HYBRID PERFORMANCE is a combination of 2 or more different performative elements. In the works here exhibited we explore the synthesis of movement, sound, film/image, and installation.
In an attempt to develop a new dimension to my choreographic practice that is a combination of dance, installation, and durational performance, I approached Chris Spencer-Lowe, a Halifax-based filmmaker and sound artist. We began our collaboration in November 2015, and through a 2-week residency term at Kinetic Studio Dance in Halifax, we developed a first sketch of Human. Desire. Machine. for First Ideas. This preliminary stage of development was completed by a feedback session led by Naomi Jackson following the performance.
The mythological theme of this work — living bodies in relationship to inanimate machines — developed through a fusion of our two artistic practices, and by exploring the meeting of feminine and masculine aspects. To further this theme, I wanted the underlying choreography to allow for the integration of sonic, imagistic and physical components of an installation.
The following year Chris asked me to work on his short film Aleatoria which borrows some of the themes we were already exploring; the tension between chaos and form, and the turning of the wheel of creation-destruction.
Later in 2016 we started a second iteration of Human. Desire. Machine. called The Empty Station. The Empty Station was performed in January 2017 for the Open Studio Series at Kinetic Studio Dance. With this work we continued to explore ritual and desire, and the relationship of masculine and feminine. We imagined the setting was inside a space ship in outer space, as we called in the chemistry to create new life force / desire, in perpetual motion.
Banner photo by Yalitsa Riden, from the film Aleatoria by Christopher Spencer Lowe.
Aleatoria, disorder incarnate, the lady of the wheel. Turning and cranking, spinning and churning the stuff of chaos. Randomness, chance and the unpredictability of being are at her command. Created through random processes, including randomized image choices and decision making, found footage inspired from social networks and cameras spun on constructed wheel mounts in random locations.
Using social media, I asked random people to tell me three images that came to their minds when thinking of chaos and chance. This generated a list of 80 images, 44 of which I was able to find a representation of online and re-photograph onto Super 8 film. By rolling dice for the order, I assembled the found ‘chaos’ images, creating a collection of randomly collected images, or ‘aleatoria.’
I mounted a Super 8 camera into a 35mm film reel and rigged it to a handwinder. With this ‘chaos jib,’ I could spin the camera vertically and horizontally, creating a ‘swishing’ effect as images flew by, eventually stopping in a random position.
In creating a live-action element to personify my chaotic approach, I shot a scene in which actor Misha Horacek becomes Aleatoria, a personification of chaos. There were no rehearsals and every decision was as spontaneous and automatic as possible.
Although I did create a general map of the film, I used the rolling of dice and other approaches to determine the specifics of editing.
Photography by Yalitsa Riden, from the film Aleatoria by Christopher Spencer-Lowe.
Aleatoria Trailer: Chis Spencer-Lowe plays live sound to accompany the film premier at HIFF, June 7, 2017.
Ottawa - Origin 8 Commissioning program screening: September 16, 2016
Halifax – HIFF: Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival: June 7, 2017
Halifax – FIN: The Atlantic International Film Festival: September 18, 2017
Victoria – Antimatter Media Arts Festival: October 27, 2017
Fredericton – Silverwave Film Festival: November 2, 2017
Montreal – Montreal Underground Film Festival: May 20, 2018
Bialystok – ZUBROFFKA Film Festival: December 8, 2017
Rotterdam – DINAMO Experimental Film Distribution Conference, International Film Festival Rotterdam: January 31, 2018
Toulouse – Traverse Vidéo: March 7, 2018
Harrisburg PA – Moviate Artsfest Film Festival: May 26-28, 2018
Marburg – Open Eyes Film Festival: July 21, 2018
There are three salt circles of the same diameter overlapping on the floor.
Inside one circle there are hand-winders and magnetic audio tape, a microphone, a violin-bow, a mixing board.
Inside and alongside the other circles are eggs, a balancing apparatus, milk, a stand with harmony balls, bone.
We move between the circles within the station.
Calling in and raising the energy, as our ship sails thru the sky.
A woman and a man —
We have been called into this space station, the galaxy streams by the circular window
We have been repeating this same ritual throughout time.
Dream the new dream now
MLEKO – KREV – MILOST
MILK – BLOOD – LOVE
He is the horn, she is the wheel
He is the sun, she is the moon
The wheel is turning — Grow!
The travellers are the material
Fingers, stars, eyes — connecting
The material grows, remember...
The wheel turns
The travellers are the material
The material moves, change, change — grow.
Read audience feedback to this work. View demo clip, below.
The premise for (Human) Desire. Machine. is that of a creation myth. A sound machine is operated by a craftsman, apparently in cycles for all eternity. He summons a female creature to join him in a dance of generation, and the characters get locked into a repetitive sequence—achieving a kind of union, predestined to beget something. Our intention was to weave together the theme of “desire” with the structure of “machine” by using materials from both of our individual practices – eggs, red string, liquids, bone – with the machinations of a 16-mm film sound-synchronizer block.