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salis_performance30Embarrassed of the Whole (EotW) Phase III (click HERE for Phases I [tour] and II [usership operations]) culminated through a series of engagements, August-October 2017:

Focus Workshop at Salisbury University
Movement I performance at Salisbury University (images)
Interactive Exhibition at the Electronics Gallery (Movement II) (images)
Movement III interactive/relational performance at W.O.R.K Gallery

VIDEO OF MOVEMENT I PERFORMANCE: https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=a-d2fn15KcI

Thank you so much to Tara and David Gladden for hosting/curating us!

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IMG_0571(image above: PPL during “Constance Vigilance/Our Social Eye(s)” at Glasshouse, June 23, 12am-12pm, photo by Brian McCorkle)

June 28: PPL as punk band “Grout Pomade” generated by Geraldo Mercado’s usership of Embarrassed of the Whole @ the new Secret Project Robot, organized by Gold Bolus Recordings: https://www.facebook.com/events/1193338950794107/

up next after that…

July 13-23, 2017 @PPL + Grace Exhibition Space,  JUST SITUATIONS: a performative convention (organized by Esther Neff, Leili Huzaibah, Kaia Gilje, and situating artists/active citizens)

Friday, July 29, 8pm PPL at Le Petit Versaille as part of Karl Cooney’s PERFORMANCE SERIES

August – October, 2017
PPL in residence at the Cage House in Chance, Maryland and solo visual exhibition at the Media Gallery at Salisbury University, performances and workshops with students and presentation of opera-of-operations at WORK Gallery

OPENCALL.jpgJUST SITUATIONS will take place across two weekends in July, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York:

Thursday-Sunday July 13th-16th
Thursday-Sunday July 20th-23rd 

Justice, it is said, must not only be done, it must be seen to be done (Homi K .Bhabha)

JUST SITUATIONS hosts artists, activists, and active citizens who are working in performative ways, moving beyond the trending commercialization of art “about” politics, instead seeking modes of performance which directly construct, position, and posit political, social, and embodied forms of human being and becoming.

Those gathered to perform this convention are ideally enabled to situate and posit some space-time-frames, modes, ethical (en)compassings, arbitrations, motivations, and social (as)semblance for situations in which justice may be done, seen, and seen being done.

We are directly constructing some situations in which, in and as small diffractive social groups, “we” imagine “we” may actually survive. This convention and forum aims (with no small feeling of embarrassment, naiveté and other emotive symptoms of outsiderness) to envision performance art, civic performance, and social art practices as theoretical and actual materializations of in-context equities, reparations, respectfully agonistic relationships, post-capitalist orders and economies, socio-ethical philosophies, self-realizations, and perhaps, liberations and so-seen justices.

JUST SITUATIONS is organized like an inventor’s exhibition or science fair. By framing everything occurring during the time-space of these eight days as just situations, or situation of justices, acts and social behaviors which are often seen as casual, common, as mere entertainment or luxury product, as dysfunctional, dangerous, foolish or impossible, as parasitic, private, and/or worthless within dominant schemas for value, are given primacy, seen as scientific breakthroughs and transformative political vehicles. Traumas are worked through instead of commodified, intersectional recognition of identities is practiced rather than merely hashtagged, constructive ideation is performed as a common, daily intra-activity, natures for human being are performatively reconfigured, dreams are staged as news, our bodies are on fire, our eyes glow in the dark.

We’ve shown you ours…if you’re interested in engagement, please make a proposal (in any form) responding to (agreement, disagreement, re-phrase, dialogue, reaction, etc) one or more of the following INQUIRIES, or propose an inquiry of your own (in any form) and e-mail to us at justsituationsconvention@gmail.com by May 15th

INQUIRIES

1. How can situations be said and seen to be “just”?
2. How are we practicing experimental metaphysics?
3. How are we practicing queer(ing), Black, indigenous/native/authorized/originating, female/femme, trans(formative), migrant/itinerant, ethically-oriented, alternative, (re)constructive, and (e)strange(d) ways of thinking/feeling/sensing/perceiving/becoming/being, are “ways” autonomous from persons in any way?
4. How are we theorizing forms of entanglement, intersection, and relationship?
5. How do we resist reductive inscriptions of/upon our bodies, enabling our actual(izing) presences to materialize in far more complex and particular ways?
6. How does performance art activate (as “activism” and as “affective influence”) actual political activities and conceptual transformations of human cultures, polities, institutions, and systems?
7. What do we mean when we say “the personal is political”?
8. Performance art is not “about” politics, it can not be “about” anything; there is no material schism between “real conditions” and “performance artifice:” all that is seen, heard, tasted, smelled, touched, emerges from embodied cognition, location, and positioned performance.
9. Because we are not universalists, essentialists, righteous fundamentalists, or objectivists, we do not suppose that our performances are inherently “true,” “right,” or “of quality to everyone,” is this the reason to distinguish modes of performance—for example “social” vs. “art” performance—? Does the sphere of “art” maintain some meaning and/or use? For example, do we add the word “art” to involve senses of intentionality, aesthetic and ethical decision-making, agency, dysfunction, radicality, and/or autonomy?
10. How do performance artists make sense? (full stop)

Here is a list of forms we are welcoming (in no way is this a complete or mutually-exclusive list):

-de-hierarchized forms of social performance
-constructive institutional critiques
-imaginary and proposed projects
-impossible projects
-participatory and interactive performances
-personalized and intra-personal performances
-environments and installations
-proposals for travelling actions, “art-form” marches, demonstrations, protests
-interventions and intervening projects
-performances of research, inquiry, investigation
-presentations of independent research and social knowledge-constructing activities
-discursive performances i.e. panels, workshops, roundtables, with performative forms
-social arts projects and “community arts” work (performed directly or performatively presented/described)
-presentations on projects happening already “elsewhere” and “outside” arts spheres and institutional spaces, “non art” projects
-magic(k), chaotic transformations and abreactive expressions
-rituals, prayers, ecstatic and generative performances
-metaphysical experiments (i.e. time travel, architecture, invention)
-performative technologies
-readings of texts and lectures
-AI and digital performances
-critical performances (framing and criticism)
-public interventions (including those in legal and governmental spheres)
-interrelative projects, daily practices, private performances, dinners, chores, etc
-travelling actions, tours, multi-site connections and corridor-formation
-domestic performance
-life=art
-art=life

Timeline:

Deadline for proposals: May 15
Dates of the convention: July 13-16 & July 20-23, 2017

Some deadline have been set in advance to make it possible for those involved to organize this thing together and in practical conjunction with jobs, travel, childcare, etc: please be advised that if you do this with us, we will need to have all public information about this project gathered and finalized by May 22 for PR and online presence. Full conference schedule will be released no later than June 1. All tech needs, requests for housing, requests for childcare, requests for formal letters of invitation etc to the initiating organizers by June 15.

Notes on money and power:

This convention is all-volunteer and there is no institutional support. Mutual support between this project and those involved is performed on a relative and situational basis. In short, there is no funding for materials, travel, or honorarium right now, but we are doing a crowd-sourcing campaign to fund travel and performers/presenters. Proposals for economic frames/structures for this project are also welcome. In addition, there will be a “default DIY” pay-what-you-can-at-the-door situation with proceeds going to the performers/presenters/participants that day.

Initiating organizers (Leili Huzaibah and Esther Neff) reserve the right to determine which proposals and persons will be formally involved with this project via an open call and invitations, based on subjective judgments and intra-personal relationships and experiences. In this case, investment and labor equals power, not an ideal situation but an intermediary one.

The online survey for EotW–through which users generated controlled experimental environments, lines of inquiry, and/or “theatrical/theoretical vehicles”–closed January 1, 2017. 64 qualified users completed the survey.

This January, we are now meeting with users who chose to become collaborating co-operators. We are also designing participatory scores for users who chose that mode of engagement, devising scores to “present” subjected users who selected the option “Present As,” and building out the PPL site to house the performative research generated via these and other online and embodied processes. The forms of research which have generated forms that might be considered “opera performance” are open to the public (at 104 Meserole Street, Brooklyn, NY):

Friday, February 3, 8pm: “Christen”
Saturday, February 4, 3pm-6pm: “Nina Isabelle” 8pm and onward: “Geraldo,”“samuel”
Sunday, February 5, 8pm: “johannagilje”
Monday, February 6, 8pm: “aliftig,” 9pm: “elizabethlamb”
Tuesday, February 7, 8pm: “diane”
Wednesday, February 8, 8pm: “Sumo”
Friday, February 10, 8pm: “huckjackhexjar”
Saturday, February 11, 6pm-onward: “LukeJM,” “Tsedaye,” “jgladstone”
Tuesday, February 14, 4pm-8pm: “lovelovelove,” 9pm: “belel”
Wednesday, February 15, 8pm: “daver,” 9:30pm: “crossoffice”
Thursday, February 16, 8pm: “Jessica”
Friday, February 17, 7pm and onward: “Valera,” “Zhen,”“Aranzazu,”“raziaisthenameofmycat”
Saturday, February 18, 4pm-6pm: “ElaineThap,” 8pm: “aevi and me”
Wednesday, February 22, 7pm: “jamieburkart,” 8pm: “BenjaminL/T-S,” 9pm: “Adrift Dismantled”
Thursday, February 23, 8:00pm: “Violistakaren,” 9pm: “IV,” 10pm: “Sierra.Elena”
Friday, February 24, 8pm: “Valerie Kuehne,” 9:30pm: “It’s Me,” 10pm: “2sad4dismrkfrshspnch,” 11pm-exhaustion: “abandonedtires”
Saturday, February 25, 7pm: “ilzost,” 8pm: “imageobject,” 9pm: “cafecafè”
Sunday, February 26, 5pm-unknown: “dahvvv”
Monday, February 27, 8pm: “lolotrashbo”
February 28, 8pm: “tinyfruit”

*Users who selected option “F” generate likelihoods and may or may not be “performed” in forms recognizable as “performance” at some point or throughout the month: “Christine O” “BluMom” “laureljay” “hollowobscenity” “cat” “linzdrury” “MatthewGGannt” “Linda” “me” “ultradella” “pmqwerty” “Cbxtn” “Queena”

We are not whole / You Complete Me / use me / this is not my system / we are not chaotic, we are chaos / we the (un)incorporated

http://www.panoplylab.org/eotw

image_012017

Reframing text, as of January 1, 2017

January 1, 2015 a text was released as the first “transition document” for Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL), the site and activities described as such. Since then, we’ve[1] decided to re-frame the art project that is the more the “space” “Panoply Performance Laboratory” approximately every 2 years. We don’t have a “core mission statement” but (as performance artists ourselves) we have a need act out a lot of (in)stating and (in)forming which locate, ground, and help us think about the work at hand (ethically, politically, practically) just as forms of work are constantly shifting.  Since we are the ones working here (anyone writing or using this text), such writing adventures have no other purpose for themselves than to be of fit form to their own at-hand purposes.

Statements written at the end of 2014 lead us to consider how we were practicing conscientiously—purposefully—in modes that we have now come to label “socio-ethical,” or “intentionally constructive.” We might also (Brecht-style) call our mode “dialectical;” decision-making procedures are performed through (agonistic) reasoning, with forms and logics for reasons (i.e. reason[s]=cause[s], both in the ideological sense and in the sense of cause-and-effect) adaptive to particular problems at hand.

Additionally, we do sometimes believe that our ways of doing things can be articulated and used to design our future ways of doing things (as with methods, tactics, techniques) based on anticipated (researched, experienced, potentially causally-or-otherwise-correlated) affects[2] and consequences.[3] We do not entirely dissolve into “becoming in situ” (impossible anyway) because we cannot deny responsibility for implications, affects, and consequences of our actions.

Simultaneous fitting of form to ideal(ology) and taking on of responsibility are working definitions for “quality/qualification,” performing alternatives to capitalist judgment and authorization schemas.

The formation of an organizational committee to deal with open call proposals, the hosting of more private/insular conversations, social gatherings, and meetings, support of durational investigation processes, and more familial (anti-institutional) forms of communication and mediation have partially continued in the various directions declared and alluded-to by the first transition document. As a laboratory site, focusing on processes of collective ideation and intentional social construction, many “shows” were replaced by projects with forms consistent with their “contents and concepts.” The need to fix plumbing, perpetual problems with the front door, troubled interpersonal dealings with a few entitled/misunderstanding artists, exhaustion, filth, fear, and poverty have remained constant.

Perhaps most generally, we have attempted—though it often feels like pulling a fly’s wing out of molasses—to move away from forms of passivity, reform any neo-liberal attempts at “sustainability,” and avoid other generally lassaiz-faire approaches to equity, quality, visibility, and “diversity” and “access.” Our language has gotten more pointed and specific, our tone more harsh, our rhetoric more “divisive” and partisan, we have become formally clearer (thanks to the work of Thomas DeFrantz, for example) about operating in pro-BIPOC (and anti-whitely) and Queer modes, attempting to correlate actions with political emergencies. On one hand, our sensibilities and aesthetics are increasingly ordered by direct resistances to particular political and economic forces, on the other hand, we keep our wounds as wide open as possible in order to practice specific ways of dealing with them.

Specificity is not the same as “getting better,” or “knowing better.” Specifically, increasing specificity is practiced by correlating located perceptions, sensations, and actions with directionality (i.e. locative contexts) and intentionality (motivating contexts). Becoming “more specific” is not a functional process that necessarily produces any “methodological knowledge” or value-point “information.” Thus, as we enter 2017, we may feel far less clear about what we’ve learned from the past two years, or nearly five years of relating to the world through the lens of life-work as/in/with/inside PPL, this thing which presumes it has some purpose (how so, specifically?) and maintains some ideological motivation (towards which anticipated/imagined consequences, specifically?).

The idea that we keep returning to is that of a “laboratory;” a site where people practice collective ideation. As a laboratory, PPL is not necessarily bending its forms around “entertainment,” or “support of artists” or “comfort” (though social safety is paramount), rather some discomfort and vulnerability is often felt as we attempt to work together, to speak together, to get things done even when we don’t agree or share experiences, and so on.

We can come together and move apart in so many different ways, so many times with, between, and through so many different “micro-communities” and it seems a certain “breathing room” between communities defined by identity is needed, as well as some spaces/sites to come together, to organize “ourselves.”

Small social groups and friendship circles and love triangles and families also come together and disappear. These dynamics must be respected and considered as deeply as “big picture” political dynamics. PPL hopes to operate both as a self-isolating site, i.e. hosting specifically-oriented[4] projects and groups (identity-delineation performed as part of personal pathways, social configurations, ideological movements, and friendship circles, see “squad goals.”[5]) as well as intentionally “intersectionalizing” and “cultural organizing” projects. We exclude, however, projects which do not consider identity contexts or think that their work or an event can possibly be “for everyone.” We also specifically exclude white artists who do not consider racial contexts, cis male artists who do not consider gender contexts, and any artists who believe that their works can “transcend” socio-political contexts. In general, we rather decry any lack of specificity, art-for-art’s sake, (i.e. art for business’ sake), or any claim to objective truth or moral right.

At the moment, we are interested in how “intentionally intersectional” practices in art worlds and community activism are being abandoned or avoided for an array of reasons: isolationism and individualism, the need for new forms of dialogue[6] related to capitalism’s demand for swift, functional productivity, increasing need of BIPOC, trans, queer, and Muslim (as well as many other “Othered”) communities (what we each mean by “community” is a very good question) to self-protect, mistrust due to ongoing cycles of white supremacist betrayal and pop-up xenophobia, new self-rightousnesses as we develop language to describe and ultimately exclude-as-dysfunctional some formative aspects of our experiences (i.e. being triggered, recognizing micro-aggressions), favoring ease of communication and cultural comfort in home and intimate social contracts due to increased suffering, trauma and threat, etc.

How and why do we “come together” or “come undone”? How do different forms of connection and divestment “benefit” different persons and groups?

Not knowing who “we” are, in any sense outside of how “they” define us, no cohesive bodily seems to have experienced anything other than rage, fear, love, a heightening of extremes and a loss of the tips of our extremities as we slide off the ends of the ropes into deeptime chaos. On the other hand, we lean in and find bodies there, persons with very different experiences, ideas, ways of seeing and feeling, we hear voices and we speak too, in a graceful and multi-faceted (#tryeverything) swan-dive into that chaos. We are, many of us, moving, pushing, motivated together in similar directions, striving for something(s) in particular. Our hands, feelingly, find other hands, and grasp.[7] We can barely see who is who and how, we can only focus on the moment at hand, the presence within and without us, the breathing around us.

Unfortunately (and perhaps most fortunately), we have not experienced an increasing “objecthood” for PPL, no clearer visibility of any one communicable form for its “structures.” We know far less than we once hoped to figure out. It seems naïve now to carry some deep faith that “progressive” culture could prevail, that humans can or should learn how to live together in the same ways as each other.

Conscientious exclusion, self-sanctioning, and self-protection have become increasingly important, relegating “transparency” and “inclusivity” to the bottom of the dirty neo-liberal barrel of earnest concerns. We are no longer in a position (even if that position was always uneasy at best) to offer ‘resources’ to artists, and so any sense of universal desirability is lost; we are becoming afraid to advertise our presence at all. Our hopes of being a laboratory site where strong cultural practitioners can perform collective inquiries have been sincerely overwhelmed by the urgency of practicing any radical presence.

The conditions of our “eco-system” have significantly changed, at least the conditions of our “theaters of the future,” or the state in which we live due to what we think will happen next.

Within the imagination that we were striving to become more like a sustainable permacultural system, the edges between spheres and locations (e.g. the partial shade on the edge between forest and meadow) seemed the most vibrant and diverse, the most resilient, and fruitful. With the fantasy of increasing complexity and holistic self-knowledge in place, we moved towards edges, curious and excited to push the boundaries, explore the distances, balance precariously without fear.

Within an extractive and coercive system such as a factory farm or fascist state, however, the edges are sterile and dangerous (e.g electric fences, chemical wash-down facilities, loading docks), where the most mechanized and violent elements of the overall system are realized. We cannot balance for long between spheres, or between normative legitimacy (e.g. white supremacy, patriarchy, etc) and absolute ant-normalizing radicalization.

We are formulating yet, and this emergence of forms is still projected by a loss of faith in actionability, but a  “larger” frame is rather intersected by many differently-shaped mirrors, each reflecting its own iterative perspective(s) and possibilities.

Further, through experience with and in “playing out” of political fantasies as radicals, suspension of (dis)belief in singular narratives, searches for “appropriate responses,” and attempts to perform well-researched conclusions, our “internal” imaginations and musings, as to the shape we would like to take, the persons we would like to present, and so on, these “dreams” or “desires” have been usurped (at least some energy from our ability to believe in them sapped) and largely replaced by “external” considerations, i.e. defensive positions responsive to conditions of rising global fascism, biotic crises, and so on.

At the moment, it seems impossibly complex to correlate our willful re-formulation of an art project with movement through and across historic spacetime. We are significantly re-contextualized and unsure if we maintain the agency to re-condition our conditions at all.

HOWEVER, perhaps it is some form of longing or attachment that reinforces our promise to situate alternate culture, synthetic culture, intersectional and microcosmic, rhizomatic, conflictual and agonistic culture. We must be stupid, because we still think it may be possible to operate anti-racistly (honestly, non-whitely), queerly, post-capitalistically, post-colonialistically, (and other word-making-up-ly as necessary) as possible…

++++we assemble and ensemble to situate a culture of collaboration but also of mutual respect in dissidence and for difference++++

+++reciprocity, social safety, nurturance, self-sanctioning, comfort in confusion and responsibility within chaos, relational attention and context-specificity, somatic and embodied theoretical practice, process-based experimentation, testing, and attempt without demand for productive or functional outcome are but a few of the “politics of aesthetics” held and carried by those who might be considered “the community” of PPL assembling at 104 Meserole Street, Brooklyn, NY+++

+++competition has no place in art-making processes or in love+++

+++socio-ethical considerations hold primacy over capitalist values/valuation schemas, this is a universality we tentatively posit+++

+++we have a right to mediate and (en)culture ourselves+++

+++our ways of seeing are sensible in their own ways+++

+++we move, reaching out, towards liberation of the bodies and bodilies+++

CALLS for projects in 2017
Proposals should be in PDF form: please e-mail one single PDF containing links, tech needs, amount of time/duration for project, and some response to one or more paragraphs from the CALL CLUSTERS below to: panoplylab@gmail.com.

Deadlines for these calls are:
March 1, 2017 (notification by March 20 for April 10-July 31 use of the lab)
July 1, 2017 (notification by July 20 for September 1-December 15 use of the lab)
Experiments, other research-forms, workshops, theatrical and movement-driven performances, staged happenings, artificial environments (installations) and other types of fabricated situations, music, sound, noise, performance art/live art, social arts practices, collaborations, public debates, exhibitions, and many other types, modes, and forms of lab use are possible. Because this is a homespace, excessive rehearsals or extremely durational projects are difficult to handle. If you are wondering if PPL is a good fit with what you have in mind, want to discuss your ideas with us in person, or have any easier-to-answer logistic questions, please feel free to e-mail us.

CALL CLUSTER ONE: A synonym of “laboratory” is “imaginarium.”

1.) We do not reject or ignore our “concrete” (i.e. communicable, partially objectified, symbolized, practiced) ideology, our values, hypotheses, ethics, and/or any faith and/or hope we may maintain, as these are what give us agency and distinguish 1.) intentional construction of realities in attempts to see these “realized” from 2.) conditioned constructivity of realities, within righteous, coercive, and extractive attempts to totally “know” “The Real.” We must not fall into nihilism or righteousness, as the question how is “real?” would be thereby removed from our purview.  Laboratory situations aren’t fruitful for anyone who claims to totally know already, without a doubt, anything. We ask, how do you make appear(ances)? How are constructivities? What do you decide to materialize/situate/recognize, and why?

2.) Situations are materialized/realized not just via arrangement of “concrete” material elements and sentiences in spacetime. They are also cognitively, emotionally, and energetically situated via embodied performative processes of making matter. Some persons seek to perform presently and consciouslessly within such processes, while others practice states of conduit, transference, possession, séance, transformation, and transfixion.

3.) It would be a lie to imagine that any situation is totally “natural” (organic, open, preconditional) or totally “artificial” (built, intentional, constructed, conditioned). Rather, mediation(s), selections, exclusions/inclusions, and other formulating and situating processes are practiced, again, in multiplicit ways. How so? And why in such ways?

4.) It would be a lie also to imagine that once something is revealed it is never concealed (problematic: universal sight vs. mediation patterns) that our revelations are inherently transformative (problematic: the personal vs. the political), or that it is not possible to plan and design a positively-imagined future (problematic: dystopian vs. utopian imaginations).

5.) Theatrical and envisioning performance modes are crucial due to their distinguishing abilities and by their considerate blending of fact and fiction, fabrication and construction of reality, artificial intelligences and analytic(s) forms; live performances are inherently dealing with—at the very least—what is “a performance” and what is general performativity. The former—at the very least—has, does, or will informboth some “imaginative” and some “recognitive” capabilities.

CALL CLUSTER TWO: who is a person? How is “human?” How is “citizen?” Who is present, and how?

1.) It would be a lie to imagine that there is no “we” here making such statements; no matter how dangerous we find any universalizing statement; persons organize projects and persons hold, carry, and practice some familiar ways of seeing and doing.  For those of us who have lived most of our adult lives within and as part of such places (like PPL), each fire, each shut-down, each raid and mass shooting re-opens old wounds like scurvy. Without some legit Vitamin C, we can never heal.  AIDS, heroin and crack, suicide, mass incarceration, the military (and its promises to provide jobs, citizenship and education to extremely vulnerable persons as well as US imperialism and warfare), police brutality, hate crimes, and the raw horrors of urban and rural poverty have divided and ended any sense of “us” perhaps “as artists” or as “the undercommons” or as any cohesive “precariat” perhaps, that might rise up en masse against “the system’s” orders and disorders. They have broken us up and down. All that is left are persons. How are we critical of ourselves? How do our selves engage, resist, maintain resilience, connect and detach, empathize and judge?

2.) The simultaneous demand that humanity operate as cells of competitive individuals and the prevention of embodied impersonages from materializing “their own” realities is intimately related with capitalist totalitarianisms. Most simply, we are experiencing a twofold and interrelated divorce of persons from their agency/agencies:

2a.) the first is divestment from cultural groups, which can be (both) positive (i.e. whites divesting from whiteness) when practiced intentionally and extremely violent (i.e. total appropriation of “Blackness” as an identity-product owned and marketing by white capitalism) when systemically enforced. Agency is key here, understood positively perhaps as distanciation and self-reflection, while lack of agency in separation from cultural grouping (and agency to culturally-ensemble) divides and conquers groups like “the uneducated,” “women,” “intellectuals” and so on, which might be able to exert power in formation. How are we our own? Or not?

2b.) The second divorce of persons from their agency and agencies is a separation of sensation and perception from our object-natures, functions, and value as component parts of systems totally engineered by extractive and coercive forces of post-consensual capitalism. In other words: we are only seen to be “worth” our consumption, our products/as products, our labor, our attention, as these fuel some “grand system” (in)corporate destruction of our lives and of our planet. Nothing (no transportation or food system, no education system, no legal or governance system) is oriented around pleasure and suffering of living human beings, except for art (in its dangling aesthetics of politics). How are we something other than what we produce/consume?

3.) Collaborative, relational, and participatory performance modes are practicing through these complex problematics. While some artists remain stuck in testing their own agency (How far will my voice travel? How can I become famous and rich?) many others are (often very critically) investigating cultural formation and how are human ways of being? How shall I/we be humane? To be “humanist” and to be “human” is ever-becomingly complex.

CALL CLUSTER THREE: grand narratives

We claim that we continue to inquire against and as metabolic particles within “the system,” to know and be aware of its many modes of operation, its values, its supremacies, its biases, its tendancies, and its vulnerabilities to our attack.  By framing “it” as a singular, identifiable “it,” we also reinforce it as such. We perform the same processes of belonging (us) and exclusion (them) which allow “it” to emerge from our bodilies into something with a mind of its own, an autonomous, analytic/machine-generated reality in which total dystopia seems inevitable.

What drama, the surgical death-machine against bloody living nature, with humankind caught between, both operator(s) and organism upon which the machine operates.

We keep on re-telling and re-describing in such ways. This too, reproduces the reality in which this “paradigm” or “it system” (capitalism, the anthropic death-drive of the knowledge-constructing ape, white supremacy and ur-fascism, kyriarchy, extractivism, whatever you want to call it) exists.

The “best” performance artists, we declare, are those who materialize alternate narratives and senses of sense, anti-normalizing this “david and goliath” garbage, this “master and slave” garbage, this “wealth=value” garbage.

We have learned, to our horror, that when the stakes go up, the complexity gets reduced. Objects of fact are as fragile and useless as Faberge eggs, easily forged, easily sold. This is indeed one of many “banalities of evil.”
1.) from “within” or “without”? Incorporate of antibodies or divestment from the bodilies?
2.) how is “the big picture” related to our daily habitus?
3.) How do we narrativise, interpret, frame, and project our visions of what is happening now and, deontically, what we would like to/should do?


[1] This text will vacillate between different “we” and “I” perspectives. One “we” is multiply-identified Esther, the writer of this text, and Brian McCorkle, the editor of it, respectively. A more problemative “we” is the collective and various residents and artists using the space and participating directly to its existence. “We” is always a fraught perspective, we try to acknowledge the extreme subjectivity of any written statement (duh, someone has to be writing it) without claiming ownership of community-generated ideation. Any “I” is Esther, owning up to selfhood.
[2] see Affaction Research Center
[3] see Emily Gastineau and Billy Mulaney (Fire Drill), Consequences have consequences
[4] i.e. work dealing directly with personal experience in relationship with systemic racism, xenophobia, transphobia, misogyny, etc.
[5] see the work of Ayana Evans
[6] see the work of Dominique DuRoseau