Sunday, August 30, 2009

Twitter/Facebook Action!

So the other day I asked some folks via Twitter and Facebook to describe their last action. I received several different responses:

I just put down my cell phone after a long conversation with my mom.

I just ate five pickles. Computer on my lap, small bowl of deliciousness to my right. Delicately grab pickle with two fingers, type with ten...small bites between grab and type.

hung up wet clothes to dry. 4 dresses, 3 bras, 1 shirt, 6 hangers, on the bathroom shower curtain rod.

I rolled over, picked my wedgie, and covered up with a blanket. Now I am texting with my right hand only.

I put a dvd into my imac to burn, imed someone on yahoo, and just took a quiz on here.

sat down on couch. picked up laptop off floor and sat on lap. left elbow on arm of couch. ran fingers through hair and looked depressed cause now i have to go out in the rain to get my dry laundry.

Turned the page in a manga while leaning back on my couch.

Next, I took some key words and strung them together for a mini action score. It's pretty open, try it out!

1. put down
2. grab
3. hang over
4. pick
5. cover with right hand only
6. burn
7. sit down
7. puck up and put on lap
8. run fingers through hair
9. look depressed

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Giants and Imagination

Ok- I haven't even finished this article, but I wanted to make sure I didn't forget to post it.

If you're interested in public art, giants, imagination, story, and wonder, you should read it. I'm going to go do that now too.

Thanks, BettyAnn for the link.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Deadlines coming....must THINK!

Well I was going to post a new action score video....but it disappeared. Silly computer.

Instead...some thoughts on Richard Foreman and The Second City.

In Foreman's book, Unbalancing Acts, he says:
To make theater, all you need is a defined space and things that enter and leave that space...Theater is presence and absence.
Just the words presence and absence really stuck with me. I've been thinking about this process and how I keep taking things out of the environment and putting them back in. For instance, I sneakily acquired all this material based on what people do in Banter (the cafe). Then, I took it away. I played with it with the performers, José and Juan Pablo. Then, I will take it back to the environment in which it originated, but in a much different form.

I'm not saying this is what Foreman was saying. But just thinking about the space, and things entering and exiting seems so simple...but it can be so complex.

I was also thinking about how other artists/entertainers generate material from everyday experiences and thought of The Second City. I took some classes in their training school in Detroit, so I have a wee bit of personal experience. The kinds of scenes that were real gems were the ones that were identifiable, but so absurd or strange that you had to laugh at them. I think this juxtaposition of really normal, identifiable scenarios and bizarro-land weirdness is really interesting...

What do you think?

BONUS: We have a title!

Our performance will be called Complex Environments: This is not a bar.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Apparently, I am not the only one spying to make art. At the Heathrow airport author, Alain de Botton, can be seen at a desk with his laptop...SPYING.

- the word spy is not really ever used, but he's just sitting there, getting material from whatever happens. Like- WHATEVER. If he sees a roach family twinkle-toe out of a restaurant, that is fair game. After a week of documenting what he sees he will be writing a book to be distributed on Sept. 21st. Check out more in the NYT article by Andrew Adam Newman.

Another example of why public spying= awesome.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Action Scores take ACTION!

The movement in this video was developed straight from notes taken while spying on people's actions in Banter (a cafe/bar in Denton, TX)

Specifically, you can trace the movement back to posts on 8/7 and 8/15. These are not the final versions of anything. They are the first attempts at playing with "found movement."

spy+random movement sequencing+layering= wacky wacky dance.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Autonomous Agents

A quote from Media in Performance: Interactive Spaces for Dance, Theater, Circus, and Museum Exhibits. by F. Sparacino, G. Davenport, and A. Penland.
Autonomous Agents are software agents with a set of time-dependent goals or motivations that the agents try to satisfy in a complex dynamic environment (such as the real world).

Now watch when I replace "software" with "HUMANS!"
Autonomous Agents are HUMAN agents with a set of time-dependent goals or motivations that the agents try to satisfy in a complex dynamic environment(such as the real world).
This sounds like a great performance!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

action score #2

  1. say: Well, about ready for the kids to come back?
  2. say: Hahahahahaha
  3. make circular motions with left hand inward towards chest
  4. Softly hold right hand to mouth, like it’s making what you say louder
  5. Look sideways and rapidly nod you head
  6. Walk slightly hunched forward with right arm loosely bent
  7. Tap your right thigh with the side of your right hand
  8. say: Hee hee hee
  9. Look up slowly, then sharply and quickly look forward
  10. Right hand brushes hair out of face.

action score

New action score from SPY TIME!
  1. arms loose and flimsy
  2. say: “awesome”
  3. Scratch face with left hand with loosely holding something with right hand.
  4. slow soft wiggle
  5. lean on the ____ with right hand on hip
  6. Put right hand in back pocket and fish around for something.
  7. say: “is that your spot?”
  8. look down, scratch something on chest.
  9. Look at chest
  10. Swagger. Belly protrudes.

the step-by-step of it all

Yesterday I was thinking about this process. What comes first? How does one thing build upon each other? Here's some thoughts:
  1. The process begins with SPY TIME. Spy on people at Banter, write down their actions/text, then make movement scores from that material.
  2. Use those scores to develop a duet for Jose and JP, two men I go to school with. Play with the actions. Insert bold movement within the subtle scores.
  3. Use the material from Jose and JP’s duet as the starting point for the film process for my solo. Film myself doing the scores in front of the brick wall at Banter.
  4. Construct the solo film.
  5. Play off the material from the solo film as the starting point for constructing the solo.
So, each step depends on the one before it, which is neat, because my collaborator, Bethany Nelson, is focusing on interdependency.

awesome. back to spying...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Weekly Research

This week I'm focusing on a couple books that sounds interesting regarding multimedia installation, site-specific art, and realist comics.

The first is a book by Nick Kaye, called Multimedia: Video Installation Performance. Haven't gotten through all of it yet, but it looks very promising.

I like this (taken from the back cover):
The book sets out key themes and concerns in multi-media practice, addressing Time, Space, the resurgence of ephemerality, liveness, and 'aura.'


The second is by Miwon Kwon, titled One Place After Another: Site Specific Art and Locational Identity.

This one just came in the mail TODAY, so more on that soon...

Lastly, referred to from by bro, Robin, were some realist comics by Adrian Tomine. I bought the whole series called 32 Stories.

I've read four of the comics today. They are VERY short and VERY smart. I was interested in how other artists draw from the everyday and what they make from it. I'm also interested in the comic book/graphic novel aesthetic-- kinda gritty, hand-made, raw, real, black and white, sketchy, etc.

SO- that's it for today. Love to hear comments/questions/ideas!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Post- Banter Spy Time

Went to Banter yesterday to do a little spying and note-taking. Here's a little action score derived from stuff people did or said. mwa ha ha ha...

1. say "so..."
2. shake both hands outward
3. walk sideways and move something out of your way
4. come in- go out
5. lean back and let right arm swing
6. gently pat the air down with right hand
7. say "fancy meeting you here"
8. bend very slightly forward from your waist while keeping your gaze forward
9. nod your head and lick your lips simultaneously
10. point you index finger in the air softly and indirectly


So, even with all these directions, this is just a tiny tiny chunk of movement.

I was also thinking about lights:
  • red up lamps
  • red work lights
Also- I'm thinking of what kind of stand the projector could go on that would be reachable by the person that is teching it. A deer stand?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Back from the library

I went to the library today to get a few books for my culminating project research, but also stumbled upon a dance film series called: 5 Dance Films About Place, directed by Douglas Rosenburg and Allen Kaeja. Most of them take place in rural Wisconsin, "created in in and of the landscape and local architecture and speaks to metaphors of relationship, the senses, and the changing seasons" ( Rosenburg).

The series can also he found online, here.

So- in my endeavors to explore what is already in the landscape of Banter, the cafe I am using as the site for my culminating project, I'm curious if I can see how the Wisconsin landscape affects the movement in these pieces.

What do you think?