The Audience Always Participates

 

October 2016 – Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain MiniEvent (performed in the Wexner Center Gallery)img_4544

October 2016 – Manual Cinema: Ada/Ava (performed in the Wexner Performance Space)

November 2016 – Eastman/Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui: Fractus V (performed in the Speaker Jo Ann Davidson Theatre at the Riffe Center)

I have had the fortune to see all three of these performances while they were in Columbus. Through these works, I found that each engaged my awareness of the audience’s role in the always participatory nature of viewing art.

For the Black Mountain MiniEvent, the audience itself was rather large to view a small area of space. I therefore saw the movement of the Merce Cunningham MiniEvent through the limbs of other observers. The audience shaped my perception of what happened on the dance floor. In movements closer to the ground, maybe I caught a set of fingertips or shapes made by the lower leg. For leaps and high-planed steps I saw a head pop up amongst the crowd. Still, stationed bodies framed my personal version of the dances. Additionally for the audience to view, this concert included the piano and musicians who engaged in playing sounds composed by John Cage.

img_4542Similar to viewing the technical element of sound in the Black Mountain MiniEvent, Manual Cinema presented their concert Ada/Ava where the projected shadow-puppet story was only half of the visible show. This work additionally engaged the audience by allowing us to view simultaneously the work that went behind the puppeteering. As an audience member I got to see the “behind the scenes” of the projection work. Musicians, movers, and technicians were all given equal roles enacted through their obvious visibility to the audience. This allowed me to feel a part of the work created.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Fractus V, the most recent dance concert to tour through Columbus, worked to engage my individuality as an audience member. This happened through the work’s stress on the importance of different personalities creating together. I felt comfortable in my ability to view the work with all of my own histories to inform me, img_4545alongside the information Fractus V provided. This work also incorporated musicians, their instruments, and moving set pieces as additional technical elements VISIBLE throughout the work.

Moving forwards I am pleased to know that the audience always has a role to play in the active observing of an individual piece of art, or of an art form as a whole. We are individuals with different histories that inform our daily perceptions of reality, and we therefore see artistic works through multiple lenses probably different than those of the audience member sitting (or standing) next to you.

My Intermedia Thoughts are Swirling

Midterm Reflection AU16

Everybody sees the world differently. Our perceptions shape the world around us as well as our learned histories. This is important information in everyday interactive situations, but it is also useful in the art of composing. Because even though I understand that everyone will see any work at least a bit differently, I want to be conscious throughout the creative process about all of the possible things “it” could be.

I put “it” in quotation marks because with movement the what-it-is factor does not always have words. Without being able to use language as it is commonly understood, it becomes ever more important that the experience of movement (on the part of the mover and audience member) become central over its materialization. Even if that experience is the search for meaning through the watching. The dematierialization of art through a Dadaistic approach and Wagner’s idea of Total Art, explained in Soke Dinkla’s article “From Participation to Interaction: Towards the Origins of Interactive Art,” have worked to broaden art’s inclusiveness through this lens stressing the importance of experience. What is interesting then is the evolution of technology’s integration in the arts as it pertains to inclusivity.

Norbert Wiener is one author in the history of intermedia technologies that I looked more into after browsing From Wagner to Virtual Reality. Originator of cybernetics, the science of communications and automatic control systems both machine and living, Wiener theorized that technology would play a crucial role in the advancement of human communications toward a more natural state of being. In his book The Human Use of Human Beings, he argued that society as we know it is in a constant state of decay, called entropy. However systems of communication, because they inherently rely on states of organization, work to bring society into negentropy, or anti-entropy. I have not yet read Wiener’s books, but I would someday like to. His prediction that technology could be revolutionary towards advancing healthy communication, but ultimately would not be if taken for granted, I believe is our reality. I want to go back in history through his texts to see what else I find.

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Columbus Sky: Texture 10/14

I want to be informed when it comes to technology’s inclusion in life and art because in a lot of ways that is the direction I see movement advancing towards. Millennials need to experience a work with multiple senses and an allowed layer of interactivity otherwise they get distracted and don’t learn the experience of movement.

Because I am a millennial, the ability to work with diving into the pure essence of a thing, whatever that thing may be, is something I appreciate in our intermedia labs. Through our lab time we learn to play again. We are allowed to tap into our curiosities and dive deep down rabbit holes of exploration until we’ve exhausted the idea. This play is something I am looking to bring more into my everyday. The availability to question, to seek out, and to try all the thoughts moving through body and mind is a thrilling experience. An experience I think people have too little of.

Some words I bring up that relate to my recent experiences: perspective, perception, space, time, past, present, future, virtual reality, augmented reality, other-ness, color, shadow, shape. Some questions: how do histories collide in a work? how does a work begin? how does a work end? if meaning is always sought out but perception is always different, how do I shape a work? Some videos of intermedia I have been drawn to: Chunky Move- Biennale Danza 2010Box by the Creators ProjectMost Insane Immersive Movie Experience EVER, Part 2

Click here to see video excerpts of my intermedia experiences!