non-breaking space is a dance movie revealing the vulnerability of creation process to its context when questioning the nature of movement and looking at choreography through a zoomed-out lens. Thirteen minutes lasting continuous floating in sound, colour, shape and time starts with an impulse of a meandering line through drawing and of a floating thought through text imposing the interconnectedness and shared choreographic characteristics. The movie continues with moving mass, however, maintaining a distanced look towards movement.
Creation process in the realm of arts until today remains quite mysterious, romanticized. For example, for Kant, artist that creates a great piece of art is a genius that carries within an unexplainable talent (Proulx, 2001, p. 27). “Unexplainable” causes a labyrinth-like sensation or in a way dead-end. Nevertheless, with or without romanization or mystification of creation process, trying to unfold a piece of art and its creation process, undoubtedly, expands fields of thinking and allows new meetings of thoughts that previously haven´t met one another. This brings us directly to the roots of creativity.
According to Deleuze, creation is required by any field. He writes:
Everything has a story. Philosophy tells stories as well. Stories with concepts. Cinema tells stories with blocks of movements/duration. Painting invents entirely different types of blocks. These are neither blocks of concepts nor blocks of movements/duration, but blocks of lines/colours. Music invents other types of blocks, equally specific. Besides all this, science is no less creative. I don't really see oppositions between the sciences and the arts. (Kaufman & Heller, 1998, p. 15)
Moreover, he claims that precisely because of this shared feature of ours we can communicate with one another. “It is not that talk of creation took place – creation, to the contrary, is something very solitary – but it is in the name of my creation that I have something to say to someone” (p. 16). However, is it extremely important to point out that for Deleuze, the rise of an idea is deeply connected to the field it rises out of. This claim is understood as defined by the shape/state in which mind, imagination (or any other for the creation of an idea essential aspect) finds itself at when a filmmaker, philosopher, musician, etc. However, regardless of the specifics of any discipline or art form related thinking, there are no doubts that milder or more vivid interconnection takes place. This interconnection and meandering in-between disciplines and art forms are understood as crucial for a rich creation process since causing previously mentioned expansion of the field where thoughts might wander.
From the first glimpse, it seems that non-breaking space has nothing to do with disciplinary crossing, it simply joins a couple of art forms but remains within the field of art. A claim like this could be made, however, the piece is categorized as a dance movie, but no dancer appears in it. With this, a sort of provocation takes place. Manifestation of interconnectedness. It is believed that every art form carries within itself laws of nature (from patterns of physics to the ones of psychology) and that these laws usurp us in a fundamental way but most importantly, define what do we feel when we immerse ourselves into the presence of beauty. Regardless of non-breaking space being just an attempt, meaning that artistic qualities could be questionable, this game with sensations/concepts is understood as deeply beneficial. It is significant here to involve Kant once more whose “revolutionary theory of aesthetics takes natural beauty as primary, leaving only a secondary place for fine arts” (Moland, 2019, p. 13). With this notion, there is a wish to go back centuries ago to Ancient Greek philosophy and to an approach that is based on continuation. For Ancient Greeks, artists are immersing themselves in nature (therefore, we could claim in laws of nature) and continuing creating what nature did not create but what could’ve done.
When observing movement captured in nature or caused by nature the essential aspects of dance are visible with a naked eye. For example, the shot of moving water filmed from above could be easily associated with a group of dancers merging one with another, getting tangled and untangled through fluid movement. Waves rise from below and crash the water on top when all at once merging with the foam of other waves, forming new shapes, volume/weight of the sight, sensations that come with it. Apart from this, in every single captured frame mass moves in space, time and rhythm/dynamics. These are precisely the elements that dance consists of. Temptation for a question arises. Is human being of a need to call a piece dance piece. There is a wish to argue that if we approach art from cognitive perspective, maybe other human body observation could cause a greater influence because of social cognitive processes that we are linked by, however, if we apply aesthetical approach, seems like there should be no difference whatsoever. Here we could apply Bell’s distinguished features common to all art forms and emphasise the way he puts art pieces, arts and crafts and architecture under the same umbrella. Bell (1914) writes:
What quality is common to Sta. Sophia and the windows at Chartres, Mexican sculpture, a Persian bowl, Chinese carpets, Giotto's frescoes at Padua, and the masterpieces of Poussin, Piero della Francesca, and Cézanne? Only one answer seems possible—significant form. In each, lines and colours combined in a particular way, certain forms and relations of forms, stir our aesthetic emotions. These relations and combinations of lines and colours, these aesthetically moving forms, I call "Significant Form"; and "Significant Form" is the one quality common to all works of visual art (p. 30).
Even if Bell emphasises a very concrete set of characteristics, the idea of shared is significant. There is a wish to equally approach or identify/pay attention to shared characteristics of the drawing representing non-breaking space as a title (first frame of the film), the poem, transmission of colour and video footage of filmed movement.
Moreover, even previously mentioned cognitive approach remains highly questionable for a couple of reasons: first, observing the change of a plant, season, sky, crashing waves, flying flock of birds, wind in trees, etc. teaches us cyclicality, dependence and what both are part of – laws of nature. It might just be that we humans in our creations follow the patterns of nature and are astonished by the sight of these creations because we continue observing the same patterns in the same nature (for example, roughly speaking, when we observe dancing human, we might observe nature (because of human being part of it and choreography that is being performed)). However, previously mentioned continuation is here asked to be approached with the notion of the intelligence of today’s human being. As it was mentioned previously, for the Ancient Greeks (most probably because art´s value was measured by its accuracy when mimicking reality) art creation of a human was understood as something that nature did not create but could have created, however, artists challenged themselves with time. However, even if some would put first the beauty of nature and others the beauty of human creation, it is believed that human-produced art cannot be in any way compared with the beauty of nature since they simply belong to different realms. Their contexts, essence, reason, etc. differ. It is understood that, for example, Hegel underestimates the beauty of nature because his philosophy circles around and is based on the challenge-oriented development of human (depth of thought, concept, intelligence) where art as well as all around are tools in this gradual process.
Hegel uses “prosaic” to describe everyday objects, facts, and situations insofar as they appear given. “Poetic,” by contrast, has etymological roots in the verb “to make”. All art, in this sense, is poetic since an artwork’s created status is explicit: it is “something made, produced by a man who has taken it into his imagination, pondered it, and issued it by his own activity out of his imagination” (Moland, 2019, p 11).
However, in the case of non-breaking space we, of course, observe filmed material of nature caused movement (whether it's a delicate dance of curtain and breeze or vividly swinging trees). However often any footage modification is avoided. Often long-lasting frames are used to emphasise the observation itself as if encouraging to forget that it is a movie, that the sight will end and not the observer will decide when. Does this way denaturalise nature (nature in a broad sense) observation entirely?
There is also a wish to mention that Hegel approaches poetry as the most advanced art form because of words that bring us closer to the understanding of self through/with a concept and not just through sensors like other art forms (of that time (before conceptual art)). However, a tight relation of words with meanings often makes communicative process more direct. It is seen intriguing to put a poem along with visual and sonic elements and try to cause the sense of rhythm not only through the sound of read words but through the rhythm of thought. The text consists of simplicity in its symbolism and a mild dynamic jumping of thought towards the opening up of the idea/story of it. That way it is aimed to create the rhythm, dynamics of thought.
Similar way choreographer would create a piece out of sudden contractions of body muscles, loose mass in inertial moves, playing with sensations/meanings of gestures.
Proulx, Jeremy. "Nature, judgment and art: Kant and the problem of genius." Kant Studies Online 27 (2011): 53.
Moland, Lydia L. Hegel's Aesthetics: The Art of Idealism. Oxford University Press, USA, 2019.
Bell, Clive. Art. London: Chatto & Windus. 1914 (19492).
Kaufman, E., and Heller, K. J., eds. Deleuze & Guattari: New mappings in politics, philosophy, and culture. University of Minnesota Press, 1998.