[dance-tech] Re: Motions at the edge

  • From: "Birringer, Johannes" <johannes.birringer@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2005 18:12:29 +0100

yes, Marlon, 
this is very interestiong, as your own observations, and the description of 
"Mother & Father", indeed broaden
the framework, and here I think it might be worth having a longer discussion, 
right here on our list, on the implications of this.

When you speak of : >> "dance" becomes a metaphor for composing with time based 
coordinated behavioral changes and
repetitions  (mediated, live or experienced) within a bounded cognitive framing 
( that includes recognition
and training/memory). The constant re-framing  and awareness of the 
performative context in which the
moving image appears.........>>

...i am thinking of real-time mixing and of work with databases that allows 
this kind of "play"  or dance with overlayed samples
and repetitions and loops, or (in the context of clubs and installations) of 
the now well familiar construction of "mix tapes" and remixes,
in this case of found (and altered) objects.  This indeed points in other 
directions, away from "dancevideo" or dance on camera, dance for the camera,
as such re-mix from databases is not a dance for camera.  In this (musical) 
context, it might be interesting to look at issues not
only of rhythm (I am refering to DJ Spooky's 'Rhythm Science' and the way he 
speaks of mixing and remixing in contemporary digital culture),
but also at whether such rhythms indeed work best with well known icons or 
recognizable "beats" (filmic, musical) that evoke or provoke
memory. What cultural memory, whose memory? and how is memory encoded in such 
"clips" or scratched "originals", and who recognizes, hears,
sees and places the references in what manner..?  What possible critical 
potential does the scratching have?

This question came to my mind, not having seen Candice Breitz's work which, as 
you say, references madonna and michael jackson, but having seen DJ Spooky's 
"Rebirth of a Nation" at Houston's Contemporary Arts Museum (exhibit: "Double 
Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970," January 22 - April 17, 2005") 
which mixes
DW Griffiths' "Birth of a Nation" with a dancer (Alvin Ailey company?) and a 
dance i could not quite place inside the cognitive framing of the looped 
samples of the Klansmen riding, to the weirdest elevator music, actually.  Yes, 
there was constant re-framing.  The Klansmen looked mesmerizing.

But what are the "performative contexts" in which the moving images appear?  
can you elaborate on  this, in regard to your comment on Breitz:
...........<<They feature synchronized videos in which the artist has 
blacked-out everything but individual actors and edited iconic performances 
(e.g., Faye
Dunaway in Mommie Dearest or Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. 
Kramer) into a kind of sample/scratch version of the original "texts.>>>>


what happens when the context is blacked out?


regards
Johannes Birringer
www.digitalcultures.org



-----Original Message-----
From: dance-tech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx on behalf of Marlon Barrios-Solano
Sent: Sun 10/23/2005 12:11 AM
To: dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [dance-tech] Re: Candice  Breitz 
 
Hello all,
Thank you Johannes for your posting and comments about
what you  saw  last night.
 I just came back from an afternoon of gallery
-strolling in Chelsea/ NYC. I  appretiated  and
enjoyed    different kinds of work  but I think it
deserves to be mentioned  the work of Candice Breitz
that is described after this.
It was incredibly fun and clever with  mesmerizing
juxtapositions, mixing and sequencing of film clips
and fans impersonating madonna and  m . Jackson. Her
compositional approach  and playfull appropriations (
I think) that offers a  broad perspective for our
categories of video-dance (dance as we know it-on
video). 
In that sense "dance" becomes a metaphor for composing
with time based coordinated behavioral changes and
repatitions  (mediated, live or experienced) within a
bounded cognitive framing ( that includes recognition
and training/memory). The constant re-framing  and
awareness of the performative context in which the
moving image appears became  a conceptual layer  that
was always present as a reminder of   her kniowlwedge
of the  visitor's mythologies (icons and
dancing/performimg the other as incorporation).

 Anyhow,  check it out if you have the chance,
Be well,
Marlon

Candice Breitz
SONNABEND GALLERY
536 West 22nd Street
September 17-October 29
 
Candice Breitz's video installation Mother + Father,
2005, which was shown at the recent Venice Biennale,
consists of two adjacent rooms, each with six
monitors. They feature synchronized videos in which
the artist has blacked-out everything but individual
actors and edited iconic performances (e.g., Faye
Dunaway in Mommie Dearest or Meryl Streep and Dustin
Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer) into a kind of
sample/scratch version of the original "texts." Dara
Birnbaum's Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman,
1976, is the monophonic antecedent to Breitz's
polyphonic fugue, but where Birnbaum's video pivoted
around the axis of feminism/mass media representation,
Breitz ups the stakes to accommodate multiple agendas,
including copyright issues, piracy, and originality in
the age of digital reproduction. The results are
hilarious and effective. Two new works, King (A
Portrait of Michael Jackson) and Queen (A Portrait of
Madonna), both 2005, in which a rogues' gallery of
"ordinary" people sing the pop stars' greatest hits,
creating an a cappella chorus, also taps into ideas of
media, gender, performance, and the popular text-not
quite with the acuity of Mother + Father, but with an
intensity that still raises goose bumps.

--- "Birringer, Johannes"
<johannes.birringer@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> hello all;
> 
> 
> last night I witnessed an unusual opening, right in
> midst of a rainy windswept dark countryside in a
> small village called Long Buckby (Northamptonshire):
>  "Motion at the edge", a program of
> dance/video/performance screenings, curated by Anna
> Douglas, having its premiere in an old building that
> used to be the Assembly Hall, a chapel-like
> architecture with beautiful wooden floorpanels and a
> magical ambience, except that these historical
> Assembly Rooms are now the house of an architect,
> who opens his private living room up for 5 weeks,
> exhibiting a collection of unusual films which, at
> first sight, look not at all like dancevideos or
> videodance. 
> 
> The artists included are:
> 
> Rosemary Butcher/Martin Otter, "Vanishing Point"
> Gina Czarnecki  "Infected"
> Chris. Dugrenier,  "Ascendance"  [with Aerobatic
> pilot Julian Murfitt]
> David Hinton, "Birds"
> Grace Ndiritu,  "Arrested Development"
> Katharina Mayer, "Romanz"
>  
> 
> Not all of these screen-works are new, "Romanz" for
> example dates back to 2000, the others are more
> recent, but they have been re-worked or are now
> re-sited (having moved from earlier video or film
> installations to a single screen projection). The
> new context in which they are seen now, in this old
> but renovated architecture of the private-public
> house, and the constellation of a program that
> conjoins these very different films, provides room
> for discussion, especially if "dance" here is really
> not foregrounded or even perceivable in the manner
> in which we may tend to think of dance for the
> camera or videodance. 
> 
> I know that are many here on this list who are
> interest in dance and film, i wish i could tell you
> more about what i felt last night, observing the
> cinematic choreographies of these different artists
> and artist-collaborators. There is no website, so I
> can only take my memories with me from the village,
> meeting all these fine people there last night,
> chatting with the filmmakers and guests, laughing
> along with the pilot, who explained his maneuvers to
> me (he first visualizes his aerial aerobatic
> movement sequences on the ground, so the filmmaker
> starts off with Murfitt rehearsing - in a green
> meadow - how he will fly the plane..... Then the
> film shifts upward, and "flies" into the air and
> becomes an aerial dance itself....   
> 
> The other remarkable work, along with Grace
> Ndiritu's curious and subtle ritual performance,
> only her feet visible in the dark, a tiny fire
> burning on the ground,  is Gina Czarnecki's equally
> strangely mesmerizing digitally-modified spiralling
> body (danced by Iona Kewney), a dance - illusory
> filmed motion -  that cannot be, but is generated
> digitally and thus moves like dance, and yet, even
> if moving impossibly, becomes utterly direct, naked
> and close, as well as poetic, far out (in the
> current worlds of hybrids, bioarttech and
> genetically engineered creaturegamelandscapes) and
> not easily graspable, interpretable.
> 
> Go and see the show if you are in the UK.
> 
> Those of you coming to Nottingham at the end of year
> to attend the Digital Cultures Lab and Symposium
> (www.digitalcultures.org) -- - we may be able to get
> the Arts Council England (who underwrites this
> exhibition) to let us screen the works again at that
> occasion.
> 
> regards
> Johannes Birringer
> www.digitalcultures.org
> 
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Marlon Barrios Solano
Unstablelandscape
Dance Improvisation/Real-time Dynamic Multimedia/Embodied Cognition
http://accad.osu.edu/~mbsolano/

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