Extemporize Thoughts on Flow at ISTA
The text below has been written and published during the 13th session of ISTA (The International School of Theatre Anthropology) in La Rinconada, Spain.
I can think of three types of flow: Flow, "flow" and flow. The first Flow with a capital F is that of the nature, like flow of a river or wind whose charm comes from its natural harmony. It gives a pleasant feeling when it is observed yet it does not have structure, meaning that it is unrepeatable and unpredictable in a haphazardly manner.
Second type of "flow"-which I put it between quotation marks-is related to the sensation of movement and rhythm, artificially generated by the works of art-example of which could be Marcle Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 (1913) or the cinematic experience of the Russian film theoretician, Lev Kuleshove in which he filmed different parts of body of several different woman and cut them together in a way that they would appear as to present only one woman, walking down the stairs. Another example of this type of "flow" is the scene of Odessa Stairs in The Battleship Potemkin. In these examples not only the flow of a natural rhythm is apparent, but also we can notice in them a structured "flow" of artificial form which goes beyond the nature of the Flow of its details and components. In other words, we can distinguish two layers of flow in these examples, one is the Flow within and between the parts and their composition, the other is the "flow" made in the mind of the beholder which is the synthesis of juxtaposition of elements of the piece of the art work.
The third flow-which I write in italics-is of a different nature and quality; Although it maintains the characteristics of the other two types of flow, thus, that it has the natural and unpredictable nature of the first type (Flow), structure and artificiality of the second type ("flow") yet its functionality is neither natural nor artificial. It is more of an inner impulse that leaps from a natural harmony and lands beyond the artificiality. Furthermore it annihilates itself after its process. Example of this type of flow is that of a poet who suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night, forced by some incoherent natural impulse in his body and involuntarily moves towards his desk to write down the poem that has waked him up. In the best condition the poet is making his best poem in this very moment. In this case the poem conceals the flow and yet transmits a thirds types of flow to the reader, independent from what the poet meant inthe first place. it not only has the surprising natural harmony of a river and not only the artificiality of rhythmic flow of artifice, but also transmits the indescribable flow through which the poem has forced and commanded the poet to write it, to make it. Hence reader reads his own poet through the transmitted flow, rather than that of the poet.
Thus is the work of performer, that is that the spectator experiences his own personal experience through the transmission of that flow which is behind the performer's action.