pressed body: the body as thing, as material: the body of 
the slave (wrung from and within capital, wrung from the socius).

From the viewpoint of capital, of war, the dehistoricized body - the body 
becoming element or token, demarcation of nothing but position, mined for 
its materiality.

The finality of the dancing body, the dance of death - the heaps of 
Rwanda, Auschwitz, Abu Gharayb.

Similarity, in the world of the simulacrum, the disappearing body: 
Argentina, U.S. prisons.

Not similarity: the world of the (natural) catastrophe, the disaster: the 
heaped body, but the body (perhaps) recuperated for/within history.

One might think through all of this as the historiography of the body. 
Where do we go from here?

Uncomfortable notes on the poetics of captured human behavior:

[for Epoetry 2011]

poetics of movement: vocabulary of movement:

{range of human actions, Laban A} >T> {unlimited range of actions B}
A bound by skeletal connectivity, Jordan surfaces; 
B bound by skeletal connectivity, twisted/tangled surfaces
in other words the links in B can bend in any direction;
the links in A are confined by human skeletal potentials + topology
  (topological embedding in four dimensions):
  think of this as a tensor calculus of human movement
  think of this as a topography of flesh and sinew
Ruptures in the calculus:
  the tortured or wounded body
  the body convulsed in pain
  the catatonic body
  the terrorized body
  the broken or 'defective' body
Ruptures through the imaginary:
  the nightmare
  the orgasm
  hysteria/ boundaries of laughing and crying
  the confined body/ body of s/m
  the forgotten or abandoned body
  the hyper-sexualized body transmitters/ receivers
  hallucinations and other phenomena (Dendy's Philosophy of Mystery)
Ruptures of the body invaded by capital:
  X-scopic surgeries
  rfid implants
Ruptures of the body invaded by the imaginary:
  (capital of the imaginary, imaginary capital)
  psycho-tropics/overdetermined associations/disassociations
Ruptures of the body by an augmented real:
  sports, steroids, body-building, and so forth

Invasions of the imaginary, invasions of capital, of the augmented real,
  invasions through the imaginary: invasions or invaginations,
  incorporations or intensifications? These terms entangle and return to:

Either the proper body, or the body as heap;
  the articulated body, or the dismembered and reassembled body;
  the body characterized by a real, or the body chararacterized
  by an imaginary;
either the fundamental topography of the body,
  or the fundamental topology of the body -  invasions, dissolutions,
Ruptures as returns of the repressed: 
What lexicons are at work? What economies?

What is it that motion capture captures? What is snared, what abandoned?
What is the vocabulary of behavioral dynamics  voluntary, autonomic,
  involuntary, intrinsic  or involuntary, anomalous and axiomatic,
In other words: What's going on with us, within and without the world?

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