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Week 7 August 1 - 5

I didn't even sing this week. Somehow managed to stray from most precious art form. Is it relieving? I want to practice more. This isn't about me. It's about that thing people say how "you are worthy" and "the capitalist agenda of productivity doesn't determine one's worth." The way people say that, and it leaves a stubborn, sticky confusion about the difference between productivity and skill development. That truth in the journey would ultimately elevate you if in a state of play, of course. That productive and efficient skill development is one of the most delightful paths to be on. Why distaste of such things?

Monday August 1st

Title: “Forward Pushing”

Instructions: beauty of forward pushing

Why? Initially, the concept was “Beauty of forward pushing” which speaks to the growth imperative and mindset. I interpreted this as possible just pushing objects off a table, but this concept seemed so similar to last week’s “Poor pour” pouring piece that I wanted something different. Pushing people over the edge sounded more fun. Pushing people to be better sounded more positive. Pushing as an action of force seems worth contemplating.

Rehearsal discoveries: The rehearsal was comprised of rushing to the studio at 9am to construct a cardboard, as Sean Francis called it, “Self improvement monster.” Taping it up, trying out voices for it. Attempting to speak real scenarios of pushing, but feeling disconnected from flow space thoughts. Realizing that I could break up the banter with a few musical interludes. Thank goodness Ian Craft gave me that pocket synth! At about 9:52, I realized the eye holes needed a cover for during the interludes, and I quickly taped up a piece of paper with which to flop open.

Performance write up: This piece was difficult to ease into, and again, I’m so glad I had that pocket synth to give space to the statements. After the first spoken bit about self improvement, I wanted to antagonize further and possibly even change the intention in the middle of the piece from pushing someone “forward” vs pushing someone over the edge. I thought to myself in the moment that between all the segments, I could potentially redefine "pushing." Being pushy as a whole was the unifying force, and the antagonizing energy ultimately cycled back to a “self improvement” language. The way the monster can be aggressive to the point of self deprecating and outlandish to the point of asking someone to throw a baby in the street or whatever it was that I said I think was the ultimate climactic element. You'll have to see for yourself I guess.

Tuesday August 2nd

Title: “traces of what was”

Instructions: Write intentions and good vibes onto the new stage Papa Mastro built. Follow the lines of the wood to give honor to the traces of what was in the flow of the wood.

Why? The stage needs to be painted black! Also, ritual.

Rehearsal discoveries: No rehearsal, just ran to the hardware store for some floor paint, and bought way to much of it. a gallon I think.

Performance write up: I don't know how to open a paint can. I didn't have a screw driver and thought I could use a knife. Those knives I've got are cheap! I tried to open the can from the wrong point basically and created an unintentional yet hilariously potent moment of struggle. The fact that this is on video is so funny. This whole thing is ridiculous. I am glad to have done this overused intention setting ritual. I was not thinking in terms of exactly what scenario I wanted to manifest, but was able to come up with some general feelings and vibes that I wanted the space to carry. It could have been a much more peaceful, zen performance if not for my frantic paint problem extravaganza.

Wednesday August 3rd

Title: "Maybe, I guess"

Instructions: 9 dots on the floor. Pose on each for 1.5min. Get people to think "maybe, I guess." Explore "maybe, I guess."

Why? Idk i guess it seems maybe like something, I guess

Rehearsal discoveries: So much confusion feeling as if it was supposed to be there. Remembered the dots from the pocketing counterpoint workshop ( Decided to wear a sheet to make the poses feel washy or behind something. That seems like the essence of "maybe, I guess."

Performance write up: The concept was always rooted in the wishy washy space. I had a lot of difficulty pinpointing what I was doing. At first, I even thought the instructions would be to interpret tea leaves for divination. That could still be a great performance with the same title (side note: I am considering reusing titles and changing the instructions as some kind of joke).

Anywho, I got really into the idea of a tic tac toe board for a minute because in college, I had made an ornate graphic score of the same design, and I ended up deciding to work with that 3x3 concept in mind. The more I searched for answers as to how to structure the use of the grid and what types of symbols I should be imagining for it, the more I felt I was straying from the real concept here which is the title. Ultimately, it ended up being about the meaningless space where perspective determines its meaning.

The suggestively symbolic elements like multi-colored dots and a veil could have people thinking it was somehow bridal related (which was the case for someone) or correlating with colors. They were just random decisions for aesthetic differences to occur. For each pose and movement, I tried to visual the path way ahead of time. I started getting confused and anxious which led to my slow movement usage.

This is the kind of art people get up in arms about. Conceptual, meritless, non-skill based for the most part. "Maybe, I guess" is the pointless narrative. It could speak to that. It could speak to aesthetics. It could be given so much meaning if you want to. It could be completely void of it.

Thursday July 21st

Title: “Shame is good for the prevention of destruction”

Instructions: Put the costume on from Kalabash ( Be a "bird in a cage" who is being humiliated by having to wear the dunce-like hat and do detention-like punishment activities.

Why: To sit with shame and "No FAIR!" baby energy. Because Kalabash has a lot of leftover costumes from all their theater shows.

Rehearsal discoveries: Did a short practice in the costume. Spent a little time in the mirror to realize that keeping a pissed off face made sense. Unfortunately, I discovered my favorite motion of the wings after the performance took place.

I was given the sign prompts (such as "No Music" and "No smelling the flowers"), and, looking for a way to utilize them, I realized the leftover dots from the day before (that I had taped to the wall as a temporary art piece) were fitting into the color scheme of the bird feathers. Seemed appropriate to make use of them for the scene setting and as a tool of unveiling. It's tools like these moments of easy drama rooted in our "peek a boo" nature that assist me in developing a more formulaic viewpoint on performance art and its more or less entertaining qualities. I also decided getting fed up at some point and destroying everything made sense for a "frustrated-baby-no-fair-bad birdy."

Performance write up: Given the character concept, I was forced to play into the performance as story elements and dig into the layers of what a character such as a bird in detention might be experiencing. I did not do much character development at all really. I have no idea what the bird was in trouble for. It felt more like an eternal, hell-space. Only after, I want to imagine what it was that bird did to deserve it. All I knew at the time was to feel as if I didn't deserve it. To be like a kid in detention who is too pissed to change or see why they have been punished. For me, this whole process was about spending time with shame and punishment in some way.

I imagine this performance, and maybe all of them, began when I started conceptualizing. In this viewpoint, I simply experience arriving to it much earlier than everyone else. Each step of creating it was a performance for myself. I performed remembering detention. I will recount to you the tale. The one time I went to detention was at my Christian elementary school. I didn't study for a Bible quiz, failed it, and was sent to detention to write the verse I hadn't memorized during the snack break.

As a human with more years, I find the concept of detention satirical in the framework of curated punishment. Unlike the brutal woods, where miscalculation or lack of effort results in death, the civilized, academic space required curation to determine the results of cause and effect. Before all this civilization, it was just conceptual God as a deciding force. Shame and punishment may be the truly necessary forces gluing our civilized world together. It may also be a sham where the only answer is love. What about missing a snack break and writing a Bible verse over and over is the proper curated punishment? It seems fine, I suppose. Since civilization, we have made structure out of curated punishment vs natural cause and effect. We have built prisons, condemned our fellow folk to death, cut the hands off one another and dripped thousands upon thousands of water droplets on each others' foreheads all in an effort to curate the psyche.

Obviously, the performance is not speaking directly to these, but there's a lot to be said about the potential journey behind each title. We can take ourselves on an exploration journey with an idea and unearth it, bake it, wrap it up, swallow it, digest it, and spit it back out. Is the performance even over?

View on Youtube! ---->

Friday August 8

Title: I am making art (tribute to j baldessari) feat. Sean Francis”Conway

Sean Francis stood in the window and performed random poses and motions, all while stating "I am making art." The street was alive.

An audio reflection from the day

Lexi comment: It was great being on the other side of the window and experiencing the stark contrast of busy morning street energy with the grounded intentions of Sean Francis Conway

View on Youtube ---->

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