This week, Batya moved like a scorpion. Lexi hung mistletoe on Monday and got stuck in a spectrum between gratitude and self pity. Kristijonas Liesis wrote a story about a starving polar bear, and Michelle was so, very full.
Monday November 21
Title: “Like a Scorpion”
Listen to the post-performance audio here:
View on Youtube ---> https://youtu.be/TPKYQKR9-JI
Tuesday November 22nd
Title: “Hanging Mistletoe on a Monday”
Instructions: (Written on Sunday) Come up with a performance to do based off what goes down on Monday with this random guy you met at your friends party who wants to go around La Jolla hanging up mistletoe.
Why? The invitation was so exciting to me, that an acquaintance would invite me on a mission to spread holiday cheer and kiss energy.
Rehearsal discoveries: In La Jolla, hearing the soundscape of the seals barking at one another,
cued me back into thinking of this performance. I wanted to capture that sound, so I started recording and left the phone in the basket. I then went on to purposefully forget the recording was taking place in an effort to be as authentic as possible. It was difficult because the notion of other people listening to the conversation I was having in the future sounded like higher stakes than the actual conversation of course. The person I was being with this acquaintance had a thick and sticky layer of people pleasing going on, as might be expected from anyone not 100% grounded (i.e. me).
Performance Write Up: I had some difficult, rapey dreams actually, and I attributed this to the people pleasing I was doing Monday night. The mental state I was in before this performance was reflective of these dreams. Monday night, I also had a long conversation with a close friend that was deeply personal. Essentially, all of these things combined into me not preparing much of a performance at all and conceptualizing that I would perform by interacting with the audio recording. I mic'd myself and sang along.
Interestingly enough, before the mistletoe, I had a solo work flow on Monday that consisted of computer tasks and randomly singing modal melodies. I was hardcore vibing on the solo free singing. I remembered this as a moment and energy worth capturing. Of course, at the start of this Tuesday performance, I wanted to call upon that flow singing energy. However, I was unable to fully return to the melodic motions I was using on Monday. I was tip-toeing around the audio track, of course. Beyond that, it was just train of thought.
View on Youtube ---> https://youtu.be/KBMf0DicPF4
Wednesday November 23rd
Instructions: Read and act out the story of a written by Lithuanian man, Chris Lieses.
Why? I had been discussing animal-based story concepts with Lithuanian man. I think I prompted him to write this story because he used a metaphor about a starving polar bear.
Rehearsal discoveries: The day prior, my friends Vince and Ian were at the performance, and Ian had with him his son James. We almost had James be the polar bear which sounded pretty fun, as the only task for this performance was to re enact the words as they came. That night, we talked about it. I didn't want to put pressure on the 5 year old to perform, so I ended up asking Vince to play Polie. Vince was much obliged. Essentially, the day of, I read through the story around 8:50am to make some edits. Left my house with a white fluffy sweater and white skinny jeans, and got to the studio in time to lightly coach Vince, paint a black nose on him, and set up the tundra stage grabbing fabric pieces that were already present in the room from the first concert here, Aesthe performed on Nov 11th.
Performance Write Up: There are many layers making this performance particularly different and interesting than other performances that have taken place. For one, it was Vince's first time doing a 10AM performance. He has been in the community, attending numerous performances since the start of this project, and having him on the stage is a momentous occasion. He also attended the original Art Church series concept I had going back in July Aug Sept, and if I had more time to make that happen, I'm sure he would still be coming out to those as well. We spoke about the challenge of embodying emotions and translating them into a physical expression. He was in a challenging position as a performer since I had asked him to remain fixed to gaze at a point. He said before going on the stage that he would be as a doll waiting for instructions. It's definitely difficult to know what to keep still and what to move when given those kind of instructions, and at times during the performance, I could see how my "rule" for him seemed to be interrupting a bit of expressive flow.
Another new challenge was narrating on the mic from in front of the studio. It feels like I have done the "speaking from behind the curtain" concept quite a few times, and the idea of being out in the audience instructing Vince the polar bear with my narration seemed exciting and intriguing. How the audience would have the option of looking at me or not, incorporating my presence or not. How Vince would remain a still, intimately expressive figure trapped behind the glass.
Then of course, there's how this story was written by Chris Liesis, a man who is 10 hours in the future. A man with a skillful understanding of the English language, yet still a few degrees of separation from American/CA/San Diegan vernacular and communities. The notion that he should tell us a story and that an idea from a mind so distant can infiltrate the area surrounding 3214 Adams Ave. is pretty mystical and a testament to our whatsapp internet age. There are so many ways we carry messages through time and space and so many vessels of creation keeping the world spinning with diversity.
View on Youtube ----> https://youtu.be/xbqOLtSoMv4
Thursday November 24th (THANKSGIVING)
Instructions: Be liberated from self-pity by giving thanks.
Why? I was dealing with a lot of self-pity at the time and calling bullshit on myself.
Rehearsal discoveries: Piecing together a scarecrow was difficult and janky, but good enough for symbolism purposes. I realized I would need to position the braille backwards for it to read outside correctly, so I arranged the dots ahead of time. The dots were set as an intention for the experience of feeling the healing powers of gratitude.
Performance Write Up: This was weird and awkward because it was so extremely symbolic that I was worried about confusing the audience, especially since it took place on a major holiday, Thanksgiving, it could have been a much more joyous occasion. Symbolism leaves space for interpretation, so that's always nice. Good enough.
View on Youtube ---> https://youtu.be/Xhz1fBfZBAg
Friday November 18
Michelle's write up as transcribed by Lexi.
Title: "I'm so full" featuring Michelle Arneson
Instructions: Embody a vessel capable of being both filled and emptied repeatedly. Also, you have two tea kettles and one belt with which to interact.
Why? Day after Thanksgiving. A good way to tap into self-image pertaining to size of stomach.
Rehearsal discoveries: There was no rehearsal. The plan happened on the fly. Did however find audio track of water dripping sounds as preparation.
Performance Write Up: Drinking water requires energy. I have a severe problem with dehydration, and the nature of consumption has so many textures. The liquid texture is so much more visceral than the solid. Whether it's in my mouth via taste or in my ears via auditory. As I continued listening to the audio track of dripping sounds, I felt increasingly more free to spill and allow the water to be outside of its container, getting myself wet and the floor wet. The whole experience had a playful essence to it despite the lack of any dialogue. Water really is a portal for biological play.
View on Youtube ---> https://youtu.be/Jiih-jdDRjg