Energetic Forces as Aesthetic Forces
The Doubling of Man and His Other
This paper argues that contemporary dance practices such as somatic practices or practices that work with ideas of transgression are based on what Michel Foucault in his seminal book The Order of Things (1966) has called the episteme of man, which according to Foulacult has been in opertaion since the late 18h century. Following Foucault today's practices are still based on the concept of a split and a doubleing of man into a visible and intelligible side of reason and a darker side governed by forces that wait to be brought to light. The fact that dance explores the unintelligible side of man has since been reformulated in various ways. Randy Martin's concept of mobilization that he proposed in his 1998 book Critical Moves is one prime example of this. In his book, Martin focuses on dance's infinite capacity to mobilize people to both produce dance and to assemble for dance, which for Martin is also a political process. Being the grid rather than the movement, being the potential to move rather than movement in space and time, energy and mobilization align. Both are rallying calls for change and transformation, for different articulations of bodies and social kinesthetic energies. It is here that Martin's concept of mobilization meets the much older concept of the imagination or, Einbildungskraft, as an anthropological category more specific to the field of the arts. They both are impersonal non-subjectified vehicles for an open process of doing and undoing bodies.