A Monkey walks into a Puppet conference…

On June 2nd, Monkey scientist Mike Czuba gave the plenary address titled “Our Own Witnesses” at WP Puppet Theatre’s Puppet Power conference at the University of Calgary. Here’s the text…

 

When we talk about story as a general concept, we often look to the past; Myths, legends, history, real and manufactured. The structure of these stories goes back thousands of years: Joseph Campbell and the 12 stages of the Hero’s Journey taught us to define archetypes, the steps leading the ordinary person through trials and becoming a Hero. In our more recent past, Christopher Vogler’s mid-1980’s interpretation of Campbell’s work in a now-famous 7-page memo at Disney film studios has influenced much of Hollywood for the past 30+ years. Through conversations with my students, I find that most of the younger generation has a subconscious understanding of traditional western story structure. They’ve watched enough movies to understand how a story arc is supposed to feel. So, their learning process is more about how to tell their own stories truthfully, honestly, without the need to fabricate any extra drama.

I like to imagine that a story is anything with a beginning and an end. That’s it. What happens in between is up to the story teller. A story should take you somewhere, but that arc can be thin, that journey can be short. It should be more concerned with the impact of imagery than where it might be going. Creating an emotional arc is just as important as creating a literary one. Here I am consciously and deliberately choosing to shy away from any hard-academic definitions because they tend to adhere to certain rules, certain structures, and by extension, may limit the kinds of stories that are told.

As a playwright, I spend most of my time buried in story. Whether that’s as a writer getting lost in my own worlds or as an instructor and dramaturg, guiding and helping others discover their own. Story is everywhere and in everyone. It is a 30 second television commercial, a sports rivalry, a poem, a painting, an Instagram post, a walk into the woods, a night out to remember – good or bad – you can even find it on someone’s face or hands… Story is the simple act of existing. They need not all be tall tales; they can be simple truths.

What concerns me as an instructor, is when we spend so much time in the past, lifting these old stories up as important or untouchable, that we stop paying attention to our own stories. The cannon, like history books, omits more than it includes. I work in a theatre department and the material we use is often stuck in the past, whether that’s a Greek tragedy or Shakespeare, and personally, I have little use for either. I’ve often joked that every time someone mounts a production of Shakespeare, a new play dies. And if I say that in a room full of theatre folks, I’m usually the only one laughing.


I’ve often joked that every time someone mounts a production of Shakespeare, a new play dies.

Many, if not all, of the canonical tools from Aristotle and Campbell still very much apply, but as we experiment, learn, and grow, and make room for marginalized voices, these tools can be reformed, rearranged, and if it’s a choice, outright ignored. Rules really do scream out to be broken.  New stories are disruptive, there is danger in the unformed and the raw and they demand more from an audience and, I believe, are more powerful.

I was recently reading a great deal on the writer James Baldwin. A man who found himself on the fringes of the world he existed in; a gay black man in 20th century America. For a long time, he pushed back against being labeled as an advocate or an activist and instead defined his role as being a Witness. Taking in, like most artists, the world around him and transforming that information and emotion into fiction, novels, plays, and essays, in an attempt to make sense of what was happening around him.  In 1984 the writer Julius Lester was interviewing Balwin and they were discussing the term ‘witness’, Lester asked him: “What’s the difference between a spokesman and witness?”, Baldwin answered: “A spokesman assumes that he is speaking for others, I never assumed that, I never assumed that I could.” Earlier in the interview Lester asked: “What are you a witness to?”, Baldwin replied: “Witness to whence I came, where I am, Witness to what I’ve seen and the possibilities that I think I see.” Then I found this quote from Baldwin which reads:

“One must say Yes to life, and embrace it wherever it is found – and it is found in terrible places. … For nothing is fixed, forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have.”

The word ‘witness’ hit me first. This idea that we are not passengers. We are active and it’s a choice to NOT witness something. We are in fact always present, but there are various levels of being present, due to any number of elements, whatever our situations, whatever our challenges. We might not like what we see, but we are there. This doesn’t always have to be about the negative or some version of injustice, because we are also present during the good times, times of joy, those times when everything seems to fall into place, even if only for a few minutes. We have to be present for both ends of the journey.

As I sat with this quote for a while, I shifted to the words “nothing is fixed”. In the context of story and history, if we do go back to those myths and legends, or simply to a history book, we should always view them through a contemporary and individual lens – if we need to look at them at all. As we learn, we must question. Those words also connected back to my classroom, when I tell students that no matter how similar their story might be to another, it is completely unique because it’s coming from them. Themes repeat, structures can remain stationary, but the content is never fixed and changes with every passing day.

I teach a class called Performance Creation (here at the University, and one of the assignments requires the students to create a personal narrative. A short performance/story that comes from their own life. It can be something powerful and life changing, or it can be something seemingly banal but important to them. The goal is not to create something that will change the world and stand side to side with legends, or reveal a universal truth; rather, in the intimate moment of sharing, this narrative should be an offering of themselves, a glimpse into their worlds.

I feel most students instinctually have an idea of what they might share, but that gets suppressed by fear, doubt and the pressure to feel what they’re sharing is ‘important’, they struggle, wondering if their idea has value. When I first encountered this, I was taken-aback, how could anyone think their stories don’t have value? Upon reflection, I understood. We are accustomed to being told what is important, from so called great works of art to world events. Some things get elevated while others are simply passed by. I too struggle with this as a writer. Are my own intentions too insular or personal? Do I chase shinny topics to capitalize on their timing? Even after spending months developing something, I still wonder if what I’ve created means anything to anyone but me.

Last spring, I had a student in my performance creation class who presented her personal narrative with stick figure drawings, real x-rays and power point. And it was beautiful, simple, honest and personal. She told the story of her scoliosis. How her spine was slowly curving, causing her pain and to miss school, how some of the other kids made fun of her. Her slides created a sort of animation as she slowly clicked through the images. Having first immersed us into her stick-figure world, she then presented a slide of her actual x-ray with all the pins in place up her spine to help her stand upright – bringing us back to a reality. She finished the performance by standing in front of a blank slide and announcing, lit only by the light of the projector, “And this is me now”. A simple story, told with simple technology, ending with her being present with her audience. Through her performance journal, she explained why she chose this particular container to tell her story: as an economics student she was comfortable using PowerPoint as her main presentation mode; she chose stick figures because of how she felt like a stick; and then she brought it back to her, to the human. It was her story, told through her lens.

When we’re surrounded by story, it can cause us to over-analyze what’s ‘important’ or ‘cool’, chasing the outrage du-jour, which can lead us to try and tell someone else’s story instead of our own. Even with the clearest of hearts and the genuineness of our intentions, we have to be aware of whose story we’re trying to tell. I will hazard a guess that we’re all relatively left leaning progressives here, and we might want to fight against injustice and be warriors of some kind, make the world a better place… I am no different, but look at me; I am a white, straight, cis gendered male. For centuries, someone who looks like me has been writing stories they had no business writing.

That said…  I recently finished a play on the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights movement – I’ll let that sit there for a moment… I started writing this play because I was passionate about the subject matter, wanted to do whatever I could to raise the profile of the Freedom Riders, who were for the most part, college students who had no business being as courageous as they were, and I wanted to bring that knowledge to the students I was teaching to show them they could change things. I wrote the first act 5 years ago, then stopped – I finally realized that this was not my story to tell. I could tell it, but I shouldn’t, not how I was originally envisioning it – as a straight history play. I understood that I needed to make room for someone else to tell that particular story. So, I put it away, for years. But the play didn’t want to leave me, so I looked at it again and I had to take a hard look and ask myself ‘Why’ am I compelled by this material? The answer came in the discussions that Theatre has been having for the past few years – much too late, but at least they are happening – around diversity not just on stage, but on the page and in the buildings and administrations. I heard much support for change, met many self-described allies but I also heard some resistance from those who believed their do-good intensions allowed them to be in every room, in every conversation and say anything they wanted, because it was all for the greater good, even if their voice took the place someone else’s we needed to hear from.

I had to look at my own reflection and ask some hard truths. Was I taking up space? Was I trying too hard to be a part of the conversation? And If so why? I didn’t arrive at any definitive answers to these questions, but I continued to ask them, to be aware of who I am within different conversations. Ingesting all this for a few years, I found my angle and the play was removed from the drawer. The 2nd act become about a challenge to privilege, to expose hypocrisy and ignorance masquerading as the status quo, to make the comfortable allies uncomfortable. A challenge to all of us to confront our issues and beliefs. Will the play ever be produced? I don’t know, but it ultimately became about me, and my voice, not a ventriloquism act. There are countless stories that need telling, but sometimes the telling of those stories can be exploitative depending on who’s telling them. Even with the clearest intentions, some stories aren’t yours to tell, and it takes deep reflection to find which stories are yours – which stories you are witness to.


Was I taking up space? Was I trying too hard to be a part of the conversation?

I’ve come up with a simple literary equation: What + Why = How. If you know what you’re trying to say, and why you’re trying to say it – often times, the shape of the story, the ‘how’, becomes evident on its own, is born out of the material. But it can also work the other way, by starting with imagery, a container, and figuring out what kind of story can fit inside it. Each side of the equation is working together. The shape or container of that story can be anything you wish it to be. I try and encourage my students and myself, to figure out a way for the container to become a part of the content, to mirror the material.

I often struggle to find a way to say what I want to say without losing sight of the story. It’s a delicate dance between zeroing in on the details, on the intimate moments and pulling back and looking at the narrative as a whole. We become our own focus pullers, constantly changing the lens to find out where our attention should be. Sometimes when we focus too much on an issue, we forget the human, and the human is how we connect. How can we create stories that are not simply lectures? What I have come to understand is that in the specific we find the universal. By being as honest as we can be in the stories we tell, connecting our intentions to fully realized characters, and to ourselves, we can then allow an audience to absorb what they can and layer in their own images to make these stories personal to them. By being extremely personal, we can shine brighter lights on the issues that matter to us. By being specific about the stories we’re telling, we discover that we’re not alone in our thinking, and can reach deeper into the soul of the audience. If we’re too vague, too careful, try too hard not to offend, or disrupt, things get watered down and the message becomes too simplistic or lost all together.

As creators, as students, as audience members, we are the witnesses of the world around us, and through our filters, we translate that back as a reaction and a reflection. We must not only encourage others to tell their stories, but we must encourage ourselves. No matter what form that story takes, it has value. No matter if it is deemed ‘important’, it has value. Does anyone need to pay attention, no, but an audience of 2 or an audience of 2 million does not make one thing more important than another.

Some stories can be epic, span generations, centuries, can encircle the globe and beyond: War, religion, and politics. Other stories, can be so small they only exist inside of you: like the unexpected touch a hand, or the hurt you feel when your heart breaks. Whatever the size, each one, depending on your perspective, is equally powerful. So, we must shine lights into the darkness, lift others voices, share stories of human interaction. We must witness the world around us, with an awareness or who and where we are. We must witness injustice but we also must be witnesses to joy, for even in the best of times for some, others will be suffering. In the darkness, we can find beauty that we never knew existed. Yes, there’s a big bad world out there filled with wonder and dangers, with countless stories to tell, but there’s an equally big world within ourselves. Our own obstacles, our own demons, our own delights and passions. We must witness those stories, through our own lenses, a unique lens that no one else possesses.

 

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KARL NIMENI – The Show.

For those of you who could not make the performance, grab a cafe, or a drink, settle in, and check out the show.

**We’re looking into festival opportunities, or, if you’re interested in the material for your own production, give us a shout – dancingmonkeylab@gmail.com

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NIMENI, NOCTUROLOGY and the NIGHT PLAY

-An academic research paper on the theatrical techniques used in KARL NIMENI IS NOT DEAD – I KILLED KARL NIMENI.

The image of a tree can be appreciated as a complex and innovatory illustration of a fundamental principle … that things are rarely what they seem” Ben Fisher ‘The Pataphysicians Library’

Trees are incapable of lying” Karl Nimeni.[1]

Karl Nimeni does not write much down and has a joyful tendency to contradict himself when ever possible. Most of what we know about him—his thoughts, theories and experiments—we know from second-, third- or fourth-hand sources; those who claim to have worked with him, spoken to him, know a guy who…, heard a story, read a letter and so on. We are beginning to know where Karl Nimeni has been, but it is still unclear where he is from. We know of his groundbreaking work on dream study but very little about his own dreams and desires. What we have are remembered conversations, lecture notes, debates in bars, music inspired by, museums and night walks.

Karl Nimeni, through a nocturlogical lens, spoke (speaks) about and researched (researches) many topics, but what concerns us at this moment are his theories and beliefs about (T)heatre. The term ‘Night Play’ comes directly from his study of waking dreams and the negative photo-developed image of the night. Nocturology contends that the night and everything in it is at once supreme truth and absolute lie.[2] So the (T)heatre which has been universally understood and quantified as the greatest lie, also must be the truest truth.

In the early days of the 20th century, Alfred Jarry, playwright and time-traveler, first documented the concept of ‘Pataphysics (the apostrophe used only when dealing with pataphysics in its complete understanding, which is impossible – irrespective of the fact that ‘Pataphysics has existed since the beginning of time) the theatrical possibilities exploded into the salons and black boxes giving the avant-guard it’s first prophet. His 1896 ‘memo’ to Aurelien Lugne-Poe of the Theatre de l’Oeuvre on the appropriate staging for the seemingly impossible to stage UBU ROI revolutionized the way the stage should, could and must be thought of. Artaud, Beckett and Brook all exist because of the ‘Pataphysical understanding of equality and completeness, that all things theatrical are equal, just as memories are equal, ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’ being given equal value, leaving ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ to a judgment call based on an imaginary value system.[3]

Nimeni fully understood Brook when he stated, “I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.”[4] Nimeni, unsatisfied, continued the thought. Using spiralar thinking, if a person (she/he) stands anywhere, motionless, with ‘un-usual’ intent, in this motionless exists endless stories and narratives that are born within the witness. He called this ‘Perspectaspecifisualizaion’, meaning it is the witness who drives the narrative, not the performer, creating a stronger bond between performance and witness, a unique bond, where a single ‘performance’ can elicit countless ‘stories’.[5] Nimeni suggests that even the most tightly wound narrative can do nothing to avoid being mis(un)understood and that the creators of said narrative usually forget, through ego and self-importance, that at its core, it is a lie. But an Open-Narrative can be a 1000 different stories at once, each possessing their own truth.[6]

Karl Nimeni’s impact on contemporary (A)rt and (S)cience is difficult to measure and this is not an accident. Nimeni’s direct involvement with any documented experiment are impossible to find and some have suggested that before entering into a collaborative experience, there must be an implicit promise to remove him from any findings; ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’. Documentation in Nocturology becomes problematic. Even this paper’s attempt to “shine a darkened light into the night” is not without controversy. Negotiations with Germany’s Interdisciplinary Kolleg ‘Karl Nimeni’: Nature and Culture of the Night were months long and some in the Nocturology community have flat out dismissed what we are trying to do as heresy. To gain access to the Kolleg’s extensive research and study, Dancing Monkey Laboratories had to state absolutely (never in writing as is the Nocturlogical way) that Karl Nimeni has had no direct contact with anyone in the production nor has he seen or approved/disapproved of the script. We also had to alter the description and ritual of his dream experiments so that what is presented is in fact a truth, but a different truth. We were told that this was in no way a matter of copyright or intellectual property but a matter of philosophy. The Nimeni teachings demand that Nocturlogical knowledge be mutated, ingested and understood through each individual public performance and by the audiences and artists own aesthetic leanings.[7]

Unknown German Nimenist, as understood by Lukas Wilde of the Nimeni-Kolleg:

Auf den Pfaden dieser Worte,
floh ich über dunkle Blätter,
Seiten, von der Sonne kaum berührt.
Ich folge ihm auf dem Mäander-Pfad des Forschens,
der von Nebeln dicht umhangen keinen Rückweg bot.

There are four main elements to the Night Play (as interpreted by Dancing Monkey Laboratories); Disruption, Open Staging, Music from Within and Truth and Lies. Disruption was (is) key to Nimeni’s philosophies in general, but is particularly suited to (T)heatre which provides an ideal scientific testing ground. This is not a dismantling, a destruction nor even a deviation; disruption is a shift in the flow. Disruption is not change either. Change in and of itself cannot be measured, as ‘it’, through change, has become something else. Disruption on the other hand can be felt, and is usually uncomfortable. When all of the world’s collective energy wants to go in one direction, the force can be immense and the opportunity to do something different can become more difficult depending on how willing we are to take a beating. Nimeni understood that to ignore the flow was suicidal, but that with very little energy, disrupting that flow can be a simple matter of letting your fingers break the plane of a slow rolling stream. With the small shifts in “what is”, the reception of the perception is altered. Death in the (T)heatre is caused by delivering what is expected. But we have been so lulled into getting what is expected that even the smallest disruption in the flow of delivered information can cause violent reactions. Those lonely bassoon notes that open Stravinsky’s “Sacre du Printemps” are just one example.[8] Nocturology begs for disruption, even if it is gentle, to remind us that life is happening right now, and to disrupt in the (T)heatre is not a matter of confrontation but love. To demonstrate that you understand the privilege the stage embodies, disruption is an imperative, anything less is a grift.

The concept of  ‘Open Staging’ is not new (Nocturology is not concerned with what is new), but the philosophy behind it is. Since, as we understand, (T)heatre is the greatest lie, an open stage simply reduces the amount of lies an audience must endure. Open Staging accepts the lights, the rigging, the curtains, the sound system and most importantly, the audience. Open Staging doesn’t waste energy, creative and physical energy, trying to hide what everyone already knows is there.[9] Karl Nimeni is as much interested in Magic as he is in (S)cience but what he felt when he would be in a theatre was that he was experiencing nothing more than Las Vegas parlour tricks. Until levitation, complete holographic performances and further advances in 4-D technology, the ‘Magic’ being offered in our theatres has become routine and void of actual magic. The magic lost in today’s theatre has to do with the magic of moments; where the energy and commitment of the players fuses with the emotions of the story to create something you might not have been expecting. In our modern world a genuine surprise, which can break through our cynicism, is one of the few things that can shake us out of the controlled depression most of us exist in. Open Staging signals to the audience that the production is well aware it is a production (what is and what is). Open Staging permits the audience to rid itself of the possibility of manufactured (m)agic, and encourages the audience to focus on the bodies in space (in motion or not) and remove the distraction of the blatant lies that a ‘Hidden Staging’ will try and get passed it. We know that (T)heatre is lies, we fully understand that we are not watching a real event, so any attempt to camouflage conventions pushes an audience further back into their own worlds. Open Staging urges an audience to lean oh-so gently forward, just a touch, enough to enter another world as you would enter a dream. Open staging says ‘Yes, we will tell you lies, honest lies, and in those lies you will be able to find truth.’

Music has always played a key role in Nocturology and to how Karl Nimeni travels through the night. How much easier is it to get lost in a Minor C than in the word ‘Octopus’? A picture is worth a thousand words, but a musical note creates a sub-conscience emotion and has no need for words. The concept of ‘Music from Within’ may or may not include actual music as the human body can also create the vibratory sensations of a melody. The practice is simple, and has been around for centuries (as has Nocturology). In the Night Play, the importance of the elements shift and twist depending on how the individual audience members process imagery. To some, story is king and nothing else matters and all window dressing can be removed, to others, light speaks a more understandable language, and to some, music is the key for them to enter this strange world. Karl Nimeni experimented, as did many artists before him, with the ‘weight’ of music. Sound cuts through air, ‘disrupts’ it, so it stands to spiralar reasoning that if something can disrupt, it has tactuality, and therefore must have weight. Once the nocturlogical weight can be determined, the next step is to then discover which notes already exist within the idea of the play. It should be stated that the first-dimensions of text, space and movement are not what triggers the notes to exist, but the ideas behind them. The final form of the other elements takes shape through a similar process, each influencing, transforming and at times aggressively demanding to be followed. It is through Nocturology that this ‘Within’ enters our waking world. A test, for those new to this, is to find a story, read it, understand it, then play whatever music you have close by and then read it aloud again while the music is playing. What is discovered, is that the universe might offer you one or two accidental moments of connection, a first-dimension ripple, but for the most part, the exercise is frustrating and if truly experienced will negatively affect your dreams for more than a week after (9 days to be precise—it has been measured up to 12 days, but those findings can no longer be found). Most theatre practitioners are doing this to their audiences without even knowing it and we wonder why it is difficult to get new people to come to a theatre (Nimeni himself had to avoid [T]heatre for several years [1996 – 2000 – ?] as a result of this musical assault as it was causing problems with the test results of his other dream experiments – That we are not permitted to fully describe).

Truth and Lies is not entirely accurate. As we’ve already discussed, (T)heatre is truth and lies; absolute and truest. ‘Pataphysics’ exposed (and promptly denied) the equality of all things, and this is also as ancient and it is modern; Yin/Yang – Good/Evil – Love/Hate – This/That – What is/What is. The extremes of each becoming the other, one and the same. Nocturology informs the Night Play to embrace an equality – That is all we are allowed to discuss about this.[10]

Excerpt of an e-mail to Karl Nimeni by German Nimenist Florian Götz, on the desparate night of January 18th, 2013:

“Ich wollte ich könnte dir funken anbieten die ich in die nacht hinaustrage und dich und andere besprühen wollte ich könnte wärme hinaustragen und berührungen vertrauen und überraschungen befreiungen von logik und alltagskälte ja gedankensprünge tänze zärtlichkeiten.”

The Night Play is not new, its description is. Karl Nimeni’s influence on the worlds of (A)rt and (S)cience is not new; Karl Nimeni’s research, mentorship and guidance to countless young scientists and artists is a well known fact, but the recent mainstream acknowledgement and interest in Nocturology and the practice of (S)piralar thinking is very much a new phenomenon. The Nimeni-Kolleg is constantly discovering new corners of the night where Karl Nimeni has left a presence. Translations and peer-reviewed papers confirming or disproving even his existence only add to the certainty of his growing importance. Dancing Monkey Laboratories is pleased to be continuing in the footsteps and dreams of our Nocturlogical predecessors. If you have to ask if something exists, it already does, if it is all lies, it is also completely true – Nocturlogically speaking.[11], [12]


[1] Dancing Monkey Laboratories is not permitted to include direct quotes from Karl Nimeni without acknowledging that Karl Nimeni has said many things.

[2] Roland Barthes offers an account of the tensions of perception and identity that occur simultaneously in the referent as a photograph is taken: “The portrait-photograph is a closed field of forces. Four image-repertoires intersect here, oppose and distort each other. In front of the lens, I am at the same time: the one I think I am, the one I want others to think I am, the one the photographer thinks I am, and the one he makes use of to exhibit his art. In other words, a strange action: I do not stop imitating myself, and because of this, each time I am (or let myself be) photographed, I invariably suffer from a sensation of inauthenticity, sometimes of imposture (comparable to certain nightmares)” (13). The critical consciousness of the referent posing for the photograph allows for manipulation on behalf of not only the photographer but also by whomever is photographed, as they are aware of their own participation (or antagonism) within these expectations. Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, Trans. Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981).

[3] See Sianne Ngai’s ideas on ‘Stuplimity’ which is a (dis)order “that arises from the post modern conditions of boredom, anxiety, stupefaction, envy and other such ‘ugly’ feelings” (41). Being understood that these feelings are in no way more ‘interesting’ or ‘important (impotent)’ than ‘pretty’ feelings. Andrew Hugill, ‘Pataphysics’ – A Useless Guide

[4] Peter Brook, The Empty Space, – But you should read his book The Open Door – Wicked good.

[5] In her book Unmarked, Peggy Phelan addresses the complications of equating seeing to understanding, charging that both the image being represented and the eyes of the witness are culpable in influencing the final interpretation. Phelan cautions that a “careful blindness” develops simultaneously with learning to see, which involves simultaneously dismissing and including visual information; a representation will “always convey[] more than it intends,” at once carrying all the cultural interpretations associated with the image, while it is also limited and “never totalizing” because it is incapable of reproducing a full, complex representation of the original (13, 2). Peggy Phelan, Unmarked: The Politics of Performance (London: Routledge, 1993).

[6] These concepts may or may not have been taken from Nimeni-Kolleg documentation of newly discovered Nimeni conversations possibly overheard in 2006.

[7] See endnote #1.

[8] Those notes being:

Rite_of_Spring_opening_bassoon

[9] “The norm to which art traditionally referred its products was average perception. From Leonardo to Courbet, painters painted a tree as everyone sees a tree – or thinks he does” (39). Roger Shattuck, The Banquet Years.

[10] It seemed appropriate to add a endnote at this point to call attention to the overlap and similarity of deception from different periods of time discussing different mediums, deciphering different elements and so on and maybe not. This goes to further prove Nimeni’s Nocturology hypothesis that you have night and you have day.

[11] The Interdisciplinary Kolleg “Karl Nimeni”: Nature and Culture of the Night was founded in the Summer of 2012, the Nimeni-Kolleg includes 8 core members but is open for collaboration from other scientists, artists and collectives. Thus far, the Nimeni-Kolleg has worked with Theater Erlangen, Domfestspiele Bad Gandersheim and Arena… of the young arts and now with Dancing Monkey Laboratories in our first international experiment. Intrigued by the night as a transitory medium, the Nimeni-Kolleg works interdisciplinary between Arts and Sciences towards its further exploration. The Nimeni-Kolleg takes its name and inspiration from the night and dream explorer Karl Nimeni, who has been a pioneer in this field, taking it to the extreme. There are basically two streams or schools around which the Nimeni-Kolleg is producing work: The Biographical/Hermeneutical School tries to find out more and tell new stories about Karl Nimeni and his work. This school organizes lecture series’ and museum exhibitions, reconstructs his machines, as well as (re) creating night tours in ’Nimeni Style’. Streams of this school work either using means to (re)construct a story by the little evidence available, or discusses post-structurally about (re)construction of identity. The Avantgardistic/Experimental School takes Nimeni’s work as an inspiration and foundation stone to find out more about the essence and nature of the night, of dreams – and of its abstract equivalent: The Unclear. Please dream.

[12] The following statement was written by hand in the margins of a 25 page scientific thesis on Nocturology. by an as yet (un)known author, discovered hidden in the Erlangen public library in Germany, 2008: The (A)bstract is in fact closer to the truth than the clear – Therefore it must have a point. If the (A)bstract is truth, than it must include and invite the human element into it’s DNA. Disruption for it own sake is not (A)rt. Disruption to alienate is politics. Disruption to expose the (un)clarity of humanity to be able to more fully embrace it – is Nocturology.