After the last watch, here are what I know of as new issues for the rule group:
- Can watching group members watch under other parameters without the expectation of that watch being added to the list?
My take (CJ): Of course! It should be one of the best by-products of watching that watching happens more often, that is more keen attention gets paid all the time… and as far as “reporting” goes, I think it’s fine to use each other as people to talk to about the watching. I intend for my mid-semester review to introduce the watching group to professors and to ask them to engage in a abbreviated watch that will not be added to the list, that is, I intend to do this unless the rule group deems this inappropriate.
- Photos taken of the watchers or of what the watchers are watching but not by the watchers. Does this count as documentation?
My take (CJ): I think that it would be unproductive to prohibit non-members from taking pictures of what is going on. I did mention to one non-member who wanted to take a picture of what I was watching that documentation is officially not allowed by the group, and he didn’t take the picture. He did take a picture of me, as did one other person. I have no interest in trying to police non-members (or members), so I think that simply expecting members to mention the prohibition against documentation to interested parties who are trying to take pictures should suffice. What non-members do with that information is up to them and not of a concern for the group, that is until such point that non-member documentation threatens to inhibit watching, such as if the non-member involvement becomes planned in advance or if the non-member activity or documentation is too distracting or if the documentation starts to have any, even slight, significant relationship to the core activities.
- Becoming part of what is being watched; changing the scene by being in it.
My take (CJ): This is a significant issue because in certain situations, there is no way for watchers to be neutral. At some points, I was forced to concede that I was watching myself in certain ways, because of the social dynamic in the space or near the space or because of the way that watching changed the space. I think this is a necessary part of watching. Watching alters what is watched, according to quantum mechanics. There are theories of consciousness that take quantum entanglement as evidence of consciousness’ core place in the motions of sub-atomic particles. I’m not saying these theories are correct. But I do think that pretending that watching doesn’t change is silly, particularly if we do so in conspicuous places. I wouldn’t want to ONLY watch in ways where my watching seemed to be a major disruption, but this is a real dynamic that I think we should acknowledge and incorporate into our “practice,” if merely by being conscious of how to set up our chair or of how items on the “to be watched” list might place us differently in relation to what is being watched and therefore place us more to the forefront or background of the “subject.”
- Is watching the same as “living in gratitude”? (I was asked this at the NYPOP opening)
My take (CJ): we don’t need any kind of official position, of course, but I see the rule group documentation as a place also for the consideration of such issues. I think that gratitude implies a secondary layer of processing, of positioning oneself in relation to what is being watched. Watching is key; appreciation is important but secondary; being grateful is yet another distance from the watching and appreciation that incorporates self-consciousness, not merely consciousness, if that makes sense. I’m curious to hear what others think.
And the list will be updated to say:
(SHOULD WE ADD A NEW ONE?)
- a. In and around West Cemetery, Amherst, MA 2/21/16 from approximately 3:10pm until about 4:20pm. b. Anderson and Our Savior Lutheran Cemeteries from road between them 2/21/2016 from 12 noon to 3 pm pst in Stanwood, WA.
- The door at the Guilded Gallery, which houses a guild i hope to join, on Thursday 3/3/2016 from 1 pm to 2:45 pm PST, in Stanwood, WA b. The hallway west of the NYPOP gallery, south of the freight elevators, 526 W. 26th St, Suite 314, NYC. 3/3/16 from 4:50-6:40pm EST.
Scheduled (to participate please refer to the rules):
- A Convenience Store 11a-2p Eastern Time. 3/13/16.