dance #35, sugar water

Sugar Water

On movement, molecular transformation, and the Open whole of duration


“In Creative Evolution, Bergson gives an example which is so famous that it no longer surprises us. Putting some sugar in a glass of water, he says that ‘I must, willy-nilly, wait until the sugar melts.’ This is slightly strange, since Bergson seems to have forgotten that stirring with a spoon can help it dissolve. But what is his main point? That the movement of translation which detaches the sugar particles and suspends them in the water itself expresses a change in the whole, that is, in the content of the glass; a qualitative change in water which contains a sugar lump to the state of sugared water. If I stir with the spoon, I speed up the movement, but I also change the whole, which now encompasses the spoon, and the accelerated movement continues to express the change of the whole. ‘The wholly superficial displacements of masses and molecules studied in physics and chemistry would become, by relation to that inner vital movement (which is transformation and not translation) what the position of a moving object is to the movement of that object in space’…Above all, what Bergson wants to say using the glass of sugared water is that my waiting, whatever it be, expresses a duration as mental, spiritual reality. But why does this spiritual duration bear witness, not only for me who waits, but for a whole which changes? According to Bergson the whole is neither given nor giveable (and the error of modern science, like that of ancient science, lay in taking the whole as given…)… Bergson’s conclusion is…: if the whole is not giveable, it is because it is the Open, and because its nature is to change constantly, or to give rise to something new, in short to endure.”

Deleuze, Cinema I, Chapter 1, “Third Thesis: movement and change”, p. 9

dance #36

dance #36

10:23 p.m. A three-minute dance in the study. Stirring body molecules into transformation. This is not translation. Slow movements. Intensities. Swelling. Every molecule in my body is in transformation with every movement, every breath, every torsion. Dancing into the open whole that is also transforming. Slow turning, torquing. Mouth agape, open to the world. Energies gathered, sensing sensation. Movement transforms. There is no stillness.

Alice is in action in the dance. A freezing night. -11 degrees Celsius. The moon is new.

~ by nmyers on January 25, 2009.

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