This post was taken from another page of mine – ‘waxnwings‘, a space for creative and critical writing.
I would like to set forth a critique of how movement in modern cultures is categorised and labelled, and as a result controlled through a seemingly innocent process of socialisation (namely the formation of social norms and ‘acceptabilities’). Here we are perhaps dealing with an ‘ideology of movement’, no different to the function of ideology in our everyday micro and macro social processes, arrangements, and interactions.
This critique presents an effort to build a ‘Philosophy of Movement’, one in which the very movement complexity of our species (or ‘potential’ for movement complexity, if it is only (re-)realised) is taken as antecedent for the advanced brain development which has spearheaded our species’ evolution, and ultimately our move to the top of the food chain. With this alone in mind, the motivation for any effort to critique, theorise, and philosophise further is self-evident.
The philosophy seeks to outline movement complexity as a significant determiner of our species as human; a ‘humanism’ intrinsically linked to the flesh, bones and blood of the body, a corporeal entity within space and time, a meaningful in that it has a direct a/effect on both our individual and collective psychological experience, now as much as it did throughout the evolution of our species.
Movement is, however, something that modern cultures (particularly in advent of commodity culture) have restricted, coded, and commodified. Movement in modern cultures is something to be practised as routine, but as little as possible; it is a burden, not a mode of expression, and when it is used as a mode of expression then it can only be so when practised and performed through culturally accepted avenues, such as ‘dance’ or ‘performance’ arts.
Like alienated work, movement becomes something we do for 30 minutes in our lunch time, for an hour after work, on the weekends under the guise of ‘game’, something separate from our ‘real’ life. And perhaps most worryingly – with the affluence of ‘leisure time’ in modern societies – movement finds it’s biggest social justification under the trapping net of ‘health and fitness’, a dangerous ideology which plays directly into the hands of commodity consumerism and further disconnection with ones body. Under the ideology of health and fitness, the body is something that must be controlled, lest it become abhorable, something weak, sick, ugly. The body becomes an object.
As a result we are largely a sick species, disconnected from our bodies physically, mentally, and spiritually.
I owe all the inspiration and many of my words to Ido Portal whose movement philosophy has elevated ideas I formulated throughout writing my undergraduate thesis in 2010, as well as leading me to find new meaning in my personal relationship to movement.