Thursday, August 06, 2009

Are We Human, or Are We Dancer?

This past winter I wrote a piece on Daria Fain's and Robert Kocik's performance "The Extent to Which," sponsored by Danspace. You can now read the piece in the current PAJ: a Journal of Performance and Art. Here's an excerpt...

"For Fain and Kocik, the right to determine genetic material should be left to poets, artists and other sensitive, creative people. As such, they are the unacknowledged geneticists of the world. In Germ, Fain/Kocik continued their attacks upon a genetic essentialism which not only discriminates among human beings (and therefore upholds various bad isms of our culture), but also human, animal and (in)organic life as they depend on one another. The germ becomes that which, via mutation, can leap over whole species in a single bound, therefore acting as a kind of wild card among the larger phylum. But the real germ of Fain’s/Kocik’s collaborative work of course is the aesthetic itself, as aesthetic phenomena may shape and alter genetic material. As Kocik pronounces in Overcoming Fitness, “May poetry determine phenotype!” By determining phenotype, poetry and art determine life itself; “nature” and “nurture” (pseudonyms for the real and the imaginary) are no longer mutually exclusive, but contingent upon one another."

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