Reflection on Session #2 by Jimena Mendizábal de Moral
Our study group is composed of a wide range of practices within the art world. We are all art agents yet we are testaments of the diversity that make up the contemporary art landscape: some of us work with the body, its possibilities and movement; some of us work with laptops, drafting documents and making schedules. When we come together to share knowledge and opinions, the exchanges can take a myriad of shapes, that not only make the sessions engaging and stimulating, but it also allows for the sudden appearance of a gap- an interruption of our usual ways of thinking and doing. We are forced to consider other ideas and to look at problems from different angles, that is not rare during an exchange, but what is different – and where the magic of interdisciplinary learning happens – is that it breaks the logic and the temporality of an encounter.
Each encounter is akin to a performance: We adopt a specific behaviour depending on the nature of the meeting – work meetings require a different language and attitude than a party with friends – and consequently each performance has its own rhythm (based on the language, purpose and expected outcome) and logical procedures (or expected rituals). We can say that each encounter has its own structure and channels of communication, this usually has the goal of facilitating the meeting and ensuring that everybody knows what to expect from a certain event. This of course makes things easy but it can also makes things predictable and can make us blind to anything that lies outside the thought structure that shapes an event.
When our sessions change from a talk to a drawing exercise to watch a video, a gap in the continuity of the event appears for a brief period of time. This rupture is when creativity takes place because is the opportunity for endless possibilities to come into negotiation. Is like if chaos would pop its head into the session for just one second before the facilitator pull one of the possibilities of the yet-to-be-seen and materialise it into being. This brief gap is sensed by the body and mind as a minor yet rich interruption of the usual ways of being, it surprises us for a moment of pure possibility before marking a detour in the path we are all following. This kind of possibility might not be exclusive of interdisciplinary exchanges but it is definitely present in every single one of them.
Where I see the magic of inter discipline coming into full being, is when the interjection of different ways-of-thinking and ways-of-doing interrupts any kind of pre-established order or design. A pre-given structure cannot hold a session that includes Power Point presentations, sound recording and dance; this kind of session requires its own structure than cannot be thought beforehand so it has to be created on the spot. The rhythm of inter-discipline then is created as a sort of improvisation where participants have to listen to each other, understand their intention and read the emotional mood of the room in order to communicate effectively. Interdisciplinary exchanges require an openness to difference that breaks up preconceived notions of what an encounter would be, and they offer the chance to create something together right there in the spot and to move to a collective rhythm that can go in any given direction. And that is how magic happens.