Scholarship

Field Review

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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.

Intermedia || Merging Reflection

Archive Date: December 14, 2017
Author:
lrodcollection0 Comments

In collaboration with my colleagues, we set out to produce a digital double investigation. Our goals included examining the Double as Reflection, suggested from Steve Dixon’s “The Digital Double” (2004) essay which I reflected previously on here. From this project, we realized that we were attracted to textures, themes, and discovered multiple ways to find a reflection at different levels of technological entanglement. Take a moment to skip through.

One challenge that we encountered was in using the video feedback loop, top-down camera, projection, and lighting to gain different perspectives of the space, it appeared that the movement we created needed to shift per examination. Incorporating The Isadora program, live sound, and lighting to bring these portraits together merged with the movement and use of the material was essential and grounding components to this project.

The digital double in the sense of reflection draws me to the consciousness that the real body maintains throughout the performance. I found it interesting that most of the time the real-life performer needs to witness the digital in reflection. Dixon notes, “This has been exacerbated by paradoxical rhetoric of disembodiment and virtual bodies, which have turned ideas of corporeal reality full circle by the claim that the digital body has equal status and (authenticity) to the biological one” (Dixon 2004, 24). During this study, the concept did cross my mind of the equality of images, and I found myself drawn to both bodies at different times. I begin to speak about this on this page with Agent Ruby and the sense of awareness of consciousness through AI that has developed.

For this project, I appreciated this viewing:

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Fase (1982) is so simple from a current technological standpoint but is still so mesmerizing to watch. Here light, shadow, film, and movement create the dance – enhance the dance. One of the parts that most interests me is at 7:18 of this film. Noting that from the first half of the film space transforms and they are now performing on their shadows in a fully saturated blue space.

Glancing into the future I was struck by this digital double. While the concept is simple seems simple what transpires is exhilarating.

This is CO: LATERAL (2016) by Joao Martinho Moura

Moura’s work with the digital double here is literally electrifying itself. I appreciate how in this work the dancer is in the dark while the emphasis is put on the double.  The bold lighting against the blackened stage gives a stark contrast platform for the double to stand out.  In a sense this double take on a dominant force on stage and provides a strong presence in the work following along with Dixon’s models.

The most important experience I had from this study is the merger of technology and body with intention. Questioning why /how we implement technology into the work was at the forefront of this study to think about as a group. The question: How we collaborate with technology? Continued forward into our next studies.

Sources:

De Keersmaeker, Anne Teresa, and Michele Anne de Mey. 1982. “Fase.” (Film) Director Thierry de Mey. Music Robert Reich.

Dixon. Steve. 2004. “The Digital Double.” New Visions in Performance: The Impact of Digital Technologies. Ed. Gavin Carver. Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger. Print