T:BA:07 Day Eight – Thursday, 13 September 2007
I would like to start today’s entry with an apology to Anna Oxygen and her Cloud Eye Control posse. I was rather critical of her work, not in reference to the work itself, but to its perceived originality. I basically stated that I found it to not be particularly inventive, as I felt that ‘technically’ it was no more advanced then Miranda July’s Swan Tool from back in 2000. But, what I did not fully express was that I really did enjoy the performance. There were some awkward and clunky moments that could really be ironed out, but it was a good show. I expecially enjoyed the part when the video projection of her mouth opened up, followed by the physical screens parting and her walking back through them. This play with scale was great!
Plus, I also really did enjoy the surgeon scene when she was seemingly laying upon a table and the video characters were experimenting with her.
Thank you Anna.
I look forward to seeing your future work as it continues to mature.
The reason for my negativity, and it is a rather thin excuse, it because of tEEth.
tEEth was just too darn good!
The two performances that I saw afterwards just paled in comparison so much, that I felt they sucked at the time. Anna was not lame, I just did not fully appreciate her at the time. Kassys was not horrible, it was just not my thing. [Not everything at T:BA is going to resonate with all audience members, and thank goodness for that! There is a diversity in the audience, and there should also be a diversity in the performances.]
Sorry, Anna, but my review placed you as a friendly fire casualty in the insane frenzy of digesting the bombardment of many many performances every day. It is rather intense at times, and I did not mean to be hurtful to you. Please do accept my apology.
The day began at 7am with yoga, which was a really great class.
We spent a good chunk of the time doing head / hand stands and some other inversions, which I always enjoy.
9:30a Randee Paufve Workshop, Conduit
12:30p New Media and Performance, PNCA
3:00p Kristan Kennedy Salon, Corberry Press
[3:00p Hip Hop 101 Workshop re-Mix, Conduit]
7:00p William Kentridge, PAM: Whitsell
8:30p Larry Krone, Someday
8:30p Holcombe Waller, Someday
10:30p Cartune Xprez, Wonder
Then I headed over to Conduit for the first workshop of the day with Randee Paufve.
As I did not want to totally collapse, I first hopped over to Elephants for a “Superfood” drink, which felt good in my empty belly. On the way in, I bumped into my friend Robyn; so we wandered over to grab a cup of tea for her, as she was a bit sleepy still and we had some time.
The workshop was rather sparsely attended, which was a shame. There were nine of us, but in the future I do hope that more will attend Randee’s workshops. She is incredible, and I really enjoyed it.
Mind you, I am not a dancer, well not past the techno Bhangra variety of dance at least. So, many of the technical terms she used were lost on me, but what I did see was the way she guided these other eight talented dancers to move and flow about the room. She is interested in BIG and juicy movement, the kind that flows from the fingers like gossamer spider webs in an undulating breeze, filling every nook of space, enveloping you, entrancing you, making you fall in love. There is great strength in the work the individual moves, some that seem to be based in the martial arts, but that draw from all aspects of dance and movement.
Randee spoke about finding the ‘line’, the line that flows through a movement, that connects your entire body from your toes, through your spine, up into your skull, that flows through movements without pause at transitions in form. This reminds me of the panoramic photo montages, where one draws a red line overlay to connect the big thoughts in a zen-like simplicity. You could think of it as living within a work by Miró or perhaps if you have seen the sculpture on the roof of the Fundacio Antoni Tapies in Barcelona Spain created from meters of wire…
The most beautiful thing was watching the other dancers, as at some point I decided that it was best to watch and not get in the way of their beauty with my novice stumbling.
Robyn Conroy was amazing! The flow and grace that she brought to the work, such strength, such beauty. Robyn has a long and lovely form, and this coupled with her mastery of movement really brought the intentions of Randee Paufve’s choreography to light.
Thank you Randee, thank you Robyn, and thank you to the all of the other dancers whom shared the space with me at Conduit.
Luxurious as it was, I actually had an hour and a half before the next T:BA event.
So, I moved my truck from the SmartPark down to around the corner from Corberry Press.
Then over to a café for a breakfast burrito, which really hit the spot.
1.5 hours of yoga and then another 2 of dance makes this boy rather hungry.
Not to dawdle here, let’s get back to talking about T:BA…
The day’s Noon:30 chat was with Andrew Dickson, Steven Slappe and the folks from Urban Honking and Cartune Xprez. I am about to say something that might offend the panelist, but it is only intended to give the reader a visual sense… ok, take a deep breath… Looking at the group, and hearing them talk was a bit like watching “Revenge of the Nerds”. Now, if you are starting to get offended, remember that the Nerds kicked butt at the end of the movie, and Bill Gates has shown the raw beauty of being a geek! Heck, if you go on personals websites, there are slews of people saying that they just want to find someone as geeky as they are. I’m my own kind of geek. OK, enough pandering, I just wanted to paint the picture aesthetically, without being offensive. I would also like the reader[s] to understand that I respect the people on the panel, and that is at the core of my comments.
But, the panel did not seem to really get anywhere.
I was also interesting that the panel refused to take my questions. As a matter of fact, Stephanie Snyder, the moderator for the talk, actually said that she had heard enough from me on other days and did not want to hear from me that day under the guise of ‘letting other have the opportunity to speak’… Well, yes, I do put in questions every day, but that is because I am there every day. If others want to participate more, they are going to have to both attend more and speak up. Believe me, I only start talking when I am getting bored or I feel that the discussion is waning. Keep it lively, and I’ll just kick back and enjoy the show.
Sociologically, I found it interesting that I did not get called, because two days earlier I had turned one of Marko Lulic’s statements against himself, which in turn might have offended Stephanie Snyder. Urban Honking was rather pissed at me for posting some thoughts about where I felt they were heading, as I did not feel they were serious in their intentions. It would seem that I misunderstood UrHo’s intentions, as they have been responded to and corrected in the bLog comments from Day 05. The people next to me and I giggled about it a bit, which was fun.
One of the people in the audience asked how all of this was relevant to the T:BA Festival, and since I felt that question was never answered, and I was not allowed to participate against all Fourth Amendments rights and all… here I go…
We did not get to have the discussion then, so I had to engage it with other folks through-out the day, and toss it in here for added fun.
Dialogue is a very important component of any Web Log [bLog].
Especially in the context of a Time-Based Arts Festival, where performers and audience work together to create a whole.
Without an audience, could there be art?
If an incredible cast plays an amazing rendition of Beckett or Shakespeare in the Globe theatre, but without an audience, would it be art?
If a tree falls in the woods, and not one is there, does it make a sound?
These are some of the questions that I consider in this media…
If bLoggers just typed to no one, then it is just silly. Like an author writing a book, and never trying to get it published.
If no one sent Stephen Slappe images of their genitals, then he would have not had anything to base his work upon.
If no one started a bidding war on e-Bay then Andrew Dickson’s work would just be boring.
It is the interactivity, and in their realm specifically audience participation, which is key.
The added thing of interest to me with bLogging is that I, or another other bLogger can toss something out there, be it a word, sentence or tome, and then step back. Like a choreographer whom puts out an intention, and then the dancers get to play with it, which the choreographer may just sit back and enjoy the show. Sometimes, it is helpful to have some stage notes to give the dancers some more direction, or to guide them back to the larger vision; but it is beautiful when the choreographer vanishes and the strength and beauty of the dancers takes-over.
So, if you have thoughts about this, or any other bLog, don’t be shy.
Comment, flame, rant… this is what this media is intended for!
Without you, the reader and potential participant, I am just masturbating up here on the stage for no reason, as a commenter “Gene” was kind enough to point out.
But, I’m not doing this for myself.
I am doing this is share with you and my other friends whom might have missed an event or two, and might enjoy some of the connective threads.
This is Time-Based Art… PARTICIPATE!
Next on the docket was Kristan Kennedy salon style chat at the Corberry Press building. There was a healthy group of folks, and Kristan discussed the intentions, process, presentation, and archiving of the works in relation to the individual artists and historic artistic context. Stephanie Snyder [Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College] was in attendance, and had some excellent questions and points to consider.
Since this was in conflict with the Hip Hop 101 Workshop re-Mix at Conduit with the Lifesavas, I unfortunately had to miss it. Bummer, as they were going to have some b-boys to teach us some moves, and we were even going to get to break it down on the turntables.
I look forward to reading other’s posts.
Since I was not able to get my hair cut by children the other day, I scheduled a style with Morgan Shanafelt over at Gypsy Rose on E.Burnside. Home for dinner, walk the puppy over to the market to pick-up some milk, and then back downtown for a film at the Portland Art Museum.
Kristan Kennedy had stated that she was getting some heat due to a lack of video in the festival, which does seem strange, as there are quite a number of works in this media through-out the program.
William Kentridge was one of them, and people were lined up from the Whitsell Auditorium all the way to the street. I loved the soundtrack for the ‘nine drawings’ piece. The nine shorts themselves were rendered as if with stick charcoal, in this beautiful, vague, impressionistic manner. The hand was like the sky above Edvard Munch’s “Scream” painting.
I loved the artistry, but it did drone on a bit for me, and I could have used it being a touch more brief.
I have heard from a few folks about this desire for more editing, to make the duration of performances in the festival more terse.
I am not sure if that is a critique of our collective attention spans getting shorter, or if work is genuinely too long, but in this case, I feel that since the multi-year works were compiled, it might have been good to re-edit them before compilation.
Strolling though the misty rain, I arrived to a horde of folks outside of the Someday Lounge, with closed doors and a note saying “Sold Out”. It would seem that they had reached capacity at the venue. But, they pushed past fire code, and honored tickets that were pre-purchased.
Larry Krone and Holcombe Waller were playing.
Larry, with all due respect, was entertaining, but more akin to the gong show then T:BA; but that’s just my humble opinion. To each their own. Atleast a number of my friends from the tEEth cast were there and we got to chat a bit in the back of the club. [btw, friends or not, this is not why I have been raving about how good tEEth was. Ask my friends, when they suck, I tell them to their face, and if I am being commissioned to write critically about what I saw, I would not hold back.]
Holcombe Waller was next. There was one portion where he was speaking in French, I believe, and the projected film stills became text. I enjoyed this portion. Otherwise, the performance seemed like it should be in the North by Northwest Music Festival [NxNW], and not T:BA.
Moving right along in the mediocrity of the day… and the night…
Waller ran late, and I did consider leaving many a times, but I did not want to be rude.
[I considered leaving not because I wanted to get elsewhere rabbit, but because the music was just too light for my serious mood.]
“Cartune Xprez” was going on at the Wonder Ballroom, and I think that I might have missed the best part, the animation films. I got there in time for a ‘science’ powerpoint show by a lady wearing everyday street clothes, just talking straight-forward about facts. The crowd kept laughing and cheering, but I think it would be one of those cases for the audience just wanting to be entertained, and making what they saw into entertainment. The lady on the stage even thanked them for laughing, as she was not aware that what she was doing was funny.
There then was this bizzaro video-game-esque Merlin thing, that just creeped me out, and I just had to leave when they were done out of fear of other horrible ‘performances’.
Who let the kids out of the playground and asked them to do Show ‘n’ Tell?
Fredrick H. Zal
Architect | Sculptor | Advocate
an.architecture and industrial design studio
advocating dialogue in the fine + applied arts
Prior ‘Day in the Life’ Posts:
Day 01 – Opening Night;
Fredrick’s Best to Worst:
Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Marc Bamuthi Joseph Workshop
Randee Paufve Workshop
Mirah & Spetratone International
The Suicide Kings
Mammalian Diving Reflex Haircut
Guido va der Werve
Cloud Eye Control / Anna Oxygen
Sara Greenberger Rafferty Workshop
Hip Hop 101 Workshop
Donna Uchizono Workshop
Vanden Eynde & Vendendriessche
Portland Cello Project
Could have missed it and not cried too much:
Urban Honking Workshop
Sara Greenberger Rafferty
Really sucked [for me, remember you might think something completely otherwise…]:
Las Chicas del 3.5 Floppies