MEANING - NOTHINGNESS
A solo that uses the format of a performance-lecture, being created and performed by Caitlin Dear.
Meaning - Nothingness is an artistic culmination of Caitlin's research into some of Philosophy's large, metaphysical questions: What is the nature of 'meaning'? What is it to be (or not be)?
This research has involved carrying out practice-based, philosophical investigations. Using her body and experiences as a primary site of inquiry; in addition to studying existing written work on the subject. Choreographic thinking and methodologies have been used throughout as key tools in designing research approaches and in analysing their outcomes.
Research methods, processes, documentations and results are being used as the base-materials for creating the solo work, Meaning - Nothingness. Choreographic/artistic tools are being used to develop these materials so that they may be complexified and abstracted. Thus becoming materials that encourage interpretation, rather than appearing as factful or passively consumable. Caitlin is busy with finding ways to invite audience speculation on these large questions, offering pathways for others to navigate their own philosophical inquiry in tandem with what is happening on stage.
Development supported by: INSISTER SPACE (Sweden) and Weld (Sweden)
DOCUMENTATION OF IN-PROCESS SHOWING:
SAMPLES OF RESEARCH MATERIALS:
On Being and Nothingness:
Nothingness implies an absence; a void; a lack.
Nothingness indicates a state of not being,
A space of neutrality;
of no meaning.
implies a presencing, an alive-ness, an existence.
Being seems to demand activity, some kind of action or rate of change.
It asks for a manifestation.
Generally it asks for a physical manifestation.
Requiring some kind of matter, or at the very least, some kind of impact upon matter.
Being and nothingness are in some conflicts with each other.
Being nothing, or being no thing, then, are paradoxical actions.
Being implies an ongoing-ness. A continuity.
What if to be is to exist?
Does every-thing intrinsically have some kind of ‘being’?
Can some thing, or some one be nothing?
Is being nothing not being here?
Not being physical?
Not being visible, palpable or perceptible?
Perhaps being nothing is to be;
but to not be perceptible.
If one is not experienced, are they nothing?
Is nothingness relational?
Being contingent upon perspective and reception?
If so, then, from what perspective or vantage could I become nothing?
Can you appear, with the quality of nothingness to yourself?
Is nothingness a state, or a quality?
Does it have to be all defining?
Can one be something and nothing simultaneously,
or from different angles?
Can a body be de-scribed of its identity, of its history, its markings and thingness.
Can my body be nothing if it is mine, if it is visible, if it is gendered, if it is spectated..
When is a body seen as nothing?
Who can be afforded neutrality?
To objectify a body is to make it into ‘thing’. To deny its personhood.
By virtue of this thingness it could then be considered as ‘not being’.
Or, at least, as having a diminished state of being.
Though this conflates human-ness with being-ness.
I want to know if I can truly manifest the being-ness of 'table'
How many things can I be at once?
Perhaps this is limitless
Though one can not be everything, so there must be some limit
If I’m not being, then have I become nothing?
If becoming nothing is becoming not a thing, then no.
If becoming nothing, is to become not ‘what you are’ and to become ‘nothing in particular’,
then perhaps one is on the right track.
Being nothing - or becoming nothing - perhaps occurs over a continuum.
If one disappears, but continues to be, is this a way of being nothing?
If being nothing, is being no ‘thing’,
Then to be nothing might be to be not ‘a thing’.