Week 20 October 31st - November 4th
15minutes of transcendence for the sake of displacing your reality.
Monday October 31st
Title:“AAA-AAA” by by Marina Abramović and Ulay Feat. Katie Berns and Batya MacAdam-Somer
It reminded Larry of cats having a meow face off.
Batya: [In regard to commentary from annoyed people on the other side of the street] "At first I was like, I get it, sorry, we are being disruptive, but then I was like, you know what? It's 15 minutes. 15 minutes! We'll shut up after that."
Katie "It's definitely like meditation where different things come up. It's a cycle through a lot of different narratives. Looking into somebody else's eyes is like... you're seeing them, but you're also seeing you and all of their stuff and yeah..there are things that come up you want to yell about."
Batya: I think I might've felt like I wanted to provoke [Katie] a little bit. Like I Wanted to [gestures pushing]. I felt very different from [Katie], you know? I felt like what we were doing was slightly different, but I kind of liked that. I feel like, here's Katie, and here's me, and our expressions in this feel different and that's kind of cool."
Batya "I really liked seeing her tonsils." "I just felt like I was looking at a cartoon."
We also spoke about the capacity for this piece to keep going indefinitely. How it could have continued through the point of losing their voices. As a voice teacher, it was difficult witnessing abrasive vocal practice take place. Especially Katie screaming until the point of coughing. I wanted to give her tea, have her swallow, use an imaginary aspirate, and breath deeply. I walked in to the two of them warming up at 9:50, so glad they at least had warm muscles.
Abrasion as performance came out in the slapping piece Katie and Amanda did two weeks ago as well. Often, injury is unintentional, yet inevitable in performance art. In these cases, it's built in. Why submit yourself to pain and injury? For who do we? If we have performance as an outlet, does that somehow transform what might have otherwise shown up as masochism in our daily lives?
View on Youtube ----> https://youtu.be/ckQiHZiQDbo
Tuesday November 1st
Instructions: Fold clean laundry. Hide poetry in the laundry. Read aloud when found.
Why? The artistic connection I have with folding laundry dates back to when Katie was in school finishing her B.A. in Multimedia Art. She needed to present a video for her class and filmed me folding laundry, talking about how wonderful it is to spend time with your belongings and find gratitude. In the case of clothing, this shows up as "Thank you for making me look so damn good."
Rehearsal discoveries: 10min before 10AM, I'm ripping out pages, deciding to fold them so they would be more petite, but then realizing the confusion of why fold unfold then fold again? Kept doing it anyways. Ended up with perhaps too many and not the ones I would have hoped to be in the main skit.
Performance write up: I ran out of time. I was setting up as part of the performance. I probably could have read while folding maybe or folded with more gusto. Initially, no one was there, and the mic changed dynamic levels, so I was in and out trying to set the stage at the start as well. Mikey, a local artists came by mid performance. It woke me up a bit more. I sank in. I wish I had sunk in before beginning. I wanted it to go on. I wanted to read all the poems and fold all the laundry, but the 10:15 alarm went off. I ended briefly, spoke to Mikey about money, art, and management. He left, and I went on to finish the piece with the curtain still closed and the mic off. I did it for the gopro. I wanted a second try. I can do whatever I want and break any rules. This is all just for god anyways.
View on Youtube ---> https://youtu.be/QTZ_BGngerU
Wednesday November 2nd
Instructions: Play theremin made by Ian Craft. Loop sounds. Change into nautical outfit and make water sounds with bucket and pitcher. Maybe vocalize.
Why? Scanning through the performance ideas, had written these words as one of the first conceptions. During the Baby Bushka tour in the final week of May, I had conceived of a repetitive spoken piece with these instructions
“Fold, lossless, nautical, beneath something” Repeat until you come to a great understanding
Alas, I did not say something or fold I think. I forgot what the whole statement was because I did not review this prior to beginning. Anywho, the other reason this piece came to fruition was because Ian loaned me the theremin, and I needed to use it before taking it out of the studio for the upcoming Nov 13th performance, where I will be attempting to fit 15 people as an audience at Tenam.
Rehearsal discoveries: Peter Lee loaned me his loop pedal last Friday after we performed Luggage together. The pedal has a mixing option for loop and live instrument, so this was helpful in curating transitional elements into the piece. I discovered a limit to the capacity I could mic the bucket of water, and I figure this would be a challenge to work through during the piece.
Performance write up: What a fun time. I feel a little more disconnected these days trying to grip with the balance of madness and sanity required for these tasks. There was the decision of whether or not to look up and perform with face/eyes/positioning or remain inward auditory experiential and explore without notion of the visual observance. I mostly allowed sound exploration to do the talking.
I couldn't tell if people were hearing the audio of the splashes, but Vince said it was audible. Either way, I just kept digging to get some sound out of that water. Of course, I had cylindrical objects perfect for feedback holding the water. Eventually, playing into the feedback and into the movements became necessary in my eyes to achieve growth and development. If not for the mixing on the loop station, I wouldn't have been able to come up with all those transitional elements. Thank you, Peter. Thank you, Ian.
Thursday November 3rd
Instructions: Get some crickets to make sound with you.
Why? I used to have a cricket problem in my garage. Sometimes, when we would play drums or piano, the crickets would start up their song. Hoping to get something out of one.
Rehearsal discoveries: Dustin from Petco hooked up a few crickets for free, and hopefully they haven't lost all their soul for song hanging out in those plastic containers waiting to be eaten.
I wrote "stare at spot, sad AF" on the white board for the uke portions.
Performance write up: ....
View on Youtube ----> https://youtu.be/XreEaJJHr-k
Friday November 4th
Title: “The fish who seeks to become gonads"
Instructions: Represent the life cycle of the male anglerfish. Why? Sounded gnarly to embody. Seemed like do-able challenge for an already busy week gearing up for the first music performance at Tenam Nov. 13th.
Rehearsal discoveries: Okay, so I met this Lithuanian man names Chris on a cruise and shared with him this 10AM project. He has remained interested since the cruise and asked this week if I needed help with anything. I told him to research the life cycle of the male anglerfish because I wanted to write a narration or represent it in more detail. He came back with a full script. I tried conceiving of myself reading it, then asked him Thursday to do it since all I could hear was his voice over the words. He sent me his audio, and I chose an extra hour of sleep, waking up around 8:20 to quickly work to organize a 15 min track and prepare for the day. At about 9:08 I realized I needed to add drums and learned how to put a drum track on Logic (basic info that I had not previously experimented with until that moment) So yeah, I'm yelling at the screen, clicking buttons, airdropping, rushing out the door, getting to Tenam at 9:30 with a plan to cut out a bunch of pink and red paper hearts, hang a balloon to a pipe cleaner, set up the mixer and PA for the track and a 2min long dramatic intro improvisation on the stylophone. I did not put the audience chairs out on this day. Perhaps the greatest skill is to be one step ahead, if not two or three.
Performance write up: Having another voice narrating was a huge contrast to the circumstances where I have been a narrator for myself. In performance with my own voice, I have used the tool as one of introspection. In these, I believe most people realize the voice is my own. Having Chris narrate allowed for a fresh distinction between story concept and stage character. His delivery was playful and witty.
I forgot what my plan was to fill the entirety of the drum tracks. I knew the first one would be a declaration of love. Those paper hearts really stuck together and felt uncomfortable to dramatize at first. Hopefully my discomfort is entertaining or not too apparent. I do believe the concept itself, being a fish the size of a pinky nail with bursting hearts of love, is hilarious. The second drum track felt sooooo long. I could have dramatized the balloon much more than I did, and I greatly was regretting that in the moments of trying to stylize the process of biting and dissolving my eyes.
However, the most satisfying element of all of this was the biting and dissolution process. The work of embodiment for these animals/plants/mushroom/whatever it is whose survival excites me, is utterly fulfilling. It's taking your soul through a journey into another organism's gut and mind. It's so riveting. I think most people get very excited when they hear about what drives the many life forces on this planet. I am excited just writing about it now.
View on Youtube ----> https://youtu.be/-HlKPKQhPh0