A Familiar Language

Swing dance, as well as the scene of the Frim Fram Jam, becomes repetitive in one way or another. The dance itself involves a repetition of certain moves. The selection of partners becomes familiar as one gets to know the locals who regularly attend. One is able to recognize songs as the musical choices are recycled from week to week. The dance remains the same, the people remain the same, the music remains the same, the floor remains the same every time I go there. So why do people keep coming back? What draws people in?

Perhaps it is the desire for familiarity, the embrace of repetition, that continuously brings people to Frim Fram. To repeat the dance is to continuously familiarize and learn a physical method of communication. The language of dance requires one to connect so many things together—the beat of the music, the connection and tension in the arm of the partner, how much space is available for the dance, how the feet slide, step, and stomp on the wooden floors. In The Autonomy of Affect, Massumi explains that “for affect is synesthetic, implying a participation of the senses in each other: the measure of a living thing’s potential interactions is its ability to transform the effects of one sensory mode into those of another” (Massumi 35). The senses of sight, touch, hearing must be used together in order to communicate the dance effectively.

In Food Inc., we see just how the audio intensifies the graphic visuals of how humans and animals are treated in the slaughterhouses. Images collaborating with sounds of pigs squeal as they are slammed down from an elevator to their deaths and hundreds of thousands of chickens squawking as they sit in their own feces in one cramped coop are unforgettable as they make us consider what really happens to the food we eat. It’s one thing to rationally know and imagine the realities of what the food industry hides from us, but it is an entirely other thing to see with your own eyes and hear with your own ears. The affects evoked from the combinations of sight, sound, and even touch are what really stick in one’s consciousness.  Frim Fram is a place that’s hidden from the world, a place where you just have to see and hear to realize its warmth. The challenge will be how to accurately capture it.

-Jennifer-

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~ by jj1488 on November 1, 2015.

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