in and out
fan, air, hum
blow baby blow
Two years ago I started to learn how to lift, powerlifting and weightlifting1. sounding. body with bar-plate-rack is a film with2 text of an ongoing research assemblage where I seek to understand the intra-actions of my body with the materials of lifting; bars, plates and rack3 learning what my body can do and how I learn with and am taught by these materials, an embodied and material pedagogy4.
This is an assemblage of pedagogy, practice with research, an entanglement, where the intra-actions the action between is what matters and no one practice, theory etc. is more important or has status over the other; they all feed each other. For me pedagogy is not a passive process nor just about the acquisition of knowledge, but as a ‘a union of the mind, body and spirit, not just for striving for knowledge in and understanding from books, but knowledge about how to live in the world’5. Through my work I aim to enable rupturing, disruption and questioning, that can then support punching through into new learning spaces of potentials, for this assemblage, how do we learn and what do we learn with bar-plates-rack. But this is not about the subject, of me or my body or bodies or the object, of bar-plates-rack, but the entanglement, the event, the action between of the sounding body with bar-plates-rack-place is what matters.
sounding. body with bar-plate-rack shares an event where I was not in my usual place-world6 of lifting. A place-world that was new to me, where the air was thick with moisture and hot, so overwhelmingly hot, and where bodily I felt displaced, uncomfortable. However, it was the sounding of my body with the materials I know, understand and have learned with that settled these feelings and thoughts.
Through mapping these entangled ways and places of the body with these materials I am attempting to understand; the practices of life and learning that are sometimes invisible or hidden and most of the time taken for granted, because they are sensed, felt, heard and not always easily verbalised. I am also trying to understand how these entanglements have meaning, and how this meaning makes us, how we are entangled, co-implicated in the generation and evolution of knowing and being and learning. But, what we can also learn is how these ways are embodied with wider, global, discourses and power relations so then we can enable a ‘practice of freedom, the means by which we … deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of our world’7 to bring about change.
1 ‘Powerlifting is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerlifting). ‘Olympic weightlifting, often simply referred to as weightlifting, is an athletic discipline in the modern Olympic program in which the athlete attempts a maximum-weight single lift…The two competition lifts in order are the snatch and the clean and jerk.’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_weightlifting)
2 . I use with to connote an entanglement; messy, not structured or ordered, non hierarchical, non-binary and open to potentials and possibilities. But I also use with or a hyphen to visually denote the space between. see Page, T. (forthcoming 2020). Placemaking. A new materialist theory of pedagogy. Edinburgh University Press. Edinburgh.
3‘A barbell is a piece of exercise equipment used in weightlifting and powerlifting, consisting of a long bar, usually with weight plates attached at each end’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbell). A weight plate is a flat, heavy object, usually made of cast iron, that is used in combination with barbells to produce a bar with a desired total weight for the purpose of physical exercise’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weight_plate). ‘A power rack (also known as a power cage, squat cage or squat rack) is a piece of weight training equipment that functions as a mechanical spotter for free weight barbell exercises’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_rack).
4 Page, T. (2018). Teaching and learning with matter. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/7/4/82/htm
5 hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge. p.15.
6 I use the term ‘place-world’ to denote a particular place that has specific and particular forms of human, and non-human socio-material knowledges, performances and practices see Page, T. (forthcoming 2020). Placemaking. A new materialist theory of pedagogy. Edinburgh University Press. Edinburgh.
7 Freire, P. (1970) Pedagogy of the oppressed. London: Penguin. p.16.