net art, video, performance

Annie Abrahams

Communitas

In her article Fields of networked mind: Ritual consciousness and the factor of communitas in networked rites of compassion published in Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research, Dec 2015., Dr Lila Moore made a link between the antropological theory of communitas and liminality  and  networked collaborative practices.

 

Although I can’t follow her when she refers to Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic resonance hypothesis, I do find the concept of communitas interesting to ponder upon.

Communitas refers to an unstructured state in which all members of a community are equal allowing them to share a common experience, usually through a rite of passage. Communitas is characteristic of people experiencing liminality together. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communitas

The dissolution of order during liminality creates a fluid, malleable situation that enables new institutions and customs to become established. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liminality

This resonates with something I wrote (cited by Moore) in 2014 : “I thought, and still think, it important to try to find words, ways of thinking about online performance, analysing it. What is so specific? What can we communicate and how? How do we perceive our bodies when performing? Why does it have such a special energy? Why is it so demanding? How come we feel so close to others, so included and often so extremely exhilarated? Is it because online performance makes the borders between the performers and the audience fluid? Is it because it lacks hierarchy? Because it goes against total control? from “Learn together what it means to be connected …, Annie Abrahams, CyPosium – the Book,  p158.

Being on a border, in an in between – What would be the ritualistic aspects of online collaborative performance?
Connecting to an interface – preparing sound and light conditions – all this in the right order – waiting for the others to come – how to say “hi”? – who is leading the event? – what is the score?
Is there more to say about this? And what would it mean to not immediately reject links to shamanism, religion, and the sacred? …

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