I was reading now a short older post about the open-endedness of the blog. The form of the blog suggests the possibility of continuation, of adding posts constantly. There isn’t any intrinsic necessity to stop it. The reasons to finish a blog are external, they relate to other events. In the case I’m interested in, to the artistic creative process the blog was serving.
In these few experiences I’ve made of using blogs alongside the creation of choreographies I’ve always arrived to a point in which I decided not to go on with the writing, because the rehearsal processes were finished (or maybe is better to say, suspended). The interesting thing is that the space (that is, the blog) remains open, both for reading and for writing. The process can be revisited later on, and also re-engaged with if there’s a reason for it: a rework, a new performance, some occasion to reflect on the work.

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I think that this dissertation at times exceeds the subject of the blog to become, more broadly, an observation on how I use writing in general as a reflective tool.

The following are some fragments from the post “October 12, 2008 – sumimasen” (http://pabro.wordpress.com/2008/10/12/sumimasen-2/)

I feel very bad, and very embarrased… so I will copy this e-mail also in the blog to expose my embarrasment…
right now I am dancing my embarrasment and shame in the internet
I hope that serves as an apology.

dear dancers,

I’m happy that (some of) you read my blog, and I’m sorry if it gave you a bad impression… please don’t take it wrong. it is very natural and part of a creative process that some rehearsals are great and some are not very good. it is a very normal thing. it is our work, we are creating something new, all the time. I don’t want to conform with something that I already know, and this means there are some risks. things can result in different ways, and that is what makes it exciting.

(…)

also, I write in this blog because it’s a way to help me think about things. and because it is also a challenge for me to open up, and try to share my thoughts and feelings. sometimes I feel embarrased about what I say in the blog, and for me it is like putting myself in a similar situation to the dancers. when you perform the coreography you are very exposed and I ask you to not let these feelings block you. and I try to do the same: I try to write and share my thoughts, without holding back. like in rehearsals: I try to tell you what I think, even if I sound very stupid. the blog also makes me feel a bit ashamed sometimes (also because I change my opinion every day!) but I don’t mean anything bad… when I write, it’s a tool for documenting what I’m thinking during this trip. sometimes I try to write in a funny way, just to make it nicer to read. I (try to) use a lot of ironies so please don’t take things in the blog too seriously…

(…)

I believe that all of this is (our emails, trying to have fun, making some jokes, writing in the blog) is also part of our coreography…

(…)

I’ve been thinking for quite a while about the places of exposition of the choreographer, the places in which I can take the risk that the performers are taking. or the places in which I can accompany them in that risk.
One of them is, of course, the blog. one of the aspects I like about writing the blog is that it also makes me (as a choreographer that often doesn’t perform in its own work) public. Specially my stupidity and limitations, and my doubts and insecurities. I find it fair (and hopefully constructive) to have a space where I am also forced to let go of my shyness, where I can’t be safe in not being seen. It is an aspect of sharing with the performers, and a way to support them in the work and to create more trust for each other.
A bit more about this space of exposure of the non-performing-choreographer (beyond the blog) in the smallerinamsterdam blog:
http://smallerinamsterdam.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/practicing-performing-being-a-member-of-the-audience-pablo/

During the creative process I’ve used the blog as a space to write down impressions, daily notes, descriptive observations of rehearsals, discussions and my own thinking process. The blogs have functioned then as a sort of diary or log that help keep track of changes, a sort of documentation of the different moments the work has passed through.
In some occasions, I’ve also created a separate and more specific log-page for the rehearsals, in which I noted down the kind of activities, tasks and excercises we worked with, or the sections of the choreography that were adressed in each rehearsal.
In my experience and for my personal practice, it seems to have worked best when I wrote on the blog on a daily basis, finding the discipline to post something every day. The emblematic case is the blog I produced in Japan (pabro.wordpress.com/), while I was there on stage. And in the last part of the process, also the blog I created for the project ‘smaller, slower, unproductive and resentful’ (smallerinamsterdam.wordpress.com/). The circumstances around the blog I made in Japan I will revisit in another post, but for now is an example of how productive that discipline can be. It’s not about coherence – actually, most of the time the blogs will make evident the (sometimes contradictory) changes of position and perspective during creative processes.

how public is a blog?
I usually start the blogs for the projects and choose not to publish them in search engines, etc, etc. that is, I set them to be reachable only by people who have been somehow referred (for instance, they know the adress, or click a link in an e-mail or on another website) and specifically interested. it is maybe a sort of compromise choice between making the writing public but choosing for its audience.
I think the publishing brings into the writing the parameter of public exposure (when writing it’s difficult not to think about potential readers) and it allows for a public interaction, though with a very specific audience. which makes it maybe a bit safer.
I also like to think that it creates more specific networks or groups of belonging, in the linking. The blog is not accessed by searching for key words or specific contents, but by an interest in the context or related events and spaces. Something like a socio-cultural connection to the work prior to a contentual connection. Once you arrive there, once you read some of it, you can choose if you are still interested. Come to think about it now, it’s similar to how I like to think of bulding up audiences for my artistic work, relying on social networks and relationships of affection. It’s also a way to make decisions around how your audience will relate to your work. One clear example of this is, I think, is my father, the physicist-politician that regularly checks my websites and blogs, and is often interested in discussing them when we talk over the phone. I’m not sure if he’s aware of this blog but, as I write it, I can’t avoid thinking about the possibility of him reading this post.
Internet’s challenge is not to provide more and more information, but maybe actually less. Or at least to facilitate filtering. I approach the practice of publishing in the blogs mostly trying not to filter content. I’m interested in the ethics and in the kinds of relations that this approach provokes with (potential) readers. The key word is process. The original and basic interest in using them is to make the creative process accesible to others, and in that sense it would be counterproductive to edit them thoroughly (though there is always a certain degree of editing involved in the writing from the very first minute). My personal strategy to deal with that, so far, is to rely as I explained before in networks of readers (an audience) that starts with a certain willingness and interest. Maybe also by re-stating, here and there, that the function of the blog is to give (an imperfect) access to the process.

another reference. a quote from Brian Massumi’s introduction to his book ‘Parables for the virtual’ *:
“The reason for the constant reconstellation of concepts, and the differences in their casting when they make repeat appearances, is that I have tried to take seriously the idea that writing in the humanities can be affirmative or inventive. Invention requires experimentation. The wager is that there are methods of writing from an institutional base in the humanities disciplines that can be considered experimental practices. (…)
The essays in this volume work through examples. The writing tries not only to accept the risk of sprouting deviant, but to invite it. Take joy in your digressions. Because that is where the unexpected arises. That is the experimental aspect. If you know where you will end up when you begin, nothing has happened in the meantime. You have to be willing to surprise yourself writing things you didn’t think you thought. Letting examples burgeon requires using inattention as a writing tool. You have to let yourself get so caught up in the flow of your writing that it ceases at moments to be recognizable to you as your own. This means you have to be prepared for failure. For with inattention comes risk: of silliness, or even outbreaks of stupidity. But perhaps in order to write experimentally, you have to be willing to ‘affirm’ even your own stupidity. Embracing one’s own stupidity is not the prevailing academic posture (at least not in the way I mean it here).
The result is not so much the negation of system as a setting of systems into motion. The desired result is a systematic openness: an open system. (…) You end up with many buds. Incipient systems. Leave them that way. You have made a system-like composition prolonging the active power of the example. You have left your readers with a very special gift: a headache. By which I mean a problem: what in the world to do with it all. That’s their problem. That’s where their experimentation begins. Then the openness of the system will spread. If they have found what they have read compelling. Creative contagion.”
*note to this transcription: I first spent some time with the book open on my lap, typing, going back, correcting spelling mistakes, checking again. it took a couple of paragraphs for me to think of searching the web for a sentence of the text and, voilà, I ended up in Massumi’s website (www.brianmassumi.com) from where I ripped the rest much more easily. the italic marking is mine.