LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #42 – Homogeneity

Repetition and minimalism are two of the approaches with which postmodern music and dance in the 1960s questioned traditional forms. Attention is challenged by not feeding it with the contrast that it naturally gravitates towards. Instead, the same pattern or element is looped ad infinitum, with or without slight variation or developments. When we hold ourselves in there long enough, our perception will sooner or later switch into a different perception paradigm. John Cage said, “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.” A bit like meditating. At first it may seem like nothing is happening, but at some point there is a shift in the mind and we start noticing the subtleties that usually pass us by unnoticed.

 


María Ferrara

 

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LIVE ARTS FOR THE EVERYDAY – APPLICABLE THOUGHT #14 – Background

Whenever there is a background/foreground distinction in live arts (see applicable thought #13), the background is meant to support what is happening in the foreground. In terms of perception, any change in the background changes the way in which the foreground comes across. Nothing happens in isolation, either on a stage or in life. Everything is part of a system of dynamic relationships. Everything is background until we notice it and see it as foreground and goes back to being background when something else takes the foreground as figure. By definition we are more aware of the foreground, but we can expand our awareness to perceive the effect of the background as origin and context.

María Ferrara