In his book L’infra-ordinaire, Georges Perec invites us to momentarily turn our attention away from major events, headlines, and conjecture and towards that which we usually take for granted because it is always there, but that is nonetheless relevant. Following this advice, the Revista de la Universidad de México dedicates this edition to a subject that, while perhaps not urgent, is still timeless and of great importance. How does rhythm influence our everyday lives? What has it got to do with artistic creation and how does it foster it? How many bodily and universal phenomena are regulated through rhythm? The ocean’s waves, our breath, rainfall, circadian cycles, heart rate, DNA spirals. The recipe for life seems to be concealed within rhythm, in a sort of Morse code. In her essay on Chinese calligraphy, the sinologist Yolaine Escande explains that in this millenary culture, rhythm is the manifestation of the vital energy of the Cosmos, and that in order to create, the painter or the calligraphist must tune into this primordial rhythm. Maia F. Miret talks to us about the heart and the origin of the beat that keeps us alive. The renowned astrophysicist Julieta Fierro explains how much information is revealed by the pulse of stars, while David Huerta emphasizes the importance of rhythm in poetry. As could be expected, music plays the leading role in this issue. David Beytelmann, for instance, describes the codes of our continent’s Yoruba percussions, but jazz, hip-hop and reggaetón also have their place in this issue. It is worth noting that this issue, apart from being multidisciplinary in nature, also acquired an interdisciplinary character. In almost every text, the authors point to fields far from their own area of expertise, and establish unexpected connections: music and race studies, art and acupuncture, poetry and dance, to name but a few. This edition owes a great deal to Georges Roque—a philosopher and art historian who has for years been interested in the importance of rhythm in abstract painting—, who introduced us to many of the writers gathered here. Dear reader, throughout these pages you will find an innovative approach to the idea of rhythm, for a long time sequestered by a narrow and reduced vision: that of metrics. While you read, allow yourself to feel, if only for a few minutes, the music of your body, the cadence of your surroundings, the hum of the infra-ordinary; explore what routine has prevented you from hearing all this time, and appreciate the rhythms that surround you as though they were brand new.
Imagen de portada: Ogata Korin (1658-1716), Olas en Matsushima, s.f.