Knowledge base

Art of Falling

Text by Bruno Caverna

Fall into the falling and consider falling as a state of consciousness. Such a twisted semantics is more than an allegory, it appears as a planetary condition in the inescapable relationship with gravity. Thanks to a constant falling that we may have the privilege of feeling the body weight, the presence of the bones and generous tangible support offered by mother earth beneath our skin. If it weren't for the permanent gravitational influence we would be in a state of eternal fluctuation and spatial disorientation, with no possibility of experiencing a more intimate and solid relationship with the earth that generously cuddles us.

It is precisely by living within the gravity's field that a neural relationship in our human bipedal condition gradually takes shape and settles over time. Once having reached a vertical axis, humans must spend the rest of their lives in negotiation with gravity, reaching for a delicate sense of balance that turns out a fragile and precarious relationship. At the beginning of life, small children are not equipped with physical strength and necessary muscular tone to barely function in gravity. Fighting gravity is not a possibility but a gravitational humbleness, the only way to get around, the unavoidable mental tuning each of us could start our adventurous exploration in gravity. You can just observe how playfully a little child responds to a falling situation, oftentimes with a graceful smile, prompt to yielding to gravity joyfully. As we grow older, the relationship with gravity transforms itself in quality and texture. Adults fight gravity vehemently, albeit unconsciously. The resistance source lies in an internal mental battle stance against themselves. Virtually every single individual ends up being locked up in a mental state of "bracing for impact" oblivious to it. The very subconscious mechanisms to manage the structural balance through resistance has also the effect of becoming blind to innate fear of falling. In this phenomena, none seems to be able to escape from the fate of being trapped into a gravitational resistance and burden.

Fighting gravity becomes, therefore, the silent language inscribed in the nervous system of every grown up person, a condition that casts the whole of humanity into a quality of potentially dysfunctional behavior. Over time any point of reference to become aligned with gravity harmoniously, working with it as opposed to against it, fades away. As we acquire enough muscular strength to hold ourselves up, the falling vulnerability disappears from our conscious radar, becoming barely recognizable. Compensatory mechanics, instinctive reflexes and movement patterns that express fear reactivity are considered the norm, after all we have no other embodied alternative, albeit we have the tools to conceptualize and speculate about gravity. Gravity resistance becomes irrevocably the corporeal tongue everybody speaks, not only in the face of fall but as a permanent state of being. That becomes a huge human blind spot until the moment when the body begins to present signs of weakness, clearly visible in the elderly or those with their physical balance impaired. The inner concealed fighting breaks lose, gets externalized and manifests at each given step, at each motion reaching for life.

Text: Bruno Caverna, Formless Arts Founder
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