4.0 Chapter Introduction

It is a question of creating a new type of intelligibility

4.0 Introduction

In Chapter One, I discussed how persistent mind/body, subject/object binaries limit our capacity to gaindeeper understandings of human artistic creativity. I proposed that to eschew mind/body, subject/object binaries it is worth considering how Grosz employs Merleau-Ponty’s concepts of “wild Being” (1964/1968, p. 170) and “the intertwining – the chiasm” (1964/1968, p. 130), and Bergson’s concept of “becoming” (1911/2005, pp. 324 – 341) as frameworks for understanding the fundamental structures of life. These concepts are useful for this purpose because, as Collins notes, they precede “what becomes bifurcated into opposing categories such as subject/object” (2010, p.48).

In the next three chapters (Chapters Four, Five, and Six), I describe the ways in which I enacted these philosophical concepts through my performance practice to access experience differently whilst developing artistic performance works. These concepts are useful for this purpose because they affirm that life does not find itself “in a world” but makes the world into “things, objects, entities” by engaging and labouring (Grosz 2005, p. 121). I discuss the resonances that I perceived between these concepts and the visceral, body-world experiences described by artists during their creative processes. I experientially test these resonances against my own experience through discovery workshops. These chapters do not operate as a linear progression of argument. The complementary substance of each chapter, rather, lays the foundations for the ontological position that I will then go on to articulate more fully in Chapter Seven.

In this chapter, I focus on wild Being. I am guided by the question: How might the concept of ‘wild-Being’ first, support conscious ways of accessing experience differently, and second, operate in service of artistic creativity? In Section 3.1 of this chapter, I discuss the resonances, I perceive, between wild Being and artists’ descriptions of artistic creativity.

In Section 4.2 of this chapter, I note that the process of accessing experience differently cannot be activated before first questioning the conscious/unconscious binary about creativity that has been perpetuated in Western discourses. I argue that it is more useful for artists to work with degrees of conscious awareness than it is to conceptualise creativity as a conscious/unconscious process. Questioning this binary belief about creativity helps to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental structures of human creativity. I suggest this might be enacted by focusing on body-world connections, and attuning-to the visceral phenomena that is ordinarily at the fringes of everyday awareness.

In Sections 4.3 and 4.4 of this chapter, I focus on how I have developed ways to access experience differently through touch and through central movement of the human organism respectively. I describe how working with embodiment practitioners using their attunement techniques first, augments my attunement capacity and second, provides visceral entry points into creative material. I discuss examples of my work to demonstrate this process. I claim that this way of accessing experience feels different to ordinary experience because it brings a corporeal intelligence into more conscious awareness. I suggest this is an encounter with Merleau-Ponty’s wild Being.

I close this chapter by recognising that accessing experience differently is a recognisable and repeatable capability. It helps me to verify and affirm how life engages and labours through things to make and realise artistic performance works. I make note of how the concept of wild Being helps to frame this approach to performance practice because it makes explicit and accessible a pre-bifurcated corporeal intelligence that is a constant structural feature of lived experience.


3 The visible and the invisible, 1964/1968, p. 268


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