Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Save the Humans (Salon, 2007)

Save the Humans (Salon, 2007
I did a salon piece called "Save the Humans", where I literally climbed the walls, up to a ceiling alcove.  Below me, the poet Peggy Tahir, read original work about Art Blakey and Jazz.

The "Save the Humans" piece was wholly interactive with the audience. 

Dry ice cracked over a map as people entered the room.  In the dance, I drained sea salt from my hands like the sands of time and invoked the spirit of the polar bear.  

I had made a paper-mache Bear Mask out of my old drawings from my art school years in the 80’s.  The mask was painted black on the outside, the inside white with a polar bear invocation written in it. I passed the Bear Mask into the audience to growl into the mask.  Some of them chirped, or spoke, or held it, or whatever they decided to contribute.

Danceable sculptures were created for this piece made of round squash I had grown in my organic garden the year before. They were dried out, light and hollow but sounding with seeds when shaken.  I painted them black with some white, or white with some black, in theme with the North Pole dance I was developing for stage. 

I tossed the sculptures into the audience. This seemed to be delightful as they tossed them it made them  laugh.  At the end of the piece, I placed the largest one on my head and mimicked the cracking of an egg.  Indeed it cracked , breaking as if it were my skull.  The seeds falling over me like brain and ideas.

Later in another I performed "Save the Humans" at the Lab in San Francisco. It  was not interactive in the same way.  Instead, I used the film from the previous "Save the Humans" salon performance as my lighting via the projector spotlight and backdrop.  It created a PERFECT film noir lighting effect while I danced for about 60 people in folding chairs. I filmed that performance too.   

So, when I used it in 2008 at CounterPulse, I projected it on the wall.  In it, showed the salon film being projected as the backdrop of the Lab performance, which was then being projected on the wall as a backdrop at CounterPulse Theatre.  I recorded the 2008 performance too.  A little tricky to explain, is the beginning of infinity.