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TEDxCreativeCoast - David Pleasant - Riddimic Harmony
"SIGNS" Independent documentary
Hold your two index fingers at nose height. Slowly move the fingers in opposite directions in the
form of two soccer ball size parallel circles.
Reverse the process by moving the fingers in a converse course. If the exercise is too easy, try and do the same opposite movement, but now in a figure 8 format. If that is too simple, try and vary the speed of one figure 8 in proportion to the other-- one slow and one faster.
"... a non-linear, freely associative, non-sequential meditation."-- Shane White
The aha-I get it moment of insight in the performance of the concentric circle exercise may be open to a nuanced interpretation: one that analyses the strange moment of feeling that accompanies seemingly conflicted motions. That time-space could be experienced as a moment of instability or levitation. As a conceptual aspiration, it may be available as a suspension of relative time-space in which a peculiar moment is preserved or sustained, i.e., that strange moment when the circles force themselves into the same direction.
Success is conventionally seen as the ability to perform the task: problem-solution, i.e., like the successful action of doing two different movements (opposite circles) simultaneously. The key to the exercise, however, may not be in its successful performance, but rather, in the actual experience of the suspension, and the sustained awareness of the peculiar levitation-like state: similar to "... a non-linear, freely associative, non-sequential meditation.". The suggestion is that a string of successful problems, and their concomitant solutions (a question-answer form binary) is distinct from the engagement of a non-linear, and/or non-determinate interface within dynamically changing environments: the fingers seem to do what they feel like doing-- similar to to two magnets of the same polarity when they dance with one another. The barrier that is
presumably broken by the successful performance is arguably not the point of the exercise. In other words, the exercise is not simply a technique that enables more adept technology- a system of replicated directives that ensures the same result in different situations-- "aha! I can do the opposing circles exercise". The engagement of the action does, however, encourage an"1 investment in probabilistic opportunity. The paradox within it, which is polyrhythm, syncopation, and/or Riddimic Harmony , is a parabolic circumstance: i.e., where the simple 1 question-answer/problem-solution binary does not completely apply. In short, multiple paths and overlapping entangled events are available opportunities for exploration and reference. They are many-different-rhythms-at-the-same-time. The availability of them as possible outcomes is entangled within the sensed experience. In short, the exercise enables a grasp of presence that engages harmonically, simultaneously, and coterminously available quanta. The would-be answer enjoys a probabilistic impulse which is felt. There are many answers, and they are entangled as potential experience, and realized experience. That means that the subject explores, within the exercise, the multiple ways in which intangible references (the possibilities, probabilities, and non-closures) do touch and entangle what is felt, along with what is actually experienced. The possibilities/probabilistic opportunities offer a depth of scope that enjoins obvious expectations for closure/solutions/answers. For example: the seemingly invisible force which makes the circle exercise a challenge, and the fact that the two fingers are already
touching as connected by arms, body, and brain, allows fingers that touch yet do not touch. The experience of the paradox (in this case, circles in opposite directions or touching-not touching fingers) is not in and of itself an exercise of binary proportionality, i.e., the paradox as only a mirror-like reflection. All of the different ways that movement may be engaged are refractions in the moment: it is a time-space (similar to polyrhythm, syncopation, or Riddimic Harmony), that is otherwise richly resourced. It is all the spaces, cracks, dents, and folds in between. These are refractions in the moment-- multiple options that are felt as well as realized, and that are sustained rather than resolved. In this respect, it may be better not to get it, and to just enjoy the moment.
Jones, Bessie.(1972). Step it down. New York, New York: Harper & Rowe. p. 217,18
Miller-Branch, Muriel. (2000). The Water Brought Us. Orangeburg, S.C: Sandlapper Publishing
Riddim is the Gullah-Geechee word for rhythm. Riddimic Harmony refers to the intricate quantum-like 1
sophistication of combined rhythmic events. Many-different-rhythms-at-the-same-time go with one another to create
a complex, and depth filled vibratory experience as compared to a sequence of A to B episodes.
Mitchell, Koritha. (2012). Living with Lynching. Chicago: University of Illinois Press
Pleasant, David. (2004). DRUMFOLK. Brooklyn Rail Magazine
White, Shane and Graham. Sounds of Slavery. (2005). Boston: Beacon Books