Duration and memory in a house full of objects
(taught at Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, and Pulitzer Art Museum, St. Louis)
Ever have the feeling when walking through a room of painting and sculpture you've seen something before? Not déja-vu exactly, but a subconscious attraction between your senses, body, personal history, and the materials that occupy the present moment? Like sleuths of affective artifacts, this workshop is designed to invite us to navigate the galleries in search of our own anachronistic recollections. We will use discussion, sensorial experiments, architecture, and improvisational structures to engage new ways of seeking out aesthetic experience, where duration extends the present into a vehicle for the past, and the accumulation of memory becomes the best way to be with the future of art.
“Duration is the continuous progress of the past which gnaws into the future and which swells as it advances.” - Henri Bergson
(first taught for CLASSCLASSCLASS, NYC)
Felt, styrofoam, astroTurf, gauze, polished steel, sandstone, drift wood, marble, jello, salad, wicker, grass, grapefruit, wool, cotton, powder, asphalt, rubber, satin, skin, blood, coral, plastic, honey comb, coca cola, lip gloss… We make our way through infinite textural qualities, densities and tones everyday. They make their way through us. In this workshop we will invite our bodies to the limits of textural imaginings. How does the body absorb the textured environment, objects, sounds, images? What are the textures of movement? Is texture relational, (im)material… or transitional? We will explore how textures affect and inform qualitative choices in movement and performance. Using bodily sensations, words, and objects found in or brought to the studio we will attempt to carve out textural arches that generate unexpected states for generating movement and can be layered upon improvised or composed dance phrases and vocabularies.
I haven’t perceived a texture until I’ve instantaneously hypothesized whether the object I’m perceiving was sedimented, extruded, laminated, granulated, polished, distressed, felted, or fluffed up. ~ Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
Moving from Outside
(first taught for American Dance Festival, Duke University)
Where is the space for making dance? Is it composed with a floor and empty space for movement? Does it necessarily have a center and periphery? Is it a question of unobstructed pathways? This workshop will ask us to consider the where of our dancing, seeking to align with new potential configurations of space, physically and conceptually mobilizing the space wherein creative processes unfold. This workshop will consider sensory delineations of space and seek to expand, alter and articulate these frequencies. How are spaces always already thick with meaning, memory and materiality? Through active listening, modes of seeing, shifting perspective and investigating the tactile possibilities of surfaces, we'll respond to our environment, propose movement that is always already transforming space, and make dances that bloom out from the outside.
dancing Body/Site is a class that works to generate movement experience, vocabulary and choreography from information found within and through interactions with space, architecture and décor. Architectural site is considered in relation to memory, function, scale, surface and perception. We will trace various paths of logic housed in found structures (as site, body, pathway), consider moments wherein respective rationales deviate or shift in the event of the dance, and experience dance that takes on new possibilities as a conversation with the site. dancing Body/Site is a class that investigates the (in)compatibilities between body and structure, movement and spatial construct. We will begin by looking at theoretical discourses assessing interactions between body and site, drafting lines of influence and mutual relation, and then move into the frame of dance-making, improvisation and performance. Expanding upon the role of venue to become one of site, spatial specificity/sensitivity and the particular architecture of place, we will consider social, historical, political dimensions of the body and self in a marked space, locating subsequent and present intersections.
Contemporary Modern Technique: What Flows?
This class is an exploration of flows – over flows, disjointed flows, energetic flows. Part choreographic container, part laboratory, this class will examine how flow operates within the context of contemporary, technical dancing: through both an attentive, immersive engagement within individual bodies as well as between and amongst the population in the room. Investigating flow, we will use it as a guide for creativity and belonging. The class will be structured so we can find flow in the least expected places, proposing flow as a means by which to move efficiently and sensitively through the world.
Sample University Courses (taught at HFK University of the Arts Bremen):
SEMINAR: PERFORMANCE THEORY/HISTORY
This course will examine performance as it pertains to contemporary art making practices in the latter half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first.
In recent years performance has become increasingly popular in the art world context. Large art and cultural institutions have brought the work of performance artists onto their central stage, at the same time squarely taking up the difficult task of preserving, cataloguing, and archiving performance, its ephemerality, intangibility, contingency, and terms of embodiment. Rather than addressing questions pertaining to why performance has surged its popularity with respect to these economies and institutions, this course’s critical engagement will instead commit to performance’s own performative dimension, continuing to ask with each art work, concept or event: what is it doing? We will examine performance as it pertains to ethnography and ritual, the borders between art and life, practices and participation, the body and personal identity, and politics and social action. Texts, videos, in class activities, exercises and discussions, and events, exhibitions, and artistic experience will aid our inquiries. This course will provide an introduction to some of the seminal texts in the field of performance studies, using its inter-disciplinary methodology to locate points of contact, collision, and blur between theory and praxis and expanding the scope of what we may have previously considered to be performance.
PERFORMANCE STUDIO: AT HOME IN THE HOUSE
What are the relationships between a home and a house? In this course we will animate re-frame art and performance making through the lens of affective, domestic labor, animating our studio by transposing the domestic space and the theater house. Part physical practice, part installation, part personal research, part choreographic experimentation, the rhythms of daily life will provide the fodder for this performance studio, engaging the domestic as a site of artistic production, expression, and politics. Shaping ones psyche, identity, memory, habits, and physicality, we will mine both concrete and iconic images of the domestic space to reshape its contexts, manipulate its rhythms, and, through performance, explore its affective potential. A site of nurturing, discipline, the unconscious, deviation, the familial, we will play in the theatricality of this formative, reproductive space. This course will culminate in a durational performance for the public.
PERFORMANCE STUDIO: CHOREOGRAPHING AN ARCHITECTURAL BODY
“Architecture must be made to fit the body as a second, third, fourth, and, when necessary, ninth (and counting) skin.” - Madeline Gins and Arakawa
The Architectural Body, developed by artists Madeline Gins and Arakawa, offers both concept and practice in considering the profound ways that buildings and bodies mirror, mingle, and orient, ensemble. How do bodies create architectures? How do buildings act like bodies? We will engage objects, clothing, furniture, language, and text as a type of architectural prosthetics, producing new relationships and events for interacting with/in space. Dancing, writing, drawing, video, performing for each other, and production of choreographic scores will aid our processes. This course will culminate in a performance event for the public.