Vanessa has encouraged me to present my ideas in a more public sphere, so I present my musings on my Blueberry Blintz teammate’s reflections about Lois Weaver’s PBRA exercise (is that wordy or what!?). In our (closed) team journal, there are thirteen different “discussions” going on this assignment folder. Mine is just one.
I appreciate not only the responses to individual artists’ work, but also Michael’s synthesizing response. In thinking about your work, I end up thinking about mine, which is what I hope is happening for you all, too! You’re very inspiring people.
I find Michael’s point about democracy provocative, and it appeals to me personally because I am struggling “let ideas go.” There is something deeply moving/galvanizing in the following idea from Michael, although I’m not sure what exactly about it motivates me. I want to think more about it.
In an art project, audience interactivity is an ideal way to preent [sic] democracy. The audience can not only participate in the piece, but can steer the direction as well. The authoring artists must be willing to let go of their initial vison, as has been the result of many democractic experiments.
For my performance, I’ve toyed with the possibility of playing the role of a teacher, which I play everyday for a living, to invite audience interactivity into the performance. This would provide a twist on the idea/topic of “passing” — one of my performance topics (which I initially mean in terms of racial profiling, but which — of course! — is also a term native to academic settings). I’ve done this before — played the role of a teacher in a performance — so there would perhaps be some benefit in interperformance continuity.
Something I just thought of is that Odysseus plays with “passing” constantly throughout The Odyssey — for example, when he confronts the Cyclops as “Nobody,” and when he lies to Eumaeus about his authentic origins. Additionally, he receives divine aid “passing” within the different societies (from Athena’s constant help with disguising or enhancing his appearance, to Hermes giving him the divine food, the holy moly, so that he can avoid Circe’s harm).
Michael, reading your discussion above made me wonder about a denotative difference between “democracy” and “American Democracy.”I think your example of AZ suggests evidence that the 19th century doctrine of Manifest Destiny is still operative in the west, albeit on a subconscious level.
Misha, there seem to be some deep correspondences between our research questions; we should have coffee stat! I could meet you at A_____ next week (week of 10/28) around 3 p.m. on Tuesday or Thursday? 🙂
Vanessa, you are an evangelist for publicness, and I am stimulated by your advocacy. I think publicness is valuable and important, but I also think privacy and solitude are important. I know that the contrast I’m making between the two is not necessarily warranted, but for me publicness and privacy are opposing values. I am an introvert; I get my energy predominantly from being alone and reflecting inward. My husband is an extrovert and gets his energy predominantly from interacting with others. He may value publicness more than I do. He has a stronger public presence than I do.
Does it matter that one of my favorite websites is “Open Culture”?
Am I just being selfish? Or am I preserving my sanity?
I remember when in this country, in late 1998, reports about the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal dominated the news daily. At the time, I listened to National Public Radio in the morning while I got ready for work. The incessant discussion of these two people’s sexual behavior (and the related issues) over national media nauseated me. I remember thinking that the fight taking place was less one about Bill Clinton’s honor than it was about publicness versus privacy, and publicness was winning. And I remember feeling scared/disheartened about this.
Additionally, I have never been able to keep George Orwell’s 1984 far from my mind. That story, too, frightens me because of the loss of the individual’s privacy dramatized within.
I’m so happy/lucky to have you and the other artists in our group pushing me to consider consciously my relationship to publicness as an artist.
Here’s something that you might have gleaned from our private convos (hehe) before this group converged — the inciting incident for my current investigation — “What’s on [My] Mind?”– occurred in the late 1800s, when 250k acres of Coastal Southern California were “taken away” (I use that term problematically, loosly; there were many factors contributing to the loss) from my family through the process of American Democracy (hello, Michael!) within the doctrine of Manifest Destiny.
Also, the fact that the pronoun “[My]” is enclosed is not lost on me — now. True, I didn’t notice it before.
Katrina, the more I read about your project, the more it tickles my fancy (imagination). I smiled and almost giggled when I read the final question in your list. It’s so beautifully playful, and so deeply connected to the mysterious process of making something out of disparate objects/experiences, something meaningful. I love the dramatization of one-to-one communion.
Rebecca, I still want to know what park you’re working with…I wonder how the density of SF (is that where you are?) will contrast with the green space, the earthiness of the performance experience; how will the weather, the time of day contribute to the experience?