I am so grateful for the generosity and support of dfbrl8r gallery, Joseph Ravens, Andi Decker, the gallery volunteers, and especially all of the artists who graciously shared their work. Winning raffles isn’t so bad! Volunteering for Rapid Pulse really paid off!
My goal for DISPOSITION was to unite a bunch of artists I admire out to Chicago where the performance scene is so vibrant and thriving. I selected artists whose work I greatly admire and who quite frankly are young and for lack of a better term, emerging. Coincidently, bringing Nabeela on board meant a beautiful, chance opportunity to showcase VIX, their curatorial project. I was one of the first artists to perform for VIX. I was able to re-perform “Repetition makes practice makes perfect” in my own event, which I have mixed feelings about. Thankfully, I had lots of help and it actually reminded me a lot about SIM, the program I just graduated from at MassArt. Many of us were able to interchangeably switch roles from producer to artist with ease.
To re-cap the weekend: Thursday was the VIX//DISPOSITION kick-off virtual dance party and Friday and Saturday were performance days.
Thursday: It was tough to organize artists who were in a different time zone. The pre-stage was a bit frustrating but I kept positive vibes. Emilio Rojas and Jeremy Lee Harris began the evening with a live and virtual performance. They re-performed their very first conversation, which was on Chatroulette. Their piece involved movement, salt, an umbrella, projections, and the video of their first conversation. It was both humorous and intriguing to see the streaming of chatrandom of men masturbating. One older man actually spent more time with the piece and it was lovely to watch him try to understand what was happening.
After the live performance, BLKBX performed. To see Isnard perform was nostalgic for me and I absolutely admire the type of performance he does. There was some lagging but the sound was surprisingly great. He did a half hour set and it was really cool to see the fluttering of light. This performance took place in his bedroom, which I thought was interesting: Bedroom performances. Could be a whole other curatorial series.
Tygapaw was next and she is an amazing DJ. This is when a lot more dancing happened. Her set looked very intimate in her space as well; performing for an audience that one can’t see. I had a blast dancing to her set, which was about over an hour.
Finally, we finished the night with DJ Dayglow who was checking in at a mansion house party. She was witnessing some karaoke action. It was like phoning a friend and checking on them. Some serious FOMO on both ends! Overall, there were little technical errors and some hiccups with communication here and there, but I was happy to be flexible with everyone’s needs.
Friday: Helina Metaferia, Caitlyn Pozerski, and Eames Armstrong performed.
“On Bull Sheets”
Helina’s half hour piece involved projections of textiles, some sound, and slowness. I admire her work because I absolutely relate to the politics of identity, exoticism, diaspora, and consumption of culture. Helina is amazing because not only did she perform in Chicago but was basically on her move to California. We were meeting halfway, what a lovely metaphor and continuation of Transient Vessels, the last show I organized with her in it.
“Obstinately, Please Me”
Caitlyn is a phenomenal sound artist, musician, and overall superstar. I couldn’t have had such a successful weekend without the guidance and positive vibes Caitlyn shared with me. Her piece was about a half hour involving buckets of milk, a harmonica, a contact mic, pedals, and endurance. Dealing with gender performativity and the limits of the body, Caitlyn created such a stunning atmosphere with her blue lighting.
Eames is the type of person I want to be and I am grateful I’ve been able to bond with her so much in the past year. As expected, Eames captivated the audience with the drones of manipulated sounds that came from a vibrator and a simple red light. The noise was consistent and at times of silence, I missed it. Eames dressed and undressed. Meanwhile a vibrator strapped with flashlights spun around mimicking a miniature lighthouse. She beautifully activated the space with her movements. Eames is someone you can watch and listen to for hours and contemplate Feminism.
Saturday: Cris Schayer, Luke Mannarino, and I performed.
“The Unuttered Words between You and Me”
This was the first time I’ve worked with Cris but her work was perfect for the general theme of DISPOSITION. Cris did not have the easiest time getting to Chicago. Her piece was simple and exquisite. There was an unspoken anxiety and I thought about harm that many performance artists do to themselves. Her piece was macabre and I reflected a lot about life and death. Her pigments that bled on her when the frozen ice dishes melted, reminded me of internal and external bodily functions. Her use of her iPhone to document just her face was poetic.
Luke and I have been friends for a couple of years and I’ve known him the longest out of everyone. We’ve been talking about his performance #BostonStrong for about a year now. This was the perfect opportunity for him to make this performance happen. Luke was questioning masculinity with power and body building poses. The computer voices read off hashtags found via social media, which alludes to media sensationalization. I thought a lot about winning and failing with this piece especially when there were parts that were hard to watch, funny, but all very serious. I wonder what the witnesses watching the Ustream of this performance thought.
“Repetition makes practice makes perfect”
To wrap up the events, I re-performed “Repetition makes practice makes perfect.” The timing was very different for this rendition especially since I extended the performance closer to 20 minutes. I interacted with a projection of myself to begin the conversation about Jacque Lacan’s Real and the many ways ego emerges in performance. I thought about alternate realities, spatial planes, and spirituality. In many ways, I’m still making work about my mother and death. Someone on Periscope mentioned that I had a ghost, which was funny. I’m grateful that Eames was able to tattoo my face. Happenstance is that she poked 5 dots and I think that’s a beautiful representation of the artists I worked with for this weekend long event.
Thanks again everyone!