“Today I’d like you share something with you.” As if I hadn’t already in approximately every blog-post I ever wrote, every piece I, you or somebody else produced, presented and gave an artist’s talk about.
Sharing lately has gained some mystical status as being unconditionally good [implicitly signing up for the most, yet void articulation, liberal position –considering that any ideological position engages in the imposition of power from the outside and liberal regimes operating on the basis of minimal intervention of power yet maintaining productive behavior thus annihilating proper critique], but why did sharing suddenly become something necessarily positive. Also the most demonic choreographer is sharing, even the most talkative and categorical type character is sharing as soon as something is communicated. Sharing is not something good it is rather a condition that we humans can not avoid creating and reproducing however charged with positive or negative characteristics.
But in dance especially in relation to teaching – yes, that is the word the is used which indeed connotes already established hierarchies [teaching considered from a holistic view of sharing is the absolute opposite of openness]. When you’re “teaching” you have already set up strict hierarchies depending on conditions, and are by proxy reproducing them. Teaching implies that there are asymmetries at stake – the teacher knows more, teaching something implies to pass over a consolidated package of information that is already valued to somebody who is considered in need of exactly this. Something that that you possess, why otherwise pay you for giving a workshop.
So if sharing is something we wish to engage in we have to abandon the term teaching. You know, as we all do, that there is a major difference in facilitating knowledge (teaching) and producing knowledge, which necessitates certain and specific protocols for exchange in which all involved parties must give up something of what their previously have considered a knowledge that they possess, or own. Any situation involved with the term teaching evolves around sharing, but if a sharing is to be understood in some more radical sense it disqualifies teaching and tends towards something that for example could be called knowledge experience.
Somebody says, I just want to share… is an idiot, one can not just share, sharing is always by necessity involved in something more than “just” – not only because it can always be boiled down to economy and investment, which obviously doesn’t make the one or the other better or worse, it’s just a matter of acknowledging that sharing is more complex then “just”.
I just want to share, yes but hey you give a class where you stand in the front of twenty people younger than yourself and give instructions, how sharing is that? How sharing is the implicit do-after-me that every technique related dance and movement class implies? Sharing is just a disguise for not taking responsibility for the power you are given, an excuse for the fact that you don’t know how and under what regimes you execute the power you have been offered.
If you want to share in some radical sense stop teaching, stop giving instructions, stop telling the group to come together, let’s start, stop preparing you Ipod in order to know what music to use for the exercises you have planned, or be cool with the fact that sharing here means to household with power in a smart way. You, as any teacher, workshop leader, education director are certainly sharing but before you use the word it is time to sort out what it is that you mean, cuz right now you just seem to think you are open-minded. Oh, yes you are tolerant but it is you that instigate tolerance, and that makes you exactly not open. Why not instead stand up to the fact that you have something specific you want to share i.e. convince somebody of the importance of… – and that that something is of importance to you. Sharing suddenly sounds dubiously like manipulation. And I say “Yeah” that exactly when it starts to be interesting.
To the same extent that sharing has acquired some unconditional good, manipulation is almost exclusively understood as negative. That’s what fascists does, communists, anybody dealing with totalitarianism or whatever fanatics, but isn’t that exactly what you are – a fanatic of your practice. Oh yes, I heard you underline the importance of genuine, passionate, authentic, devotion and as far as I know those terms totally neighbor fanaticism. Fuck it, realize that any of such claims will make you poor. Hey, why should I pay somebody that is devoted, if he or she is really devoted then he or she will do the job without getting paid? Art is something that we do, keep devotion, calling, passion, necessity, out of the boardroom. Art is something that we do, and, at least in that respect, don’t make the mistake of mixing art and life. But isn’t, hand on the heart, that exactly what you do when you teach or when you engage in other people, because of sharing was not conditioned what would be the reason behind doing it. Sharing in other words is the softies version of manipulation. Why don’t you instead stand up for it and realize that the reason for anybody to take your class or workshop, participate in your education or whatever is conditioned due the collective agreement that you possess specific. Allow yourself to be the fanatic that you are.
You say you just want to share some thing but what about the way you treat your children.
“-Daddy Daddy, why can’t I have an ice-cream?”
“-Because I say so!”
How much are you sharing with your kids? Sharing is the coward’s way out of taking the difficult responsibility of possessing something valuable.
If you we want to produce or engage in change, i.e. participate in the development [which is not an easy term] of our practices sharing, as unarticulated concept, is not an option. Change is created by differentiation not through some small town version of openness. Or if you really want to share, the first thing you have to do is to give up your positions, and without positions the only thing you can by definition create is more of the same. The first and last circumstance for differentiation is to stand behind that fact that you produce vis-à –vis a position, but at the same time if you are up for change the first thing you have to engage with is the annihilation of that very position.
In other words you don’t really want to share you just don’t want them others to realize that you simply want to secure your comfortable position being the one that knows.
Flip the argument around. From the students position, your insisting on sharing makes your power position obsolete of any critique. “I just want to share…” yes, exactly, meaning you don’t want to jeopardize your positions. Stand up for it, have an opinion about everything and implicitly you give your student [read opponent] the possibility of emancipation.