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Idlewild Artistry : The Gratefulness of Feeling Stranded & Paralysis in Practice

Idlewild Artistry : The Gratefulness of Feeling Stranded & Paralysis in Practice

Dignity in the stuck and underwhelmed with progress + Being okay with inactivity that turns into the gestational period of being the work in progress


Wasp’s Nest — A Virtual Symposium Event that is a sexy window for some brilliant key holders is happening on Sun, April 7th, 2024. This part A, a two-part installment, is framing the panes of practice. I ‘chop-it-up’ with Kennie, who is one of those brilliant keyholders. We track her current idle state and the revelations she’s discovered. There’s also a sick read for the state of our reality there too.

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Chat Notes:

In the first segment (0:00-30:31) Ashley introduces Akeyna, called Kennie, as a brilliant artist in an idle era of her artistic practice. The conversation takes off as Kennie lays out a read of the creative economy as deprived of options for substantial recognition outside of influence and/or conforming to an audience’s demand. She talks about wanting to have agency over her creative output and production, where she feels she’s sacrificing her material survival in order to share at some rate of consistency to be validated with trust online. Ashley expresses her opinion about external validation and its need for everyone. Ashley also poses the question, “Is practice only deserved by those who are privileged with leisure time?”. Kennie also brings up the competitiveness that is forced upon creatives and artists to vie for audience attention. She takes it a step further than the external validation to be seen, but also the regard she has for her work, knowing that it’s worth it and that it deserves attention. This is where her internal struggles kick up dust. She talks about how her practice has stopped progressing in terms of her dynamics and technical ability, but how she still practices her artistry. Ashley gives Kennie her flowers for not forcing the funk, accepting the idle time, and embracing the authenticity of being exactly where she is. Ending the segment, Ashley calls attention to the boringness and receptiveness of an idle state of practice and how she feels like that is a lost art.

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To begin the second segment (31:03-58:40) Kennie gives us a monologue into what her practice has been like over the last few months and what being committed to the art of repetition has provoked her to be curious about. Her soap box then flows into her blunt statement about artistry.

A sharp read is then given about dancer concerns like “I want this [my movement] to look more fluid”, or “I want to flow” where Kennie states her opinion about people wanting the visual effects of a much deeper process and more studied information, that she feels the majority of the audiences that consume pole “content” just don’t give a fuck about

She expresses that creative and artistic fields/industries should be dominated by artists, no shade to people who just want to make money or have celebrity status, she says. Ashley circles back to the inherent competitiveness of industry and human nature to compete. She talks about how caring about skills that don’t provide instant gratification costs artists and creatives in the attention economy, because they require more care. Kenny mentions that there was a point in history where artist development was an important step before output in creative or artistic fields was made available to the public. She asserts that modern marketing is actually geared towards getting people to not think critically, in the observance that consumers will buy it and they’ll think about the effects of it later—instant gratification. Ashley gives Kennie her flowers for the dignity with which she’s speaking and draws the conclusion that it is a result of Kennie being able to step away from the competitiveness of practicing to progress and posting to be seen and focusing on her survival and her own artistic sharpness. Kennie talks about how competitiveness is rooted in self-regard and not in taking away from others. She talks about how dignity and the desire to want to be at one's best come from the camaraderie of seeing others want to be their best without taking anything away from other people. 

In the last segment (59:33-01:15:43) Ashley doesn’t let Kennie apologize for reading reality in a fiesty tone. Ashley’s opinion on how the pole industry attempts to edify and educate others bleeds into a type of handling with kid gloves and escapism. The conversation is then put back on track by Ashley reconvening around the paralysis of practice—putting down the acquisition of skill to acquire something more like what she supposes is “poetic justice." Kennie translates this to simply calling it experience—doing the work and taking the time to be true to one’s self through one’s form. Kennie talks about her desire to cultivate the pole with emphasis on the dancing— the experience of someone as a dancer. Kenn ends by talking about the hobbyist side of pole dancing and says that at the end of the day, when the artistry isn’t at the forefront of the industry, it doesn’t benefit the hobbyist either. She says, “If you are out there... and you aren’t necessarily trying to be an artist but you still want to work on this craft of pole dancing, stay into that and don’t let a studio knock your hustle [try to push you into doing more].”

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Much of this conversation was not based on theoretical frameworks but is a read on the current reality of the activities done around a pole.

Cite & Source

S, Ashley, and Tiara Raven Marie. “Altar’ed State: Practice as a Mysterious Feedback Loop of Death and Life.” 400 Degreez Of Pole Dance, 16 Mar. 2024, 400degreezpole.substack.com/p/altared-state-practice-as-a-mysterious.

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