7.03.2010

Postures and Gestures

Rather than beings and behaviors, these things that act and these things that do, I proffer this: postures and gestures.

A posture is a way of standing towards things. A gesture is a way of operating with things.

We stand towards things, and we operate with things.

A posture is akin to a state, only a temporal state. A gesture is a type of action — type, yes, but a type of action.

To be affirmative is to have a posture of standing towards the world with generosity and enthusiasm. To be ironic is to gesture the lack of veracity of expression — which can be either affirmative or negative or both affirmative and negative.

A posture — affirmative, negative, disdainful, joyful — can entail certain gestures — the affirmational tends towards the welcoming, elicitive greeting. But that relationship is by no means disease/symptom, truth and derivative: each inflects the other. Postures and gestures are not strictly parallel modes.

By assuming these anything but absolute figures, we avoid the being/attribute dichotomy, as if there were first bodies and then the thing that happen to them. A posture is not a being but a way of being, a perspective, a pov on the scene. A gesture, meanwhile, is any of the number of ways of doing this or that: reversing, exaggerating, downplaying, cutting and pasting.

Together, they begin to proffer an ontology in and of motion, events, time.

2 comments:

aysegul said...

So we can say that self is a type of flow, or better put, a certain combination of styles of flows just like a particular dance style, e.g. modern dance, tango, etc. It has its own ways of doing things, its own conditions with regard to the world which affords it -in the particular example of dance these affordances are music, place, atmosphere, partner, etc. Affordances become crucial, right?

Daniel Coffeen said...

Yes yes yes: it's all circumstantial and palpable: this body with these bodies, in this place, doing this.

We get an entire taxonomy of conditions, as you being enumerating:
atmosphere, speed, temperature, speed, etc...