any size mirror is a dictator
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DESCRIPTIONOpera Book for 7-week exhibition at Momenta Art.
Any Size Mirror is a Dictator
Any Size Mirror is a Dictator
ANY SIZE BOOK IS A DICTATORThere are at least two types of Books for operas. The first is a guide, a Book purchased by opera-goers to clarify the narrative and who the characters are, who the performers are, etc. It is a kind of glorified program, explicating the totalitarian world of something intentionally staged. The second type of opera Book is a mas-sive binder full of scores, cues, and notes, compiled and used by the creators of an opera production for use throughout a rehearsal processes. This Book is a conflation of these two types. It contains scores and notes for movement, voice, speech, action, emotion, thought, etc, all con-fused into a cartilage which enjoins live processes with their objectifiable (as translatable into Book form) reflections. The Book seeks to preliminarily reflect all that will beobject about the opera, all that it desperately at-tempts to reflect, contain, signify, and represent, to the furthest extent of intentional and directional mimetic capabilities. It also seeks to mimeticize our experiences in processing this work. Elements with potential for mimesis (i.e. re-performance by us or by others) include that which can be performed as social arts practice, performance art, visual art, installation, music, dance, and/or theater, via the works internal logic and accept-able/interpretable objectives. The Book reflects, most specifically, 7-week period of processes performed at Momenta Art, September 5-October 19, 2014. Previous processes are embedded and finally reflected for use during this culminating exhibition. The Book is created in advance of the final work and so is full of educated guesses, projections, assumptions, and desires.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
General Notes and Choreographic Scores
Libretto Text and Musical Scores
DICTATORS:COMPOSER: Brian McCorkle LIBRETTIST/DIRECTOR/DESIGNER: Esther Neff CHOREOGRAPHER: Lindsey Drury
REHEARSIVE TEAM: Paige Fredlund, Matthew Gantt, Kaia Gilje, Ren Kladzyk, Thea Little, Sarah McSherry, Butch Merigoni, Ellen OMeara
RECURSIVE TEAM: Jessica Bathurst, Lorene Bouboushian, Matthew Stephen Smith
Other Originating Team Members:Adrian Owen, Valerie Kuehne, Michael Newton
STRUCTURES1.) THIS WORK HAS BEEN PERFORMED IN PUBLIC OVER THE COURSE OF A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, APPROXIMATELY 1,000 HOURS. EACH PERFORMANCE HAS, IN RETROSPECT AND VIA ITS STAGING, SOUGHT TO MAKE OF ITSELF AN OBJECT, OPERA-TIONAL IN RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER OBJECTS (I.E. SPACES, AMOUNTS OF MONEY, BODIES, IDEAS, POLITICAL SYS-TEMS, INDUSTRIES. ETC) AS IDENTIFIED VIA THEIR REFLECTIONS.
2.) AUTHORIZED OPERA MATERIALS, INCLUDING MUSICAL COMPOSITION/NOTATION, SCORES, 41 PIECES OF TEXT, AND WRITTEN AND VERBALLY DICTATED CHOREOGRAPHIC SCORES HAVE BEEN REHEARSED CONSISTENTLY BY A REHEARSIVE TEAM OF PERFORMERS TOWARDS ACCURACY OF REFLECTION. REHEARSIVE TEAM MEMBERS PURSUE TRAINING, MEMORIZATION AND EMBODIMENT OF AUTHORIZED OPERA MATERIALS.
3.) A RECURSIVE TEAM OF DIFFERENT INDIVIDUALS HAS SIMULTANEOUSLY DEVELOPED METHODOLOGIES FOR MIRRORING, RECURSING, REFLECTING, REFRACTING, AND OTHER-WISE REINFORCING THE ACTUALITY OF THE OPERA. RECURSIVE TEAM MEMBERS PURSUE AUTO-TRAINING PROCEDURES BASED IN METHODS FROM ETHNOGRAPHY, ANTHROPOL-OGY, AND OTHER SPHERES OF PERFORMATIVE SOCIAL ANALYSIS. THEY WORK IN DIRECT OPPOSITION TO THE OBJECTIVES OF OPERA, THEREBY REIFYING THEM.
4.) THE DESIGN AND ENFORCEMENT OF STRUCTURES IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DIC-TATORS. THE EXTENT TO WHICH STRUCTURES ARE EMBODIED IN PERFORMANCE IS RELA-TIVE.
5.) EVERY SOMETHING IS OBJECTIFIED BY ITS REFLECTION OF ANY OTHER SOMETHING. A TOTALITY OF OF RELATIONALITY, RECURSION OF ALL INTO ANY, THE STRICTEST SYSTEM THERE IS.
WEEK 0: ACCEPTABLE OBJECTIVES FOR ART1, 12, 14, 17, 34, 2, 10, 21, 22, 23, 40 , 41 (ALWAYS AND OTHER)
WEEK 1: CONFUSE MEANS TO POUR TOGETHER (1) 3, 4, 5, 24, 38
WEEK 2: COGNIZING SELF (17) 6, 7, 29, 30, 16A
WEEK 3: SIGNIFICANT FORCES OF FEELING (36) 8, 9, (11) 26, 27, 28, (36)
WEEK 4: I AM ROOTING FOR HIM (12)
15, 16B, 18, 25, 31, 33, 37
WEEK 5: WHY DO THERE NO MORE HAPPENSTANCE (11) 9, 13, 19, 20, 32, 35, 39
WEEK 6: AGENCY
ALWAYS(1), (12), 14, (17), 34
ALWAYS AND OTHER2 (documentation on video)
10 (in space)21, 22, 23 (Kaias diagram aria)
40 (instructional tape)41 (scores for dictators)
GENERAL NOTES AND CHOREO-GRAPHIC SCORES GENERAL NOTES FOR MOVEMENT MATERIAL: Construction of Training
From the moment the culminating weeks of performance processes begin at Momenta, the Rehearsive per-formers of movement dictations should no longer use spoken language. The languages available to them have been devised over years of rehearsal, and are given as well in this book. The Rehearsive team has developed body-language systems through which they can spell out needs, ideas, concerns. Over the course of the exhibition, these performers should work to master their non-verbal/ move-ment-based communication systems in order to comprehend and understand. A number of pedagogical dicta-tions have been developed to encourage this process. More can be invented as the process evolves: One performer spells out command while singing the letters, and the other person uses the firsts alpha-bet to complete the command. Letters inside Letters (refer to Confuse #3) Simply performing ones the alphabet, with or without singing the letters. Spelling out an effect or style command upon ones own alphabet while performing it. Running ones body at a speed possible for movement with the letters while singing at a speed possible for voice (refer to Confuse #24). Further, a number of game-based structures have emerged over the last two years as a means by which per-formers can quickly and easily alter the situation at hand: A raised hand is a way of silencing. In different dance dictations, it may have slightly different effects. It can also be used to simply reverse the sonic rules of the dictation underwaywho is singing, for example, can become silent, and who is silent, when a hand is raised, should sing. The word uncle can be used to signify the need for completion or an end-point to the current task. Any single performer may use the Difficult Spelling Bee as self-sacrifice in order to give others a break. To create this action, a single performer does anything difficult with her body while making consistent vocal noise, until some sort of unconscious word is elicited. The solo is then complete; the performer stands to face the audience, and speaks the Word again aloud. Some dictations, which have been designated set dances, are to be rehearsed by the performers in the afternoons before the shows and developed into standardized choreographic vignettes. All set dances should be forms of music visualization, therefore dealing as directly and non-interpretively as possible with the lyrical and compositional elements of the songs with which they are paired. Some dictations, which have been designated transition, are to appropriate the movement dictations from the prior and subsequent pieces, becoming, for lack of a better term, concept-as-cross-fade. Refer to Significant Forces of Feeling #36 for further description. McSherry is not allowed to comment. Three forms of Volume/ Space/ Numbers have been developed to deal with sonic information through movement, vaguely re-described, these are: (1) Single performer plays the volume of the group, (2) Proximity of group in a movement pattern determines volume, (3) The Pile. These should be re-invented, devel-oped, diversified, mastered, managed, etc. One unplaced dictation should be performed. It is called The Nose-Piano. It can be placed with any text or song and at least two keyboards. At least two musicians hold the heads of the dancer/singer performers in their hands. They speak a word, they touch the nose of the singer/dancer to a key on the keyboard. Then, the dancer/singer sings that word in the tone prescribed by their nose. All instructions layer upon all other instructions. Complexity compounds. Nothing is left behind.
CONFUSE MEANS TO POUR TOGETHER (1)3 petitioner + engagements/ 4 cocoons / 5 prima ballerina / 24 Aristotles kin kind and brethren / 38 the inventor of carpeting General InstructionsAll the acts will look vaguely like the other acts. Perhaps it is because the body is the sameregardless as to the action, there is an anatomy behind the action. One body with its anatomy does many acts. Collectively, every body is a rendition for anatomys general set of principals of design. The basis for confusion is the degree of difference between anatomically similar bodies. Anatomic, for example, looks like atomic. To be poetic, the difference is annulled, which confuses points. You end up with the degree of difference between atomically similar bodies. England, France, USA, Russia, China, Israel, possibly Iran, and the claims of North Korea. And your particular body.All the acts will look similar to other acts. Perhaps it is because of anatomyregardless as to the action, the design of anatomy drives action. A body with its singular anatomy does all its various acts. On the large scale, anatomy is a construct of design principles, every person is a particular rendering of the design. To confuse, one must be ignoring the degree of difference between anatomically similar bodies. Anatomic, for example, looks like atomic. To wax poetic, differences are annulled, which loses the point. One ends up ignoring the difference between atomically similar bodies. England, France, USA, Russia, China, Israel, possibly Iran, and the claims of North Korea. Not your particular body. Dictations/ Systems: (1) Confusion as the product of incomplete information: A singular performer or duet of performers from (3). All but soloist or duet should exit the space and observe the performance from a compromised viewpoint.
(3) Confusion as de-sequencing, as an inside as an inside ever-able to accumulate more in a non-differenti-ated space, as non-categorization: In small groups, working with body language. A system of compilation that operates like a fractal. Could be described numerous ways: All new information goes within the frame of the previous information. Construct a new body-language with words in which letters dont come after the previous letters, but are written inside them. Words in which compilation doesnt operate as one-after-another but spirals inward. Compilation as implosion, the most intricate moment at the center, an impossibility to see. Words in which the compilation creates ever-greater intricacy. All new ideas go inside the old ones. This is a way of learning each others languages.
(4) Confusion as consolidation: Transition plus an act of joining that creates a product. Make a line, motherfuck-ers.
(5) Confusion as re-mix, as sample, as lifting: (a) Perform (or teach to performers) a section from Millicent Hodsons reconstruction of Nijinskys Rite of Spring by performing the inaccuracies in Millicent Hodsons recon-struction of Nijnskys Rite of Spring as this opera. (b) Transition
(24) (a) Confusion of Body/Vocal: Soloist spells out the letters of the words in the aria at the speed possible for body while pronouncing the words at the speed necessitated by the vocal dictation. Continue each simultane-ously at their own paces until both are complete. (b) Transition; Soloist has copycats who alter her movements and words.
(38) Confusion as the product of incomplete information #2: Body Absent/ Sonic Present: The performer is concealed at the moment they are to sing in order that the performer only be voice. Performers can be con-cealed by space, objects, or other bodies. Volume, Space, Numbers #3 Applies here as a possibility.
COGNIZING SELF (17) 6 how would I do it / 7 ships of james kirk/cook / 29 carry-out chinese / 30 cornmeal + pork / 16A the bourgeois
General InstructionsA word does not refer to a single object but to a group or class of objects. Each word is therefore already a gen-eralization. Generalization is a verbal act of thought and reflects reality in quite another way than sensation and perception reflect it. -L.S. Vygotsky
All the acts are manifested through generalizations. All the generalizations resemble each other in that they are generalizations. All acts will look vaguely like all other acts because of this fact. The acts will become language, which becomes thought. The dance has letters, the songs have words, but this is not enough to make sense. The sense comes because the letters and words become acts with which the performers communicate. Mirrors create objects. As mirrors, you create objects of yourselves and of your materials. Think by objectifying. Let language teach you, it knows how. The general directive here is the most difficult and the easiest, of course, to say: Make sense of this opera. Know that sense by heart.
Dictations/ Systems: (17) First principle of cognition: Memorization. A single performer will not perform this work, but will stand and face whatever audience is present, look at them directly, and not perform. While not performing, she will begin in her head to build, repeat, memorize, and in-grain the body language for the entire text of (17). Her work is only in her head. She keeps her eyes open.Others will build, repeat, memorize and ingrain the body language for the entire text of (17) with their bodies, until it can be performed knee-jerk, rote, like walking, so well that one could text on a cell phone or talk to mom while dancing it. As performers are sure they have their material, they cease moving, only continuing to imagine the material in their heads. Once all have stopped moving, the performance begins. It is in unison.
(6) Second principle of cognition: Distinction. Cognition must deal with both the distinction of the cognizing-self from the others external to it and the distinc-tions between the external others. This dictation is called the Genuine Feeling Contest (a spotlight for recursives is necessary), it addresses the simultaneity of that aspect of cognition. Performers begin as close together as possible, and move apart over the course of many repetitions of the song. The goal of each performer is to be the most genuinely felt of all the performers. The duty of all the performers is to both judge other performers by pointing at the most genuinely feeling of all of them while simultaneously producing genuine feeling for others to evaluate. The work must end with a winnerand this is the final distinction made by cognition herewhen does the winning one become the one who won?
(7) Second and Third Principles of Cognition: Non-subjection and (distinction) Soloist chooses amongst the other performers a person to mount and ascend. The other performers will one after another offer themselves to this task until one is chosen. The chosen performer must not be affected in her performance of the vocal dictation or her cognitive/performative presence by being subjected to the soloists mounting/climbing. The song continues until an effect has been made. Note: Whether a courtroom or a mountain, non-subjection is key to providing context for human action.
(29) Second, Third, and Fourth Principles of Cognition: Disassociation, non-subjection and distinction. The body does a grind dance, the head sings about professionalism. All the grind dances are somewhat different, but not notably so.
(30) Fifth Principle of Cognition: Based upon what is known. A set dance.
(16A) Sixth Principle of Cognition: A single, distilled point.From all the things that have been done, from indecipherable mass of moments, choose one action to make clear by being clearly executed for the course of this vocal dictation. Do this somewhere monumental or make a monument of it. No matter what this action is, it degrades, regardless as to what you might wish, into a grind dance. Note: All ideas are reabsorbed into the indecipherable mass of moments. A grind dance can degrade into a g.r. i. n. d. d. a. n. c. e.
SIGNIFICANT FORCES OF FEELING (36)8 the space / 9 paving bricks / 11 why do there no more happenstance / 26 for dinner / 27 louis and clark and sacagawea / 28 rubber wheels
General InstructionsThe body believes in what it plays at: it weeps if it mimes grief. It does not represent what it performs, it does not memorize the past, it enacts the past, bringing it back to life. What is learned by body is not something that one has, like knowledge that can be brandished, but something that one is. This is particularly clear in non-literate societies, where inherited knowledge can only survive in the incorporated state. It is never detached from the body that bears it and can be reconstituted only by means of a kind of gymnastics designed to evoke it, a mimesis which, as Plato observed, implies total investment and deep emotional identification. As Eric Havelock (1963), from whom this argument is borrowed, points out, the body is thus constantly mingled with all the knowledge it reproduces, and this knowledge never has the objectivity it derives from objectification in writing and the conse-quent freedom with respect to the body. -Bourdieu, On the Logic of PracticeAs is so often referenced, Martha Graham once said the body doesnt lie but let us instead consider that the body believes. Walking, for example, has underneath it the faith in ones own ability to walk, so much faith that one can walk without thinking about it at all, the body moving across the pavement in confidence that it knows how to do so, the head freely swiveling about, looking at faces and signs, independent of the work of the feet. Belief is at work in performers, whether they wish it or not, but it is even more obvious in the patients of physi-cal and occupational therapists. The progression toward healing is driven forward by the therapists belief in the patient and the patients belief in the therapist, the material, and themselves. With repetition, belief gets stron-ger, it develops to include loyalty, it turns into confidence, it depends on ingrained action. It becomes an essen-tial and amazing belief, the same one that allows you to sit down to a keyboard and trust your fingers to type your words for you, to know where the keys are yet again. It is such strong belief that it doesnt even seem like its there. It is belief itself that you shall all cultivate and question as artistic practice, as belief, without rational-ization, can only manifest through methodology, can only become real in the ways it inscribes itself upon us. As such, this work will not take its own years of rehearsal for granted, but will problematize it, explore it, reinvent it, and turn it on its head. There is one more problem. In the way that feeling and belief have been described in this introduction, both are merely means of interpretation. What is going on, then, what is really going on is underneath, or simply more interstitial, more fundamental than either feeling or belief. The force, in this case, isnt feeling. My question iswhat significant force is there to be found, if for example, feeling and belief are interpretations? If, for example, feeling sad is something we believe because we need an explanation? If for example, clinical depression is a disease we invented because we believe that sadness is real enough to be the culprit of, and not the interpretive by-product of, certain chemical manifestations in the body? When you cant convince yourself to get out of bed in the morning, at what point is it because youve decided youre sad? Or, think of it this way: The only access you have to emotions and the only materials you have for defining emotions is by identifying their symptoms. Smile, and you might be happy. Weep, and you might be sad. Theater is a form of symptomology. I suppose, therefore, that this sections dictations are specific rather than conceptual. They draw from concrete places and experiences, treating feeling as the conceptual byproduct.As a final note to performers, Total Enthusiasm (33) can be performed in place of/ on top of/ in between/ any-where in any of this material.
Dictations/ Systems: (8) Feeling from the Body: Inward Outward can be either or both of these: (a) Feeling as tactilityself-editing shape: Three or more performers create a shape with eyes closed, mem-orize it with their hands and body, strategically working with others to maintain the shape as fully as possible while shifting inside it to touch and memorize it. In this, the shape negotiates its performers (solo) abilities for palpation and memorization (they cant feel or memorize collectively) versus the (group) abilities of their body forms (they can together make a repeatable, collective shape). Abandon the shape, moving as far away from one another as possible, and then back toward each other to recreate it by changing what were the original placements of each performer inside it (same shape, different roles). Edit each other into place. (b) Manifesting radical Levels of Feeling: To attempt to see the entire space at once, spin within it. The seeking of a radical/total level of seeing will cause disorientation. The feeling is a consequence of the bodys response to this act. It could be the feeling of sickness or simply of anger toward your choreographer, or other-wise. (9) A Domino Affected Nostalgia: Perform a section from Lindseys first dance (2002), Not More Than 15 Minutes. Perform it in not more than 15 minutes. To create this dance, a 21-year-old Lindsey created gesture/poses to describe the major landmark emotional experiences in her life, including love, failure, hope, wonder, and surrender. She threaded these together into a sequence that traveled in a switchback along the surface of the stage, which she imagined more like the typing of letters on a typewriter than the emotive or theatrical expression of a performer. In this early dance, Lindsey was expressing dancing as a form of writing (her image was a typewriter). All that needed to be present therefore were the symbols to indicate meaning, the performer need not feel the emotions or energetically embody them while manifesting their symbols. She further played with the idea of emotion as a little system of cause-and-effect between people, as a this happens then that happens, that can be expressed as such, and as simply.
(11) The embedded body problems of the high school choir, singing with feeling: This has also come to be called The Glitch Game. A walking pattern is created by the performers who then attempt to re-perform it. Any differences from the original walking pattern are corrected within the subsequent performance of it. The corrections are also memorized and ingrained into succeeding versions. From mistakes, dialogue, movement, and interaction arise within the walking pattern which narratively address the notion of perfectible repeatability. As a consequence, in their actions that seek of repeatability, the performers manifest the very foil to it. When the Glitch Game has stabilized, the song is layered over top of it, with no greater instruction than to Perform as a high school choir improvising what they hope is a beautiful song.
(26) Flocked Feelings: Performing the (a) Fault Flock and/or (b) Rage Flock. The idea of a movement flock, is to create intense forms of improvisational unison. It is, to say the least, a well-worn tactic in the dance chore-ographers toolbox. The idea of unison is an extremely interesting oneit requires that the audiences disregard obvious differences between performers in order to perceive the effect. These two flocks work from this notion by playing with the extremely slow pacing required by exacting improvisational unison.(a). Requires that the performer bring attention to her own body when she perceives that she has fallen out of unison with the others by moving back into the same body configuration as the others with a movement quality that directly opposes that of the choirusually this will be convulsive, twitching, and/or explosive movement. The most noticeable movements of the Fault Flock are therefore those moments which are self-correction of mistakes. Performers may enter and leave this flock.(b) Involves the facial expressions of performers. Since faces are on the fronts of their bodies, and the leader of the flock is in the front, performers must drop their flocking, take a look at the face of the person in the front, return to their position, and take on that expression where they left off. There is an unavoidable latency in this version of the flock. Once the following performers have registered the face, they have no way of knowing that the leading performer still performs it. Rage flock must not continue during sung moments of the performance. The vocal parts are sung from a held-state in face and body. Performers may enter and leave this flock.
(27) The feeling of understanding as an abstraction across bodies: One performer presents in body language I Do Understand in a single place in the room, not moving through space, and giving the material enough times so that she can feel the other performers have had a chance to memorize what was done. The performers line up, facing toward the audience, and present (in place) their renditions in unison. No physical practice al-lowed.
(28) A set dance.
(36) Feeling from the situation: Outward Inward: A great transition. This is otherwise called, intuition or instinct, and even sometimes, projection. Already something has been happening in the last system. Contin-ue it through around half of this performance. There will be a subsequent dictation. It is chosen within this one, performed as a transition within the performance of the vocal dictation, continued beyond this song into the next one. The material is therefore appropriated as transitional material from both what is prior and subsequent. The externals of this dictation, or the two dictations that border it, determine, as a result, its insides.
I AM ROOTING FOR HIM (12)15 the size of the mirror / 16B tell me in my own words / 18 cactus pear / 25 the same sort of en-gine / 31 smaller model / 33 rule the rules / 37 my name is burger
General InstructionsConsider the arts as a form of infantilization the only external evaluation source that exists for the artist is the encouragement or discouragement gleaned from others opinions (at varying degrees of intimacy and non-inti-macy). Children and artists develop with encouragement. We are waiting for reinforcement. One is a grown up when the concrete world isnt in the shape of a parent. When the action doesnt depend on the crowd of devotees. When there is no stage mom. When the marathoner runs by herself, and it is still 26.21875 miles without streets lined with fans. We know this. And yet. In the absence of true strength, in this development of the opera, we create an internal system of moral(e) support. We make a quick-fix. Think of it this way: Though the audience may or may not love you, here is where we make a piece of art (the na-ture of which is) to love you. It loves you for performing it. It believes in you (through its instructions to the other performers, through the devising of the choreographer put all of these aside!) and it is concrete because it is externalized from people. The work itself protects itself by protecting you. You protect the work of art by following the instructions to pro-tect the work by protecting yourself. The underlying necessary operations are belief (in oneself, in the piece) and internalization. You internalize, you believe, nothing else matterscertainly not the external presentation, which by the logic of this system, should arise as a byproduct of your faith and trust in yourself and the artwork in which you reside.
(18) Faith in the power of imagination: This is the dictation wherein the performer turns herself into every-thing present, creates of herself a second body able to traverse her spatial self, and then visualizes into the space the annihilation of the former by the latter. It is called An Autoscopic Gargoyle (Gremlin). The dictation is done via a visualized doppelgnger (which is a being conceptually related to autoscopy in psychology through the further concept of heautoscopy, or seeing ones own body at a distance).It should be done by a single performer. Or, single performers should be scattered as much as they can be scattered. Lost, maybe, but in determinate spaces, places that have concreteness to them, or a quality of the finite unless a performer really wishes to take on the task of destroying the sky in her mind. First, the performer believes that she is integral to the place where she is. She extends herself to include as much of the space in her sense of self as she can. The audience, the walls, the other performerseverything is included in her sense of self. And then, from her body, a creature emerges. This doppelgnger has been creat-ed to destroy the space. It begins somewhere in the space, with the surface, tearing away at the space, surfaces give way, insides and structural supports are exposed. But the space is a body, the body of the performer. The duty of the performer is to manifest this concept, to visualize it, and then to observe it as it transpires. Note: (a) Autoscopy is a term for experiences of seeing a place from a perspective outside ones own body. (b) In medieval architecture, gargoyles conduct rain away from the roof and sides of cathedrals to protect them from water damage. They are often elaborately carved as hybrid beasts, devils, dragons, or other such figures. Some say they are a depiction of evil that protects from evil. Some say they refer to a dragon slayed by St. Romain whose head was hung on the wall of a church. Some say they were used to strike fear into the hearts of common people. Regardless, gargoyles are the means by which the grotesque was figured into the functionality of the holy design of cathedrals. (c) In the 1920s, British pilots from the Royal Air Force appropriated the term gremlin from English folklore to describe a malicious creature that damages aircraft. The doppelgngers of the performers, like gargoyles (inter-stitial to the space) are also like gremlins. They are saboteurs of the machinery of place.
(25) Faith in previous successes: Perform the first dance created for the opera with the addition of head rolling and a small choreographic alteration to account for the special end of this song.
(33) Faith in Faith: This is called Total Enthusiasm. It operates on the notion that all one needs for a great performance is ample gusto in the performance. The song is split by verse. Before entering the space to per-form a section of the song, performers around the perimeter of the room will think of 1 terrible idea for a per-formance. The best indicator that the subjectivity of terrible is applicable to the performer thinking up the idea is if the performer herself doesnt actually want to do the idea. When the performer enters the space to perform the idea, the job of the other performers is to support the idea as much as possible. This support comes in the form of cheering and egging them on. Vocal support from the sidelines, once posited by individual performers, will either quickly become the entire groups method or vanish (as unsupported short-term individual choices). Performers may enter the space and support the per-former by doing the action as well. The only thing with substance in this dictation should be the complete and utter enthusiasm present in the do-ing of its two roles.
(37) Faith in instruments: This dictation is for the band, whose faith in instruments is so great that they spend the entire opera doing little other than playing them. This performer is an instrument. Consider her an instru-ment that takes quite a bit of strength and passion to play, think of all the various physically taxing instruments, combine them together into one, here she is. Play her.
WHY DO THERE NO MORE HAPPENSTANCE (11)9 paving bricks / 13 mayonnaise knife / 19 purse of lemons / 20 twelfth century woodcarvings / 32 the hut / 35 foregazing / 39 Rhoda
General InstructionsThis is to be done in the style of a civil war reenactment. The battle of Gettysburg was fought in 3 days. Its reenactment is also three days, but conducted in the form of tours. The battles presented over the course of the 3 days are professionally narrated 2-hour events. One of the most significant abilities of theater is that of reducing timescalesin order to provide sense to what has happened in life, theater creates various forms of time-lapse. This way, the speed of life-processes (battles, flowers blooming, children growing) can be seen at the speeds at which we cognize. And yet, in order to do this, the players must conduct the process of rehearsal, which happens to be a profoundly slow and inefficient because of its dependence on prescribed action and its supposed concern for accuracy. Any Size Mirror is a Dictator must refer to its own history to reenact itself. Luckily, the performances were docu-mented over the first four weeks of its current processes, and further, documentation of previous performances can also be obtained and shown. All of the songs in the list to be performed in this week are the ramblings of a tour guide. Dont worry about the issues of tense, this is a highly theatrical tour guide named Rhoda whose narrations are sung in the style of the opera to which she refers. The sonic aspects of the pieces chosen for reenactment should not be omitted in order to make room for the new sonic information. Volumes can be reduced, recordings can be played, but the reenactment cannot be reduced to voiceless mimicry.
(9) Please refer to Significant Forces of Feeling (9) and documentation of Not More than 15 Minutes by Dave Mosier (2002). (13) Please refer to Confuse (38)(19) Please refer to Cognizing Self (7)(20) Please refer to Confuse (24)(32) Please refer to I am Rooting for Him (33)(35) Please refer to Cognizing Self (17)(39) Please refer to Significant Forces of Feeling (11)Again, other reenactments are acceptable, but each of these should be addressed. Finally, original roles should be swapped. Performers shouldnt play their former selves. It is important to eradi-cate improvisatory material and precisely recreate what had happened in the documentation. Each subsequent show in this series of evenings (4 total) follows the dictation of (33) as a way of responding to the previous performance. The weekend is therefore an extended/ macro-scale Glitch Game that encompasses all 4 shows framed by Why Do There No More Happenstance.
ALWAYS1 confuse / 12 any size mirror is a dictator / 14 this that pip yup / 17 cognizing self / 34 typolo-gies In the case of Always, these five songs are used as a form of segmenting the opera. They create cognitive breaks. At the end of the song, the opera must go into a period of silence and stillness. (1) and (17) have move-ment dictations. The rest appropriate the movement dictation of the song prior, carrying it to an endpoint. Always, therefore, is an end scene.
ALWAYS AND OTHER2 accepting proposals / 10 acceptable objectives for art / 21, 22, 23 all artists / 40 instructional tapeThese are non-theoretical, vague in planning, and are therefore invitations to possibilities thus far not imagined. They are, as well, sadly political. But they are to be used as forms of divinity. As pleas to god. (2) Can be done live as a gift to a funder or as a plea to a high-ranking art persona.
(10) Is given as a speech.
(21, 22, 23) When performed, is treated as its own work. If chosen for performance, it shall be done with a dicta-tor or a recursive cast member in duet. It can be a frame for the opera, or it can be in isolation from the opera. It can be envisioned, as well, beyond these two directives. It is created so that those of us who create and perform this opera can remember it isnt everything. It gives us an outside world.
(40) Can be learned and replaced by live performers.
(41) Performers construct scores during performances to be performed by the 3 Dictators
- Lindsey Drury
LIBRETTO TEXT AND MUSIC COMPOSITIONS
THE SHIPS OF JAMESCOOK/KIRK
THIS THAT PIP YUPFLOOR FLAT SPORT LOT
BREAKS PILES WINS PINSLUCID BEFORE UNDER WETTEN
AMBIANCE AUDIENCE ALLIANCE ASSISTANCENO SOME MUCH WHIP
PLEASANT GRATEFUL CRAPPY PUNCTUREAPPLAUSE GRUEL INFORMS DUMPY
t is t
t is r
ll I se
21Artists (and all individuals) are products of their socially, culturally, economically, and politically constructed con-texts, thus an artists praxis operates as a sub-conscious/collectively conscious/universally instinctual (heterono-mous) procedure of socio-systemic conception and extrusion. She is a conduit in a logical system, her product is a by-product of that system-reality itself, her product functions as any other technic/technique, if every technol-ogy is a metaphor then every art is technology
22Artists (and all individuals) are agents or actors who interpret the sybols/signs/rules/modes of their socially, culturally, economically, and politically constructed contexts through an active process, thus an artists praxis operates around a verb, as an intentional objective: to describe, to record, to communicate, to reflect, and to express her subjective reality. The artistic product is a maryoshka, a mirror, a model, or an assimilation of reality into object. As an object, good art is that which accurately and successfully objectifies reality for human con-sumption.
23Artists (and all individuals) produce their own constructed contexts through their emotionally/psychically-driven conclusions, thus an artists praxis is one of organic generation/origination, difficult to distinguish from the cooking of foods, the conceiving offspring, the growing of gardens, a many-headed hydra of desires and deci-sions. The reality of existence is that it is created, thus art is inherently a part of constructed reality, made of the same matter as all the known universe and equally subordinate to the emergent economic, politic, cultural, philosophic, (and so on) systems/logos/nomos/etc as any other human action/interaction/decision/instinct/im-pulse.
25the same sort of engine
or a better oneone knob one function
source feedintellectual property
is a rapidly shrinking area for invest-ment
if you move, please take your object with you
feed Sourcea slowly rotating rhombus
fetching a loved one
I too would rule the rules I too would vigorously
moustache my mouth with the juicesof THE lady clerk check the label
that old fitting room excuse,should I be general
should I come home from the wara military maiden
with a sweet corn on a stick and a snow cone on a stump
I would be a girlie searcher, you know what that means?
dialogue gets me high, sonits the rhetoric which is
ripping my kidney out through my new shirt.
40When I say any size mirror is a dictator, how many of you picture a dictator looking in a mirror?If you can imagine that now, a dictator looking in a mirror, focus on that image, but not too hard. dont focus too hard on the face, just the general shape or character of itfocus on the image as a whole, the size of the mirrorNotice the color of the dictators clothingand hat?If the dictator begins to become vaguely historical, or even to resemble a specific his-toric dictatorthats ok, allow your mind to make these decisions but dont focus too hard on the facelet the rest of the picture come into focusThe dictator is looking in a mirror and doesnt see you.now allow the face to slowly come into focus
the dictator is looking in the mirrorYoure behind the dictator, it doesnt see you
RECURSIVE METHODOLOGYThe Recursive team members are carrying clipboards. Attached, are individual Books of the second opera kind only, notes and prescriptions for themselves and other team-members, a non-public diary of cues, considerations, and other anterior attempts to relate totally to a future performance situa-tion. Meeting infrequently, Recursive team members have been working alone to develop self-formal-izing methodologies for relating/reflecting/recursing/reenacting/resisting. We first defined a meth-odology simply as that which dictates how, and/or why, and/or when but not what. Formalizing this conception in-performance, we found pedagogical methods, analytic methods, performance meth-ods, and many others existent as frames (of reference) around a student, a culture, a dance, a song, and so on, primarily operating as modes of definition/objectification. A mirror is that which objectifies, a methodology is that by which objectification is performed. Is a methodology also a kind of training? How might it operate, how might it train bodies, individual and/or social? The feeling of needing to repeatedly ask, but what will I be supposed to be doing and where does the supposed-to come from? The Recursive team will apply their individual, totalized methodologies from Sept 5-Oct 19, 2014, working 3-7pm during gallery hours to apply their methodologies to an immediately self-constructing performance and further working to apply their methodologies in performance to action 7-9pm.
1 METHODOLOGICAL RECURSION PER WEEK CAUSED BY REHEARSED ALPHABETS1=1 mutually relational, direct constructive participation in encoded cause and effect. Rehearsive performers have a memorized alphabet of movements. These correspond directly to the English lan-guage alphabet. Recursive performers, knowing the English language alphabet, may each have their own methodological alphabets for performance: each letter may correspond to a scored recursion (26 of something).1 methodology per week per performer (MATTHEW, LORENE, JESSICA)
1 METHODOLOGICAL RECURSION PER WEEK SUBJECT TO TOTAL RELATIONALITY (EXTER-NAL RECURSION) Identification of an occurance, either intentionally performed by other people or otherwise existent insofar as it can be interpreted as an occurance. SUCH AS:When people we know enterWhen a rehearsive performer exits the spaceOn the hour1 methodology per week per performer (MATTHEW, LORENE, JESSICA)
METHODOLOGICAL RECURSIONS WITH INTENTIONAL DESIGN TOWARDS ANSWERING A QUESTION OR SOLVING A PROBLEM Methodologies as experimental procedures, interpreting and formulating research into conclusions. 1 methodology per week per performer (MATTHEW, LORENE, JESSICA)
METHODOLOGICAL RECURSIONS ATTEMPTING ASSIMILATIONMultiple tasks per week, developed as a Recursive team, individually, and assigned by the Recur-sive-dictator, based on the rehearsive score sets. One dominant task is allowable per week as a mode of performance when individual recursive performers choose an attempt to be performing without making decisions: mimicry, social learning, and other forms of functional behavior. 1 methodology per week for all performers together.
METHODOLOGICAL RECURSIONS ATTEMPTING TOTAL SUBVERSION Detirmined in advance as an act, known only to the performer and theoretically modeled to cause sub-version, or overturn, in some way. Dysfunctional behavior, posed in exacting opposition to perceived realities. 1 methodology per week per performer (MATTHEW, LORENE, JESSICA)
Projections for the Recursive teamThe Recursive team will work against embodiment by treating each body as a semiotic vehicle, i.e. as a role or as known entities. Recursives believe that they too (this is a universal application, here, totalitarian) are semiotic vehicles. And so they perform as exchange students, politicians, stage hands, playwrights, comedians, ethnographers, critics, and otherwise, filling out methodological dictations for action. There shall be no more science fiction. Another way of saying this: Suspension of disbelief will be forcibly enforced by the Recursive team. The Recursive team Totally (Gesamptkunstwerk) adopts that terrible yet common conceptual metaphor that all the world is a stage and the men and women merely players. We will perhaps be able to see what some of the implications of this constructive con-ception will be.To the Recursive team, the set text and music represents/symbolizes meanings. We ask what does this mean? over and over again, thereby constructing (making) meaning/sense. We may use costumes, props, texts, lighting, jokes, and other elements of performance as art-form to actualize the goings-on as meaningful opera. The Recursive team is professional. The Recursive team is not confused.The Recursives are individuals, they do not represent all bodies or all people, and yet they pursue the scientific method towards universal, empiric knowledge(s). The Recursives become frustrated by restrictions but continue to play their signifying roles, seeing ev-eryone as performers not real people, and perhaps this distinction does free a citizen from responsi-bility. The Recursives understand the necessity of leadership and authority (see above). The Recursives make note. -Esther Neff
PRODUCTION NOTESANY SIZE MIRROR IS A DICTATOR processes have operated through performances on Governors Island, as part of chashamas Harlem Art Factory Fest, during AUNTS curated by SALTA, as part of Movement Researchs Spring Festival at ISSUE Project Room, at Dixon Place as part of Experiments and Disorders, Gibney Dance, Flux Factory, and elsewhere. Previous to the formaton of the Rehearsive and Recursive teams, initial processes were performed by Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle during iCan at IV Soldiers Gallery, in Copenhagen during Hitparaden, and at Grace Exhibition Space, The Delancey, and elsewhere. Concepts and songs were also devised on a tour through the Midwest with Valerie Kuehne and as part of a durational diner at Fitness Center for Arts and Tactics and in Berlin during MPA-B at Grntaler9 (both with Valerie Kuehne, the latter also with Ivy Castellanos). Lindsey Drury has also developed choreography through a GROUNDWORK residency at CORA Dance.
Funding for this project was procured through Hatchfund. THANK YOU (in time, from first donor to final): James Findlay, You Nakai, Richard Kamerman, Dave Ruder, Robert Zott, Elaine Stranahan, Gelsey Bell, Erin Mee, Anonymous, Bess Fredlund, Anya Liftig, Nicole Brydson, Clarinda Mac Low, Joseph White, Bradley Drury, Erin Rogers, Mimi Johnson, Baxton Alexander, Beth Neff, Alex Rodabaugh, Spread Art, Michael DiPi-etro, Heather Warren-Crow, Beverly Drury, Christen Clifford, Paul Pinto, Raule Nemer, Emily Gastineau, Dawn McCorkle, Chloe Bass, Forrest Leslie, Francesca Romana Ciardi, Zach Hunter, AMAA van den Elzen, Liliana Dirks-Goodman, Clarinda Mac Low, Audrey Whitaker, Samuel Burhoe, Sharon Fegley, Howard Pflanzer, Chin Chih Yang, Melissa Braxton, Elizabeth Lamb, Gella Zefira, William & Helen Little, Janet McKenzie, Alexander Vizzi, George F. (Jeff) Little, Laura Bluher, Alissa Talley-Pixley, Pamela Forbes, Jiaxin Miao, Abigail Levine, Teena Lange, Farvardin Kamangar, Karen Hsu, Michael Newton, Christopher Harris, Anonymous, Anna Daley, Anon-ymous, David LaGaccia, Andrew Brownstein, Anne Moore Hutton, Steven Olswang, Mark Cheng, Pnina To-pham, Sondra Daly, Katharina Stenbeck, Molly Schaffner, Ming Sheng, Angela Washko, Jessica M Goldschmidt, Peter Naugle, Talia Amatulli, Derek Smith, Colin Self, Alex Rodabaugh, Corey Wills, Virginia Logan, Tabitha Ashura, Nicola Singleton, Meaghan Horner, Lillian DeArmon, Edward Sharp, David Griess, Jennifer Brogle, Frances McSherry, Christina Mayer, Hanna Hofmann, Pam Kunz, Karen Li, Tida Jiaravanont & Ted Chang, Thomas Hamilton, Leili Huzaibah, Lital Dotan, Gregory Kowalski, Padraic Morton, Amber West, Hoesy Corona, Rae Goodwin, Rosemary Rippon, Karl Lindstrom, C Matthew Nichols, Steve Kemple, Jessica Posner, Susan L. Baker, Sally Ling, Anonymous, Larissa Sheldon, Mike Durek (at the time of this printing)
SPECIAL THANK YOUS TO: Kikuko Tanaka and Eric Heist, Momenta Art, Shannon Hummel, Gina Gibney and everyone at Gibney Dance, Stefany and Erin at Hatchfund, Tatyana Tenenbaum, Januz Jaworski and Sophia Cleary, Mica Scalin, Christen Clifford,Teena Lange and Ali Dolanbay, Ivy Castellanos, Hector Canonge, Anya Liftig, Guru Rugu, Jill McDermid and Eric Hokanson, Henrik Vestegaard Friis, Courtney Harge and Artspire, Miles Pflanz, Adrian Owen, Valerie Kuehne, Michael Newton, You Nakai, Edward Sharp and David Ian Griess, and everyone else inour communities, you know who you are.
This project is an operation of the Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL) in collaboration with Lindsey Drury (Drearysomebody)panoplylab.orgdrearysomebody.comRehearsals and Recursive meetings took place at Pano-ply Performance Laboratory and The Woods Co-Opera-tive. This book was made by PPL and drearysomebody in advance of an exhibition at Momenta Art in Fall, 2014. Drawings and design by Esther Neff.
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