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Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. (Albert Camus)
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    The revolution will be juxtaposed
    "Dance, Dance, otherwise we are lost.."

    Pina Bausch

    I have finally managed to watch this most fascinating piece of cultural evolution via technology, transposing the tribal effect of dance upon an unsuspecting beholder;
    I speak of Pina, a film by Wim Wenders.

    There are so many ways to understand (or not) this film, as an homage, as a memoriam, as a love tribute from a friend to another, as a monument to a great dance choreographer, as a poem of sensitivity lovingly depicted with images on screen, as an artistic manifestation of technological prowess, as a re-mythification process in which we are privileged to share, as a fresh breeze in the dullness of what cinema has become, as a document of historicity in action, re-enacted in love, as a mode of reflection upon the case of Pina Bausch, as an exploration of the manner of existential realism depicted in the motion of bodybodies,and even as a voyaging examination of what a clan of dedicated humans can accomplish when guided towards a new set of emotions.

    There are indeed so many ways to celebrate the greatness of the human, so many fashions and manners of expression that at times particular instances might be lost to our historical perspective and thus may not be recognized as such.
    Though I firmly acknowledge both my love for the oeuvre of Pina Bausch and my appreciation for Wim Wenders, I think that in the case of this experimental procedure, and procedure it is, the end result is, to put it mildly and unashamedly, exhilarating.

    I am using this film, as I believe it should be used, as a sign, as a stand for, as a symbol, or better yet as a modern and quite revolutionary approach to the transmission across time and spaces of information that has no other way of interpenetrating our subjectivity.

    There is a very specific kind of information conveyed in this cinematic phrase, a kind of information that carries power and empowerment with it and within it. It is not the dance itself, grand as the choreography of Pina is, it is not in the dancers, great as they may be, it is not in the medium (3D) utilized by Wim Wenders and it is not in the factuality of the footages and very short interviews. No, not at all, the magic is in the reframing of the question of viscerality in the age of hyperconnectivity.

    For many the genius of Pina is under proposed in the film, putting her in the backstage and only smuggled in in-between breathtaking scenes of her troupe, barely perceived, almost ignored and yet to my eyes that is where her message and intelligence shine the most. Wim Wenders has managed to postpone the dream of the message long enough for us to be tantalized into an acceptance of factuality; this is a private ritual and only by later recall can the beholder perceive the threat of innovative aesthetics, which has penetrated the veils of banality and changed the beholder.

    There is a revolution of aesthetics going on in the world, under appreciated and mostly ignored by our eyes and minds having become so blasé and so accustomed to see that which was once mysterious as commonplace. The revolution in aesthetics provides a method or a pathway of undoing the obviousness of immediacy, of re-interpreting the common in a manner fitting the mind of now.
    Put differently I think that mediums of communication are deregulating the preciseness of messages, in the process demanding of us to be in greater form of mental gymnastics and we, unaware, are accommodating this demand. This non-awareness I see as highly critical and in a sense provocative and inspiring, for by hiding the message, the obvious is refreshed and re-appraised.

    The hidden message in the case of Pina, is an exploration of a possible answer to the question of physicality by other means, the interpenetration of the beholder in the material procedure of a dancer presented on the screen and yet able to somehow bridge the gap of emptiness and recreate within us a motion inexorable.

    It is high time to move past Macluhan and ‘the medium is the message’, to an ambiguous statement of juxtapositions of messages, transposing realities of old as modern technological propositions of rituals.
    At a time when world events yield new battlefields of us vs. them, the message of multidimensional visceral information being transmitted as an audiovisual representation implies upon us the ambiguity of the borderline, the ephemeral distinction between worlds and states.

    I believe that such is our task, as infovores, as impresarios of our self-description, to allow the bridge of the instinctual to transcend the animal motivations and present aesthetics of transformation as the ethos of the posthuman.

    These are just a few notes as an immediate response to what I have perceived via Pina.
    I am well aware that some of my best friends, being much more knowledgeable than I both in the realm of cinema and the field of dance will disagree with some or all of my reading of this film, I am biased in my excitement, but of course, how could it be otherwise?

    If you have the opportunity, watch Pina, and come here to tell.

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    relemorais     Thu, Sep 22, 2011  Permanent link
    thank you so much for writing this. i feel this may be somehow connected to the research i'm currently undertaking (on the nanotechnological sublime) which touches upon the shift from a culture which was based on remix, to a nanoculture that is based on pure originality (that i think you are calling viscerality in this text). synapse indeed.
    Wildcat     Thu, Sep 22, 2011  Permanent link
    Thank you Renata, indeed the film was the inspiration, however I see the issue of hyperconnected viscerality as fundamental and paradigmatic, allowing for a new form of creativity and convergence within (apparent) divergence of modes of expression and technological applications. As I see it we are just now (last decade or so) initiating a foray into a bootstrap like procedure by which we will be able to break through our old Neolithic notions into a new kind of mind.
    That mind carries a scent of possibilities not yet dreamed, but initial glimpses are already around us in the poetic notions implied by for instance mind machine interfaces, or indeed cinematic experiences like the film Pina.
    Wildcat     Sat, Jan 21, 2012  Permanent link
    Appeared today on wired:

    "For Pina, his first venture into 3-D filmmaking, German auteur Wim Wenders has crafted a sophisticated documentary about dance rather than a popcorn flick loaded with aliens or adventurers.

    Wenders’ loving portrait of German choreographer Pina Bausch captures the beauty of dance in a stunning movie that proves 3-D’s greatest application does not necessarily lie in the realm of science fiction or fantasy.

    “The core of it is that it gives you a different access also to reality, not just to fantasy,” Wenders told in an interview during the Berlin Film Festival, where Pina premiered last year. “I’m very convinced that this will be a major breakthrough for one genre — not just animation and blockbusters — but it will create a whole new level of documentary.”

    read all of it here: With Stunning Pina, Wim Wenders Makes Case for 3-D Documentaries