The ALMOST — Performance as practice of Daydreaming

Artikkelbilde

A performative lecture by Danja Burchard

With the pandemic, reachable futures vanish. The sudden alteration of the present was met with spatial restrictions. Social-gathering and physical-distance regulations pulled apart the already precarious basis of production in performing arts — temporarily? A question yet to be answered. Along with the world put on hold, came a big sigh — a sigh that acknowledged the sudden slowness of time.

Suddenly, there was space to think, time to process, even a little moment to adapt and shift out of the hazardous mode of productivity — at least for a moment.
With the bifurcation of the pandemic trauma, a quest for creative visions and innovative responses also appeared. In the performing arts, quick solutions, such as virtual representations and digital performance formats emerged, and the productivity and materialisation of artistic thoughts quickly continued. The initial yearning for more sustainable, slow-paced art practices — practices that, especially under the current circumstances, re-evaluate the importance of time for artistic investigation and provide infrastructures for a balanced and broadened artistic production — seemed to slowly fade in the chaos of the continuing pandemic. Following the short experience of slowness, of an art production outside of the economy of productivity, success and failure, I propose Daydreaming as a speculative performative and artistic practice.

Daydreaming is an art practice that includes the active processes of thinking, imagining and fantasising, respects social distancing, it is accessible and usable to all artistic and non-artistic practitioners, is able to re-signify solitude, and can therefore strengthen resilience. It is a radical practice that exceeds and therefore questions the economy of art productivity, failure and success.

 

Performance is a practice of Daydreaming.

Daydreaming is a performative act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This performative essay is split into two parts.

 

     1. The ALMOST. A speculative manual.​

The first part as a performative lecture is a confrontation with the emotional implications of a vanishing future within the logic of the economy of constant productivity. It is an abstract, spatial and personal reading of the ALMOST — a space created around the potential Point of Success and FAILURE.

 

2. Daydream as performative Practice

The second part reclaims the practice of Daydreaming as a mode of artistic expression and practice that opposes the dynamic of the ALMOST and engages in speculative world-making practices.

 

 

  

 

 

ALMOST is the space one crosses when transiting to Success. Stopping along the way — at any point for a specific amount of time — is considered FAILURE. FAILURE, the ALMOST and the Point of Success are tangible imaginaries of Daydreams, which have been validated by socio-cultural narratives. They are a recollection of thoughts, of imaginations that lead to action. Imagination augments the value of reality. Imagination leads to action.

The ALMOST and FAILURE can be understood as territorial spaces of transit, whose impact and reality are based on the immaterial constructions of Daydreams and thoughts.
It is in the speculative fictions of Success, that FAILURE arises. The ALMOST as inhabitable space reclaims the underlying radical and political aspects of Daydreams as performative practice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

is the almost.

 

 

 

it is the space defined by what - I - could have said.
it is the space defined by what - I - might have written.
it is the space defined by what - I - wanted to express.
it is words, thoughts, ideas - manifested in the A​LMOST.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagination augments the value of reality.

It is not a question of describing, enumerating, analysing.

On the contrary.

We must go beyond.

Whether this description is objective or subjective, that is, whether it gives facts or impressions.

The imagination of the Daydream reveals an attachment that is native somewhat to the primary function of inhabiting. 

Imagination augments the value of reality.

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The ALMOST
– a speculative manual

 

It is Success or FAILURE
If they are two opposites, it is one or the other.
Success
 is a very specific point, with a very specific location. Its form can change, but its characteristics are marked by its inherent singularity.
FAILURE,
​ on the other side, is not.
FAILURE
 is between the​ I – anchored in the ​NOW​ and the specific P​oint of Success​ usually situated in the future.
FAILURE
 is everything between the – I –​ in the NOW​ and the specific Point of Success.​ FAILURE is everything that is not S​uccess​.
FAILURE
​ is everything that is ALMOST.

While Success is a locatable point, FAILURE has its own cartography. It is marked by both time and space. It can be found between the NOW​ of the – I –​ and the mathematically determinable variables of the Point of Success.


This space, this transit-zone towards Success that inhabits FAILURE, is called the ALMOST

 

 

Changing of the ​Point of Success


The 
ALMOST is defined by its origin, the passing NOW of the - I -. It is also defined by a very specific variable of the P​oint of Success​ projected into the future.

The specific variable of Success defining the ALMOST can change while transitioning through it. Adaptations of the Point of Success however tend towards or overlap into the ALMOST, or gradually move within the anti-gravity sphere surrounding the P​oint of Success. Positive adaptation to the Point of Success,​ from those whose value is similar to or higher than the originally calculated Point of Success,​ lies within this anti-gravity sphere. The anti-gravity sphere of the Point of Success is that area that potentialises the  - I - in the NOW of Success through the level of trust, creativity, privilege of confidence and confluence of the forces surrounding the Point of Success.​ The positive recalculation of the Point of Success is therefore only possible, once the  - I - in the NOW has already entered the overlapping space of the A​LMOST​ and the sphere of the P​oint of Success.

A recalculated P​oint of Success can also lie on the border or sometimes even inside the ALMOST, yet always in proximity to the original P​oint of Success​. These points can be found in the overlap of the ALMOST​ and the anti-gravity sphere of the Point of Success but have mostly been re-adapted in a greater distance towards the pulling forces of the Point of Success​.

Recalculations of the Point of Success while still transiting through the ALMOST can cause the  - I - in the NOW to encounter specific complications due to the characteristics of the space. Increased perception of gravity, deceleration of thoughts within an acceleration of time and action modify the possible performance of the  - I - in the NOW (now transiting) to a limited version. This affects the recalibration of the Point of Success.​ Rather, a certain fixation on the originally determined Point of Success appears. This fixation is linked to the past NOW of the - I - which now marks the starting point and therefore one of the borders of  the ALMOST

These recalibrations of the P​oint of Success that are based inside the overlap of the ALMOST​ and the anti-gravity sphere of the Point of Success​ are named C​ompromise​. Compromise​ are those P​oints of Success​ whose recalculation has been affected by the characteristics of the A​LMOST​.

 

 

Transiting the ALMOST


The 
ALMOST is a reclusive space usually visited in solidarity by the - I - in the​ NOW.​ It, however, is a space that can be crossed simultaneously by various ​- I -s​ that share the NOW at a specific time and place. These ​ ​- I -s might be perceived as a kind of community that follows a similar variable of the Point of Success.​

Under this circumstance, the singularity of the spaces is blurred, as we encounter a co-existence of several ALMOSTS,​ several Point of Success and several - I -s that begin in several NOWs. The personal ALMOST is defined by the specific calculation of each - I - in the NOW. The several calculations of  - I -s​ form a conglomerate of shared or similar Points of Success and similar points of NOW. It, therefore, becomes a co-existence of the personal ALMOST and the shared ALMOST. Of two transit spaces, whose clear borders can potentially merge temporarily into one.

 

The collaborative union of these different ​- I -s​ that share the ​NOW​ can be defined by different energies that mark the impact and materiality of the ​ALMOST​.

The collaborative - I -s​ that share the NOW tend to cross the ALMOST with a potential to limit the impact of the complications that might arise in the ALMOST.

 

These  ​- I -s that share the ​NOW develop a specific kind of acceptance of the ​ALMOST as space of potential. Here, a clarity around the existence of the ​ALMOST ​allows these ​ ​- I -s​ to recognise the parallelity and variety of this temporarily existing space. In this acceptance, certain personal impacts regarding the complications of the ALMOST can potentially become equalled out by other - I -s in the NOWs​. This is possible due to the personalised form the ALMOST takes on for each individual ​ ​- I - i​n the NOW​. The anti-gravity sphere of the conglomerate of Point of Success, w​hose variables have been accepted as one, is marked by its size. The spheres overlap with the ALMOST and create a wider territory for possible C​ompromise as alternative version of the Point of Success.​

The second possibility of crossing the ALMOST in community is in Competition. Here, the threatening characteristics of the ALMOST might increase. An unusual acceleration of time inside the transit-zone of the ALMOST is one of the most common heightened effects experienced by these​  - I -s​ that share the​ NOW in Competition.

The Point of Success in Competition can often be found in its most accurate and fixated version. Similar conditions count for the point of potential FAILURE in Competition.
The possibility of FAILURE
 in Competition even enters into the sphere of the Point of Successturning the potential of Compromise into another version of FAILURE. The Point of Success in Competition can therefore be identified by its limited and specifically small anti-gravity sphere.

Competition and Collaboration of  - I -s​ that share the NOW while transiting the ALMOST can sometimes hardly be differentiated. Fusions combining both competitive  - I -s​ that share the NOW with collaborative  - I -s​ that share the NOW can further merge into hybrid versions of the ALMOST. The ALMOST experienced by all  - I -s​ that share the NOW underlines the complexity of the cartography of this transit-zone. FAILURE,​ the experience of disorientation arising from missing the Point of Success,​ is lived through, both individually and collectively, inside this space.

 

 

Time in the ALMOST


The original 
NOW of the  - I - within time and space defines the initial border of the ALMOST. Here, the ALMOST begins. While this moment of the NOW for the  - I - in its presence might be undeterminable retrospectively, the moment of the NOW can be identified as a clear point of fixation. This point of fixation is opposite to the Point of Success.

These points of fixation are part of the imagination that regulates​ the ALMOST.

The moment of the NOW for the  ​- I -, r​etrospectively perceived by the  ​- I - ​in the NOW —​ meaning as part of the passing past of the ALMOST — is called Memory.​ The future moment of the ​Point of Success​, perceived by the  ​- I - ​in the NOW in anticipation — meaning as part of the oriented potential presence yet to come within the ALMOST — is also considered to be ​Memory​. Memories, as an immaterial presence within time in space, can provoke the​  ​- I -​in the NOW​ according to their inherent co-influencing forces.

Other than the potentially changing Point of Success,​ ​FAILURE also seems to be retrospectively determinable yet intuitively foreseen. The accurate determination of the cartography of the ALMOST hosting the FAILURE is choreographed by the Memory. FAILURE can be sensed by the - I - i​ n the NOW while transiting the ALMOST.​ The impact of FAILURE, however, crystalises once it is becoming part of the passing past of the I - in the NOW.

Potential FAILURE is apparent to the I - in the NOW,​ in the very moment of stipulating any potential Point of Success. FAILURE materialises as a threatening shadow over the I - in the NOW. Here lies the backward-oriented impact of FAILURE as an unrealised danger from a potential future.

FAILURE as an occurrence of the past, meaning FAILURE as an already determinable point located in the passing present, or rather the Memory of FAILURE a​ s part of the ALMOST, has a lingering presence that continuously affects the I - in the NOW. This effect might continue even in the ongoing presence of the I - in the NOW beyond the determinable space and time of the ALMOST. Memory of FAILURE might even modify the development, movement and possibilities of the continuous presence of the I - in the NOW.​ Once the I - in the NOW has been affected by FAILURE and is holder of an irreversible Memory of FAILURE,​ the space of the ALMOST together with the backward-oriented future memory of the unreached Point of Success become an returning experience for the I -.​ While the ALMOST as a space itself might have been crossed already, its appearance can also be persistent and repetitive in the post-FAILURE​ and post-transit time.

Consistent reappearances of the Memory of FAILURE can emerge based on a variety of undeterminable triggers for the sensual nervous system of I - in any given NOW.​ Known triggers can be smells, sounds, words, the presence of other I -s that share the NOW,​ or the backward-oriented future Memory of newly appearing potential Points of SuccessSuch experiences can feature similar negative characteristics as those provoked in the space of the ALMOST.​ Characteristics that are best defined by heat rushes, a lack of words, heightened gravity, slowness of thought and a lowered gaze. The ALMOST follows its own laws of materialisation and time outside the linear perception of the - I -​ as an actor in the passing NOW.​

 

The ALMOST


The ALMOST
,​ as a space, is socially avoided as a grey-zone and is best described as a spatially pulsating, i.e., increasing and decreasing, zone of transit. The ALMOST-space is almost a space. It is not a non-space, but in its consistency, it is similarly ephemeral and repudiated. Its immaterial existence might be best compared to the effect of the blinding greyness of brightly lit cloudy skies on the eyes of any passing I - in a given NOW.​ This colour of the ALMOST positively affects the increase in thought swirls and decrease in mobility and motion of the - I - in a given ​NOW.

The ALMOST h​ as a subtle presence. A subtle presence that disappears once the Point of Success has been reached. In case of approaching FAILURE, its subtle presence can be compared to the presence of the sound of tinnitus. A sound that intensifies the NOW of the I - at any given moment.


The ALMOST 
defines the​ NOW as it is perceived by the​ I -. The -​ I -,​ however, especially in the ALMOST, is always a few seconds behind the realisation of the NOW,​ as the presence of the NOW is too immediate for the I - to perceive. The I - in the NOW is therefore rather defined as the I - following the​ NOW, but for simplification, it is here defined as the I - in the​ NOW.


The ALMOST
,​ while located in the future, highly affects the past. Due to the short delay between the  - I - and the NOW, the ALMOST never touches the actual presence of the I - in the NOW.​ The I -, is surrounded by a sphere of absence, which makes it untouchable for the ALMOST in the present, but very graspable once analysed as part of the passing past or anticipated as part of the foreseeable backward-oriented memory of the future.

This sphere of absence surrounding the I - is impacted by external forces of the ALMOST, such as hope, creativity, trust and privilege of confidence, if the given external forces are saturated by the potential Point of Success​; or doubt, guilt, judgment and shame, if the forces are linked to the potential appearance of FAILURE​.
While hope, creativity, trust and the privilege of confidence accelerate the transiting tempo of the I - 
in the NOW while passing the ALMOST,​ doubt, guilt, judgment and shame have a decelerating effect on the velocity of movement.

 

Occurrence of F​AILURE


Only when the moment of F
AILURE has been reached can the ALMOST become undeniably inherent to the NOW. With the occurrence of the FAILURE, the backward-oriented future memory of the unreached variable of the P​oint of Success appears and increases the visibility and immediacy of the ​ALMOST.​ Now, the ​ALMOST turns from being a zone of transition into a space marked by its opacity, heightened gravity and blinding greyness. It leaves its subtle existence, turning temporarily into an omnipresent and immaterial authority affecting the - I - ​and significantly shrinking the size of the sphere of absence protecting it from the NOW​.

After FAILURE, the ALMOST can be traced from the NOW of the FAILURE backwards to the original starting NOW of the I -.​ Here, its cartography becomes visible. The ALMOST, analysed in a backward-oriented manner, reveals those mistakes in the calculation of the I - that circumvented the potential accelerating forces of the Point of SuccessIt becomes clear how doubt, ignorance, lack of recovery, shame, judgment, guilt and then stagnation were the driving confluences that established the route transiting to the final point of FAILURE​ inside the ALMOSTIt is now that the physicality of the ALMOST is at its peak.

The I - immersed by the NOW of FAILURE tends to search for the quickest way to leave the given point of FAILURE, and with it, the ALMOST. Due to the lingering presence and the unyielding insistence of the backward-oriented Memory of FAILURE in the  - I -, even the highest form of disregard and dissociation from FAILURE and the ALMOST have proved to be only temporarily and partially effective.

It is instead recommended to accept the occurrence of the FAILURE as an inherent part of the cartography of the ALMOST created by the  - I - in several passing NOWs​ . It has been proven to be beneficial to the  - I - to understand FAILURE as a given point that only exists due to the linearity proposed by the fictive variable of a calculated potential Point of Success​.

 

 

The P​oint​ o​f​ ​Success​:
A point that defines the NOW
 of the  - I -.
A point that defines the - I - in the NOW.
A point that proposes a certain linearity of time, space and action for the
​  - I - in the NOW.
A point that proposes a certain linearity of time, space and action for the NOW
 of the  - I -.

A point that is best defined as a fictive future memory of the passing present of any given ​ ​- I - ​in any given NOW.​

NOWPoint of Success​ and F​AILURE​ are inevitably part of the same cartography. The cartography of the ALMOST.

 

 

 

 

Daydreaming

– a speculative performance practice

 

“The task is to become capable, with each other in all of our bumptious kinds of response. The task is to make kin in lines of inventive connection as a practice of learning to live and die well with each other in a thick present. Our task is to make trouble, to stir up potent responses to devastating events, as well as to settle troubled waters and rebuild quiet places.
In urgent times, many of us are tempted to address trouble in terms of making an imagined future safe, of stopping something from happening that looms in the future of clearing away 
the present and the past in order to make futures for coming generations. Staying with the trouble does not require such a relationship to times called the future. In fact, staying with the trouble requires learning to be truly present (...). “

(Haraway 2016, 1-2)

 

The current situation claims a radical interaction with time and the NOW. No longer can we follow precast directions, as these require an adaptation to the new present. This could be the big potential of the current NOW, whose  - I -s are all co-creators of the N​ew Normal​. Are we currently living in a moment where the task to become capable of response, to find new ways of creating kin and to find inventive connections has the potential to become part of the fabric of the NOW?

A speculative reading of the  - I -s in this unprecedented NOW — who collectively transit through an ALMOST that operates due to the vanished future, simultaneously outside as well as within the bias of Success and FAILURE — to me at least, provided a helpful filter to recognise the intensified struggles and heightened stress levels that threatened the creative and artistic practices of Performing Arts in the on-going pandemic present.

However, a potential future Point of Success might currently be locatable in the beguiling New Normal — a point that seems to promise a quick adaptation to the current situation. But this term slightly deviates from the amorphous shadow that still covers a clear vision of a sustainable new NOW for many  - I -s​ . What kind of mechanisms will the New Normal prolong, re-adapt, maintain? What agency do we have, especially in the Performing Arts, to meet the challenges, and interact and propose alternative ways? What paradigms might now be shifted?

The mode of alert — calling for a flexible, response-able interaction with the complexities of the passing pandemic NOW — underlines the necessity of incorporating radical speculative thinking practices and imagination into our daily lives. Thinking practices, which I understand due to their high performative value, as art.

The described ALMOST aims to question the dynamics of potential Success and FAILURE inherent to certain production dynamics of the performative and artistic practice. With the bifurcation of the current crisis, the ALMOST has presented itself in a myriad of formats and narratives, stressing the urgent need to go beyond bias dynamics of failure and success as defining markers of any potential - I - or any potential NOW.

How can an - I - in an opaque NOW respond to an unclear and ever changing reality while still operating within the dynamics of Success and FAILURE?​ The proposed analysis of Success and FAILURE as abstract concepts that in their interplay form the ALMOST is supposed to simplify and hereby examine stress-inducing dynamics as part of making and creating. Understanding the ALMOST as a transit-zone is an attempt to open up a more subjective and playful perspective surrounding the economy of production. The economy of production is hereby understood as the electrical urge of an - I - to produce and prove the validity, progress and quality of the NOW and itself in it. The economy of productivity is closely linked with the dynamic forces of the ALMOST and can be understood as fuel, setting the pace of an - I - during its transit of the ALMOST.

The ALMOST can therefore be one of the spaces to actively think and engage with the current shift in paradigms.

To navigate the speculative potential of the ALMOST, to actively explore, investigate and play with the complexity of the appearing NOW,​ I recognise and reclaim Daydreaming as a radical and political performative act of speculative artistic practice.

 

 

 

DAYDREAM

“Imagination augments the values of reality.”

(Bachelard 1958, 4)

 

Daydream is a socially distanced, accessible and potentially therapeutic performative practice.
It operates beyond the logic of potential Points of Success and the limiting effects of FAILURE.​ While socio-cultural habits of being together and co-creating are changing, thought as action becomes a major source. In times of uncertainty, Daydream as performative practice can be used to re-evaluate socio-cultural narratives around the present, while also challenging the production dynamics around artistic practices that traditionally rely on the bias between failure and success.

Performative Daydream is a practice that aims to contrast the pandemic solitude and/or forced independence of the  - I - by recognising inner imaginary worlds and their inventive creation as equally productive and artistic as externalised performative practices. It further challenges the emerging New Normal society to recognise Daydream as a productive radical artistic practice of world making.

 

 

The Practice

 

Daydream, as a first step, requires active and radical thinking practices in order to re-interpret and understand the dynamics surrounding the NOW and the  - I -.
The pandemic NOW
 surrounding the - I - presents itself as dynamic, flexible and resistant to linearity and planning. Those, however, were characteristic of the pre-pandemic NOW. Daydream as performative practice departs from the ALMOST.

The performative exploration of a myriad of narratives can lead to a re-orientation of the focus of the -​ I - back to the potential of the transit itself and opposes, herein, the creation of one determined fix point. Daydream grows in its artistic expression when recognising dynamic and flexible processes as major forces underlying the logic of the NOW. It furthermore locates the  - I - in the NOW by broadening its potential to subjectively engage in the artistic expression of thought, will, knowledge and feeling.

While Daydream is recognised as a part of creative processes, its liberation and recognition as an independent artistic and performative practice would not only open up a new practice, but also a completely new space and time for artistic creation. This space might simultaneously be understood as virtual and embodied. The artist would be the creator and audience at the same time. The NOW and the immaterial presence of the  - I - would merge, might even overstep the sphere of absence, and would hence open a site for performative practice in a most embodied, yet immaterial form.

The active engagement with the present through thought and imagination would be recognised for the artistic and performative act they themselves entail.

 

Imagination

As an artistic, performative practice, Daydreaming can be related to the speculative thinking practices inspired by Donna Haraway among others. Intense engagement with and the performative and creative ever-changing reading of the present underline the potential of Daydream to enhance alternative epistemologies. It is a practice that — following Michael Endes Never Ending Story — if not protected, nourished, trained and recognised as equally valid to the fiction of rational thought, can be devoured by the ​NOTHING.​ 

Daydreams are fragile. They can be described as phantasies and might, under the pressuring forces of the ​ALMOST, ​be misunderstood as lies. They follow their own logic, making them vulnerable to the biting forces of rationality. When provided space in time, however, Daydreams can infuse rational thought with new insights and different perspectives that envision what a world can be. As this performative practice lies before action, it is highly speculative and subjective, yet also political.

Daydream searches for glimpses of alternatives, for ways of engaging with the world outside the ordinary. It is a performance and coping mechanism, it is a tool of abstraction and a choice to go beyond normalised structures, beyond language. Performing Daydreams substitute language as expression of thought and jump straight to images and feelings. It is the choice to invite images that are outside the ordinary into the mind in order to critically investigate their presence. It is the choice to invite boredom and to go beyond. Boredom is to the mind what sleep is to the body: rest and recovery, according to Walter Benjamin in his Essay The Storyteller,​ emphasising the enriching qualities of intimate storytelling on the imagination of the  - I -Diversity of narratives surrounding the NOW supports the - I - to locate itself in it, Benjamin concludes. For Gaston Bachelard, it is in the link between boredom and loneliness that immaterial performance Daydreaming arises. Reverie can be understood as the space where the NOW of the  - I - transcends, while simultaneously intensifying, the NOW. Daydream opens a dreamed-up space that goes beyond the ALMOST.


Bachelard assumes that in those lonely moments of boredom in which the 
 - I - is indulging in its dreams and inner images, a source of creativity and happiness is found. This theory as posited by Bachelard is connected to C.G. Jung’s explorations of the Red Book. Jung developed the practice of active imagination. In active imagination, an ​- I - in solitude connects with its imagination and becomes participant in the Daydreams occurring in its sphere of subconscious reverie. Images appear that don’t relate to reality, but allow the  ​- I - to consciously engage with them. 

Imagination becomes a tangible reconstructable memory that hosts the ​- I -​, while compositions of fictional objects from speculative storylines or even fictional architectures otherwise only known in dreams appear. Daydream, similarly to active imagination, describes the paradox praxis of “not doing, while doing”, of not performing while immersed in radical performative creations of the mind. It is a way of mentally performing and transforming an emerging space, of performing the space while simultaneously being in it.

According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, Performing Arts are defined as “types of art (such as music, dance, or drama) that are performed for an audience”.​ 

The practice of Daydream considers the active practice of thought in reverie and the emerging images therein as artistic expression of the  ​- I -. The  ​- I - is the performer and audience at the same time.

 

 

Speculation


Speculative thought arises from a specific problem or event. By initially distinguishing a problem or event, we attach the speculation to an anchor, a starting point for the journey of speculation. For Michael Halewood, this journey is based on a basic trust in a process-based, flexible and dynamically developing external world. Hence, speculation in 
this sense becomes a practice that engages in processes of "world in the making". This is a radically pragmatic yet hypothetical form of speculation, meaning there is no evaluation therein — no good or bad, right or wrong. This form of speculative thought is but a mere investigation of possibilities based on an event or problem that recognises the independent co-existence of parallel NOW’​s. Speculation is "confronting the challenge of articulating a response, however partial, to this suspension of time ... [which] may enable social and cultural researchers to be lured by the possibility of futures ​that are more than a mere extension of the present."

 

 

Artistic Daydreaming aims to lure the  ​- I - with the possibility of articulating new worlds as a recognised mental performative artistic act. It invites the - I - to actively reclaim the time and space needed to enter into these speculative partly guided, partly intuitive performative reveries. Strongly anchored in the NOW, Daydream aims at investigating different potential and hypothetical scenarios, searching to restore and maintain a flexible, process-based and dynamic engagement with the external NOW of any given ​- I -.​ Daydream is the difficult praxis of listening and honestly observing internal wishes, narratives and hopes. Daydreaming is the artistic practice of creating responses, but recognises the importance of thinking practices in order to reach beyond the givens.

To recognize performance as an act of Daydreaming opens up a safe space that invites the - I - to actively engage with the present, to question forms of production, forms of narration, forms of expression, and to create speculative responses.
Daydreaming does not request solutions, but it actively questions, listens, looks, proposes, invests, envisions and creates — all in the performative language of the mind.

It is a practice that engages with the immediate reality through an imaginary process of world making.

 

Proposal of Daydream practice


To fully conduct a Daydream performance, not much is required. Any 
- I - can decide to engage in Daydreaming at any given moment, turning it into a very accessible and also economic way of art making. To engage in Daydreaming, time is the main essential resource .

To start Daydreaming, you first need to decide on an anchor that links it to the NOW​. This anchor can be anything from a feeling, to a thought, to a person, to an image or a situation. Secondly, you have to decide to sit down — NOW​ — and stay there.
A feeling of enjoyment will appear that might slowly turn into impulses of action. These impulses, particularly difficult not to respond to if they appear as the urge to look at the phone, need to be disregarded. You need to sit through them. Once the impulses of action and activity have passed, a different experience of time can emerge. Now, reconnect to the initial image and invite your mind to start performing all the different versions of this image that it can think of. Observe, engage and interact. With a little practice, you will now be able to perform, express and create inside these speculative worlds arising from the initial anchor.

 

– enjoy & repeat –

 

 

 

Approach mental images with tenderness as not to break up the solidarity of memory and care.

When the being is “cast into the world“ a secondary kind of being — a metaphysical one — emerges.

From being — to being well.

The human is deposited in a being well, in the well-being originally associated with being.

We cover the universe with drawings we have lived.

We create that universe with drawings we envision.

These drawings need not be exact.

They only need to be colored​ ​in the mode of our inner space.

Space calls for action.

Before action, the imagination is at work.

Performance is a practice of radical Daydreaming.

(6)


Gaston Bachelard, The poetics of Space. 1958, p. 4-7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

is the A​LMOST​.

 

 

 

 

It is the space defined by what  ​- I - will have said.
It is the space defined by what  - I - will have written.
It is the space defined by what  - I - will have expressed. It is words, thoughts, ideas – manifested in the 
ALMOST​.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography


Benjamin, Walter (1936): Betrachtungen zum Werk Nikolai Lesskows. In: Erzählen. Schriften 
zur Theorie der Narration und zur literarischen Prosa, Frankfurt am Main, 2007. S.103 - 128

Ende, Michael (1979): Die Unendliche Geschichte.

Gaston Bachelard (1958): The Poetics of Space. The classic look at how we experience intimate places. New York.

Halewood, Michael: Situated speculation as a constraint on thought. In: Wilkie, Alex; Savransky, Martin; Rosengarten, Marsha (2017): Speculative Research. The Lure of Possible Futures. London, New York. S. 52 - 62

Haraway, Donna (2016): Staying with the trouble. Making Kin in the Chthulucene. London.

Merriam Webster Dictonary (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/performing%20arts?utm_campaign=sd&utm_medium =serp&utm_source=jsonld)

Shamdasani, Sonu (2009): Liber Novus. Das “Rote Buch” von Carl Gustav Jung. In: Jung,Carl Gustav: Das Rote Buch. Zurich.

Vogel, Ralf T. (2004): Der “geheimnisvolle Weg geht nach innen” - Grundlagen und Praxis der Aktiven Imagination. In: Dorst, Brigitte; Vogel, Ralf T (Hrsg): Aktive Imagination. Stuttgart.

Wilkie, Alex; Savransky, Martin; Rosengarten, Marsha (2017):The lure of possible futures: on speculative research.​ In: (Ders): S​ peculative Research,​ London, New York. S. 1 - 19