Bring Me the Nothing
As a dancer turned Communication researcher, the practice and process of working from flow often goes untranslated with my Communication colleagues. They might ask how I planned a written performance piece, with the assumption that I methodically placed disparate pieces together, matching them up like a perfectly planned mosaic to arrive at answers from my hypotheses. Some may know the definition of flow, and if they do, they will certainly be able to cite scholars who theorize it. They might even study individuals who work directly within it. But with the exception of a few individuals, I have not yet had the chance work to work with many individuals who also operate from a place of flow as a legitimate, instinctual place of generation. Where they also like to stay in the messy place of generation, spending more time on the probing and mutual discovering than in the forming and smoothing. I have learned to follow my own rhythms if I want to work in this way,
waiting for inspiration to strike
for the pieces to fall into relation through the gravity of inspiration
where the process of starting from nothing can be taken as comfort
for inspire excitement
far from a fear that drives a person to fill that tabula rasa with something… anything recognizable… as soon as possible.
Lauren Mark, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University