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Time, Clothing & Prosthesis

Use this prompt as a starting point to develop a performance. Details of your project proposal will be discussed with the instructor.

Consider the following paragraph from Zen Mind, Beginners Mind:

Dogen-zenji said, "Time goes from present to past." This is absurd, but in our practice sometimes it is true. Instead of time progressing from past to present, it goes backwards from present to past. Yoshitsune was a famous warrior who lived in medieval Japan. Because of the situation of the country at that time, he was sent to the northern provinces, where he was killed. Before he left he bade farewell to his wife, and soon after she wrote in a poem, "Just as you unreel the thread from a spool, I want the past to become present." When she said this, actually she made past time present. In her mind the past became alive and was the present. So as Dogen said, "Time goes from present to past." This is not true in our logical mind, but it is in the actual experience of making past time present. There we have poetry, and there we have human life.

Clothing is emblematic, and can be identified as a uniform. It's parts may amount to mimicry — helping to create the disquise adopted by the object of the gaze.

Mimicry can be:
Travesty - pretending to be what one is not.
Camouflage - hiding inside what is already there.
Intimidation - taking a part of something larger than you.

Clothing can be seen as display. The display may be a lure - to attract others. It may be a defense - worn in order to protect the body. Helmets, breastplates and shields may be used to this end, also sun glasses, gasmasks, bee-keeper's hats and thermal underwear. When the protection required creates a defense against aggression rather than atmospheric extermes, the items worn often project outwards from the body.

An artificial device to replace or augment a missing or impaired part of the body.


1. Each student will create a performance no more than five minutes in length. Consider carefully the use of clothing, masks and/or prosthesis.

2. Make our experience of present time, travel to the past.

3. Make past time present.

4. Consider all of the principles of organization.

5. Do not use spoken dialog.