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We can start over any damned time we want to. This seems as good a time as any to declare this world “new,” a slow-motion big bust passed and a new magnetism pulling matter together in ways that would have previously seemed absurd, or even impossible. There is a new odor in the air, be it the roasting of our skin cells as the sun rips through the ozone or the oozing perfume of carnivorous blooms as the foliage rapidly mutates, we keep sniffing it up like 6th graders in the craft supply closet.

Miao Jiaxin performs at PPL, 2012

Miao Jiaxin performs at PPL, 2012

PPL certainly has a new sense of itself, with a new space (Panoply Performance Laboratory, 104 Meserole Street) in which to host projects like Matthew Silver‘s monthly “Performance Art Open Mic,” (first Sunday of every month), PERFORMANCY FORUM, and the work of artists we find particularly rigorous, revelatory, and rich in substance, such as Chloë Bass‘ One-on-One Consultations for her The Bureau of Self Recognition (August 2012), a one-night exhibition with visiting artists from London’s ]performance s p a c e [Valerie Kuehne‘s curation and cognition of “performance music,” Miles Pflanz‘ book burning video-making, rehearsals for a piece by Yelena Gluzman, etc, etc, etc.

PPL bookshelf

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The space, however, has only been one aspect of condensing and strengthening of an identifiable community, individuals diverse in practice yet singularly dedicated to mutualism, collaboration, non-homegenizing collectivity, shifting points of leadership, and methodological rigor in the curation, conceptualization, and creation of live, situational, social, and performance art. It doesn’t need to be controlled, it’s impossible to frame with any kind of “art historical movement” kind of insufferable pretense, it simply occurs, dare we say “naturally,” though a fetish for “naturalness” is quite certainly a false faith.

Screen shot 2012-08-03 at 1.09.20 PM

PPL’s ‘NATURE FETISH: A public opera’ in Art Review

As organically as shifts in tectonic plates however, IV Soldiers Gallery, directed and curated by Ivy Castellanos became a site for PPL’s core exploits this past year, during the iCan Exhibition and Social Project, and during the several month-long exhibitions that have radically reformed the way we work by allowing us to consistently perform short-form pieces in stimulating contexts.

participants play analog can instruments during one of PPL's  iCan exhibition performances at IV Soldiers

participants play analog can instruments during one of PPL’s iCan exhibition performances at IV Soldiers

Our practices have similarly been forcibly evolved by collaboration with Valerie Kuehne as PPL went on a tour across the Midwestern US, collaborating improvisationally with Kuehne and those present in bars, a bowling alley, a public library, at the MDW Art Fair, etc, developing modes for combining sonic art/music and object/body-based performance, improvising, and disseminating performance art using musician/band touring models. This national tour built on our experiences with Kuehne and Anya Liftig in May 2012, when we traveled to Berlin to participate in MPA-B, working reactively within dolanbay’s action installation at Grüntaler 9, participating in Performer Stammtisch, collaborating with Liftig, and doing workshops with Lioba Reckfort and the Intergalaktische Kulturverein. All of these cretaceous experiments multiply and mutate, appearing as (as a culmination of the US tour) a 12-hour “diner/opera” called You’re a Big Boy Now OR Rauschenberg ist Todlich 

You're A Big Boy Now OR Rauschenberg ist Todlich (photo by Sissie Strutt)

You’re A Big Boy Now OR Rauschenberg ist Todlich (photo by Sissie Strutt)

performed with Kuehne at Fitness Center for Arts and Tactics (the new gallery opened by Pflanz and cohort that pulled 14 artists/groups into an epic 14-day exhibition of “marathon” durational and relational performances), conceptions of performance as involving the acts of curation and organization that surround the public presentations themselves, and the initiating of The Compendium, a temporary collaboration between organizer-artists who produced Technics, a two-night exhibition dealing with technology/technique at Center for Performance Research in June 2012, and now a new unnamed but much larger group that is instigating the online and networked participatory, mass performance/festival Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival (BIPAF), which will culminate July 4-28, 2013.

Other events have seemed to effect PPL as shifts in weather, for example the projects involving PPL co-directors Brian McCorkle and Esther Neff outside of PPL, such as Brian’s work as part of Varispeed, the collective, which produced John Cage’s Empty Words as a sprawling opus spanning Roulette, Exapno, the Brooklyn Bridge, and 12 hours of sound, text, and music. More recently, Esther has become part of the No Wave Performance Task Force, instigated by Lindsey Drury (for whom Esther created a text/sound score for the dance Run Little Girl at Merce Cunningham Studios in February 2012 and with whom PPL are collaborating to create Any Size Mirror is a Dictator, our 2013 opera) and made concrete via collaborative, feminist-form durational performances (Transformation and Embody Explosion organized by Ivy Castellanos), and other events and meetings.

'PPL Help the Water' at the Gowanus Ballroom during 'To the Stars on the Wings of an Eel'

‘PPL Help the Water’ at the Gowanus Ballroom during ‘To the Stars on the Wings of an Eel’

The more chaotic the environment/situation, the more performance thrives as a way of experiencing existence; states of becoming, recognizing, cognizing, relating, and communicating compose the now, and there is no ideal or eventual position of stability expected or even desired…ideas, spaces, organizations and other collectives, books, all the individuals with whom we’ve collaborated this past year, been curated by, curated/hosted, organized alongside, met with, all combine to construct a relational ecosystem too complex and fragile to parse, too specific to identify as any version of the world we’ve seen before…

PPL YEAR IN REVIEW THROUGH PICTURES…

Come visit PPL  at CPR two weekends in a row this month!

First, we perform in:

New Voices in Live Performance Curated by Anya Liftig
Dangling Modifier– After the Comma

Friday June 15 and Saturday 16 @ 8pm (PPL performs both nights)
Tickets: Free, Donations for CPR encouraged

Artists: Tess Dworman, Panoply Performance Lab (Jessica Bathurst, Arla Berman,
Devlin Goldberg, Katie Johnston, Brian McCorkle, Natasha Missick, Esther
Neff, Michael Newton, Ellen O’Meara), John Berdel, Stephen Van Dyck

Dangling Modifier brings together east and west coast artists who are
helping to define a new avant-garde. Brooklyn based Tess Dworman
investigates the sculptural potentials of the face in movement work. Los
Angeles artists John Berdel and Stephen van Dyck work with meditation,
subtle infiltration into public spaces, and intimate performance scores.
New York’s Panoply Performance Lab examines complex systems and
traces epistemic, emotional, and socio-political viewpoints/theories using
music, text, analog electronics, video, participatory elements, and found
materials. Click here for more information.

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THEN we have co-curated and co-organized this micro-conference at CPR the following weekend:

Compendium: Technics
is a public micro-conference with performances taking place over the course of two days:

Friday, June 22, 6pm-10pm
Saturday, June 23, 3pm-10pm
Panel discussion: June 23 at 4pm

Suggested donation $5-15 at the door only.
All are welcome!

Center for Performance Research
361 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn
(L to Graham Ave.)

Performances by: Whitney Hunter, Jorge Rojas, Sister Sylvester, drearysomebody (Lindsey Drury), Anya Liftig, Hiroshi Shafer, Emily Wexler, Ivy Castellanos, Alejandro T. Acierto, Jessica Pavone, Charmaine’s Names, Brian Zegeer and BabyCopperhead, Toby Driver, and others.

The Compendium invites these artists to research their relationships with technology, technicalities, and technics. Artists across disciplines manipulate, access, and utilize objects and systems, interacting with technics that are present in performance situations, both as part of the technicalities of presentation, and as instruments, tools, devices, visibility and amplification aids, and as part of documentation, methodological means, and aesthetic and political vehicles.

We ask, how do artists use technical means to their ends? How are techniques and technology related and/or unrelated? How are technics/technology/techniques developed and chosen as part of artistic practice, using what kinds of concerns? Who has access to technology and techniques/technics and how do they commodify/become commodified and/or de-commodify/become de-commoditized?

In an exploration of these considerations, artists will present work to the public during two nights:

Friday June 22: Hiroshi Shafer, Alejandro Acierto, Lindsey Drury, Charmaine Names, Ivy Castellanos, Amy Wexler and Sister Sylvester will perform in the CPR spaces in the absence of colloquially-defined “technology,” sans electricity, sans amplification, stripping the work of all forms of technics, even in some cases, attempting to perform without “technique.” Audiences must be present in the space to experience the work. Documentation will consist of written descriptions.

Saturday, June 23: Lindsey Drury, Sister Sylvester, Jorge Rojas, Rafael Sanchez, Anya Liftig, Jessica Pavone, Ivy Castellanos, Whitney Hunter, and Alejandro Acierto have access to CPR’s “cutting edge” technological array, including multiple projectors, sound system, and lighting grid, and may bring in their own technological devices, set-ups, electronics, and mechanisms. Audiences may view streamed performances from computers all over the world and performances will be documented on digital video.

A public round-table discussion on Saturday, June 23rd at 4pm will allow us to reflect on the collective research performed, involving the artists from the project and including other voices in live performance. Come be a part and see these incredible artists present new work!

About the Compendium

Over the course of 2012, The Compendium initiative will experiment with hybrid modes of curation, exchange, and presentation, producing exhibitions, performances, publications, and more.

The Compendium is comprised of artists who are deeply engaged with their communities. Organizing both as artists and as directors of alternative arts spaces, curators, members of ensembles and collectives, arts writers, and as agents of cultural influence, we form a “living compendium” to channel multiple agendas, intentions, and ideas into concrete support for artists and grassroots arts organizations.

The Compendium functions via face-to-face meetings, sharing time, funding, space, critical analysis, materials, transportation, residencies, publicity, skills, and other resources.

The Compendium organizers on this project are (in alphabetical order): Thomas Bell (Spread Art), Ian Colletti (Vaudeville Park), Christina DeRoos (Spread Art), Valerie Kuehne (The Super Coda), Brian McCorkle (Panoply Performance Laboratory, Varispeed), Esther Neff (Panoply Performance Laboratory, PERFORMANCY FORUM), Paul Pinto (thingNY, Seven Immediacies Series, Varispeed)