Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Undocumented Dance

Undocumented Dance

This is only a partial truth.  For if it were an absolute, it would not be mentioned.

Recording of your art, mandatory in the "mainstream" these days, refers to the use of technological media to act as the "official-izing" agent to art.  This is important to understand if you are applying for grants, residencies etc.

The acceptable means of recording for dance is video--continuous footage, then photography.  

But to me, this should not define you as a dancer.  As an artist, inevitably and supposedly we shape the parameters.  What did we do before photography and film?  

At the same time, the new technology of communications and recording has made what used to be the village community, now our entire earth.  Hence the creation of the Global Dance Project.

However, the real debate, as was pointed out to me by some commie-dancer-artist I had met in Pacifica in 2013, the real debate regards value.  It was a fantastic conversation that discussed Kwang Tsu, sand grains and "Objet d'innocence".
Many of our outdoor performances are undocumented, unless by unidentified passerbys or drones flying overhead. Old School Field Notes are draft support material for important past performances,  condensed in words. Partially in hopes to retain the sense of innovation, artistic process and dance experience accessed through undocumented dance performance. Field notes also encourage the act of writing as part of the art record, tracking significant findings discovered within a "non-conformative" audience, marking relationship found between site-specific dance, dancer and interactive audience.

Since 2003, I have been doing this type of field research and development by means of outdoor performance in the San Francisco Bay Area.  From 2011 to 2013, we did monthly outdoor showings without record other than by the beings (humans local and international, blue heron, ravens, snakes, etc) who paused to observe, or participate or pass by.  The impact of the years of outdoor performing have focused and expanded our understanding of audience, performance and nature.