The Theme:

The Analogue Soul in the Digital Age


Does the digital age alter our brain, our perceptual capacity, our social behaviour, our soul?

What are the consequences of intense usage of the computer on our brains? This question, which up until now has been asked primarily by worried parents, is now increasingly of interest in neurobiology and psychology.

Does life in the digital age change the neural wiring of the brain? Some scientists are convinced that regular online activity may influence the way we read, learn and interact with each other.

Chor-Bar
Photo: © 2007 delta RA'i

According to the thesis of the psychologist, Gary Small, university of Los Angeles (UCLA), if the brain spends more time engaged in the operation of technical systems, then basic social skills will become less important – as for instance, the skill of interpreting the facial expression of the person opposite during a personal conversation.

The nerve conductors involved in face-to-face communication may potentially become weaker as a result of constant digital activity, explains Small. The possible consequences include social awkwardness, the inability to comprehend non-verbal communication, increased isolation and decreased ability to empathise and unfeelingness.

It is assumed that the impact will be strongest on people who are now between the ages of 20 and 30, and already trust the computer since childhood. Experts call them “digital natives” (digitally indigenous) – in contrast to the “digital immigrants”, who have spent their childhood and youth in a purely analogue context, and became “digital immigrants”, trusting the possibilities of the computer only in a later phase in life.

What science is seeking to locate in the brain has for others become an illness of the soul. We are still humans, made of flesh and blood, completely analogue. And our souls, our most inner essence, which enables us to be stirred, moved and touched, are now still “only” analogue.

Chor-Miki

Photo: © 2007 delta RA'i

A remarkable phenomenon has developed in our world in the last 50 years: denaturation.
Previously, a tomato still tasted like a tomato, an apple like an apple and milk turned sour after a few days.
There is hardly any nature inside the nature of our food anymore, thanks to antibiotics (anti= against + bios = life).
It is both magnificent and terrifying what the spirit of our age has achieved, and how the human creative drive endeavours to take universal creation hostage.
 
The soul of people and their vitality seem very sick, if not already dead…

Our mind is obsessed with the biblical “duty”, to make earth our subject and we feel we are entitled to exploit nature and “improve” it - even our very own nature, our souls.
We are increasingly stressed, we chase all kinds of ideals, and therefore run away from ourselves.
How else can one explain the 72 hour-long work shift of a hospital doctor or the countless casting shows?

Our souls suffer from an immense deficiency: missing a world perceived in ‘analogue’ and the compassionate people living therein.
We surround ourselves en masse with our intellectual-technical accomplishments, from the iPhone to atomic bombs, but we do not have a clue about the wellbeing or needs of our neighbours or partner.

What does the soul need in order to survive in a de-spiritualised and exploited environment?

How could dance help us to integrate ourselves again in nature's cycle of natural events?

Dance or yoga, art or music are originally something analogue, something our soul can understand because it can be fed with images, which can move, stir and take hold of the soul.
Dance could at least be a key with which the closed treasure box within us could be opened again in order to grant our soul a little human analogue strength.

eX...it!´11 is an artistic approach to new methods of overcoming the deep identity crisis, the increasing psychological deficiencies and social inadequacies which we find ourselves with since the last century.
Owing to the self-indulgent preoccupation with wealth, our perceived virtual supremacy and dismissal of the spiritual, our emotional roots are deprived.
The rapid development of the 20th century has indeed already taken us onto the moon’s surface - but also to the brink of a nuclear war; and thanks to an ever-increasing globalisation, we are also on the verge of an ecological and social catastrophe.

Do we have everything under control? What has happened to the culture of cooperation, to new values and the development of peace and stability in our society? Where is our soul hiding? Or do we no longer have one???

Why is there an ever-increasing intensive search for the ultimate extreme kick? Is the ‘normal’, analogue, tried-and-tested life getting more and more boring for us? Have we already seen everything, experienced everything, even if that is mostly virtually, digitally?
Physical experience is often lacking and we are continuously searching for the sensationalin order to feel our analogue existence. 
So where is this mounting excessive greed and destructiveness leading us?

eX...it!´11 invites an investigation into the development of the global zeitgeist and the imprisonment of the world’s soul in the underworld (HADES) using modern dance, and in particular Japanese Butoh-dance.
 
eX...it!´11 wants to ask questions and eXplore analogue answers and perspectives through dance imagery.
 
eX...it!´11 will see invited choreographers create their own artistic works around the issue of the degeneration of the soul using one of the eX-pressions (eXchange it! • eXpress it! • eXpect it! • eXplore it! • eXamine it! • eXhale it! • eX... it!).

They will seek to eXplore the questions raised above. Two choreographers will pair up and collaborate in order to produce choreography for the final presentation reflecting the different perspectives of their respective dance styles.
 

Dance as Transformation…

delta RA'i, November 2010