MA
hypertext dissertation - by Robyn Stuart

Rhizome's FRAMEWORK: guidelines for use

In this thesis, in order to discuss the creative and academic journey Curson and I made in creating Rhizomes, a performance with live dance and digital scenography I will interweave Complexity Theory and concepts, with some Deleuzian (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987) terminology, and also use a hypertext format. Contrary to a popular belief that:
'until able to express a thought or subject verbally it is not fully comprehended',
I believe that:

'not all knowledge is verbal and by articulating it some understanding is lost or perhaps turned into a 'lie' '
(Kaiser 2002a & 2002b Quote 21, Claxton 1998).

Words can never portray the full 'truth' of an experience (Bergson, 1910, Quote 57). The Art of this Dissertation has helped form and I hope help disseminate my nonverbal experiential, lived, bodily understanding of the subjects I have been artistically interweaving and interrogating. Both the processes of writing and collating this dissertation have been a metaphoric parallel to the process of creating and collating Rhizomes. The Dissertation and Rhizomes explore interweaving subjects, making connections and transitions, searching for a whole system or assemblage to emerge from a series of seemingly disconnected seeds.

Rhizomes is a hybrid of science and arts. In line with our contemporary culture of Interdisciplinarity (Klein, 2004), this Dissertation is as much a piece of Art, as it is the writings of a Scientific study of my practical MA research. There will be links to video material of rehearsals, and performances of Rhizomes. There will be links to Curson's software and a specially created (by Curson) interactive window which links our animated 3D models to the 'Text' . My dissertation as hypertext contains texts and images authored by others, and footnotes transformed into pages of hypertext tangentially escaping from other texts. I have chosen to incorporate much of my reference material into 'appendices' that are closely integrated into this work, in order to direct my readers to an exact phrase, paragraph, or bit of a video. Some whole prime papers are included as they are an intimate part of my argument and inspiration and otherwise may have disappeared from the web by the time my readers begin to surf it, trying to track down my references. To weave my references and 'objects' of inspiration into this dissertation is for me as much a scientific and artistic exploration of the subjects of Complexity Theory, Hypertext and Deleuzian Rhizomes, and an attempt to embody these subjects within the thesis, as it is a form of communication to my readers.

The boundaries of this 'work' are consciously blurred! Indeed I believe it is not possible to delineate where the author of a piece of art or scientific work is being original from where they are borrowing, paraphrasing, mutating, developing, recycling, recombining, or indeed consciously making reference to another's work as a unique comment within the work? It is impossible to define which part is original. You would have to ask 'What part of that part is original?' And still the teasing apart of the fibres of originality would require such a delicate operation, I believe we could not be certain of finally encapsulating the concentrated originality. Where do the thoughts, imaginings, creations, deductions, readings of one person stop and turn into another person's product? I believe that there are no clear boundaries in any work, just as it would be difficult to define the edges of a Deleuzian assemblage (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987). Each person lives in relation to others and is stimulated by this relationship.

A 'work' of art or written text is usually created within one culture and period in history, such that the language used and therefore interpretation of an author's meaning is couched with a very specific environmental context (see The Mead Project). We live in Complex system(s), e.g. ecosystem, social system, universe. Any thought may be considered part of a complex system (Lucas, 1997c, Kauffman, 1996) and as such, it evolves and grows, proliferating, bifurcating, mutating, recombining emerging into a myriad of new identities, as it is passed from person to person. Yet, through this transition can any one person lay claim to owning the thought? Perhaps it is owned so very briefly, in the moment of time that it passes through them and perhaps takes on a subtly new identity? But this new 'identity' is still grounded in the thought's previous form. How much must a person transform the thought to claim ownership, or how little must a person change a thought to truly hold the exact repetition of another's thought ? But if thoughts are a part of a complex living system, they will grow it seems at a rate which follows the 'edge of chaos' expanding into adjacent possible space (Kauffman, 2000) as fast as possible before the limit of falling into a chaos of thoughts.

I believe there is a common understanding among artists propounded by Plato (translation 2004) that once begun, an artwork takes on a growing "identity" of its own (Kaiser, 2002a,& 2002b, see Emergence). The art-work starts to inform the artist of what is needed to help it grow to maturity (Troika Ranch certainly express this belief pers. comm. 2005). Some artists refer to this as divine inspiration where the growth of the art-work seems to be channeled from God, and is no longer simply a product of their own inspiration and creativity (e.g. Blake (Murray, 2000,Ross, 2000), Ficino (1457), Folk art (Osinski, 2005) Tiana Marie 2000). Whether God is involved or not, this 'self-defining' growth of an art-work could be perceived as a product of a living complex system. In this dissertation I explore the concept that Rhizomes is a living complex system, i.e. an automaton.

How much is Rhizomes my work or Curson's work , or the dancers? How much is Rhizomes stolen from other dances or artworks we have been stimulated by? How much of Rhizomes is 'divine inspiration or fate'? I cannot answer these questions, except to say we believe our work is at least in part 'original' and 'unique', and has evolved as an adjacent possible to that which is already in existence? We believe we have created a form of art, which until now has not existed, but is ripe to evolve from current 'state-of-the-art' technology, science and art-work. I discuss this in Emergence in Rhizomes. The academic arguments and academic research have been mine as much as is possible.

Both the Dissertation and Rhizomes (the practical process and product) represent a combined artistic and scientific explorations of connecting ideas, objects, events, and people into a whole system or assemblage. Rhizomes the product did not fulfill my artistic vision, (see also 'Work' in Rhizomes). We realise there is still much more research to be conducted before our full artistic visions can develop. But equally we have gained knowledge about creating artistic Complex Systems utilising digital scenography and live dance and this knowledge is now deeply embedded in my newly evolving / emerging identity, it permeates my unconscious/ intuitive/ undermind (Claxton, 1998) as well as my conscious mind.

Introduction to Rhizomes...


0.1 Home Page, 'Beginning', Conclusion, Acknowledgements, References, Rhizomes Performances, Performances as References



alKamie are members of Chisenhale Dance Space.
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