Here are 6 abstracts for projects from Team Blueberry. In the first week of Practice Based Research in the Arts we wrote about our work, then embarked on a wide range of activities prompted by a weekly visiting artist, and now in the 9th week of the course we return our focus to a specific project. Each team member presents a brief abstract of their work on this page, and a link to their full (in progress) content.
Table of Contents
• Public Performance Cookbook by Rebecca Longworth
• What’s on [My] Mind? by Christa Forster
• EZTV CyberSpace Gallery & Online Museum by Michael J. Masucci
• The Planets by Vanessa Blaylock
• The Opal Whiteley Project by Molly Ross
• Osmium, Tungsten, Dionaea, Lavandula by Katrina Schaag
Public Performance Cookbook
by Rebecca Longworth
Live site-specific performance in public parks
Toward the end of creating a series of performances in public parks, I am creating a Cookbook of compositional recipes. My recipes will allow me to create performances with a minimum amount of time spent in the studio, and a maximum amount of time creatively engaged at the performance site. Working from these recipes, I’ll invite ensemble theatre-makers to collaborate with me in both development activities and performances at each site.
The performances in the series may take many forms, but all will draw content from the phenomena of shared experience and community located in each site. I’ll examine how the shared experience of the performance event impacts the relationship of audience members to each other and to the space itself; and how these performances can be a welcome (if unexpected) gift to the neighborhoods in which they’re created.
For my first performance, I’ll create a Custom Performance Lemonade Stand at Noe Courts Park (pictured above) near my home in San Francisco. Customers will be invited to share a story about the park, from which the performers will create a short, improvised performance. Customers will also be given a physical token (like a drawing or short poem) of their performance to keep.
What’s on [My] Mind?
by Christa Forster
Writing, Sound Design and Performance
Six monologues falling under the title “What’s on [My] Mind?” — about family, race, identity, annexation and the attendant conflicts therein — are performed “live” in various locations, both physical and virtual (such as a black box theater, a bar, Facebook, Twitter). The excerpt included here is a draft of a “frame monologue,” called “A Divine Snare”; it reflects the meeting of Love and War (Aphrodite and Ares) as Homer tells it in Book 8 of The Odyssey. My version is much more elliptical the Homeric version.
This frame monologue is also inspired, in part, by my participation in Vanessa Blaylock’s Dance for Camera at LEA 27: Oceania Planetary Park. After I chose the planet Mars to work with for this project, Vanessa suggested I create a monologue about Mars and post it to CCMixter & SoundCloud. Any resulting remixes posted on those sites will become a soundtrack for this video production.
EZTV CyberSpace Gallery & Online Museum
by Michael J. Masucci
EZTV Museum contains an autoenthnographic archive of video, historiographies and ephemera associated with a series of under-represented Los Angeles-media arts groups. These groups range from the first generations of Southern California Digital Artists, including interactive and telecomminicative artists, to a generation of Queer artists lost during the height of the AIDS pandemic, to figures, both recognized and over-looked in Independent Film, Spoken Word, Performance Art, Visual Art, Music, Dance and Community Activism, including Public Practice.
Over 200 videos, with related photos, posters, reviews and essays are currently uploaded. EZTV and its associated CyberSpace Gallery were pivotal and seminal organizations in the advocacy, proliferation and acceptance of now-ubiquitous production modalities, ranging from DIY video production to use of the internet as a creative medium.
by Vanessa Blaylock
Site-Specific Dance for Camera
Be it our ancestors’ elaborate narratives about the planets, or the modern-day outrage and disappointment of so many at Pluto’s being declared a fake planet and having its “green card” application formally rejected, The Planets have always been about us, and they have always been about identity.
Through the marvels of 3D virtual worlds, Kimika Ying has created Oceania Planetary Park in the LEA27 (Linden Endowment for the Arts) region of Second Life. It’s an opportunity to experience the planets like ancient trees in a national park.
In The Planets I am working with different avatars to discover a movement that explores their relationship to the planet of their choice. Christa Forster is creating a monologue about her feelings regarding Mars which we will post to CCMixter & SoundCloud. Any resulting remixes posted there will become the soundtrack to this video production.
The Opal Whiteley Project
by Molly Ross
I am currently working on a multidisciplinary performance project incorporating puppetry, projection and music. The production explores the adult life of Opal Whiteley who quickly rose to international fame in 1920 with the publication in the Atlantic Monthly of her childhood diary. When the diary’s authenticity was questioned, Whiteley jettisoned to notoriety and her subsequent claim to be the descendant of a French royal family began a saga of adventure and loss. The narrative of this project is intriguing because at its heart it is a great tragedy filled with intrigue but through this project, I have the opportunity to explore questions of authenticity and identity.
Research Inquiry for The Opal Whiteley Project
• Choices of Material & Process
• Historical Accuracy and the audiences understanding
• The performers relation to the performative task & the audience
Further Details at Studio West:
- Expanded Research Inquiry
- Research Samples (digital)
- Research Samples (non digital)
- Video example of previous work
- Outline of narrative for storyboard
Osmium, Tungsten, Dionaea, Lavandula
by Katrina Schaag
site-specific, multimedia, one-on-one, participatory performance
From September 2013 – January 2014 I am working on a site-specific, one-on-one performance at Indie Coffee in Madison, WI entitled Osmium, Tungsten, Dionaea, Lavandula. The performance is part of the performance company Spatula & Barcode’s project Café Allonge, which is part of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s Wisconsin Triennial. The project incorporates audio, text, dance, food, singing, drawings (objects) and drawing (action). The subject of the performance is experiential/embodied knowledge, magic, energy, trust, and healing.
Each participant emails me a favorite song s/he knows by heart in advance of the performance. I write down two copies of the lyrics and place them in a little accordion book, which also contains diagrammed terms and terms-to-be-diagrammed, a Q&A script, and lavender flowers. The table in the café is covered with lavender-colored reindeer moss, a blue light bulb hangs above, and illustrated/diagrammed terms are taped onto the window. Throughout the course of the performance, an audio device plays forest sounds, the participant reads a script with me, I speak monologue text, I discern the participant’s life path number, the participant drinks hot apple cider and eats a piece of a cookie, the participant helps me with my research by illustrating and defining a term while the song “Believe Me” by Katie Stelmanis plays as I perform a gestural dance outside the window, I ask the participant a series of questions about her/his favorite scents, tastes, sounds and fears and desires, we sing the participant’s favorite song together, and the participant places her/his hands on the moss while I lead him/her through a guided visualization through a magical forest ending with making a wish that will come true.
Osmium, Tungsten, Dionaea, Lavandula is about repetition and resonance, wish fulfillment and spells, empathy and incantation.
• Katrina Schaag.wordpress.com / Osmium, Tungsten, Dionaea, Lavandula
• Google+ / Box of Practice
• Café Allongé.net
• The Cap Times / Spatula & Barcode’s Café Allongé
• The Daily Page / Café Allongé turns coffee-shop tables into miniature stages
Team Blueberry is:
painting by Jacklyn St. Aubyn: Six Blueberries, 4 x 4″, Oil on Panel