The piece of paper that my hand found inside Dawn’s box carried the following question:
‘How do you know you love someone?’
I chose to ponder upon it while eating an apple I had in my bag. (see figure 1).
I still don’t know.
Another piece of paper found its way to me with the instruction to redesign a rainbow.
This, I thought, was slightly more manageable than the previous question.
I simply carried on hand-spinning a thread pulled from the old bed-sheet.
A tree shed a petal.
I’ll let you know when it’s ready (see figure 2).
Matter, according to Karen Barad is:
‘Eros, desire, life forces [that] run through everything, not only specific body parts or specific kind of engagements among body parts. Matter itself is not a substrate or a medium for the flow of desire. Materiality is already a desiring dynamism, a reiterative reconfiguring, energized and energizing, enlivened and enlivening.’
Karen Barad’s interview. See link: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/o/ohp/11515701.0001.001/1:4.3/–new-materialism-interviews-cartographies?rgn=div2;view=fulltext
‘… love will go away if we can’t communicate and share meaning.’
David Bohm (On Dialogue, 1996).
American scientist and philosopher David Bohm explained the word ‘dialogue’ through its etymological Greek root. Contrary to prevailing misconception that a dialogue is a communication between two people, this word is made up of ‘dia’ – through; and ‘logos’ – the word. Bohm writes:
‘A dialogue can be among any number of people, not just two. Even one person can have a sense of dialogue within himself, if the spirit of the dialogue is present.’ (D. Bohm, On Dialogue).
The session led by Dawn comprised of two parts: conversation and making. We were hosted in the beautiful setting of her garden. First, we gathered in a shed where food and drinks were generously provided. There were set of instructions, starting with sitting in allocated area and filling an official-looking form in an allocated time. It didn’t take long to realize that the spirit of playing was present. Next, Dawn let us choose a note from her box, each with different question or instruction, which initiated the making part of the session. Materials were offered and we were free to choose a place in which to make something in response to the question/instruction.
As a preparation for this evening’s creative meeting Dawn had published a link to Ai Wei Wei’s documentary film on CAS Facebook page. Thus, along-side the spirit of playing, was the spirit of dissent; invisible, yet present.
At some point Dawn walked around and invited us to take another piece of paper from her box. This energized the creative activity with more ideas. A while later it seemed that this part came almost organically to a pause as we all gathered around the fire and began to reflect and share our thoughts and feelings. It was a smooth transition from making
ima: “engaging with ideas and materials as, mostly, an individual activity”
ima: “engaging with others through ideas, expressed mostly, in words”
nourished by a shared creative spirit. This dialogue continued even as we later moved into Dawn’s living-room.
It was then, as I was almost relaxed
ima: “due to Lili and Hulli, two beautiful Danish dogs and my forever unease at the present of animals”
in her beautiful home, on the comfortable sofa, that Bohm’s words came to my attention. In his thoughts on the nature of dialogue, Bohm writes:
‘… in dialogue we do not have an agenda and we are not trying to accomplish anything useful. Nor are we going to have a leader. … It may be useful to have a facilitator to get the group going … But his [her] function is to work himself [herself] out of a job.’
(Bohm, On Dialogue).
[My insertion. ima].
Intentionally or unintentionally, we were having a Bohmian dialogue with Dawn’s natural ability to facilitate a group.
Thank you Dawn for a memorable and lovely creative evening.