Once you understand,
and be thankful.
The intention embedded in the content on this site is to help you refine your mind in non-coercive ways. But an open and discerning mind is not enough: "it's time to welcome in that love". We mean to drive the mind into the heart, and that entails being with our body just as it is. We'll begin with a few simple statements:
Dance is more ancient than civilisation, language, currency. It is older even than our conception of self.
Dance is movement. Movement is choreography. Choreography is sensing what to do next.
Dance is a system that breaks (with) systems.
Dance is thought embodied.
Dance allows us to enter states that are not (self)conscious, states which invoke memories that are millions of years old.
What does it mean,
Dance, and you are already
doing what you do not know.
Sit, and you are already
drenched in wide awareness.
We spread ourselves,
distribute our heart across
the worlds to make our stories
matter, to give this spirit.
Systems, sitting, salsa:
all are self-organizing.
Simple once you are set alight.
Now you can see,
web3 means nothing
if it does not hold
movement, mind, medium
Can technology be embodied?
How many steps do we need to make before we are dancing through, and with, the never ending flow of information?
The collective search for web3 structures which serve the common good entails its fair share of struggle. We are stressed, overworked, locked away, confined to tiny spaces, practicing greediness. In an era meant to re-imagine what our society could be, it seems like our strongest advocates and warriors are falling down like apples to the ground; victims of burnout, stress, disconnection, and lack of true purpose. Of course, apples fall because they seek the places where time runs slowest, and so we are here to move mindfully, rather than rushing headlong towards the next shiny thing.
We are here to participate in communities of care, not to ghost each other, which is really the absence of presence, the absence of our body.
In the 17th century, Descartes made an error, and nowhere more than in the field of technology have we accepted as cannon his body/mind duality. We are trained to think and not to feel - and this duality limits our existence much before identity politics, sexuality, or class become present.
However, dancers share a privileged, if paradoxical, position within Descartes' dualism. The mind must work with the body to EMBODY the feeling, the thought, the image. Dancers spend their lifetime rigorously training not only their muscles, memory, reflexes, endurance, but also their perception, their ability to feel, and their ability to convey something bigger than them, something that belongs to our shared unconscious.
Ironically, dancers have always been under-appreciated precisely because, even though embodiment creates mysterious attraction through the eye, no one besides the dancers perceives fully what's going on! Embodied understanding only comes with practice, and training these things is not easy. It is rigorous and time-demanding. It's awkward and humiliating. It's often cringe.
Dance has been gatekeeping these ancient practices, and it has also, until now, been unable to translate its ephemerality into the digital world. But that is changing - technology is evolving, and slowly it is starting to behold more completely the complexity of movement (i.e. volumetric capture).
Neuroscientists have discovered different nervous processes that dance directly influences. For example, dance halts the aging process of the brain itself, so if you dance all your life, there's a big chance you will never see yourself as "old". We go to clubs, take drugs and dance for endless hours, exorcising our demons; or if you're more vanilla, you do a Zumba class at 9am and have a big grin the whole day.
There's something about dance and movement that makes us happy and healthy - so why aren't we applying it to our DAOs, our companies, our communities?Dance as Future Technology¶
When I entered the web3 world, I couldn't even sit still in a chair, and my eyes hurt when they looked into the screen. My boyfriend could spend days on end just working at his machine - and so could everyone else it seemed.
Resting seemed like taboo, and another duality became evident to me: either you are working 24/7, non stop, all day everyday; or you are burned out.
That is when - right at the beginning of my community management path - I decided to offer physical classes to DAOs and communities. It is unprecedented. Besides HEAT, I don't know of any other efforts to bridge dance with this kind of technology. Yoga and various workouts have been done, but somatic dance? Movement composition? How would I even start explaining to "non-dancers" what these things are? However, the challenge has been well worth it: teaching the Mindful Movement Guild not only gave me insight into how my knowledge can affect people's bodies; their vulnerability allowed me to learn how to create trust spaces, free of the judgement of the eye, in Zoom (of all places!)
Embodiment is essential. It allows us to understand that our mortal flesh is the perfect machine. All machines ever made mimic, one way or another, some function of the human body. So, isn't it worth encouraging people who create systems and protocols to train their bodies, the primordial machines?
As I play with these ideas, I've found support in MotionDao: a group of dance researchers who have been exploring the idea of dance and tech for a long, long time, and are eager to incorporate the work and dance practices into web3. Thank you, I truly couldn't have believed in it fully without you.
And now the community of dance aficionados grows: devs doing yoga, yogis doing DAOs, everyone's collective presence making Zoom somehow intimate... What a ride it has been!
Dance and Tech should exist side by side. Every dancer can play with tech, and all tech should dance or at least help us dance as we work with it. VR and volumetric capture will expand the theatre spaces to sizes never before seen. Programmers will learn the joy of dancing one hour a day before starting to code.
And maybe, just maybe, we will evolve and experience the blissful symbiosis of mind and body - being one.
Thank you Kernel, for being what dreams are made of!