Posted On March 11, 2022
We’ve had three conversations.
01.03.2022 started at 11:02 for 48 minutes
08.03.2022 started at 16:57 for 118 minutes
09.03.2022 started at 17:24 for 41 minutes
What connects us?
We are both interested in thinking about what ‘reality’ is. We see many dangers in social media. It makes people hide inside their own minds, believing what they see is ‘the real world’. We think that immersion in the web can cause dissociation and psychosis. We think that ‘being in nature’ is restorative and might be the answer to many people’s issues. We both dislike labels. We see the current trend for labelling oneself to be as oppressive and ‘anti-human’ as traditional religions. We think selfies, filters and the trend for cosmetic surgeries are dangerous and driven by capitalism. We think labels are driven by capitalism. We think that the end point of labels is totalitarianism. Though we both eschew labels, we were both “punks” when we were teenagers, but in different decades.
We will be doing a performance. Separately. It will not be recorded. We will each produce a ‘relic’ of our performance and send it to the other.
30 minutes. Concentrate on your experience.
Remembering what it is to be alive.
This what what I wrote afterwards.
So many birds!!
I felt my face. The cold wind. The warm Sun. I don’t normally think of feeling my face. It made me think about growing up in Minnesota and the REALLY cold days when you are completely covered except for your eyes and how the cold almost burns. I don’t normally feel my face. Or think about feeling my face.
Our face is who we think we are. Who we think other people are. We try to show Us in our face. We smile when we are happy. We cry when we are sad. There was a time when people didn’t really know what they looked like. A reflection of their face in still water was the best vision of what they looked like.
I wonder if the invention of the mirror caused us to start to ‘separate’ from the world.
I don’t think of how my face feels, but how it looks to others. I wear moisturiser not because my skin feels dry, but because I was to prevent wrinkles so that I look ‘younger’ to others. I wear make-up not because my skin feels dull or colourless, but because I want to look fresh or ‘decorated’ to others. I don’t wash my face because it feels dirty, but because I want to have clear, unblemished skin for others.
If I didn’t know what I looked like, would I do these things?
How much have human facial expressions changed because we know what we look like? Would we feel anything other than the 6 universal human emotions?
How much of our facial expressions is based on seeing other people and mimicking them? Do blind people show emotions in the same way? Read. (Spontaneously, yes, they show the core 6 emotions the same way, but are less able to recreate a facial expression of an emotion on demand)
The importance of making faces in front of the mirror
“The fact that the same muscles are at work when spontaneously expressing emotions may be evidence that it is innate and universal, and not just dependent on social learning by imitation”, explains professor Gentaz. “On the other hand, the fact that blind people can’t voluntarily reproduce these emotions shows the importance of social conventions in learning about the intensity of expressing emotions”, adds Gentaz. Sighted children have multiple opportunities to train themselves to express their emotions, for instance in front of a mirror. They learn to modulate their expressions according to the results they seek. It follows that sighted people develop a structure for expressing their emotions that the blind, deprived of these training opportunities, cannot easily acquire, whence their difficulties in correctly proportioning on demand the intensity of an emotion.”