Liveness, choreography and the archive - research questions

Extensive discourse on performance art has focused on performance’s relationship with its document— Peggy Phelan, Amelia Jones, Philip Auslander, and André Lepecki are notable. At the center, lie questions about the documentation’s ability to preserve and convey the embodied and time-based media experience of performance. ​These questions have prompted various contemplations in other disciplines concerned with the body, identity, materiality, time, space and place. Yet, in this current pandemic we are experiencing an immense loss of the real, and nearly every lived experience has become mediated through the virtual realm.

Thus, further questions emerge which I’m curious about. Specifically, what is the live movement from this point in time? How are notions of “real” space-time challenged in the current complexity of mediations? What are the images and qualities of movement that this time invokes, recognizing that bodies and places are becoming displaced, intermediated and impalpable? What might be considered contemporary practices and theories concerning the repeatability of the present moment and ephemerality in the context of virtual mediation? And, what potentials are there of invoking new creative and marginalized expressions? Unlike the pandemic, which was unintended, I am intrigued by devised liminality: a kind of experience that we ‘conjure’ in an environment of rarefied space\time, mediated by cultural resources and artistic forms. It is an intentional action that we self-generate, producing a liminal affectivity by engaging in creative modes of practice, as a ‘liminal affective technology’. Still, this moment, a global rite of passage I propose, is characterized by dynamic forces (socio-cultural, political, economic, spiritual, cosmological, personal and even algorithmical), provoking disruptions of borders (in many senses of the word); and also enhancing the potential for socio-political, cultural and personal pattern shifting. Chronicling notions of liminality alongside creative practice allows for new questions concerning media specificity—in relation to dance, visual art, and the body as archive.

My artistic practice involves with choreographic methods as practice-based research, while exploring conceptual archival practices. Considering gestures from multiple perspectives, I’m thinking of cultural and personal knowledge embedded in movement, carried as an archive in the body, encoded in the communicative or ritualized act (as kinds of choreographies). I am inspired by ideas of returning to performative, ritualistic events through modes of recording, archival reconstruction and the creation of conceptual choreographic devices.

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