Sharing, Showing, Doing, Wanting: THE BOX IN BROOKLYN, NY

Our research proposal approaches the elasticity and fluctuation of consumption, action and desire and as it relates to the larger international collective known as INCONSUMIVEL (inconsumable).  We gathered for a about two weeks to engage a research project. At the end of our time, we had a brunch showing of a few elements of the ideas we explored. Eventually, we opened our process to a group of invited friends; we asked them to come and REMOVE their DESIRES with us.

There were four of us: Mina Nishimura, Moriah Evans, Ondrej Vidlar and Sarah Beth Percival.

By the end of out working period, we decided to filter our explorations into the following scores.  We set-up a system and let it unfold. It was an improvisation-based practice.  We started calling our practice “dances of desire.”

The first scenario’s task was “dance of desire as interpreted through the gaze of another person.”   Almost a LAP DANCE modality of “I see you through me” or “I see how you see me, look.”  The audience cannot see the sitter’s face. The audience can see the sitter’s face through the medium of the dancer’s face and body.  We decided to have a sitter seated in a chair, but we also worked with a more theatrical tableau with everyone standing or even just moving through space.

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CLUMP # 1

TAKE A MOMENT TO FIND STILLNESS AND EMPTINESS

Dance of desire
Dance of erasure of desire

Dance of desire with objects
Dance of erasure of desire with objects

Dance of desire without face
Dance of erasure of desire without face

Find a way to show me your face

CLUMP # 2 (WITH MUSIC)

Dance of transforming your desire
Dance of removing your desire by transformation

Dance of doing what you do not want to do

Dance of memories of desire

CLUMP # 3

Dance of desire without arms (crossing the space)
Dance of erasure of desire without arms (in channels of the space)

Dance of desire without legs
Dance of erasure of desire without legs

Dance of desire without sex
Dance of erasure of desire without sex

CLUMP # 4

TAKE A MOMENT TO LOOK AROUND AND FIND YOUR VISION, LOOK AT EVERYTHING AND BE SURE TO MOVE YOUR HEAD. EAT SPACE WITH YOUR EYES.
SLOWLY LOOSE YOUR SIGHT AND BEGIN…

Dance of desire without sight
Dance of erasure of desire without sight

FIND YOUR SOUL AND LOOK AT ME

Dance of desire with soul

Dance of erasure of desire without soul

Dance of desire without body

PROCESS PROCESS PROCESS PROCESS PROCESS PROCESS PROCESS PROCESS PROCESS PROCESS NOTES NOTES NOTES NOTES NOTES NOTES NOTES NOTES NOTES NOTES NOTES NOTES NOTES NOTES

how we got to the above score

the mess before: the mess that produces mess: the mess remains

As the “naming” of this group in inconsumivel, we decided to lay out some definitions to work against (as defined by Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation):

con·sump·tion n
1.    the eating or drinking of something, or the amount that a person eats or drinks
2.    the use of natural resources or fuels or the amount of resources or fuels used
3.    the purchase and use of goods and services by consumers, or the quantity of goods and services purchased
4.    any condition that causes progressive wasting of the tissues, especially tuberculosis of the lungs (dated)

con·sume v
1.    vt to eat or drink something, especially in large amounts
2.    vt to use something in such a way that it cannot be reused or recovered afterward
3.    vt to fill somebody’s mind or attention fully (usually passive)
4.    vt to destroy something or somebody completely, especially by fire or disease
5.    vti to buy goods or services produced by other people

Everything can be commodified but only material things can be consumed.
You cannot protect ideas; you can only protect the materialization of ideas (intellectual property laws)

What do you possess that cannot be consumed?

Faith – Love – Desire – Birth – Death – Absence – Creation – Thought – Engagement – Process of imagination and producing ideas – Your idea of yourself – Touch as a form of miscommunication – Memory of movement – What’s left behind – The ability to create thoughts – Something extremely internal that cannot be accessed – To use something in such a way that is cannot be reused or recovered afterward – Something that no longer holds the potential: one particular function is all used up -Nothing can disappear for we are always recycling – If you put a roll of toilet paper in a museum to be preserved, it cannot be consumed – Maybe our struggles cannot be consumed – The only thing that can be consumed is time: we are always recycling.

How do you apply ideas of consumption to dance?

Maybe we just consume TIME in dance…

In economics?

Can you consume yourself?

At first we worked with (i.e. danced around motivated by) 3 categories of song:
a song that just makes you groove
a sentimental song that makes you feel
a love song that does something to you

So, first we indulged our desires and sentiment in these songs.  Then we tried to erase, forget, remove what we wanted or felt like doing. If a song is sentimental, yet you are asked to forget, erase, remove anything you want / feel to do–what sort of predicament and psychological state do you find yourself inside of? It was challenging.

Do it again – Don’t

Q: in a score like this, how do you work with hesitation and timing?

Do all of your desires, indulge your desires, show your unmediated desire… THEN… Erase, remove, forget, subtract, empty
Behavioral polarities attempted, possible exhibited or a failure to embody this state was exhibited

A question resulted: Can we act without desire, intention, consciousness?  How you cope with things as a performer: in the act of negating something, what type of presence is performatively expressed?
Can your desires be consumed?

We noticed that desire indulged almost always results in an increase of speed.  When we combine desire and activity, tempos alter according to personality, internal factors, external factors?
And we asked: Is dance about pure discipline or pure pleasure and abandon?

Materiality of the body v. the materiality of things
Arranging things

Put “it” out: it feels fake for Ondrej

FOR MINA: indulge your desires and move toward them in space. Your desire is outside of yourself, external to your body and you must go toward it…

Sarah: translated desire into a generator / force or emotional / physical manifestations

Moriah felt rather empty and sad: out of touch with her desires when asked to think specifically about them. When they emerge they are just there emergent and acted upon in the instant

DESIRE = IMPULSE

Impulse: Complacency
Active consumption: Passive consumption
What kind of actions that we do in a performance space are consumable… is energy consumable? Are actions consumable?

THE BOX = It’s a container that you can put things in… It’s only function is to present a frame, but you cannot consume the frame, you can only consume what’s inside.  (CONNECT TO THE START OF THIS RESEARCH PERIOD: It’s like how you cannot protect and idea, you can only protect the materialization of an idea. How anything can be commodified but only material things can be consumed).

We are always consuming, and we are always being consumed.

Can something be consumed without having the intention of being consumed…?
Maybe we consume culture to have a space for contemplation, imagination, comparison…

Question categories of consumption:  Frame through which something is seen. Soon, we were going to open our research process up to others. Hence, we began to discuss HOW we would do that. How we would extend the frame for others have some exposure to what we were investigating? Ultimately, as choreographic practice evolves, the question of how to invite people to see something should evolve into a methodology itself.  The practice of invitation can involve an exposing of the working frame or the presenting frame.  Or perhaps the means of invitation is a strategy in itself. Regardless, we were searching for a frame of invitaiton different from the typical “I BUY a ticket and go watch something, go consume culture.”  If a methodology of invitation is regulated enough, it can manage to alter the habits of engaging with or watching “dance.”  We had ambitions of mobilizing the performance event itself into the zone of participatory involvement through the frames of explanation and invitation and desire. (Please note: in retrospect, we did not fully achieve this!)

How do we invite “them” here? What do we say that we are going to do when they get there?  What is the container: What boundaries do we set up?  Proposal of a frame: Asking something from people:  How to invite people? How to frame it: with cue cards?

How we show it: how we tell them what the task is? (Clearly they must understand the tasks)
We are inviting people to consume something… provoke their desire with something tantalizing and something exceedingly off-putting perhaps?
We are giving gifts but we want opinions in exchange (exploration of ideas, desire to create dialogue around things…)
GIFT EXCHANGE: GIFT ECONOMY OF THE DANCE COMMUNITY
Hedonistic feast: come and get naked with us in the studio…
Do we need a product?
If you present your work in terms of research, can you be ashamed of what you show?

MANIFESTO OF THIS PRACTICE  (we wanted to write one, but we never did…)
All these imaginings
All these fantasies
All these memories

[inspiration: “I am just trying to be as true to the material as I can possibly be and that is the nature of the material to me: it’s internal, it’s got all these imaginings, all these fantasies and all these memories” William Forsythe]

Clarification of score: keep out the sarcasm, really try to ask an honest questions and do executions.

Can MEANING be consumed?
Can the making of MEANING be consumed?
(think about Derrida and deconstruction: Plato’s Pharmakon)
Restrictions of meaning for the spatial-temporal confines…

Bodies getting what they need in the space…

FREEWRITING MOMENT:
I am not sure it’s possible to not consume. I want to voraciously experience life with more than a rainbow of emotions and experiences. At the heart of everything—what’s there? What are we seeking, yearning? CLICHES… Am I trapped in cliché? This theme of struggle, for me, it never goes away. Maybe Sarah’s direction, “to just accept whatever was happening in the present moment and enjoy it,” is the best advice I could ever have—not only in terms of making but also in terms of life in general.  Experiences with people… Everyone is so busy preparing for the future or overanalyzing the past that it is easy to forget how to live. Do I produce too many spectacles? What’s the point of spectacle? Why do we entertain? Why do we critique? Sadly, I still believe in the redemptive capacity of art.  Is this redemptive feeling of promise also just yet another ephemeral desire to market on the marketplace of ideas? Monks are monks. Nuns are nuns. Lets get spiritual! Lets get bold! Lets get angry! Lets give birth and celebrate life! Lets not be afraid of dying! Lets just cherish every moment. Movement can bring us to a nowness that words cannot. Is this non-temporal? Does that mean the end of time passing?

To share honest things with no attachment… (is that what we are doing here right now, as” you” read this?)

Is sharing consumable?

Can you force someone to care?
Is that selfish?
Is it condescending to ask someone what they care about?

2 dancers
1 outside look
remove
empty
subtract    DESIRE
erase
forget
impulse
towards happiness, satisfaction
psychological desire v. physiological desire

desire as representational states
emotocomms

The prevalence of media shoots out “affective desires” of states as signs, so when faced with acting out our desires, it’s easy to go towards these “signs” of feeling rather than asking what is my physiological need right now in this moment…here…How does my body physiologically experience freedom?  How does my body physiologically experience need, want, desire, the lack of desire?

NO FACE = ABSTRACT

FACE = SOME PSYCHOLOGICAL STRUGGLE

DO SOMETHING YOU DON’T WANT TO DO = HORRIFYING / PERVERSE / S & M /
ONTO THE OTHER YET BACK TOWARDS THE SELF

DO SOMETHING AND TRANSFORM IT INTO SOMETHING ELSE

initial score draft:
start in a corner
be related, don’t show me your faces
find a shape you want to be inside of
continue to subtract your desire but show me your faces
get into an idea / shape you like to be inside of
do something you don’t want to do
do something you don’t want to do and exaggerate your face – now tone down your face – now do not show emotion through your face

if you erase desire, you’re forced to act without intention, and you are faced with a very weird disconnect between mind and body

THE FIRST LONG SCORE WRITTEN ON EASTER AFTER DYING EASTER EGGS ON THE COUCHES OF S.B. PERCIVAL’s apartment. These couches were contentiously involved in a brother-sister warfare recently. A brother needed money. He needed to turn assets into cash in order to survive. Assets might provide comfort. Cash provides mobility. We need both. The sister needed the comfort. The brother needed the cash—he was in a desperate situation apparently and decided he could turn an object, which was originally a gifted – discarded object from the family’s neighbor — into some money. He did not have a job, whether he did not have a job out of laziness or the poor economic situation in the 2010 is a conundrum. The couches stayed in the apartment of the sister. The brother and sister made up. The family was together making Easter eggs. Apparently in the Czech Republic, on Easter, young men invade the homes of woman they fancy to then whip them with pussywillow twigs. This tradition, dating since pagan times,purports to chase away illness, bad spirits and bring health and youth to those whipeed. The young girld reward the boys with a painted egg, candy or ribbon. For more details, please visit:  http://www.myczechrepublic.com/czech_culture/czech_holidays/easter/

HERE IS THE ORIGINAL LIST OF DESIRE DANCES  (MISTAKES AND OVERSIGHTS INCLUDED) THAT WOULD LATER BE CLUMPED INTO MORE MANAGEABLE STRUCTURES:

DANCE OF DESIRE
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE
DANCE OF DESIRE WITH OBJECTS
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE WITH OBJECTS
DANCE OF DESIRE WITHOUT FACE
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE WITHOUT FACE
DANCE OF DESIRE TRANSFORMED
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE TRANSFORMED
DANCE OF DOING WHAT YOU DO NOT DESIRE
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE WITH VOICE
DANCE OF FANTASIES OF DESIRE
DANCE OF IMAGININGS OF DESIRE
DANCE OF MEMORIES OF DESIRE
DANCE OF DESIRE WITHOUT HANDS
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE WITHOUT HANDS
DANCE OF DESIRE WITHOUT ARMS
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE WITHOUT ARMS
DANCE OF DESIRE WITHOUT LEGS
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE WITHOUT LEGS
DANCE OF DESIRE WITHOUT BODY
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE WITHOUT BODY
DANCE OF DESIRE WITHOUT YOUR HEART
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE WITHOUT YOUR HEART
DANCE OF DESIRE WITHOUT YOUR SOUL
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE WITHOUT YOUR SOUL
DANCE OF DESIRE WITHOUT SIGHT
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE WITHOUT SIGHT
DANCE OF DESIRE WITHOUT SEX
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE WITHOUT SEX
DANCE OF DESIRE INTERPRETED THROUGH THE DESIRE (GAZE) OF SOMEONE ELSE
DANCE OF ERASURE OF DESIRE INTERPRETED THROUGH THE OTHER’S DESIRE (GAZE)

Observations after going through the tasks:
We never thought about what need is what we want
Explore fun
Hesitant = tempo shift
Fun = necessity of momentum
Great switching device and then find me a way to show me your face
Speed?
Objects?
Voice is hard—use more
Dance of erasure of body without body is a turning point
Dance of erasure of desire without soul (connected)
Dance of erasure of desire without sight: slow, interesting, searching
Innocence
Play (youth, childhood)
Dance of erasure of desire without sex: duo Mina and Ondrej, Sarah outside
Look at me when you have found your soul

SYSTEM:
We add objects and add parts to ourselves

DESIRE BECAME CLUMPS

HERE ARE SOME BRIEF ALBEIT DIFFICULT CONTEMPLATIONS BY DELEUZE AND GUATTARI WE DISCUSSED:

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