Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Performance Responses...

I have begun posting Performance Responses on my website to many of the performances I have been blogging about.

These are created direct responses to the artists but also as a kind of performance speak review/commentary to the shows.

Your can view the results here: http://erikandtheanimals.com/Pages/PortfolioPages/Responses.html

Here is a proper statement on the overall effort.


Statement: Performed in Review

Performance art has become half a conversation, and so is losing its place in the broader art dialogues. The confrontational, present-tense, stubborn, anti-aesthetic qualities that are often associated with the genre, mixed alliances with visual art, theater, and dance audiences, regular incompatibility with documentation and resulting low presence in the media channels creates a niche medium that is inappropriately isolated, under-funded and too easily dismissed for an art practice that is so inclusive, significant and urgent. The increasing spectacle of the mass media is muting the traditional performance tactic of scandal-mongering as a way intervening in the social discourse.

I am interested in using tactical applications of consumer media to realigning the way critical response relates to presentations of performance work that is not traditional dance, theater, and so on. This is to create a creative, productive feedback loop among artists to create community, dialogue and the fundamental aesthetic infrastructure for sustainable artistic performance practice.

Taking the idea of the "creative response" from the working method of Goat Island Performance Group, I have begun to create performance responses to performance works in enclosed systems.

My first series were responses to some of the performances at the 2005 PAC/edge festival in Chicago, IL. I followed this quickly with a series of performance responses to the PSI #11 conference at Brown University, also in 2005.

I use a blog to present a fast, first response to what I experience at the shows and to create a place for further written responses by others in the form of visitor comments. I have then followed this by creating performed responses which are to ultimately to be delivered via my website www.ErikAndTheAnimals.com but also may be presented in a short face to face presentations to the artists. Email announcements are sent to the artists to make them aware of my response and to invite any comments or responses by them and then general announcements are sent out to announce the works to the public.

My performance responses tend to be short format works in live, video, sound and PowerPoint mediums that steal, rearrange and reverse engineer the subject works. The only guidepoint is that the responses must be in understood as incomplete. This incompleteness is so the responses can be easily given away and so they leave points of access for further responses - nodes for linking and expanding dialogue.

This idea is not at odds with any current forms of reviews or criticism but meant to shift the emphasis from consumer guides to one of dialogue and production. This emphasis is inclusive of the often anti-consumer aesthetic of performance work, and simply expands the field and creates further intellectual, aesthetic and marketing opportunities for those artists that are more open to the art market. Displaying these creative responses, which are normally part of the development phase of creation, is not meant to create a series of masterworks but to energize the subject communities and sustain the dialogue. I believe this is fundamental to creating a fertile landscape for the development of performance work in contemporary society.

Erik Fabian


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