2000年01月

2000年01月05日

Restoration of behavior

Restoration of behavior
Let us examine the notion of restored behavior more closely. We all perform more than we realize. As noted, daily life, ceremonial life, and artistic life consist largely of routines, habits, and rituals; and the recombination of already behaved behaviors. What's “new,” “original,” “shocking” or “avant-garde” is mostly either a different combination of known behaviors or the displacement of a behavior from where it is acceptable or expected to a venue or occasion where it is not expected. Thus, for example, nakedness caused a stir in the performing arts when it first was used in a widespread way in the 1960s. But why the shock, why was nudity new? Simply because the nakedness took place in “high-art” live-performance venues. Previously people saw naked bodies only at home or in gymnasium shower rooms. Naked performers were seen only in striptease shows. But this prohibition applied only to live naked bodies. Art museums were full of representations of naked bodies. The 田over・for this nakedness was that the art displays were presumed to be non-erotic. Of course, in many cultures nakedness is the norm. In others, such as Japan, it has long been acceptable in certain public circumstances and forbidden in others. By the year 2000 no one in any Western metropolitan venue could get a rise out of spectators or critics by performing naked. But don't try it in Kabul.
The habits, rituals, and routines of life are restored behaviors. Restored behavior is living behavior treated as a film director treats a strip of film. These strips of behavior can be rearranged or reconstructed; they are independent of the causal systems (personal, social, political, technological, etc.) that brought them into existence. They haキ,,e a life of their own. The original “truth” or “source” of the behavior may not be known, or may be lost, ignored, or contradicted - even while that truth or source is being honored. How the strips of behavior were made, found, or developed maybe unknown or concealed; elaborated; distorted by myth and tradition. Restored behavior can be of long duration as in ritual performances or of short duration as in fleeting gestures such as waving goodbye.
Restored behavior is the key process of every kind of performing, in everyday life, in healing, in ritual, in play, and in the arts. Restored behavior is “out there,” separate from “me.” To put it in personal terms, restored behavior is “me behaving as if' I were someone else,” or “as I am told to do,” or ''as I have learned.” Even if I feel myself wholly to be my- self, acting independently, only a little investigating reveals that the units of behavior that comprise “me” were not invented by “me.” Or, quite the opposite, I may experience being “beside myself,” “not myself,” or “taken over” as in trance. The fact that there are multiple “me's” in every person is not a sign of derangement but the way things are. The ways one performs one's selves are connected to the ways people perform others in dramas, dances, and rituals. In fact, if people did not ordinarily come into contact with their multiple selves, the art of acting and the experience of trance possession would not be possible. Most performances, in daily life and otherwise, do not have a single author. Rituals, games, and the performances of everyday life are authored by the collective “Anonymous” or the “Tradition.” Individuals given credit for inventing rituals or games usually turn out to be synthesizers, recombiners, compilers, or editors of already practiced actions.
Restored behavior includes a vast range of actions. In fact, all behavior is restored behavior - all behavior consists of recombining bits of previously behaved behaviors. Of course, most of the time people aren't aware that they are doing any such thing. People just “live life.” Performances are marked, framed, or heightened behavior separated out from just “living life” restored restored behavior, if you will. However, for my purpose here, it is not necessary to pursue this doubling. It is enough to define restored behavior as marked, framed, or heightened. Restored behavior can be me・at another time or psychological state - for example, telling the story of or acting out a celebratory or traumatic event. Restored behavior can bring into play non-ordinary reality as in the Balinese trance-dance enacting the struggle between the demoness Rangda and the Lion-god Barong (see figure 2.4) . Restored behavior can be actions marked off by aesthetic convention as in theatre, dance, and music. It can be actions reified into the “rules of the game,” “'etiquette,” or diplomatic “protocol” - or any other of the myriad, known beforehand actions of life. These vary enormously from culture to culture. Restored behavior can be a boy not shedding tears when jagged leaves slice the inside of his nostrils during a Papua New Guinea initiation; or the formality of a bride and groom during their wedding ceremony. Because it is marked, framed, and separate, restored behavior can be worked on, stored and recalled, played with, made into something else, transmitted, and transformed.
Restored behavior is symbolic and reflexive (see Geertz box). Its meanings need to be decoded by those in the know This is not a question of high'' versus ''low・culture. A sports fan knows the rules and strategies of the game, the statistics of key players, the standings, and many other historical and technical details. Ditto for the fans of rock bands. Some- times the knowledge about restored behavior is esoteric, privy to only the initiated. Among Australian Native Peoples, the outback itself is full of significant rocks, trails, water holes, and other markings that form a record of the actions of mythical beings. Only the initiated know the relationship between the ordinary geography and the sacred geography. To become conscious of restored behavior is to recognize the process by which social processes in all their multiple forms are transformed into theatre. Theatre not in the limited sense of enactments of dramas on stages (which, after all, is a practice that until it became very widespread as part of colonialism belonged to relatively few cultures), but in the broader sense outlined in chapter 1 . Performance in the restored behavior sense means never for the first time, always for the second to nth time: twice-behaved behavior.


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