Friday, January 14, 2011

Bas Jan Ader
See "Broken Fall" and other short films by Bas Jan Ader...
The following paraphrase comes from the book "Mess," introduction by the author Keri Smith:

Falling or dropping things, using gravity as a medium, is absurd, yet brilliantly and completely serious. Making the decision to let go is a moment of transcendence, when you leave it all behind and leap into the unknown. It is this addictive, seductive release we find a sense of giddyness mixed with fear, a sense of doing something worthwhile, living out on the edge of something big yet unnameable. There is an opening and vulnerability that comes.

What does it feel like to intentionally throw yourself off balence? It forces improvisation.

The "mistake" or "accident" is a happening or occurence by which the creator does not have complete control over the final outcome, that result in conclusions unpredicted. Experiments.

Improvisation is to throw yourself off balance for a time, into a situation where we must make decisions on the spot. Such forced decisions put us into a place where we have no choice but to accept what has occurred and move on, to work with what exists. It pushes us into some places we would not normally go.

A big handicap among trained and untrained artists is a reverential attitude toward making things "beautiful, accurate, perfect." The process is then missing a spontanteity and playful attitude with the materials or the process.

Improvisers find improvisation worthwhile because of the possibilities, of being "taken out of yourself," where your reactions and responses aren't your normal responses.

As you explore such "fallings," try on ideas like deviance, indeterminanacy, serendipity, scarcity and excesses in materials, improvisation, intuition, play, exploration, misinterpretation, interruptions that change your course, combining the unrelated and the new, speed, over or underestimating, subconscious thinking, and detournement (alteration of an existing form to give it new meaning.)

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