thoughts i’ve been thinking about performing, without much editing:
i’m performing this weekend in pascal rambert’s a (micro) history of world economics, danced and am curious to see how the piece will feel with an audience. the work (performing our individual lives/selves, a large chorus of people living in new york and a few french actors within a form or style other than ourselves and ultimately aimed at both stripping ourselves and making them more available as a mass, as a surface of projection for the audience and of reflection for them as well. without judgement, without sentiment, without spectacle. this in order to reflect individually and as a group on the economic crisis and collapse of the financial market as we have been experiencing in the last four or five years and make these subjects spoken by experts in terms outside many of our daily lives, spoken and re-imagined by us-the populace, a community) is fantastic. i love this idea, this concept, and think it might be a lot of what i’m looking for. but i am still hyper-critical. it still falls short. it is still sentimental. the musical choices play our emotions and color everything without reflecting either the current moment, the population onstage, an idea more clearly/directly/without too many located references and overtones but washed out and pastel (diluted hippies, easy punks, pop religious chorus). is this a cultural translation issue between individuals (me v pascal), across age (mid-20s v 10s/30s/40s/50s/60s etc), across class (doubtful), across countries (america v france)? how will a mostly american audience respond? will they think and meditate with us or nitpick? if i am doing both, am i really performing this piece?
maps and narratives. modes through we generate symbolic representations, i.e. ways we communicate, make art, understand our world collectively. they offer different contexts, different ways of thinking/encountering/perceiving. maps: representation of space. narratives: of time. this seems simplistic and obvious, but felt revelatory (thanks dad and long car rides to airports) more conversation on narrative necessary…there are more thoughts i have articulated, but already so meandering
it feels to me as though the avant-guard was at one time trying to expand or challenge our relationships to this binary, but i don’t know what was discovered. i’ve been reading sarah schulman’s GENTRIFICATION OF THE MIND. she talks about gentrification in relationship to the AIDS crisis and the death of most of a generation of queer experimental folk as a loss of memory. an erasure of history. she refers to the next wave of performance in the late 1990s/early 2000s with pity-there were vestiges of forms there derived from artists who had been erased and unrecognized, they did not know where these forms came from and they were form for form’s sake without meaning. something about this lack of history, of connectivity of identity of movements of knowledge and unknowledge across time is related to the luddite tendencies i carry like a huge chip on my shoulder. without understanding how inventions, technologies work, i cannot rely upon them. without a real relationship to the evolving tools and materials in our world, something about my own humanity is weakened, is out of touch and has no relation. in rehearsal for pascal’s piece today, i wrote and read the following:
W– keeps track of when he buys a pack of Marlboros. Ticks each one smoked off in groups by day. Helps him keep track. Budgeting. “Go home, sit on the comfy chair with a Budweiser or a Jack Daniels.” Turns on the TV to have some company, but doesn’t see it. I didn’t get it a few years ago. I do now. It feels like a reclamation of dignity.
a distressing reality: i usually get home and have all these thoughts and ideas and dreams. i arrive from the train or my bike commute full of enthusiasm for the expression and further digestion of them to come, but inevitably succumb to the fatigue of the day upon encountering my room, my housemates, a beer, my unending list of tasks, chores, applications, e mails on my computer, in my notebook, on my floor and desk and bed and psyche. is this what i moved to new york for? run around and after hours freelancing for the day being so preoccupied with not taking on my worker identity, getting enough work and existing that i’ve lost relation to what i might consider my “real” self?
my internet self is neurotic. a homebody. always resetting passwords.