October 16, 2008

Etude 4 - Interaction

Previously, we discussed basic movements, activities, and tasks.

Now let's take add a new layer - interactions.

You may want to brush up a little on grammar for this one.

For the purpose of this exercise, I'm defining an interaction as any physical action that needs two or more actors - one to "send" and one to "receive." In grammatical terms, interactions require both a subject and an object. Either can be animate or inanimate, sentient or non-sentient. But they must have (or be endowed with) the ability to act and/or respond.

Here are a few samples:
abduct, attack, beg, comfort, command,
dance, defend, defy, demand, dismiss,
expose, feed, fight, flirt, follow,
fuck, greet, ignore, invite, kiss,
lead, meet, mock, obey, offer,
play, refuse, reject, restrain, show,
soothe, spy, tempt, trade, watch,
I'm noticing a couple of things about interactions that struck me as particularly interesting. As with tasks, there is a kind of implied drama - the potential for conflict - inherent in these actions. But there is something else there, something more subtle yet profound. Besides suggesting character, interactions can also suggest a relationship without having to say what it is.

The practical example will explore to what extent this works.


  1. My first reaction when I saw "one to send" and "one to receive," was to wonder about joint actions such as two people lifting a table together. Maybe you wouldn't call that an interaction. Co-action, maybe? Will you be treating that separately?

  2. Yeah. My very first post about this (On Writing a Movement-Orientd Piece) hinted that you could add more characters to any of the etudes.

    I really did consider co-action, but I decided on something more precise to make this exercise truly different from the others.