Wednesday, June 11, 2014

improvisational methodologies

DAY TWO in Bull City!

I'm grateful to be spending this week in Durham, North Carolina at Ken and Gail's lovely townhouse, in order to push my artistic, aesthetic, and collaborative assumptions. Travel and displacement are always wonderful ways to inadvertently add new limits to a method of working. Boundaries in exploration, freedom in arenas previously compressed.

It has been a challenging and enlightening experience to work with artists whose expertise vary across "disciplines," as we navigate our own presumptions and question each other's interpretations. It is rare to have such respect amongst collaborators that this sort of inquiry is made possible--so I am grateful for the rigor of our discussions, the shared passion for this project and this something larger we are still navigating but for now, are calling art. It is through this constant dialogue over meals, in the car, over drinks on the porch, in the kitchen sipping tea, in the hallway of the music school, in the workroom that we are able to sift through what lies at the heart of all of our interests in this larger thing we're calling resonance

And as every collaboration is wont to have, we found today in the studio that our mechanisms for composing through our different mediums did not aways synchronize. The methods themselves were dissonant--which for me caused many more false starts than necessarily fluid inspiration--and consequently, was illuminating for me to learn about my own process. The structured methodological assumptions I can make building a cumulative dance score with trained dancers and actors did not hold in this circumstance. Nonetheless, it was helpful and instructional to navigate the ways in which we tried to articulate our needs and desires to one another--itself indicative of larger relationship challenges between any two bodies in search of connection, let alone resonance, and/or interface. Heading into day three, I am excited to create a cartography for mapping out our processes themselves in order that we may better begin to communicate across mediums. In an almost prophetic way, the form is mirroring its function in that we have yet to successfully complete an input and output circuit that is interpretable by each of our components. And yet, the joy lies in the rewiring...

new concepts learned:
-consonants and vowels articulated in a bow, clearer articulation in a gamba string than a cello
-latency as a primary limitation in performance technologies
-horn calls
-the ethos of rhythmic music; communal versus ego-centric affect
-muscles are always pulling

-how can methodologies help us to communicate? what is it to empathize with another's method of creating
-how to continually generate new responses to (seemingly) similar sounds
-how do our actions create an environment that the presence of the other person is always necessitated?
P.S. I should also add that I feel really grateful to have Tommy de Frantz as our occasional interlocutor as we find him in and around the studio, and also that he is allowing us to use his space, the Slippage Lab for Dance and Technology at Duke University. He also invited us to meet Robert Weschler of Palindrome Dance Project this morning who showed us the capacity of his motion capture system. All you need to know is Ken fought off a swarm of bees and a flash flood, all in one day. Tomorrow ADF kicks off! Huzzah!

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