PETER GLOSSARY FOR 2021
Choreography is that which informs.
It is anything, material or immaterial which gives rise to a way of behaving or thinking.
This way of thinking about choreography asks that one look at an activity, situation or object and ask what is needed for it to be or behave the way it does.
Also see slow choreography.
Also see scoreDocumentation.
Art is a form of abstraction, specifically aesthetic abstraction.
Aesthetic abstraction is the abstraction of experience. As opposed to numerical or linguistic abstraction.
As spectators or participants we sometimes silently agree to treat the material or activity as an abstraction. To view the material or activity removed from its original or specific context. Sometimes even ignoring the context it is in as if it is an object now divorced from any context. Sometimes it helps to ignore and sometimes it stops us seeing the whole artwork.
Art is another contract between artist and spectator.
See Burrows contracts.
Slow choreography is something which affects things over a less easily perceivable duration of time.
Borrowing from Rob Nixon’s Slow violence, it thinks of choreography through the lens of long durational violence like land erosion or systemic repression.
Through this lens of slow choreography we can think about ethical practices and the materiality of body and person.
An infinitely demanding ethics
An infinitely demanding ethics is a continued commitment and practice to understanding one’s notion of good within the context of others and otherness whilst knowingly knowing one cannot ever truly stop trying, critiquing and reformulating their own notions of good.
Drawing from Simon Critichley and Simone de beauvoir. Especially ethics of ambiguity.
Reformulation is to formulate your experience of a thing or time into another thing or time.
Practicing one’s appreciation, through the act of observing one’s own attention.
Often reformulation will use different forms allowing one to focus on the singular nature of thing or time and not on adding surroundings aspects or details which aren’t directly related.
It can be useful to ask how close or distance your reformulation is from the thing or time you reformulate. Be it precise as possible, a transformation somehow, or related but not directly.
Reformulation is a continuous practice.
Reformulation can likely be an informal reformulation, formal reformulation and probably a bit of both.
Also see documentation/scores.
Dance is a way of negotiating the choreographies of a given situation and place.
Most likely we assume a dance is solely negotiating physically, sensorial, bodily choreographies.
Dance doesn’t have to be an art practice or performance.
Dance can have multiple or even undiscovered purposes.
Also see goals.
Freedom could be as simple as having access to something. Which could be why property and all the violence which protects property limits freedom.
Improvisation is a practice of choice making.
It is the practice of establishing logics or values for oneself within or against a given situation, order or structure.
Also see rebellion.
Rebellion can either try to reform the preexisting order through protest and advocacy. Or can directly break with the preexisting order by creating its own order either within or outside it. Both likely borrow from each other but focusing on one can cause one’s efforts to feel futile.
Authority must always be maintained for it to function as an authority. Maintained, policed by either external threats of violence or coercion, by oneself onto oneself often because of a systemic pressure or a combination of both.
Glossary in this context is a way to articulate concepts and understandings through writing definitions to words or concepts one finds helpful.
This is my glossary, heavily influenced by Burrows choreographer’s handbook.
This is not a definitive text, just a practice, for now.
Try writing your own, with your words and definitions which are important to you.
PETER is a name and a title.
PETER is my name and the title/titles of my choreographic work.
PETER is also a choreography.
Score is something which can be used to recreate something else.
A score can be as broad or narrow, as specific or general as you need it to be. From materialising time to giving a gentle nudge in some general direction.
Try writing a score to someone else’s performance. First try capture all and every detail that makes up the performance. Then try to only capture the most essential aspects. Then try describing what could have led them to do, choice to do or make their performance.
Choreography is a synonym of score.
Sometimes a score tries to propose something.
Also see InstructionsProposalsTasksImperatives.
Sometimes a score tries to capture something which has happened, which causes it to be similar to documentation.
Documentation is more often or not a material which captures something.
Both score and documentation ask the question what is a thing. What is necessary, what is it essences or how would you summarise a thing
Also see choreography.
Also see reformulation.
Instructions, proposals, tasks and imperatives all call to action or at least direct one’s attention.
Even though they function in similar ways they differ from context to context and force by which they command.
Instructions, proposals, tasks and imperatives can be works of art in their own right.
Also see choreography.
The gift is something you offer to another.
See Jacques Derrida’s notion of the gift.
I sometimes like to think of things I propose or share as gifts.
How does a choreography change if you think of it as a gift?
Feedback can be the creative act of responding to another’s creativity. Exposing your perceptions, preferences and interests.
Feedback is a response.
Feedback is any response.
To ignore, look away or even forget is also a response.
Feedback doesn’t have to be critical.
People and their opinions are as much a part of one’s artistic practice as any other.
Who do you keep close? Who do you go to when and for what? What contracts do you have with these people? What are these people’s roles? Could they be a mentor?
Mentorship tool box for artist, with SITE and MARC 2019
Leadership is a position or role of guiding.
It is a hierarchy.
A leader can only lead if people follow.
See Jacques Derrida’s notion of Hospitality
Leadership can be the act of caring for and carrying. Through listening and transparency.
Hierarchies are always present, see the tyranny of structurelessness.
Leadership can be a gfit.
Also see gift.
Audience and participation
To be an audience is to participate no matter how passive or active.
The choice is how you wish the experience to be.
Research, exploration, trial, experiment, rehearsal and testing are different ways of gaining understanding so you may make better choices.
See an infinitely demanding ethics
The only way to know what something does is to do it. So test, try, rehearse, explore and experiment.
Creativity is work. So work.
Understanding can allow you to control what you are creating.
Creativity is making choices.
Planning and scheduling your time and activity is one of the best tools of creating.
Goals and limitations don’t need to be obstacles, just logistical or planning problems to solve.
Goals are useful but often hard to pin down.
Let your goals be general and large. Then look at the material and work you are making and see how they relate.
There is always an intention or propose, where you make it explicit or not that’s a choice.
A part of the creative process and engaging with works of art are ways to better define and understand your wants, interests, needs and abisousions.
Sometimes your goals and ambitions don’t have a place in society, yet. See Advocacy.
Advocacy is anything which can communicate your goals.
Sometimes your art is its own advocate.
Sometimes you can’t put so much pressure on your art to please everyone.
Advocacy is a practice.
Finding ways to talk, write, get meetings and network can all be creative ways to articulate your goals.
You will have to advocate. Whether you want to be in a company and told what to do or be freelance and create something that doesn’t exist. It is usually a bit of both. But either way at some point to yourself or others you will have to justify what you are doing or want to do.
You can support your advocacy by curating what and who supports you.
Support is something, somewhere or someone who helps carry your activity.
Everyone needs support.
Your art can be supportive but you should always ensure you have other support systems in case things don’t work out.
Collaboration is recognizing you are not allowed and can’t be fully in control only as a contributor.
Your contributions are extremely important both as they can harm just as much as they help.
The no contribution or a lack of a contribution can be just as harmful and contributing a lot.
See infinitely demanding ethics.
Once you recognize who or what you are collaborating with then you can work together to discover what exists between you.
It’s okay to be unsure about collaboration, it can be an exciting or exasperating mix of unknowns.
The concept of ownership can be both damaging and rewarding. A good rule is only to take ownership of something if it is useful. Once it no longer serves you or the collaboration then it isn’t useful and should be used.
It is even more important to plan, and test so you as a group can have control over what you are doing and make consensual choices.