Mike Murphy, PhD candidate at Royal Holloway, has begun an ambitious and fascinating project exploring the possibility of a non-teleological global theory that respects both the role of the subject and his/her context. This project rests on a complex critique of the ‘Western’ assumptions that lay at the heart of so much of social science literature. In order to pursue a more representative approach to social science the project hopes to bring together artists and social scientists to develop social art forms and languages around the idea of Betweenness.
What is ‘The Art of Betweenness’?
“Betweenness (aidagara 間柄)consists in the fact that self and other are divided from each other … and at the same time that what is thus divided becomes unified” (Watsuji, 1996, p. 35). A boundary that separates any two things is also the meeting place that unites them. This “in-betweenness” (aidagara) or lived social space, as the space of action, thus has an intrinsic qualitative character and interactive dynamic that differentiates it from geometrical space. In this concept mind and body are not separate but form mind-body.
The idea is to discuss with artists the possibility of developing an art work, music, drama, literature, etc. and combinations of, through the concept of betweenness. The artists should ‘own’ the art. The work must acknowledge that it is both created and creating. It should aim to convey ideas of individuality, relationality, alienation and self-alienation. It should be social in form, practice and content. Lastly, it should convey ideas diegetically and non-diegetically not only to the viewer but through the performer-the work should be owned.