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AND … What’s in a name? AND … What´s in a game?

Ana Dinger
p. 27-42

Resumo

This article addresses different dimensions of game in the work of artist and anthropologist Fernanda Eugenio, specifically the research that has taken the name AND. The connective AND is used for naming the researched Modus Operandi, the research centre (AND_Lab) and one of the exercises used for the investigation of ways of living together/ ways of togetherness: the AND_game. Game, as an investigative tool, is pervasive to the work, not only in the construction of game apparatuses, strict sense, to experiment both in a laboratory/studio environment and the experience of everyday life, but also in the production of a vocabulary and glossary relying on language-games, deconstructive tactics, intra-linguistic, interlinguistic and intersemiotic translation. Awareness, response-ability and translatability are some of the abilities trained by the community of practitioners, a group scattered around the world, that shares a vocabulary, among other tools, to gain its consistency as a community: the AND_people

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Notas da redacção

Date received: 2018-04-06
Date accepted: 2018-09-10

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AND … what’s in a name?

[T]he conjunction AND is, neither a union, nor a juxtaposition but the birth of a stammering, the outline of a broken line which always sets off at right angles, a sort of active and creative line of flight? AND… AND…AND… (Deleuze and Parnet 2007: 10-11)

1As the Modus Operandi AND itself suggests, to mark something as a beginning is an exercise often made in retrospective – even the moment of enunciation follows the event -, and, therefore, it is not an absolute or fixed point in a linear trajectory. If our position changes, the relations change.

2And, even acknowledging that “the beginning and the end are just points” and that one is always in the middle anyway, “begin[ning] again through the middle” (Deleuze and Parnet 2007: 39), I will exercise one position and forge one of those possible beginnings by making it coincide with the emergence of a name.

3AND, named as such, rose from the encounter of artist and anthropologist Fernanda Eugenio with choreographer João Fiadeiro (2009), the encounter of certain aspects of their previous work in a collaborative project that became a non-synthetical unfolding third, with later influence in their separate paths (from 2013 onwards).

4The choice for the name AND rested, largely, in the theoretical framework brought by Fernanda Eugenio’s doctoral thesis, and, particularly, her analysis of different modes of being in the world (a “mode AND” as an alternative to a “mode IS” or a “mode OR”).

5The term AND has since been used to refer to three different but interconnected dimensions:

  • 1 From December 2015, AND has also gained a legal frame, as non-profit cultural association. Due to b (...)

6(1) AND_Lab, the research centre;1

  • 2 The glossary, as it was compiled in 2012, comprised thirty entries: Acidente [Accident]; Acontecime (...)

7(2) MO_AND, the modus operandi: an ethical-aesthetical approach, a way of thinking-doing that runs at the basis of the research held at the centre, an operative mode that supports and is supported by a glossary of concept-tools (this glossary, in turn, becoming part of what can be analysed as specific vocabulary - an AND_vocabulary – that joins together and gives consistency to what can perhaps be called a community of AND users);2

  • 3 The MO_AND and the AND_game are here distinguished but in the text The Question Game (2013), game i (...)

8(3) AND_game, the game played according to a set of enabling conditions that functions, in its instantiations, as manifestation (and locus of application) of the MO_AND (within the workshop apparatus).3

9AND is also present in many titles of workshops, courses, other events and neologisms as a kind of prefix, suffix or other form of affix: AND_extensive, hANDling, stANDing, week_AND, ANDbodiment, etc.

10In the previous (now obsolete) configuration of the AND_Lab’s online site, in the years of Fernanda Eugenio and João Fiadeiro’s collaboration, one could read a summary of decisive moments that led to its constitution, as well as of its formative years. This history (or constellation of markers of such history) was, then, divided into two cycles:

11(1) 2009/2011, the period corresponding to the emergence of the “conditions of possibility” for the creation of the research centre;

12(2) 2011/2012, the period corresponding to the pilot phase of the project.

13Since then, other frames could be attempted to organize the continuation of AND as a cohesive program:

  • 4 Although, in 2014, previous commitments still took place in the context of the project collaborativ (...)

14(3) 2012/2013,4 the period still corresponding to the collaboration between Fernanda Eugenio and João Fiadeiro, continuing to bring together aspects of their previous works, respectively Ethnography as Situated Performance [Etnografia como Performance Situada] and Real Time Composition [Composição em Tempo Real];

15(4) 2014/2015, the period corresponding to the acknowledgment of AND’s singular trajectory as non-coincident with Real Time Composition and the transition from the collaborative efforts with João Fiadeiro to a phase focused on the work of Fernanda Eugenio;

16(5) 2015 to the present, the period corresponding to the delineation of a reconfigured program (with new lines of research) and both to the emergence and consolidation of further relationships and collaborations.

  • 5 Conversation held in March 23, 2015. In his recent publication, “Composição em Tempo Real. Anatomia (...)

17It was in the context of a workshop of Real Time Composition, held at the International Biennial of Ceará (Fortaleza, Brazil), in October 2009, that João Fiadeiro and Fernanda Eugenio first met. Real Time Composition (abbreviated to r.t.c. or Portuguese c.t.r.) is a method - improvisation technique and composition tool - devised by João Fiadeiro since the 1990s. Many other researchers, mainly but not exclusively from the artistic realm, participated in this long-term research: collaboration is in the fabric of r.t.c. from its inception, as Fiadeiro himself concedes, by citing the title of one of his works – “O que eu sou não fui sozinho” (2000) [“What I am I wasn´t alone”].5

18However, it was with Fernanda Eugenio that collaboration took a more structured and lasting form, in such a way that, at the same time, something else, something other than Real Time Composition, was inaugurated. It was demonstrated, by users and its uses, that AND, as name, as practice, had a separate and quite pulsating life. To continue to feed that ever-changing life was the decision that led to the constitution of the non-profit cultural association in 2015 and the re-baptism of the research centre, now with a different subtitle: AND_Lab, Research Centre for Art-Thinking & Politics of Togetherness. The AND_Lab has changed its physical address and virtual site (https://www.and-lab.org).

Figure 1: Position-taking in a game. AND Summer Lab. Condomínio Cultural, São Paulo. January 2018. © Ana Dinger.

  • 6 The first version of this text dates from 2010 when, drawing from work already begun in her doctora (...)

19What’s in the name, the connective AND, was, nevertheless, already thoroughly addressed in an early text entitled “Modes of re-existence: Another possible world, mayhapness”.6 The text, written in the form of a manifesto, has, as its proposition, a “mode of re-existence”: a third “mode of existence” that relies not on the regime of “IS” nor on the regime of “OR”, but on the possibility of “AND”. The “AND logic” contrasts with the “IS logic”, on one hand, and with the “Or logic”, on the other, because it favours the “encounter” and a openness to “flavour” instead of (pre-established) “knowledge” – this relation is based on a language-game, by replacing the “e” of “saber” – knowledge in Portuguese – by “o” of “sabor” – flavour or taste in Portuguese – in order to emphasize situationality. What is at stake in AND’s approach is, nevertheless, not an attack or discard of knowledge or ideas. Often misunderstood is the focus given to the question “How not to have an idea?” This question is drawn in the wake of François Jullien’s (cf. 2000:13) reflection concerning a wise man having no ideas simply because he privileges none, he avoids being hostage of an idea, of its command, of its order, of the peril of a linear direction imposed by a singular first idea that installs hegemony. The wise man rather wants ideas kept all in the same pale, all seemingly possibly, equally accessible. What is suggested to the players – to any one who plays the AND_game or otherwise wants to apply the MO_AND - is to suspend temporarily what they-think-they-know about things and map what emerges in relation to an “event”, when interrupted by an “accident”.

20AND is, then, offered as an alternative to both the regime of “IS” - a regime associated with modernity and “existence as a scission of entities” – and the regime of “OR” – a regime associated with postmodernity and “resistance as a changing scission”. The suggestion made is not to eradicate other regimes but to open up for that third possible mode of existing/“re-existing” (“re-existing” playing with the word “resisting”).

21The idiosyncratic operation of the mode “IS” is based on the belief on a clear-cut separation between subject and object and it works by reproducing that binary opposition ad infinitum: “truth and fiction, form and content, reason and emotion, thought and action, body and mind, scientist and artist, artist and spectator, master and apprentice, etc.” Enabling a feeling of comfort or fake security, the mode “IS” is easily mistaken for “world itself” instead of being understood as “image of the world” that it is:

This operating mode [the regime of “is”] – the one of the modern subject in search of an explanation for the object-reality, or the one of the artist-subject “inventing reality” for object-spectators – is entirely based upon an entitarian presupposition, according to which the substance or being (the univocal “is” of each thing, given as a subject or an object) precede and determine relations. In short, the assumption that “reality” is an object “of truth”, with functional laws and intrinsic senses, and the assumption that we ourselves as human beings also have a reason (even if hidden) to be alive in this “reality”.

22Summarized in one sentence: “the certainty of existence is designed as a scission, not as a relation”. This operating regime of existence, the text asserts, has prevailed in Western modernity. But, from the beginning, competing with yet another working mode, the one – encompassing counter-discourses - that resists that image of the world and doubts. A doubt that is systematic and, therefore, substitutes the affirmation of the “IS” for the “OR” (it can be this, but it can also be that, or that), establishing a multitude of potential “totalitarisms” – each one with its own opinion - that still rely on “the same entitarian presupposition according to which the terms of a relation possess contours that precede it”:

[S]uch discourses rise up against the hierarchical organisation – against the coagulation of the contents “wrapped up” in each contour: they suggest the possibility of change – they suggest the symmetrisation of the terms, namely by making the exchangeability of their contents thinkable. Against the vicious prison of complementarity, which lulls what we call Modernity in a dogmatic sleep, we very often imagine, in many spheres of Modernity, a world where the positive “is” has rather been thought as an oscillating “or”. […] A world where existence is experimented as “resistance”, but that only makes the disciplined “content-based” binaries of the modern regime proliferate as a crowd of uncertain certainties.

23This manoeuver may appear to supress the scission “subject vs object” when, indeed, dislocates it to another opposition: “subjects vs subjects”. Certainty (being it object, given fact or reality) is undermined but, in the end, a scission is maintained. Moreover, if “in the modern complementarity some kind of relation is practiced, as symbiotic as it may be”, “in the postmodern image of the world” rises a “generalised symmetry” as result of the “anti-relational acetic face of relativism”. After this diagnosis, it is asked:

But… what if we imagined another possible world? A third sensorial regime, neither complementary nor symmetric? A world where existing wouldn’t be reproducing or rebelling, and where resisting wouldn’t consist in the closure of relations? A living mode where the whole thing wouldn’t amount to certainty or changeover, to the dream of consensual agreement or to indifferent omission?

24This other possible world would be, in the wake of Jacques Rancière, a world of “dissensus”:

a “fantasy of “ideorhytms” [after Barthes], of community, a “minoritarian-becoming” [after Deleuze and Guattari] that has circulated and still circulates ‘between’ the two other regimes, activating itself here and there, usually in a fleeting, bacterial, and invisible way.

  • 7 The translation of “acontecimento” to “happening” is of my responsibility and I am not sure if it i (...)

25A world that activates an “ethics of sufficiency”, where one can “distract” oneself long enough from the “I” (ego), a world “not inaugurated from the point of view of scission” but, instead, established by “the effort to perpetuate the relation or de-scission”. A world where the “event” [“evento”] unfolds into a “happening”7 [“acontecimento”], the “happening” as prolonged inhabiting of the encounter, the encounter as a shared and provisional architecture, a weaving of a common plane of action. Not making a decision in the sense of imposing one’s interpretation or opinion or will but to operate a “de-scission”, to enter in relation with the “event” in a just manner. “To re-exist in each encounter, be ‘the consequence and not the cause of the relation’.”

26Resisting, “if it is not re-existing”, falls prey of the (postmodern) trap of relativism. Since re-existing entails the effort of prolonging, as long as its elasticity permits, the duration, the “vital continuity” of the “event”, the 2010 manifesto advocated for resilience (but resilience might not be enough to face the “irreparable” world in which we live in, as the most recent unfolding of AND_Lab research is investigating nowadays).

27As “we are all (whether we assume that responsibility or not) makers of our own co-existence”, the way one positions oneself is a transversal problem, “cross[ing] both artistic practices and life in community”. “[A] research on existence/resistance understood and experienced as re-existence”, a direction that is followed since 2010, encompasses a research that is not “an act of ‘situating oneself against’” but of “situating oneself with”.

28WITH. AND. What’s in a name? This question points here – and, perhaps, in Shakespeare’s play already - not to what a name “is”, but more to its “properties-possibilities” (to use AND’s vocabulary). What relations, what lines of flight does it entail?

29When writer Margaret Atwood was asked, in an interview by Rosanna Greenstreet for The Guardian, about her favourite word, she replied: “And. It is so hopeful.”8 To use of the operative tensions in AND’s vocabulary, let us think of hoping less as expecting and more as an active waiting.

30AND can be hopeful because of its stammering quality, its zigzag quality: AND can be the breach to different directions, perhaps unexpected directions. “Neither a union nor a juxtaposition”, AND is something in-between:

Substitute the AND for IS. A and B. The AND is not even a specific relation or conjunction, it is that which subtends all relations, the path of all relations, which makes relations shoot outside their terms and outside the set of their terms, and outside everything which could be determined as Being, One, or Whole. The AND as extra-being, inter-being. (Deleuze and Parnet 2007: 57)

31As a mode of existence/re-existence that coexists and contrasts with the predominant modes of “IS” and “OR”, AND can perhaps be though as the basis of a style, also in the deleuzian sense:

[N]ot a signifying structure nor a reflected organization, nor a spontaneous inspiration, nor an orchestration, nor a little piece of music. It is an assemblage, an assemblage of enunciation. A style is managing to stammer in one’s own language. (…) Not being a stammerer in one’s speech, but being a stammerer of language itself. Being like a foreigner in one’s own language. Constructing a line of flight.” (Deleuze and Parnet 2007: 4)

32Things, people included, are “made up of varied lines” (Deleuze and Parnet 2007: 11), a “geography” constructed of “rigid” and “supple lines”, as well as “lines of flight”. Names, as Fernanda Eugenio often says, are shortcuts. All things have proper names, but instead of designating a person or a subject, the proper name designates an effect, “something which passes or happens between two [or among more agents or elements] as though under a potential difference (Deleuze and Parnet 2007: 6). The “multiplicity that constantly inhabits each thing” is “never in the terms, however may there are, nor in their set or totality, “multiplicity is only in the AND” (Deleuze and Parnet 2007: 57).

33AND. What’s in the name? Multiplicity.

AND … what´s in a game?

34Imagining that the “event” (and concomitantly the game) is inaugurated by a first position consisting in placing a chair in the middle of a square (that, by common agreement, is decided to become the shared “zone of attention”): the first thing for a player is trying to think beyond the attribute-chair, to map what other “properties-possibilities” reside in that thing that is before us. What does it “have” – what’s in it - [“o que tem”] beyond what it “is”? Being a chair/something-we-can-seat-in is just one of those properties-possibilities. It has a colour (brown), it has four legs, it has mostly one material in its composition (wood), it has a protuberance when one can hang things, it has/produces a shadow, it has a relation to the square (it is positioned in the centre), it has letters carved on it, etc., etc., etc. It is a thing with several possible becomings, including chair, and we can activate that ‘knowledge’ at any time if we feel it is the “property-possibilty” with more “affordance” in our relation to the event. But before actually enter in relation, one can map different possibilities/directions, how those possibilities affect us and which have more “affordance”. Instead of intervening immediately based on an impulse or what-is-known-already-and-ready-to-use. One can allow oneself time to make an “inventory” of different possibilities of relation, between what is given by the “event” – what’s in it – and what one has to “offer”: different possibilities of “matching/fitting” [encaixe(s)].

Figure 2: Meta-exercise. AND Summer Lab. Espaço Mova, Rio de Janeiro. January 2018. © Ana Dinger.

35To be more accurate, and as enunciated in “The Question Game” (in Secalharidade, 2013, by Fernanda Eugenio and João Fiadeiro, unpaged) this mapping is not primarily about “listing the ‘properties’ of the environment” nor “points of view” but about “making an inventory of the ‘properties-possibilties’ of the relation”. Referring back to the example above, if I notice brown and I choose (by “des-scision”) to relate to brown I can, for instance, juxtapose another brown thing to the ‘chair’; if I give prominence to the shadow I can draw its contour and suggest the activation of a shadow-producing-inscribing game; if I notice the letters inscribed in wood, I can carve a continuation of the text or I can fill the recesses with a substance of some other colour for emphasis; if I am affected mostly by the position of the “chair” in the middle I can move it and, by doing so, suggest a game of dislocating things; and so on… These exercise of somehow projecting different directions, a kind of “hologramatic” unfolding, is the work of the players before a position is taken (and, although with slightly different concerns, in the interval between subsequent positions).

36The rules of the game emerge from each (instantiation of the) game, they are not previously given, normative rules. The game is played without speaking, without explaining actions, unless that is what you wish to perform as your position. Whatever is not part of position-taken is silent.

37The exercise, with the MO_AND, is to enter in relation with what emerges, to investigate how that relation can become “reciprocal”. The event affects me but my position towards the event (the taking or not-taking of a position) will also affect the event. What Fernanda Eugenio’s phrase “the encounter is a wound” opens as line of flight is the possibility for the encounter to become an opportunity, a fissure in the ordinary, an interruption with serious consequences. The predisposition for “handling the unpredictable” and for “inhabiting the encounter” can be practiced within the workshop apparatus and in a larger scale, as ethnographic approach to everyday circumstances.

38As stated in the text “The Question Game”, two intertwined concerns comprise the focus of the MO_AND: “how to live together” and “how not to have an idea”:

Two modulations of the game correspond to two different applicability planes respectively called ‘tools’ and ‘craft’. On the plane of tools, dedicated to the concern with “how to live together?”, the game has the rhythm of real time collective improvisation – it can be played within any everyday event (a conversation, for instance) or in laboratory practice (an improvisation in a studio, for instance). On the plane of ‘craft’, which hosts the concern with “how not to have an idea?”, the game takes the rhythm of a solitary research and the temporality of depuration: this is the game we play individually every time we work on the execution of a task, in the accomplishment of a project or the creation of a work in any field of activity.

39Perhaps it can be said that the first modulation, the one associated with the plane of “tools” finds its privileged – though not exclusive - site of training in the practice of the game in what has been previously called a “maquette scale” - understood as “fractal cut of the world”. The second modulation, associated with the plane of “craft”, entails a more individual endeavour of “de-scission” - of accessing one’s affects, making the inventory of potential relations(hips) and “holograming” the unfolding of possible interventions -, whose transversal applicability is easily graspable. The use of the distinction between a “maquette scale” and a “human scale” has been revised since. If any distinction was (and is) used, it is for analytical purposes only, given its acknowledged artificiality. Nowadays, and, again, for the sake of argument and clarity, are sometimes used the terms “life-scale” [escala-vida] and “magnifier-scale” [escala-lupa], emphasizing the continuum of the two scales (cf. Eugenio, Dinger and Duenha 2016).

40If the “knowledge game”, the game we most commonly play in our everyday lives, is an “answer game” (either one knows the answer or looks for the answer), AND is a “flavour” and “question game”:

The activation of this other operating mode happens therefore in the passage from “knowing why” to “savouring what”: that which is in the environment of the encounter with the unexpected, which manifests as a window of opportunity to turn away from expectation, allowing the very event to tell us “what it tastes like”. In this game it is no longer the situation around that occupies the place of what is expected; we ourselves get into a “standby mode”. The first (and perhaps the only) gesture is exactly this one: to stop. Or rather, to “stop-again”: to stop anew there where the accident irrupts and interrupts us.

41Once we allow ourselves to harbour the unpredictable – the “accident” - and attempt to map it instead of project into it biased or pre-established conceptions, then we are privileging “geography” instead of “history”. Meaning, we are privileging description over interpretation and explanation. Because by transferring the protagonism to “what’s-in-there” - the web of potential relations -, only by “implication” and a work with(in) the in-between can justness be achieved and a “common plane” be found.

42Knowledge is not to be discarded but to be treated without positive prejudice: just like others, “a matter that can be savoured and worked on”. To be able to turn the unpredictable into a “zone of attention” and let the accident unfold into “event” and “happening” or, in other words, to be able to “use” the accident, one has to “handle the in-betweeness” and the “not-knowing”. The “gesture” of “stopping-again-and-noticing” is activated by the suspension of a “quest for answers” replaced by “a navigation throughout the questions that the here-and-now web of relations has to offer”: “In this way, a short pathway to the game as (un)folding spiral may emerge: What, in what is there? How, with this what? Where-when, with this how?”

43As seen, the common plane is not pre-existing. It has to be found. A first and second position in a game will inaugurate a set of relations, as an “invitation”. One of those relations can become an inclination, with a second position suggesting it. A third position can activate-it-again, confirming a direction (sometimes it takes more than three moves to find the game – the emerging rules - but three can be sufficient). Again, as there are no settled rules, the negotiation and consequent “com-position” is always situational and deals with “what’s-in-there” (and not with “what-we-wish-it-could-be-there”) in the “middle”.

44Each new position introduces amounts of difference in repetition that fuel the living together. There are many games within the game and shifts of “focus” or “plane” may be required to sustain the living in common (without it turning into a “tedious preservation” of less than “consistent togetherness”). Because living together asks for a constant taking care of. The end of the game will come, whether by “exhaustion or saturation”. But, after all, the end might be only a new beginning.

45Relating to the event, taking care of the event, maintaining a common plane, all of these skills can be considered a craft. With that in mind, I would like to refer to Walter Benjamin’s section VIII of “The Storyteller” (1999: 91; 2015: 156-7) in which he diagnoses the fade of an unguarded state of listening correlated with craftsmanship. Benjamin’s listener, “self-forgetful”, is supposed to (better) be entertained with some sort of task while “assimilating”. “Assimilation” is a “process” that “takes place in depth”, that “requires a state of relaxation which is becoming rarer and rarer”. “If sleep is the apogee of physical relaxation, boredom is the apogee of mental relaxation. Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience”, he continues, in an aphoristic manner. I’m following here a translation made by Harry Zohn in which “Langeweile” is translated to “boredom”. However, in a recent edition, João Barrento translated “Langeweile” to “disponibilidade”, adding in a footnote that he’d rather use “disponibilidade”, instead of “tédio” [boredom] to avoid the pejorative aspect of the latter. “Disponibilidade” has no obvious translation to English, not in the sense used by Barrento. “Disponibilidade” corresponds to a notion of “availability”, especially in the extent that ‘I’m available’ is used as ‘I have the time’ or, even more so, ‘I will make time for…’ “Disponibilidade” implies openness, permeability even. It is a sort of ability, in Barrento’s words, that concerns “the art of knowing how to use time” [“a arte de saber usar o tempo”] or “the knowing of waiting” [“o saber da espera”]. This knowing is a knowing-how and, in its own right, craft.

46The kind of awareness entailed by AND is not akin to relaxation but I think that there are, nevertheless, some parallels with the sense Barrento gives to “Langeweile”. Both states, that are, nevertheless, also skills (or abilities that can be trained to become skills), imply a special use of/relation to time, one that seems to produce time inside time. Self-forgetness is also required in both, even if in AND that “distraction” means more appeasing the “I” (ego): distracting oneself long enough from our position as subjects and of our “I” as a contained self-controlled set of easily discernible principles. Both seem to rely on a shared experience; a cohabitation; a co-existence that relies on the duration of an event/happening (produced by everyone involved). None of them seems to be passive, even if one tends more to absorption and the other to “thinking-doing” (that can be virtual or actual, always real).

Figure 3: Unfolding of a game. AND Summer School #3. Polo Cultural das Gaivotas, Lisbon. July 2018. © Ana Dinger.

47Benjamin ends section VIII of “The Storyteller” (1999:91) with an image, the image of the web. He also mentions listening and storytelling as belonging to the order of the “gift. Reciprocity - giving and receiving and giving back - is the dynamics of the AND_game (in its several scales and dimensions). Maybe the “weaving and spinning” that Benjamin longs for also finds a parallel in the weaving of a “common plane”. And maybe AND is yet another way of ravelling the “unravelled” web of community.

48By now, it must be quite clear the importance of language in AND and how it is supported by its own language-games, “using” what certain words “have” – what’s in words -, to come to a more suitable, precise usage. And all more consistent, if one thinks of the “elucidative semantic coincidence” Eleonora Fabião (2012: 121) points out that “in Portuguese, língua means both language and tongue” and this “double meaning relates word and flesh, writing and muscle, speech and taste”.

49“Dar palavra ao corpo e dar corpo à palavra, recursivamente” has been one recent synthesis used by Fernanda Eugenio (2017:205) to address the double-movement effort of AND as “inhabited philosophy”: “formulation” and “materialization”.

50In this feedback loop between formulation and materialization, one can find all the abilities brought about by AND: the abovementioned “availability” (as form of awareness), “response-ability” (as often used by Erin Manning) and “translatability”.

51The sequence in which they were enumerated coincides with one possible way of interconnecting them: one can start to train becoming “available” – to be open, to produce time within time, to be porous, to allow contamination -; once “available”, one can train response-ability as both the “justness” – the “sufficiency” and timing - of one’s responses – returned questions instead of answers – as well as the acceptance of its consequences; one can train translatability as the movement, that can become more and more fluent, between formulation and materialization, among formulations and among materializations.

52Ability can be used in this sense of trainable capacity but also as “inscribed” or “structural possibility that is potentially “at work” even there where it seems factually not to have occurred” (Weber 2008: 6). This “potentiality”, Weber goes on quoting Derrida, as “divided or multiplied in advance by its repeatability” (2008: 6).

53“Dar palavra ao corpo e corpo à palavra, recursivamente”: maybe now I can make an attempt of translating the sentence. Translated word by word, the sentence becomes something like “To give word to the body and body to the word, recursively”. One other – even if still not satisfying - attempt could be: “To give the body ‘wordability’ and to give words ‘materiability’, in potentially endless repetition (with difference).”

54Translatability, then, is at the core of AND itself. It is at the core of the constitution of a vocabulary, it is at the core of the elaboration of concept-tools, it is at the core of the architecture of exercises.

55Game, as an investigative tool, is pervasive to the work, not only in the construction of game apparatuses, strict sense, as laboratory experiments, but also in the production of a vocabulary and glossary relying on language-games, deconstructive tactics, intra-linguistic, interlinguistic and intersemiotic translation. Intersemiotic translation is also the basis for the exercises more focused on the movement materiality-formulation-materialization.

56These abilities are trained by practitioners that, even if scattered around the world, share a vocabulary, among other tools, to gain its consistency as a community: the AND_people.

57As Schiller has formulated once, seriousness, only seriousness, is what is reserved for us without the game. The dimension of the game is not a “limitation”, it is an “extension”. AND is a very serious game, but is also beyond seriousness.

58Players aim to be “à altura do acontecimento”, an idiomatic expression that is roughly translated by “rise to the occasion”. Their interventions aim to neither offer “less nor more” than what is suitable for the “event” and neither happen “before nor after”, so that they can respect the “space-time” of autonomy of each position. This is a work of “precision” and “readiness”. Of response-ability. For each “act of actualization” that can contribute to the “collective invention of a world”. That could be, then, the “art of being implicated in the continuous flux of designing a community” (Eugenio 2011).

59This world is as much a work as it is an unwork. This is where one can bring to discussion the “inoperative community” of Jean-Luc Nancy. Because, in a sense, the community put forward by AND produces without production, achieves without completion. Because “sharing is always incomplete, or it is beyond completion and incompletion” (Nancy 1991: 35):

[A]t every instant singular beings share their limits, share each other on their limits. They escape the relationships of society (“mother” and “son”, “author” and “reader”, “public figure” and “private figure”, “producer” and “consumer”), but they are in community, and are unworked. (Nancy 1991: 44)

60Community is not the same as society, it is, perhaps, what “happens to us in wake of society” (Nancy). Community may irrupt, but the conditions for this irruption can, again, perhaps, be un-worked by the reiterated exercise of stopping, stopping again, noticing and caring, being affected and affecting.

61This un-work will not be “about the other” or “about myself”, it will be beyond subjects and objects (continually suspended, continually rearticulated), it will be “about the relationship” and it will be collective.

62Maybe this un-working is what allows for an “‘inessential’ commonality, a solidarity that in no way concerns an essence” (Agamben 1993: 25). Maybe this un-working is another way of enunciating the formation of a community of “whatever singularity”, a “community without affirming an identity”, a co-belonging “without any representable condition of belonging” (Agamben 1993: 93). Maybe this could be one “actualization” of the “coming community” described by Agamben. In so being, it would threaten the State:

The novelty of the coming politics is that it will no longer be a struggle for the conquest or control of the State, but a struggle between the State and the non-State (humanity), and insurmountable disjunction between whatever singularity and the State organization. (Agamben 2007: 92)

63The political dimension of AND has been stressed in the description one can find in the web site, as well as in the rebaptism of the research centre. The term “Togetherness” is used to translate what more-literally-translated would be “Politics of Living Together” [Políticas da Convivência]. Politics here should be understood in the wake of Rancière, as a matter of “dissensus”, as the opposite of police, as stated in the first of his ten theses on politics:

Politics in not the exercise of power. Politics ought to be defined in its own terms as a specific mode of action that is enacted by a specific subject and that has its own proper rationality. It is the political relationship that makes it possible to conceive of the subject of politics, not the other way around. (Rancière 2010: 27)

64In one of her recent texts (2017), subtitled “Community and Corporeality in Modus Operandi AND”, Fernanda Eugenio calls “For a Politics of “Co(m)passionment”. In the introduction, AND is presented as a proposition to study-practice the means to rehabilitate compassion as an ethical and political exercise, capable of doing without the normative gesture of identity/identification and the normative gesture of compliance. Fernanda Eugenio further asserts that one can train one’s awareness, as a skill/craft, a reinforced ability of “distributed attention”, because, coeval to the predominant mode “IS”, the mode AND also emerges, here and there, on the sly: events are immune to prescriptions or regulations. AND, Eugenio adds, has become a way of life, an ethical approach, an “ethics of sufficiency”, now reformulated as a way of bringing a community into being without resorting to any identitary mechanism of belonging or reproduction (either by direct filiation – “kinship” – or elective affinity – “friendship”) but using, instead, a mechanism of the impersonal and the common – of the willing to do, at each time, “strangership” (Eugenio cites Horgan 2012). As an exercise of “dissensus” instead of consensus, identification is abandoned as “motor of solidarity”; other modulations of community are explored; community becomes an experience mainly of collective “desubjectivation” and, therefore, an always open-process of provisional binding.

65As Nancy (1991) would put it, the being-in-common is not a common being. But a “vital link” [liga vital] exists that relies on a “compearance” more than a “bond” (Nancy, quoted below) – an “empathetic sensibility” that is constantly interwoven and negotiated. To activate this alternative modulation of community involves attuning with a common that is neither essential nor substantial but rather potential.

[C]ompearance is of a more originary order than that of the bond. Is does not set itself up, it does not establish itself, it does not emerge among already given subjects (objects). It consists in the appearance of the “between” as such: you “and I (between us) – a formula in which the “and” does not imply juxtaposition, but exposition. What is exposed in compearance is the following, an we must learn to read it in all its possible combinations; “you (are/and/is/entirely other than) I” (“toi [e(s)t] [tout autre que] moi”). Or again, more simply: “you shares me” (“toi partage moi”). (Nancy 1991: 29)

66“Compearance” can also relate, as I see it, with another possible term (part of the AND vocabulary): “comparência”. This Portuguese word conflates two different meanings of “to attend”, both to “appear”/“turn up”/“show up” and “to take care of”. “Comparecer”, then, articulates response-ability and responsibility before the “event”, before the other singularities (singular beings) that share the common plane. One has to engage with the in-between of the encounter, again, to make of it “a space of permanence and inhabitation”. The encounter seems, therefore, to be a privileged site for the rehearsal of what Irit Rogoff (2006: unpaged) calls “embodied criticality”. In Rogoff’s words, criticality implies the “recognition that we may be fully armed with theoretical knowledge, we may be capable of the most sophisticated modes of analysis but we nevertheless are also living out the very conditions we are trying to analyse and come to terms with”. And she adds: “the point of any form of critical, theoretical activity was never resolution but rather heightened awareness and the point of criticality is not to find an answer but rather to access a different mode of inhabitation”.

67Going back to Fernanda Eugenio’s text (2017: 209), “co(m)passionment” asks for “de-imunnization”: the risk and exposure of “reciprocal contamination”. AND’s investigation tries out, in practice, what, together, is and isn´t possible – and I think Eugenio is thinking of Spinoza also for this collective body – “what’s in this body?”; “what is possible for this body?”. AND, as game, in all its scales, can only be ethical, ethics consisting in this “practiced and situated study of the immanent possibilities of composition”. And let me emphasize this part of the text (that I’ve been paraphrasing and translating from Portuguese): this use allows us to rescue the game apparatus from the tamed and sterile place it has been more frequently relegated to - as regulated leisure or entertainment - and find “in it”, “with it”, a space “of” and “for” vital invention and “re-existence”.

68The “common has its costs”, Fernanda Eugenio warns us: it is possible but it is not assured. It takes work: the work – or unwork – of “passing from common to community”, from potential to position, from position to composition.

69This is the challenge. This is the invitation.

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Bibliografia

Agamben, Giorgio. 1993. The Coming Community. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.

Barthes, Roland. 2013. How to live together. Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces. New York: Columbia University Press

Benjamin, Walter. 1999. “The Storyteller. Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov”. Pp. 83-109. In Illuminations. Essays and Reflections, edited by Hannah Arendt. New York: Schoken Books.

Benjamin, Walter. 2015. “O contador de histórias”. Pp. 147-178. In Linguagem/Tradução/Literatura (filosofia, teoria e crítica), edited by João Barrento. Lisboa: Assírio & Alvim.

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guatari. 1987. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Deleuze, Gilles and Claire Parnet. 2007. Dialogues II. New York: Columbia University Press.

Eugenio, Fernanda. 2010. Manifesto AND. Um outro mundo possível, a secalharidade. (Das relações entre a Etnografia Recíproca e a Filosofia do Acontecimento). Post-doctoral project. Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa.

_______. 2011. “O que a arte tem a ver com o que podem ser as cidades. Dança, viragem etnográfica e o desenho do comum.” Pp. 62-71. In Bienal Internacional de Dança do Ceará: um percurso de intensidades. Edited by Primo, Rosa and Thereza Rocha. Fortaleza: Expressão Gráfica e Editora.

________. 2017. “Por uma política de co-passionamento: comunidade e corporeidade no Modo Operativo AND”. Fractal. Revista de Psicologia. 29 (2): 203-210. Rio de Janeiro, Brasil: Universidade Federal Fluminense. ISSN 1984-0292.

Eugenio, Fernanda and João Fiadeiro. 2013. Secalharidade. Lisbon: Ghost Editions.

Eugenio, Fernanda, Ana Dinger and Milene Duenha Lopes. 2016. “Entre-modos. Um jogo de re-perguntas à volta do Modo Operativo AND. Urdimento 2 (27): 96-123. Florianópolis: UDESC.

Fiadeiro, João. 2017. Composição em Tempo Real. Anatomia de uma decisão. Lisboa: Ghost Editions.

Horgan, Mervyn. 2012. “Strangers and Strangership”. Journal of Intercultural Studies 3 (6): 607-622.

Jullien, François. 2000. Um sábio não tem idéia. São Paulo: Martins Fontes.

Manning, Erin. 2007. Politics of Touch. Sense, Movement, Sovereignty. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.

Nancy, Jean-Luc. 1991. The Inoperative Community. Minneapolis and Oxford: University of Minnesota Press.

Rancière, Jacques. 2010. Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics. London and New York: Continuum.

Rogoff, Irit. 2006. “Smuggling – An Embodied Criticality”. Retrieved June 1, 2015 (http://transform.eipcp.net/transversal/0806/rogoff1/en).

Schiller, Friedrich. 1989. A Educação Estética do Homem numa série de cartas. São Paulo: Iluminuras.

Weber, Samuel. 2008. Benjamin’s –abilities. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.

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Notas

1 From December 2015, AND has also gained a legal frame, as non-profit cultural association. Due to bureaucratic constrains, the name AND_Lab could not be used for the association, though it has been maintained for the research centre. The legal denomination of the association is A.N.D._ Art and Research.

2 The glossary, as it was compiled in 2012, comprised thirty entries: Acidente [Accident]; Acontecimento [Happening]; Affordance; Centro [Centre]; Com-posição [Com-position]; Des-cisão [Des-scission]; Diferença [Difference]; Direcção [Direction]; Evento [Event]; Gamekeeper; Game-player; Isso [It]; Manuseamento [Handling]; Metálogo [Metalogue]; Ordinário [Ordinary]; Paisagem [Landscape]; Participação [Participation]; Plano [Plane]; Posição [Position]; Qualidade [Quality]; Quantidade [Quantity]; Reciprocidade [Reciprocity]; Relevo [Relief, as in the realm of geography]; Reparar/Re-parar [Three modulations of Reparar: (1) repairing as taking care of; (2) noticing or using attention in a non-hierarchical and distributed way; (3) re-parar as stopping again]; Repetição [Repetition]; Secalharidade [Mayhapness]; Sinal [Signal]; Standby; Suficiente [Sufficient]; Tempo Real [Real Time]. Part of this glossary was transcribed and edited by Liliana Coutinho, and made available online. The scission of paths between Fernanda Eugenio and João Fiadeiro has reinforced the urge to update it and an upcoming publication is expected by the first quarter of 2019. The re-direction of the research continually asks for the reconsideration, reorganization, re-questioning and reformulation of these terms (some being discarded, others being added).

3 The MO_AND and the AND_game are here distinguished but in the text The Question Game (2013), game is used both for the modus operandi and the game (materialization). The modus operandi is in that text presented as a game, the “game of flavour” and of “questions”, entailing two “modulations”: “how to live together” and “how not to have an idea”.

4 Although, in 2014, previous commitments still took place in the context of the project collaboratively designed, the investigation as joined venture had ceased in 2013.

5 Conversation held in March 23, 2015. In his recent publication, “Composição em Tempo Real. Anatomia de uma decisão.” (2017) [Composition in Real Time. Anatomy of a decision.], João Fiadeiro identifies four paradigms in his trajectory, the first concerning a rupture with the hierarchical, vertical ways of collaboration in dance, culminating in the creation of the company RE.AL (1990); the second relating to the emergence of composition in real time as a method that would counteract aspects of contact-improvisation and other improvisation practices that Fiadeiro felt lacking; the third, the period in which he suspended his work as choreographer in turn of a more immersive investigation and systematization, collaborating with researchers from other fields – it is in this period that he locates the collaboration with Fernanda Eugenio -; and finally, a fourth shift of paradigm, that is a double return – a return to choreography and a return to contact-improvisation, now realizing the two systems are not necessary mutually exclusive.

6 The first version of this text dates from 2010 when, drawing from work already begun in her doctorate, Fernanda Eugenio wrote the project for her post-doctoral research (see reference). The English version (unpaged) now quoted and paraphrased was translated by Paula Caspão and was available online in the previous site (no longer active). Mayhappness [Secalharidade] was also the title given to the lecture-performance presented at Culturgest during the Alkantara Festival of 2012 and the homonymous publication and serigraphy. What can be considered a shorter version of the manifesto was written in a band (in an even shorter version reproduced in the serigraphy), the same band that was later reused, resituated and reframed, when transported for and during the demonstration of September 15 against the intervention of Troika and austerity measures.

7 The translation of “acontecimento” to “happening” is of my responsibility and I am not sure if it is the more suitable translation, even if it works in relation to “mayhapness” (the translation for “secalharidade” chosen by Fernanda Eugenio and João Fiadeiro). The distinction between “evento” [event] and “acontecimento” [happening] is, also, a matter of scale. On a micro-scale of auto-ethnography, the “event” is already (a) “happening”.

8 https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/oct/28/margaret-atwood-q-a, retrieved October, 2011.

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Índice das ilustrações

Legenda Figure 1: Position-taking in a game. AND Summer Lab. Condomínio Cultural, São Paulo. January 2018. © Ana Dinger.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cadernosaa/docannexe/image/1510/img-1.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 176k
Legenda Figure 2: Meta-exercise. AND Summer Lab. Espaço Mova, Rio de Janeiro. January 2018. © Ana Dinger.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cadernosaa/docannexe/image/1510/img-2.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 292k
Legenda Figure 3: Unfolding of a game. AND Summer School #3. Polo Cultural das Gaivotas, Lisbon. July 2018. © Ana Dinger.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cadernosaa/docannexe/image/1510/img-3.jpg
Ficheiro image/jpeg, 300k
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Para citar este artigo

Referência do documento impresso

Ana Dinger, « AND … What’s in a name? AND … What´s in a game? », Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia, Vol. 7, No 2 | -1, 27-42.

Referência eletrónica

Ana Dinger, « AND … What’s in a name? AND … What´s in a game? », Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia [Online], Vol. 7, No 2 | 2018, posto online no dia 01 outubro 2018, consultado o 26 abril 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/cadernosaa/1510 ; DOI : 10.4000/cadernosaa.1510

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Autor

Ana Dinger

FCH, Lisbon, Portugal /
Research Centre for Communication and Culture (CECC), Lisbon Consortium
dinger.a@gmail.com

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Direitos de autor

© Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia

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