After a very long hiatus, I’m back in the studio again. I don’t know what I’m working on, what will come out of it, just going in weekly to create.
I’ve got weekly private studio time and a community surrounding it, including shared time in the space together to work, socialize, plot. I have been very busy and haven’t made it to the three group times so far, but I am excited about this aspect and already feel a sense of our shared focus through our private facebook group.
I am leaving the country in a week, for a three week trip that is one part self designed creative retreat and one part family visit. Hopefully the trip too will be fruitful, and then on return, I’m diving in to that community!
I’ll be posting here some of my studies, notes, thoughts from the studio and the trip. Today: TMRW PARTY Study #1, 3.24.14
I wrote in the past about a blog by the Degenerate Art Ensemble that I love to read, then called Degenerate Art Ensemble: Art We Love. It is now the Degenerate Art Stream, and hosted at a new address. (I’ll get that sidebar link updated!)
Well, I am excited to announce I will be curating the Degenerate Art Stream for the next two weeks! A post a day about art I like, what inspires me. I just posted my introductory post to kick off my time there: Pleased to Meet You.
Maybe blogging every day for two weeks will help me pick this long-languishing blog back up.
I think Woolite should consider sponsoring my projects. I go through enough of it cleaning all the costumes.
Earlier today I updated the links in the right column of this site. I thought I’d write a bit about what they are and why I chose to link to them.
When browsing the blogs I regularly visit, I chose a number of criteria that each should fulfill for inclusion. All of these blogs are
- by artists I love
- based in the Seattle area
- focused on inspirations and influences, process, theory, and/or in-depth descriptions of the author’s own work
This blog is by a friend, one of my favorite people around, Pol. He is full of energy, involved in much of the wonderful, provocative art around here, a delight to talk to, and one of the kindest souls I’ve met. (actually, so I’m not repetitive in this list, everyone listed is unbelievably nice. I feel blessed to know each of them).
Pol doesn’t update all to often, but I’m always excited when he does. From his most recent post describing a performance last weekend:
Somehow, I’m really not sure how, Beth grabbed me, dragged me, wrestled me away from the pots and through a lake of spilled beans to the middle of the dance floor. I kept trying to keep at least one thing to bang on, but she was kicking me and I couldn’t find my feet and the beans were slippery. There was an awful lot of clanging and foot stomping and I think she was yelling, but I might have imagined that.
to photos and videos he shot to musings on art to snippets of ideas for new work, it is always fascinating and beautiful.
Degenerate Art Ensemble was one of the first performance groups I saw when I moved to Seattle 11 years ago. From that first show they have been my favorite interdisciplinary performance group. When I arrived in Seattle I was lucky enough to have friends that drew me into the same circles the DAE crew ran in, so I’ve also known them personally all these years.
Haruko and Joshua are the directors of DAE, and they have been a huge inspiration to me all these years. Their example has been a big influence for me in creating and running Manifold Motion. I have turned to them at times when encountering a new phase of running a company, knowing that they’ve found a path through this already. I’m not sure they know how much I’ve looked up to them over the years, but I have quietly drawn much confidence, strength, and perseverance from their work ahead of me.
Art We Love is a new blog they have started where present and past members of DAE write about, well, art they love. It’s a really great blog to browse through, with so many interesting artist profiles and links to images, videos, sounds. Some I know of, many are brand new to me. It is a joy to discover new artists, but also discovering the various influences of a group of people who are incredible artists in their own right is illuminating.
This blog is also related to DAE, it is by Joshua, and very simply is posts about music he is listening to. His taste, like mine, is rather eclectic, and I have found some real gems in there. Love. This. Blog.
I wrote a whole post about Mandy Greer a few weeks back, here. Simply put, I adore her work. Mandy has a number of blogs to her name, as she tends to start a new one with each project. This link is to her main site, and I believe one can get to any current or past content through there. Mandy is very into process, and through her current project I think she is delving even further into what process is, but in a very public way.
I found to this (blog? more of a journal) via Mandy’s current residency at the Project Room. Inquiry into questions like, “why do we make things?” There are a variety of authors, all well written and thoughtful, and those that I know are great artists and people too. perhaps a quote from the site about what it is will do the most justice:
Critical discourse is an essential element of The Project Room. With this in mind, The Project Room publishes Off Paper, an online journal that follows the themes presented in The Project Room through thoughtful writing and other relevant online content. Off Paper will continue the conversation that is taking place in TPR for audiences everywhere.
So! those are the new links. I’ll describe future links when I add them too. I’m really hoping with this site to curate that sidebar. Not just linking because someone is a friend, or because I like what they do, but because there is content of particular interest on the other side and to know for myself what that interest is. For now it is Seattle-based and people I know, but that may expand.
I’d love to know what you read for inspiration and ideas and interest.
This spring/summer I created a new piece called “Whispers to me; Shouts to me.” It is the first piece in over a year that I have created to perform myself, rather than for Manifold Motion. I hope it is the start to a renewed period of personal creative work along-side the company work.
I created “Whispers;Shouts” specifically for the Stillaguamish River where it runs through Smoke Farm near Arlington, WA. This past weekend I performed it there, as a part of the Smoke Farm Lo-Fi Arts Festival: *Not to Scale.
The piece was a solo dance performed in a bright red/orange/yellow dress with an extraordinarily long train.
Three musicians stood on the end of the train as they played a spacious percussive piece. I began with the train wrapped around the musicians, crouched between them. After a slow rise and unwrapping of them, I moved away from the musicians and into the river. A bright trail connected us, a brush stroke of color through the greys and blues of the rocky river’s edge.
I found that the china silk, and the amazing design and construction of the dress by Christy Hirschman, was strong enough for me to put a fair amount of my weight into pulling away from the shore. The train became a literal support for my movement at times, a restriction at others.
The silk floated just below the surface of the water, picking up color from the river, but remaining a saffron trail. Occasionally an air bubble would get caught underneath it and travel the length of the train. If I moved sideways in the right way the fabric would billow in the water, capturing it and becoming a huge resistance to my movement. The train and the water became even bigger shaping factors to the piece than I had thought they would.
One by one the musicians stepped off the train and moved into the forest, as their song became louder and denser. Set free in the river, I gently glided down with the current and out of sight, with a bright trail of silk behind me. The music echoed through the trees, the last bits of my dress disappeared and the piece came to a close.
During both performances cows in a distant field began lowing when the bass drum echoed through the river valley. As the musicians faded out, we were left with the lows of the cows! Incredible.
I’d like to share a bit about my thoughts behind this piece. Performance (all art) extends well beyond the intent or thoughts of the artist and is necessarily shaped by the viewer experience. So, this is not necessarily what I wanted to communicate to the viewers, but what informed it for me during my process and performance. Quoted below is an excerpt from my proposal to Smoke Farm:
Conceptually, this project is about place. How does our past, through the places that have shaped us, support who we become? What happens when home is lost or taken away from
Practically, it is no-tech performance created specifically for a remote location. My goal is to create unexpected, striking, beauty within nature.
Personally, it is a meditation on my recent experiences of loss of family and place; an expression of my search for understanding of where I come from and how to move forward when I desperately want to hold on to what once was.
The piece is specifically designed for Smoke Farm, which holds great importance for me in the Pacific Northwest. It reminds me in many ways of where I grew up in rural New Hampshire, yet has particular beauty and meaning distinct from my past.
In examining my ties to my present and past through place, Smoke Farm and my childhood home stand out. As I process the unavoidable reality of distance and eventual loss of that past home, I find a need to mourn and create a testament to the places that were a part of becoming who I am. I would like to memorialize that connection in a place that is a part of who I will become.
In the process of creating “Whispers;Shouts” I thought a lot about place. I began to wonder what this piece, created for a distinct place, would be like in other places. How would the meaning change? The movement (certainly if it is not in water)? Would performance experience be different?
So I decided to make it a three-part piece. Smoke Farm last weekend was Part 1. Part 2 will take place in the open desert at Burning Man. Part 3 will be a part of the NEPO House 5k Don’t Run on September 10th.
Starting in Occidental Park, NEPO 5K DON’T RUN transforms an ordinary 3-mile, walk-able route through your city into an unforgettable journey (really), integrating site-specific performances, interventions and installations along the way.
“Whispers;Shouts” will transform into a traveling performance for the 5k event, a journey through a city.
Photos to come, I’m sure.