Wednesday 1 December 2010

Knowledge, Performance and Positioning

let's assume we perform the things we know...

To what extent is performing the things we know related to revealing who we are? 
How does the type of performance relate to the artefacts we produce? 
How to artefacts relate to the performances that are created?
What do we learn from a performance?
Do we learn the knowledge, or do we learn how to perform the knowledge?
What are the conditions for mimicry?
How does performing the things we know relate to the ways we treat others?

I think I can address some of these now.

Revealing who we are is related to the authenticity of the performance. It is a description about the ethos of knowledge: "this is worthwhile because..."

Artefacts are created through a performance which creates content. Artefacts themselves contain different descriptions which can be analysed at a semiotic level (marks on the paper, words, brush strokes, picture, motifs, melodies, etc)

We are usually part of a performance because the performance is coordinating an 'agency game'. We learn the rules of the game; we learn the articulations of the performance (for example, learning to sing a song)

It's the agency game that counts. A teacher's performance of knowledge is really a coordination of an agency game - with learners, on their own. Learners learn to play the game by learning its rules, by learning the articulations of the performances of the teacher.

Mimicry is extraordinary. To mimic I must be able to deduce (or abduct) how it is that the overall knowledge performance is articulated: what skilled performances are required, how they are produced, how I can produce them, how they are coordinated, how I can coordinate them, and so on. How is it that I deduce from a musical performance the articulations of skilled performance I need to perform to reproduce it? Mimicing accents or personalities is even more complex. Yet we seem to be able to do this easily. Somehow my biological state can apprehend the agency that caused it to come about.

Positioning is important. It may be related to taste. Not all performances are to my taste. I might love Haydn and detest Boulez. I would not seek to reproduce the skilled performances of Boulez. It relates to my capacity to engage in the agency games with either Haydn (or using Haydn) and Boulez. My position detects the likelihood that I can engage in the agency game successfully in my current state. A teacher might similarly find a student not to their taste: they judge that they cannot engage in a meaningful agency game with them because the skilled performances the student can do does not match the game the teacher wants to play. Good teachers will change the game and find one the student can play.

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