Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Did you see these moments from "(in)visible veins: Rivers Merge"?

There is so much power in what we choose to see and what we choose not to see.

Google "Gaze Theory" and you'll not only quickly receive over 25,700,000 results in less than a second, but you'll also be prompted to specify your search. Options include:
gaze theory in literature
gaze theory in film
gaze theory media studies
feminine gaze theory
male gaze
and a list of scholars who have studied the phenomenon on what we choose to see and how we choose to see it, in really extensive research.
(What I was surprised to see is that "gaze theory and race" was not a top option or "gaze theory and social class" or "gaze theory and the economy"... just a thought for anyone reading who is craving a Ph.D. topic.)

Anyway, Google away, but in a new tab. I'll wait. Or, just click here and see for yourself: Google gaze theory search

My inspiration from horseshoe crabs came first from a personal place of digging into the deep (seemingly belly or core) contraction when a horseshoe crab was over turned or picked up incorrectly (from the tail).
That's a contraction any modern dancer would love.. except it's not really contracting because it doesn't have abdominal muscles as we do. I view the world through the lens of dance!

A year of research led me on many journeys but also into a personal place of admitting to feeling unseen. Gaze theory and its power was first introduced to me in my undergraduate Women's Studies classes and has obviously stayed with me.

The theory resonates with me and this work. For hundreds of years, communities along the Atlantic coast viewed horseshoe crabs as pests because they're ugly. Of course, assumed thinking follows that everything ugly is obviously bad. But nothing can be further from the truth! These little pre-historic creatures have been one of the most beneficial to the development of science and medicine. They remind me that looks are deceiving and that first impressions aren't always correct. How much of "Life" do we miss because we choose to not see something or someone? Or choose to see something and immediately dismiss it/ him/ her?

Ultimately, this piece was one-part concert dance experiment, one-part community building experiment, one-part mindfulness and awareness experiment, one-part gaze theory experiment, and one part socio-ecological experiment. (I use the word "experiment" because no performance is ever really "done". It lives on in the memories and experiences of the participants and is changed by what they bring to, and leave in, the process.)

Below are some of the moments captured and seen through the lens of Chuck Zovoko. Thanks, Chuck!

Kelly introducing the performance, pic 1

pic 2

pic 3

pic 4

pic 5

pic 6

pic 7

pic 8

pic 9

Here's a game!

In the comments below, provide a caption for what you see. I've generically labeled the images "pic 1-9". What do you see? For example, post "Pic 1: beautiful lady with a mission." and so on... Label them all or just a few! I look forward to seeing what you see!

P.S. What you can't see in these pictures are the serendipitous events concurrent with the performance: cars passing by, the music from the bar across the street, the horn of the train and the rhythmic clacking of the wheels on the tracks, the people on their bikes, the river, the children laughing on the swing-set nearby... What would you choose to see?

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