I can't remember..!
I'm really interested in memory and how it relates to dance, which makes sense because although I guess you can record it, dance is ephemeral. It happens and then it's gone. I think about the idea of how people remember a piece and how that could be different from the real-time experience. It seems like an important distinction because that's the part that they'll keep with them forever.
There's a TED talk I watched that is tangentially related, given by Daniel Kahneman. It's about the real time perception of happiness vs. the memory of perceived happiness:
Kahneman seems to see the rift between experience and memory as a cognitive disadvantage, but I think it's an exciting idea to explore in art, especially transient art.
He gives the example of a friend who watched the symphony, having an incredible time, he was truly happy, until at the end there was a dreadful screeching noise that he said "ruined the whole thing". But did it? It couldn't take away the happiness he felt while he watched the piece, though it obviously coloured his recollection of it. Here it's presented as unfortunate that we can't separate individual memories from their context, but I can't help but wonder if that could be effectively used, though don't look at me for ideas yet. I guess the question is which is more important, the experience or the memory. I'm inclined to say most people think the memory is more important.
I have a weird obsession with the idea of how people remember things. When I was fourteen, I fell off a scooter and dragged my face along some asphalt, giving my brains a good jostle. I wound up in hospital with anterograde memory loss (amnesia), which meant I couldn't form new short term memories. I don't remember any of this, but every member of my family has told me the story so many times that I feel like I was there (ha!)*
After fourteen hours or so of the broken record question asking, I came to and started forming new memories. But I was really confused and couldn't remember quite a lot of the past year. It took a long time before much came back and to this day I don't remember one thing about the day or week of the accident, and not much about the summer leading up to it. It's just gone, which is sad. I sometimes wonder about the thousands of tiny moments that aren't in me anymore.
Since then I have been absolutely fascinated with the experience of losing a memory and since focusing on dance I think about how those things are related a lot.
I think that makes transient art forms unique.
So there you go. I usually relegate this type of chatter to my paper dance journal, but I come back to this line of thinking over and over again.
*My mother, who reads this blog regularly, also devised an absolutely hilarious task for me to teach me a lesson about going on a scooter with no shoes or helmet.