Bestiary of Living Scores

This is a temporary page for the Bestiary of Living Scores

How do we consciously or intentionally enter, play with, and survive jams? When one of us loses the immediacy of presence within the space or has isolated ourself, what are the specific practices that help us become present, ground ourselves, lose ourselves, stop thinking, stop stopping, begin again? By sharing these personal techniques, we can inspire others to try them on. These are “Ways of knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do.”
The idea of this project is to find ways to collect, record and share the wide variety of individual approaches we have all developed (sometimes thinking we are the only ones who feel a certain way). We will use some of the teachers’ meeting to figure out what is useful, non-intrusive, and easily accomplished. These ways might include mini-interviews (1-5 minutes, at set locations or “islands” at the edge of some jams or outside during meals), self-recording booths (with prompt cards), a research board (with post-it notes to share experiences), sharing circles (after lunch at a tree, for group discussion), etc. I am also setting up a website with a form for sending responses.
I will also offer a short training in interview practice to those who are interested. Interviews are not conversations! How to listen, lightly probe, and listen some more. I emphasize that this is a light technique. Just a couple of questions, no need to answer, not interrupting, but helping their curiosity become articulate. Anyone with a phone can make a recording.
The material will be transcribed, archived, and shared. We will generate a nice “bestiary of living scores”, scores as lived by the great diversity of contacters.

short excerpts from scores 
people have shared:

Mantras and reframings: “whatever is happening right now is exactly what i need”, “i question my thoughts, Byron Katie style”
Doing things with eyes: “zooming in and out”, “i close my eyes and reconnect with my dance”
Seeing the jam differently: “as music, polyphonic with harmonies and discordances”, “as an ocean of flow”
Changing attention: “stretching senses like a plant”, “noticing how i am already being moved by others”
Stepping out: “i take myself out of the space and ask myself: do i want to be in the jam or somewhere else”
Physical activity: “Oh, I roll”, “I get on the ground and crawl in a straight line to the other side. Sometimes I bump into people, sometimes someone sits on me.”



Joe is an anthropologist of passions, brains, games, bodies, drugs, and facts. He is chair of Performance Studies and professor of Science & Technology Studies and Anthropology at UC Davis. His books, Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans in Biomedical America, and Drugs for Life: How Pharmaceutical Companies Define Our Health, look at how knowledge is made and how facts get into our lives, beliefs and activities. His recent work has concentrated on how learning and training take place in bodyminds, transform people, and generate new possibilities for action.

Joe spent the last seven years working intensely with Nita Little, Kevin O’Connor, Natasha Myers, Christine Germain, Jess Curtis, Karl Frost, Daniel Bear Davis, mayfield brooks, Hilary Bryan and Brandon Gonzalez in contact improvisation, performance studies, practice as research, and embodied mindfulness. Combining medical anthropology with movement research, he’s been delving into fascia – training in massage including cranial sacral, dissecting cadavers with Gil Hedley, teaching minds in motion with Nita Little, teaching improvisation and movement to neuroscientists, creating a Fascia Research Movement Lab with Kevin O’Connor, combining neuroscience and CI with Asaf Bachrach and others, and working with 3D virtual reality technologies.