Platform

Field Review

IMG_6218.JPG

For my MFA field review, I read six sources and viewed four films that canvas the field of studies related to my final project to deepen the research. One of the most relevant resources I read was Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement because it outlines a Chicana art making structure I can identify choreographically with in my project. This book goes into depth about using identifiers such as Chicana/o and makes visible the precautions one might need towards not essentializing the identity. The next book, The Surrealism Reader: An Anthology of Ideas connected many ideas together because it draws from the minds of surrealist painters, sculptors, and fabricators and compiles their theory, poems, and process notes alongside their artwork. The spider-web of information resonates loudly because the surrealists were not all dreaming about surrealism, investing in surrealism, and consuming surrealism to produce surrealism. No, these artists were living and breathing while putting forth efforts to contribute to areas of phenomenology, perception, haunting, sciences, politics, and social constructs. These areas outside of surrealism better inform their art.

I am aware of the lineage.

I am active in the conversation.

I am prioritizing presence.

I am re-imagining the alternative.

Countering the perspective of The Surrealism Reader is another book called Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement. In this book the experiences, histories, artworks, and theories of Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo, Dorothea Tanning, and Leonora Carrington are all captured and interwoven. The relevance here is the detour away from the inner circle of surrealist ideology which tends to be driven by patriarchal standards. Surrealism is the ability to continue to expand and shift ideas so that they do not remain fixed. I can use this as I begin to engage more with the choreography of the final project. However, I tend to be drawn more towards feminism from a Latinx perspective, so we will see how much of the surrealist inner circle maintains its presence. I do like the way the information is organized and accounted for in this book while directly speaking to the art produced.

On the other side, the viewings most influential were Yanira Castro’s Court/Garden and Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealers. Castro’s work encompasses the designed choreography, audience participation, and media installation and sections the piece into three parts.. This work is relevant to my own project because of its attention to the audience’s role in the work. However, by focusing here I am not neglecting my attention to costumes, choreography and media, but if the audiences’ design is not woven into the main components then my outcome will be not so subtle. One would not recognize this device, however, the subtlety of the design makes this experience magical. Out of my research so far, I can weave three different levels of engagement to support my project and involve the audience at different capacities.

Lastly, Sleep Dealers is like watching someone depict the future. While I can only hope Rivera’s future does not come to pass in the era of trump politics. This film is powerful to watch, noting, a sci-fi narrative constructed through the Latina/o perspective. This film at times was hard to sit with because of how real it seems with the current political USA/MX tensions. An important part of the film unites Mexican and Mexican American to overcome the USA’s oppression. This is not a common narrative and was refreshing to see.

Shout outs:
MA by Celia Rowlson-Hall
Borderland Saints by Desiree A. Martin
Silver and Gold by Nao Bustamante

Citations:
Ades, Dawn, Michael Richardson, and Krzysztof Fijałkowski. 2016. The Surrealism Reader: An Anthology of Ideas. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Chadwick, Whitney. 2002. Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement. New York: Thames and Hudson.

González Rita, Noriega Chon, and Howard N. Fox. 2007. Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Castro Yanira. 2014. Court/Garden. Vimeo

            https://vimeo.com/145859179

Rivera, Alex. 2008. Sleep Dealer. DVD. 90 minutes. Maya Entertainment.

Hero Project: GoPro + Community

Archive Date: April 30, 2018
Author:
lrodcollection0 Comments

“…everyone who loved sports and adventure wanted a GoPro, and from a niche brand, it moved to being a household name. With GoPro, anyone can be a star. In a context where everyone is self-obsessed and “selfie-obsessed” GoPro’s success was certain. Gopro BE A HERO. Their slogan, and their focus during their entire journey.” – Guilia Berardinetti

What does it mean to be a hero? Hero of what by definition? Why GoPros? What is a love ethic in regards to approach? What makes GoPros and community work important? What is humane about recording people in the community? In capturing care how do I ethically insert the technology and my presence? What is relevant? What is important?

I started out this semester in the deep pit of these questions. The questions were in surplus and I was unsure about how the work would unfold moving forward. I knew in the beginning that I wanted to work with a community and Champion Intergenerational Center, and the center was a great match to gain wide perspectives through the community of generations with the GoPro Technology. However, I was still missing the scholarly backing for this research for developing my approach and foundation. I felt a little lost and unsure at the beginning of this project.

and then…

Fred Rogers appeared 

While Mr. Rogers is most notoriously known for his popular TV show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, he was more quietly a revolutionary in the pioneering of humane technologies. In the video above we see a humble man make a clear argument for the well-being of children who are absorbing commercialized networking, violence, and inappropriate material through TV’s growing popularity. Mr. Rogers said, “Let’s not get so fascinated by what the technology can do that we forget what it can’t do.” With his argument, he is awarded 20 million for children’s programming that revolutionized young minds forever. The example that Mr. Rogers develops is that the technology can be used for the betterment of humanity and the social platform the TV uses to enhance a young person mind – is limitless. Suddenly I had a lineage to Humane Technology and a framework of care + wellbeing to support my research.

“It’s really easy to fall into the trap of believing that what we do is more
important than what we are. Of course, it’s the opposite that’s true: What
we ultimately determine what we do!” – Fred Rogers

Creative Knot Session

Taking the new information of Mr. Rogers I began to construct my Creative Knot Session for Research Studies. This knot is specifically for the workshop and gathers information that can help forward the research.

Who gets to be a hero was one of the first things I thought when looking through the GoPro webpage. Browse here. So what defines a hero? Merriam Webster records the definition of Hero by 4 main categories:

a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability

b: an illustrious warrior

c: a person admired for achievements and noble qualities

d: one who shows great courage

(Definitions lifted from here)

I am fascinated by the roles that Hero takes on. We go from the extremes of Superman, Ironman, and Wonder Woman to the Doctor, Firefighter, and good samaritan. However, what about the unnoticed heroes that lurk outside of our traditional thinkings? I wanted to explore this in the Creative Knot and with Champion IG Center to recognize those who go unnoticed.

So, thinking ahead that I was going to be integrating myself into the Champion Intergenerational Center, I was thinking about how the guests would wear the technology and what perspectives were central to the end video compilation. Some questions that framed my Creative Knot:

What makes these people heroes compared to everyday heroes? 

What is relevant about filming the interactions of everyday heroes that exist daily vs. the radical interactions of athleticism?

What is it like to be a hero for a day and have your experience captured?

How do peacefulness and tenderness translate on film? What does tenderness look like in actions form?

Here is the first archive of footage (Research Studies peers featured) I gathered and framed by perspectives of movement I was cataloging:

When I think about this stage of research I am experiencing Bell Hooks All about Love reading where she says, “For example, revolutionary new technologies have led us all to accept computers. Our willingness to embrace this “unknown” shows that we are all capable of confronting fears of radical change, that we can cope.” Her words came with such power, I created a vivid response called a Love + Ethic Manifesto. I am drawn to the notion of change and the constant restructuring of how we operate as human beings through interactions and causes. I am searching for radical change step by step inside my own thinking structure and outside of my internal state.

Next came…

Building on Care + Well-being + Ethics

During this course, I read three books that have forever changed my thinking structure: Matters of Care by Maria Puig De La Bellacasa, All about Love by Bell Hooks, and Art of Relevance by Nina Simon. What does care mean? How do we care? What are the staples of caring movement? How are we ethically caring? How do we perform well-being? When using a GoPro what actions of care am I capturing?

Where do I begin? Maria Puig De La Bellacasa’s Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds. Bellacasa says, “Care is a human trouble, but this does not make of care a human only matter” (Bellacasa 2017, 2).  Bellacasa uses Toronto’s definition, “care about” vs. “care for” as a means to situate the dimensions of care into effect for aligning with the ethical and political questions that arise per this poignant matter. I realized I was not going to be able to fulfill this project by dropping in and recording with my GoPros. There was much more of myself that I would have to offer in order to understand this approach and community. I wanted to absorb the community, be present, be still with my observations and trusted the work would develop.

Some keys developments:

Being fully present

Actively Listening

Touch (assist a child or elderly navigate space)

Eye Contact

Engaging in a complete conversation, before changing focus.

Smiles and laughing.

Important Quotes:

“I believe relevance unlocks new ways to build deep connections with people who don’t immediately self-identify with our work” (Simon 2016, 23).

“The sooner we start focusing on becoming relevant to the people we most care about “and “Relevance is relative, and people are busy”, not only approaches the word “care” we were just analyzing, but references something other than yourself or desire (Simon 41-42).

“When we see love as a combination of trust, commitment, care, respect, knowledge, and responsibility, we can work on developing these qualities or, if they are already a part of who we are, we can learn to extend them to ourselves” (Hooks 2001, 54).

Champion Intergenerational Center

This part of my journey hits will full force and I still am unable to move past how deeply I am affected by the human beings in this community. I find myself drawn to the energy and goodness that seeps into the foundation of this center. The community is full of bright lights, old and young, energized, thoughtful, and ready to share at any moment.

Here is where I needed to approach with the Love Ethic Hooks suggests, “A love ethic presupposes that everyone has the right to be free, to live fully and well.” (Hooks 2001). How was I going to approach the room and environments I entered? I started by visiting and be apart of the Sign Language Intergenerational class. I made myself available for interactions and conversations. I did not introduce technology into space for a couple visits. Then when I introduced technology I wore the GoPros and did not live film. Making sure I was available for any interactions and questions the community of elders and children might have.

“To live our lives based on the principles of a love ethic (showing care, respect, knowledge, integrity, and the will to cooperate), we have to be courageous” (Hooks 101).

Over my time there the visits, interactions, ways of filming, and containers for footage has shifted drastically. Eventually, many different ages were wearing and capturing footage, Elizabeth Speidel the director was wearing the GoPros and interacting with the community, and I am set up to teach my session with the IG community around GoPro’s, Care, and love rituals. Thinking about the love ethics and love rituals that are primary in this experience, and really reflect the care that happens in this community. We will also bring in our superhero movements to give energy to the room and spark creativity.

When I think about this work I am currently reflecting on my traces and the artist mantras that I created along the way to support the daily intake of information. These tiny mantras have provided me the support when I am too tired, or unsure of what is next.

Artist Mantra

Don’t lose hope.

Do the work.

There is much to be done.

With Love…

Radicalize the space.

Listen actively.

Love accepts.

Challenge to think collectively.

Think more equality and equity.

Who are the love ethic heroes?

We are not alone.

Being an artist keeps me sane.

There is more to be done.

I am constantly rebelling – it’s ok.

Be free to do the work.

Being an artist defies reality.

I have permission to make what I want to make.

I am constantly changing.

Next & Final Phase:

I still have a session to this Wednesday with IG to deepen the footage and love ritual perspectives, and will have a compiled video of edited material by the end of the week that culminates my time there. This last video should run at 6-8 minutes in reality but my end target is 10 minutes.

Editing will be done through my final artistic perspective on the work framed by the community at Champion Intergenerational Center to celebrate their daily heroics and environment of care they share.

I am looking forward to sharing this footage with them, and seeing their reactions when they see themselves on the TV. The celebration of their daily, caregiving, experience, and community witnessed. I am excited to keep working on projects with them and to see where the next process takes us.

Many thanks to all those involved in this project. This research is made possible by Norah Zuniga-Shaw, Humane Technologies Fellowship, Elizabeth Speidel and Champion Intergeneration Center Community, and Research Studies peers.

 

Citation Station:

Bellacasa, María Puig de la. 2017. Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

hooks, bell. 2001. All about love: new visions. New York: Harper Perennial.

Simon, Nina. 2016. The art of relevance. Santa Cruz, CA: Museum 2.0

Improvisation: Graduate Movement Practice

Archive Date: February 19, 2018
Author:
lrodcollection0 Comments

2/16/2018

img_0754-e1519065831650.jpg

Facilitator: Laura Rodriguez

For my facilitation, I was initially going to do Lisa Nelson’s “Tuning Score” then move into Barbara Dilley’s “Red Square” since they compliment each other nicely. However, we had to rearrange for an exciting Department announcement and I have given the re-structure and some resources for you all.

My foundation for the day was the focus of love, care, and ethics that surround our daily ritual of a rigorous movement practice together. I was also interested in researching some models that I have been working on for developing community connections that can be deepened with every practice using the material from my ancestor’s lineage. So preserving the past connections here but moving forward.

First: The Gift

This piece of paper was given to me as a gift with no ties to any resource or page number. However, I cut it into parts and as each person came into the room I offered them to choose a gift. My hope is that one day I will find its home, but for now, it sets up some wonderful values for space, time, and movement. We used this in our walking structure for our pre-warmup and dropping into connections. We used voice, movement, memory, and care during our interactions and explorations. These words became one of the containers for our time together.

The Outline:

Care + Senses + Imagination + Attentionography

Lineage Building from Lisa Nelson, Barbara Dilley, and Alia Swersky/Karen Nelson. Some viewpoints work has been integrated.

  1. Welcome + Clearing

  2. Gift exercise (vertical space and 360 perceptions): Walking pre-warmup for connection. Exit Space.

  3. 2nd sequence: You are cared for, you are safe (building sensory awareness, listening inner/outer and close and far space): Take a moment to answer your own I am _____________ mantras. Moving practice deepens in space – Group: You are cared for, you are safe mantra incorporating self-mantras and noticings inner and outer. The end was felt and happened collectively.

  4. Reflection: I noticed the warmth, connection, and depth of space gained from these awarenesses. I was able to drop down to many levels with the group and explore movement attention, with my senses inner and outer. I felt at peace to experience what was there, and I was drawn to the other humans in the room. Touch, tenderness, care, warmth, present, here, and open are words I found myself collecting. Everyone shared beautiful reflections and thoughts during this time.

  5. Break for Dept Announcement.

  6. Rigorous Communal Warm-up: to reinvigorate our body after a break I shared a version of a communal warm-up practice for care. Elevated music played to motivate working the body to investigate movement. (vertical space, horizontal space, and 360 perceptions deepened)

  7. Lisa Nelson Tuning Score: Laboratory on composition, communication, and the sense of imagination within a community. Dual dialogue of inner and outer organization, space, time, movement, and desire. We chose collectively to change the “insiders” and “outsiders” to “witnesses” and “doers.” Noting the emphasis on Lisa’s choice to specifically implement these words with an intent.

Lisa Nelson’s Tuning Score: We chose these words to start a 25min dive.

Begin – signal a shift of attention.

Pause – as long as you like or as long as you can (resume movement when you choose).

End – Dancers choice to exit or remain.

Reverse –  movement as far as you can remember without effort, then continue in real time from a new starting point.

Replace – One dancer replaces another dancer’s activity – all dancers exit and begins again.

The collective was off to an energetic start and was well cared for from our rigorous communal warm-up. The group managed 25min and passed through initial reserves quickly. It would be nice to develop towards an hour and a half dive with the score to experience where the “Go” phase happens or when Barabara Dilley would say the “river stage” appears. The point where we are operating without direction and the sequences have aligned. Or we could increase the words used by Lisa Nelson into the score or decrease. The score came to a collective end while noting, we all wanted to continue for a longer duration.

Biography

LISA NELSON is a dance-maker, improvisational performer, and collaborative artist who has been exploring the role of the senses in the performance and observation of movement since the ’70s. From an investigation of video and dance, she developed an approach to real-time editing and performance she calls “Tuning Scores.” Nelson travels widely to perform, teach and create dances and maintains long-term collaborations with other artists, including Steve Paxton, Scott Smith, Daniel Lepkoff and Image Lab. She’s been encouraged by receiving an NY “Bessie” Dance and Performance Award and an Alpert Award in the Arts. She has co-edited Contact Quarterly dance and improvisation journal since 1976. In recent years, she’s been constructing two interactive computer video games with the Brussels publisher Contredanse that provide tools for players within a field of movement, sound, and touch.

http://www.movementresearch.org/publishing/?q=node/305

Contact Quarterly click here. 

8. Closing Circle: Share – energy in a close circle with I am Mantras.

There was so much care and charge in the room.



The Internal | Connecting | Creative Process

Date: October 26, 2017

Two levels in Creative process v.210

Mapping out a creative process to connect two parts of my research resonating with Inside the room and Outside the room branches. Inside the room’s design is led by the Experiment thread, while Outside the room reflects the Research thread. I was compiling this information from a word bank created in Grad Composition class with Professor Susan Van Pelt Petry and peers. We then each took the word bank and made a visual map of our own individual creative process.

For my own challenge, I only used each word one time and practiced this assignment utilizing a present moment embodiment. Meaning, I only allowed myself one piece of paper with no option to have a do-over. Utilizing this assignment as a challenge I was aware of my devising boundaries. This project created a meditative space for me to sit with my pen to the paper, and process my process. Which usually feels meta, however, this project was calming while being informative. Most of my reflections have happened through a stream of consciousness or analytical essay, so it felt good to move towards a tangible medium to flush out information.

Further noting the attention and weight of each word resonating within my body and I continue to let these words reconfigure inside my body. A digital roadway on the frontier of inter-connectivity pulsing, sparking and transferring connections that re-wires and retracts information before surging it back out again.

The system is operating. 

I recognize these maps are abundant within my body, mind and are the containers to hold, organize, connect information used to make co-creative spaces. They are roadways of information. Living knowledge intrigues me as I delve into the internal self of producing art. Maybe the cyborg self is emerging underneath the surface below my skin and responds to the familiarity of the motherboard. While the image below relates to this emerging, I examine the depths and intricacies that are possible in overriding.

Cyborg Self Reflection | Awakening

In trying to navigate my own cyborg self-relationship I am drawn to this quote by Donna Haraway a professor, consciousness, and feminist scholar, “Cyborg writing is about the power to survive, not on the basis of original innocence, but on the basis of seizing the tools to mark the world that marked them as other” (Haraway 2016, 55). My journey over the past five years has sent me plunging into words, writing, and language – preparing me for my conversations, arguments, and discourse today. Sometimes my consciousness rejects my impulse to respond, and my unconsciousness delivers connectors to reconnect broken bridges of thought. Tracing the map above throughout my creative process enables me to redirect how I am thinking, feeling, and exploring the material.

Responding to a recent visit by Vida Midgelow who presented at the DSA inaugural Scholarly Conference and is a Professor in Dance and Choreographic Studies at Middlesex University London says, “Coming into language is a significant process through which experiential, material and emergent forms of knowledge can be foregrounded, processed and shared” (Midgelow 1994). Previously, I rarely spoke my stance or dared to share the perspectives that ran rampant in my mind.

The information comes to me as this digital space allows me to write about these developing curiosities that are awakening. Identifying as an “other,” I do claim the tools to unearth my potential as a choreographic researcher, scholar, and free-thinker to engage in practices that move humanity towards change. Structures, rules, and traditions can be broken and reconfigured to make manifest new ways of operating that enhance artistic ability, connect technology and humanity, and revolutionize the central core of art making.

Free Motherboard Vector Art

The above image is how I imagine the framework for my discourse of choreographic research operating. The motherboard vector art is part – object – abstract – micro-processing –  unit –  internet integrated – modern – binary that projects future technological advances – or human.

 

Works Cited

Haraway, Donna J. and Cary Wolfe. 2016. Manifestly Haraway. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. https://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed October 25, 2017).

Midgelow, Vida. and Jane Bacon. 2014. “Creative Articulation Practice (CAP).”                                      Forthcoming in Choreographic Practices. 5[2]                                                                                  https://www.academia.edu/9956868/Creative_Articulations_Process_CAP_  (accessed October 25, 2017)

Home Alter: Living Forward

Home Alter: Dedicated to mi abuela Martinez y mi Tio Rubio
Design: LROD + Becky Rubio
Lighting: Meg Fox
Photo: Devin Marie Munoz

What does it mean to remember someone when they have passed on. To hold onto the memories in order to keep them alive means so much to those who celebrate Dia de Los Muertos and invest in a joyous death culture. My home alter has developed from my desire to connect with my loved ones. Home alters are still huge focal points of homes in southern Mexico. These spaces are the heartbeat of the home usually consuming up to half or sometimes a full room. The alters have different components to help the loved ones make their way back to the living on special occasions such as marigolds, fire, food, and candles. Symbolic meanings and religious meanings entangle in what is pagan and what is holy. Some might find this joining of spiritual and corporal morbid. However, in order to grieve one must celebrate the life lost by having a moment each year to share the stories of loved ones with younger generations is important and keeps the ancestry in tacked.

The work here makes visible the deep connection and importance to those we have lost. My small daily moments with loved ones whom I can no longer visit or call helps me move life itself forward. I am my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother and so on. I am my father, my grandfather, my great grandfather and so on. Branches of love, care, and family are the ones I desire most as my lineage expands and decays.