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  being of high presence clearly
gary e. davis
December 21, 2016

Consider dancing: balmy spring day, an exhilarated girl dancing in a meadow, imagining herself to be a ballerina—improvising herself.

No dancer is there to her entrancement, as there’s only dancing—dancing makes its way around a meadow. She’s wholly engaging genesis of dancing. She’s joyous venturing, recursive setting forth, playing forth into leaps—then setting forth again
in tranced playing.

I see this. (I actully did, decades ago—long story, not pertinent now except for saying: I can validly say “I see this,” rather than “I saw” or “He sees.”) I can say it’s her dance. Yet, her unwitting freedom doesn’t allow for specifying what dance there is. She’s in
a different choreo-self-graphing (so to speak) every moment. That’s improvisation!

So, there’s dancing—which a snapshot could capture as a moment of—presumably
(to a later observer)—a dance (something scripted). “What dance is it?” (as if she has a repertoire). A close friend, a parent might easily see boundaries to her repertoire
of movements. So, though she has no specific dance that she performs, she has
a repertoire of movement. She might tend toward specific constellations of move-ment, concerting tendencies, particularly relative to fantasy story segments of hers.

A videographer might document her and show in replay how she’s tending to constellate sets of routines, gravitating toward concerted sequences, as if becoming
a specific performance of a given dance. Indeed, she might be interested in consolidating her concertingness into choreographical beginning-to-end scripts
that become her story-titled performances.

So, her dancing may lead to dances (not yet to be performed for anyone else). She sets up a future dance; she grounds what her dancing is to be (as what the dancing
has shown itself to specifically become). “This dance” was to be, distinct from her dancing toward it; and distinct from possibly other burgeoning dances.

So, how do we tell the dancing from the dancer on the way to her dance?

We can, no problem, because dancing enacts itself through a distinct person,
a dancer, of course. We, observers (or she, self reflecting), distinguish the dancing
from the dancer. Dancing makes a person a dancer.

But to her, there’s merely entranced dancing, though eventually to herself, she’s
the dancer.

There are essential differences: actor of enacting (entranced, being enacted),
overt acting (actor enacting), and what’s acted (what resonant enacting—hers and entrancing’s—shows)—by which there can be performance (a defined dance) to and for her others. How much is entranced enacting (creating), how much is actor enacting (inhabiting), how much is performing (other-oriented show) may be altogether ambiguous.

Girl in a meadow—her name’s Anna (two ‘n’s, common fare, a few years before you were born)—sees me and stops. Then begins again, dancing in a liminality of entrancement and being seen dancing. In a sense, improvisation itself is a dance,
herself (unaware of any witness) or to another (unwitnessed by her), as well as
to another known to be watching.

She is a windowmirror, a phenomenality showing and read, unwittingly and deliberately, partially perceived accurately, partially written by the witness, re: “what” is there: whom, as, for, of.

As performance, there’s a presumption (I think) that a given act (pre-given to the performance) is being performed, distinct from there being earlier entranced enacting— which can also be regarded by herself as witness to herself (then no longer entranced, but immanently feeling the liminality as such: enacted enacting) or as if being witnessed, as if it’s her performance, though she’s led by entrancement. The event of improvisation is what’s regarded as performance, but what’s being “performed” is only retrospectively definable (as what happened, designated as a “performance”), as if dancing actualizes an envisioned dance, becoming what it was
to be.

Nowadays in academic philosophy, it’s common to confuse the difference between one’s being enacted and one’s enacting; and difference between one’s enacting and performing for others (or to oneself as if being an other)—or the interest is regarded as about being maladaptive (“Id” vs. “Ego,” which conceals the character of being and being interpersonally apparent). I know that likely seems obscure. But it will be clarified in a later episode of “passages....”

A theorist can stipulate that ‘enacting’ and ‘performing’ are synonymous (and dismiss, deny, conceal an intra-enacting difference), but there are important differences, isomorphic with differences between genesis (possession), inhabiting (enowning a Flow), and conveyance (being the windowmirror)—though that probably seems serendipitous presently.

I’ll focus much more on phenomenology of action later. For now, I want to distinguish:

  • [a] working toward an artwork (resulting from working “up” to artwork);
  • [b] the artwork product itself; and
  • [c] presentation of the work.

Presentation itself doesn’t imply how genesis ([a]—> [b]) may remain mysterious
in translation ([b]—> [c]). Even work that overtly calls attention to its methodic formation (e.g., “painterly” painting, self-conscious narrative) is likely alluding to
its proximal presencing ([b]—> [c]), which is a kind of secondary genesis (meta-composition). Setting up presentation (translation from obscure revelation, say) is different from setting forth the work (genesis, creation of creativity).

But issues of translation may be thematic (evincive, immanently “calling” for attention) in highly methodic work. For sculpture, perhaps, it’s relatively easy
to wonder and prospect—relative, that is, to difficult prospecting: genesis of well-defined storiation or higthly choreographed dance; or transposition of a script that led to a movie. The more complex that the presence of something is (i.e., the greater the presencing), then the more elusive perhaps is insight into the distance between originary dancing and enjoyable display.

Genesis involves deep time of the individuating talent (being released into full scalarity of one’s time), which involved sojourns of growing capability, interest, appreciability, repertoire, etc. that didn’t anticipate where that would lead (the stuff of memoir and fodder for biographers), before gravitating from that open tropogeny into the work-specific creation (The Work, I’ll say), then to a tropographic Thing dis-

That’s useful for understanding a generative difference between [a] itself—call it the expression of Time, creativity of the life—and an [a]-to-[b] creation as a difference between authoriality and authorship. Though authoriality may differentiate itself from derived authorship (an implicit pseudonymity of “being the author,” which may be by design) there is in all events a reader-inferrable authorship that transcends specific works. In other words, “the author” for the reader may become a kind of meta-character constructed across works (i.e., “being the author” as readerly imputation and extended construction). To be “Nabokov” is something else than being Vladimir to wife Véra. Yet, it’s Vladimir who writes elaborate narratives, intending to be “Nabokovian” (after having sought to make himself into “Nabokov, Author”). Being Vladimir writing (where, by the way, Véra is actively involved in the creation of their “Nabokov,” intimately in their love of the authorship as such) is different from being the reputed author, let alone the confessional narrator of Speak Memory.

And all—authoriality, mirrorplay of authorship, and presumably confessional voice—are different from common narration overtly intending to imply a narrator (readerly writing of the voice that narrates). All of these differences are invisibly authorial, as authorship may conceal its authoriality, as if there’s no difference—or an author may not even realize the difference, as possibility, as nonconscious degree of self understanding about “whom” is showing (how unwitting difference is self-concealing in the nonconsciousness of itself), or as unconscious deferral of realizing a self-undermining display (enjoyed by Deconstructive criticism).

So, too, with any medium: Authoriality and authorship may be overtly important to the artist: Pablo being “Picasso,” apparently a different painter across eras of his life, loving to recreate himself. A film is “a Truffaut,” but Truffaut strives to outstrip cinema verité enframing of where he’s going. Woody Allen designs to be a self-undermining filmmaker happily framing the character of “Woody Allen,” both as character in stories, then as filmmaker dealing with his own past boundaries.

Such enframing and self-enframing of display emerges from the talent that individ-uates its creative potential to a protean degree. Can protean individuation be captured as such? theorized? Capturing protean creativity itself, in some conceptual adventuring, seems vain or/and self-undermining: By definition, creative potential is, so to speak, self-transcending. A master teacher might hope to enable protean capability, but how does one do that? How does one recognize and appreciate protean emergence? How is such hope other than vanity?

Actually, such questions are integral to thinking about teaching creativity: teaching art, creative writing, design professions of various strains, capability for importantly novel insight in scientific and scholarly research.

The student flowers and leaves before seafaring fleshes out what was burgeoning, maybe to be crystallized years later, as creativity finds its ownmost way into creation, then apt display. (The teacher maybe reads/hears of the student who found and secured a high place—a kind of long post facto mirroring of what hopes were insightful and what was less so. Yet, that’s only relative to seafarer interest in gaining public reputation. How many talents never bother, in the spirit of famous ones who withdraw from the light, loving their work, working their love, and caring little about recognition? Theorize them.)

Anyway, for the most part now (being easily drawn into entangling tangents), I’ll keep ambiguous my indication of [a]: Expressive presence is also a resonance of being “between” itself (alive creativity) and creation of [b] The Work (a “between” of bringing the self-destining Thing into being). In a sojourn to The Work, creativity and creation are intimates, sometimes differentiable, yet mostly feeling to be the same—or distinguishable as there being a weave or braiding of exhilarations and focus, dancer of the dancing (entranced) toward her dance, dancing of the dancer inhabiting a given work.

Auratic differences as such are topics for retrospection (reconstructive narration, analysis), while such self reflection may be also integral to one’s way to The Work—the genesis—though methodic self reflection is likely supplemental to being in time with oneself for whatever is to show itself.

Nonetheless, creative work naturally involves self-reflectivity—self-differentiation,
a recursive dimension integral to enacting itself, especially whereby creation that’s oriented to some thing transforms one’s sense of creativity (an immanently trans-cending aspect of enacting), such that the artist, the researcher, etc. invites discovery for the sake of advancing capability for better discovery (which is also a keynote of master teaching, as if also the creator teaches herself to become masterfully self-determining).

I think to call this the self enhancive nature of authoriality: wanting to enrich capability in odysseys of exploration. Obviously, that’s integral to young creators. Yet, it’s also integral to creativity itself. Any old genius will admit that the 25 year-old in her, him lives, living to be wholly amazed again.

Wholly engaging genesis, self enhancive nature, joyous venturing, poiesis, sets forth playing to find originary novelty displaying itself in the horizon like crystallizing
or emergence of gestalt in the pointillism of a space: a mass of materials in a studio drawn into bricolagic belonging together in the same work; saliances of a landscape, stars in a dark night, or gathering of themes by some singular gravity of composition.

Reflectively, analytically, reconstructively, inquiring minds may want to know
how to capture the nature of that. So, there are theorists of creativity.

But isn’t theorization always relative to an implied paradigm of theorizing, whereas (again) creativity at its best is free? How else can there be primordial discovery? So, what accounts for ultimate freedom in mental dancing, in paradigm transcendence?
could paradigm transcendence be? What qualifies as satisfactory “accounting”?

I can’t say. But dwelling with the questions can lead to consolidating a repertoire of conceptual resourcefulness into a singular domain of exploration, resulting in discourse of some relatively comprehensive understanding or mentality of extended prospective inquiries, setting up a logos of creativity, a grounding in what creativity is (always to be transformed by further, ultimately open venturing).

And the result likely sets up its own antedating thanks to the achievement that makes clear how the implicate horizon is a crystalline paradigm dissolving into new elasticities. Topology discloses itself as emergent tropology, then tropology discloses itself as new fluidities of constellating—maybe, which warrants sailing on, as the fun never ends. We pass It on; we pass away.

Anyway (tangents, tangents...), discourse or discursive presence can be a kind of tenable conceptual artwork distinct from the ultimately open venturing that leads to the main Work (the relative milestone) that is appropriated for presentation. This is a distinction between [b] the Work and [c] discourse about it, familiar from scholarly interpretations of dificult texts which are audience-oriented discourses, in a contemporary way that The Work may not be (e.g., a complex artwork from an earlier century).

So, a fulfilling singularity of The Work is not the same, for an artist, as an appropriate presentation of The Work. Creative clarity (rather innerworldly) is not the same as presentational clarity.

In brief—though not clearly yet (I know)—I would (can) clearly differentiate:
[a] expressiveness or enactive creativity; expressive presencing ([a]—> [b]);
[b] The Work (like [c] discursive presence, but scaled up here [implicitly for me,
not yet expressed]) to conceptuality itself, being paradigmatic for understanding;
and appropriation of The Work into [c] discourse (translational, hermeneutical:
[b]—> [c]) that serves other-oriented interests of presentation or performance
(I’ll label that [d]: purposeful, communicative interaction with others), in flexibly situated projects (e.g., displays aiming to affect/effect, teaching, and criticism).
The latter ([c] <—> [d]) is an event of appropriation at a level derived from
the prevailing Event ([a] to [c]) which may help evolve a domain (and might aptly be called an Event of Appropriation at a large-scale temporal level).

My mediated distinction between The Work and display is commonly missing in representations of works, for reasons that are peculiar to the artist, often perhaps because prospecting the intimacy of creativity is left to the other (“the work speaks for itself”) or is appropriated by the artist relative to given audiences (personalized; and only discoursing as deeply as time or interest warrants). But commonly artists, writers, researchers do have work that is, to them, essentially what they’re about to themselves; and which is the basis for partial displays (an element of closure in a long Project). A writer may consider her journals to be her fundamental voice or accom-plishment, but the private cogency of that—her clear sense of comprehensive cohering—would be unavailable to any reader.

A long-term, living inhabitation, a height of efficacious generativity—an enowning
of Time—is and feels to be The Work or the reason for the working of derivative work for display. The living existence—the existentiality—of the generative artistry may be the main work.

So, whatever is done thereafter by the living Work becomes art: Picasso scribbles on
a napkin, and it’s immediately priced high to sell. It’s another “Picasso.” A set of index cards that were supposed to be burned, but weren’t, becomes a newfound work of art (Nabokov, The Original of Laura).

It’s no matter of “Sensibility” (Romantic essentialism) or “genius” (more on that darling notion later). It’s long-term devotion to high individuation. It’s devoted time, and it’s work.

Then, The Work becomes the basis for audience-attuned works. In light of so much time, it’s apt to say that The Work which is appropriated for contemporary interests is addressing an ethos: having a kind of audience in mind; or performing for
a curriculum that presumes a general level of prior understanding. The performed work has or implies (to the artist) its prior kind of logos (or constitution of creative singularity), but this may likely remain mysterious for audiences.

Getting back to the “logic” of the main Work likely tropes its genesis in reverse, educationally; or scaffolds forward (allegorizes) the creative process for the sake of educing others’ creativity (students, other artists, general public that would be enriched).

I want to believe that devoted researchers and artists want generative influence
more than deeper recognition (while wanting the latter, too!). Retrospection is possibly both educational (reconstructive) and generative (fruitfully exemplary) because a key aim of research and art is to be durably influential.

Reconstruction of logos and troping poiesis—retrospecting the event (or the Event) of appropriation—teaching, mentoring—at best develops or evolves an ethos,
maybe even contributing to the evolving of a leading domain.

But distinctions can lose usefulness. Though some artists will avow that the work leading up to the displayed work is the “real” work; others will collapse the differ-ence, to want no more consideration than the display. The unarticulable distance between creative working and the creation, then transposition into an accessible narrative of formation, then translation of “final” drafting into “finished” present-ation may be beyond articulation as such. “Here is my display for you. May it be enough.”

In principle, though, a narrativity of interpretation between “us” (communicative presence) is distinct from a discursive narrative of translation by the artist (discursive evincing of logos or evincive discourse), which is distinct from a narrative about the working (expressive evincing or evincive poiesis) that led to the main work, The Work that is beyond display. Artwork-premised interest plays into other-oriented communicative interest relative to the other’s engagement in individuation or creativity. Narrative that’s oriented to a general audience is implicitly prospective of an ethos that would be engaged and durably influenced. Most simply, innerworldly narrative is obviously something else than outerworldly narrative, though both are performances irt an audience.

The more expressionist a work is, the more difficult it may be to interpret. The distance between display and genesis is privately collapsed into the difficult poem or labyrinthine novel or conceptual discourse impatient with calls for more-gracious explication (“not ready for prime time”? No, that is the display: the mystery of The Distance).

The more discursive a work is, the more that genre conventions or standard conceptual domains can be fruitfully brought into interpretive play (inviting
a hermeneutics of explication that seems derivable).

The more immediately communicative a work is, the more that it shows rapport with given cultural idioms, presumptions, familiar ways of “reading”; or it invites a general heightening of appreciability that the work itself evinces (feeling to be “edifying” or “enriching”), thereby enabling higher appreciability of other things, like an advance-ment of capability through curriculum.

Such a long way this is from a balmy spring day, when Anna had me watching her, which began a venture of decades between us. She unwittingly taught me much
about creativity, through her becoming a “scientific artist,” she called herself.
That’s not discernibly pertinent to the above, largely (beyond initial tropality); but there’s a sense of genealogy here that tropes a long story of a given, grateful life.
You can imagine that we here would have quite a sojourn of storiation ahead of us
if I tried to show how deep time in my life leads to discursive improvisations like this. It’s easy to feel that, generally, mutuality in authorial genesis can be fated to remain unexpressed, for how much life goes into anyone’s creative focus?

I feel I have little time for extensive recounting, though endless time for entrancing remembrance.


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  Be fair. © 2017, gary e. davis