On not knowing and paying attention

Tim Ingold and the Yorkshire Dance Company street performance.

Tim Ingold talk at Yorkshire Dance, Leeds

This talk reinforced for me some of the frameworks I have developed around my practice. regarding my approach to making my art also generally about 'being in the world'. These theories have in some part been informed by the writings of Tim Ingold in books such as Being Alive (2011) and Making (2013).

This centres around the notion of "entering the grain of things" to let yourself move forward with out necessarily having fixed intentions about the outcome. And that allowing yourself to do this and having confidence in your abilities to keep aground you find a kind of 'truth' in what you are doing. This disposition can be applied to the act of creating and making. It can inform how you set about making work and the intention behind it.

As a prelude to the talk dancers performed an improvised piece whereby they as individuals and as a group, initiated an intentional actions which then played out in a fluid and un-choreographed series of moves. Each moved followed on from the other and seemed to both become more complex but also more beautiful. It beautifully demonstrated the principles of Ingolds ideas in this talk.

Intention Vs Attention

Ingold talked about attention versus intention. Intention being akin to shooting an arrow at a given point whereas attention was more about embarking on an action, entering the grain of things and then bending them to your will. Decisions can be made then along the way but always in tune with the action. He illustrated this as a horizontal line with two points in between are fluid longitudinal lines traversing these points, these represented life and all that happens in between. This is what we need to be attentive too when we are doing.

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