Palpar – when words fail

web of graver


palpar – as a procedural process

Verb Tabletransitive verb


(tocar) to touchfeel
(tantear) to feel one’s way along
(amorosamente) to caressfondle
(especially Latin America) [sospechoso] to frisk
2.  (notar) to appreciateunderstand
My process as a process of ‘thinking through doing’, one I would describe as guided by the verb ‘palpar’, which resists translation.
For me palpar as I hear or know it, is to search with one’s fingers, something like fumbling in the dark, but without the sensation that there is error, so much as a feeling for something you can’t quite put into words.
Is understanding about doing, is knowledge a form of embodiment?
I am resistant to the process of writing as a source of knowledge transmission within the process of artistic research, a stumbling block on many occasions. But this belief comes from my sense that there are many forms of knowledge, some of which are embodied and held within the body, for example in the hands or movement, forms of knowledge Polanyi describes as “tacit” or that Alvar Noë discusses in relation to dance.

Dance As A Way Of Knowing: Interview With Alva Noë  – Experience as something we do as something we do actively, as a temporarily expanded consciousness. Experience is always embodied.

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