The Field (workshop/community series) hosted by SAFEhouse Arts – 1 Grove St
I didn’t know what to expect from my first day at the Field, other than to perform a piece I conceived of a couple days prior. Like the first meeting of minds, a handout was handed out of how the Field was to be a place for performance and witnessing. The feedback is to be structured in such a way that the creator retains autonomy over their piece. The feedback givers are to avoid shallow comments like “I liked…” or “I thought was interesting…”
There were five of us performing about 5-7 minutes of material each, ranging from movement, spoken word, dance. We all had elements of improv within our pieces. The performing was back to back with some minutes of interval to write down our notes for the feedback session which was done in a circle. The feedback sessions were timed. 10 minutes per person and it was encouraged to just say your emotional response, what you perceived the intent to be, what you saw and not give suggestions, which I thought was good practice. I tend to want to get in on a piece and become involved in the creative process. I thought it was a good time just to articulate details of my response and where my mind went during the performance.
I recently posted a link to my art inventory for visual pieces inviting my facebook friends to perhaps consult me about a purchase. No one has taken me up on it. It lead to this sense of “what a waste” no one wants these things, so I conceived of a social media linked project where I destroy the art. The first episode involved this piece.
The stage: I had the raffle table and a stool holding my book bag with 3 framed pieces. I put my water bottle and cell phone on the table and started recording a video (below).
The action: I monologue about how digital and physical artworks are appreciated (or not) in my recent experience and I describe a piece that I created while I take it out of its frame and tear the watercolor paper into pieces.
Note about the video: After listening to this recording, lots of “ums”. Quiet recording but then at 1:26, loud dang noise– I was startled– yeah. And another loud sound (1:55) of plastic on heavy metal table and the cellphone being right there on that same table.
Feedback: They saw it was a sad piece about wanting connection. They felt the steady pace of words and the organic rhythm of ripping paper. They understood the tenderness of destroying art. They saw the bag on stage on the stool and wondered what could be inside it. The anythingness of what could be was felt to be intriguing. They appreciated the cellphone on the table because of its representing social media. I don’t think they noticed that I was documenting the piece with it.
Next time: I want to try doing it as a live facebook video. I haven’t done that and it seems really appealing. The group said that it would be advised to practice and to set up a personal hotspot. The internet at SAFEhouse is good, but not that good.
Continuing the Conversation
feedback from friends through social media
~I felt you were claiming your right to your process, to let go, to move forward–i especially felt that at the end when you mentioned deleting images off a camera or computer.
~Whoa, that was pretty intense! It made me think about a lot of different things First, that in this day and age of social media, one’s self worth seems tied to the number of likes or comments or whatever, which is a toxic concept for a lot of artists.
Next, the process of marketing one’s art is weird and uncomfortable, can be discouraging, and the whole art market is pretty fucked up in general. However, there is a reason that there is so much theatricality in performing the presentation of an exhibition of art.
A gallery separates the making of art from the marketing of art so the artist doesn’t have to Have you ever heard of an artist named Nobu Fukui? He’s a “successful” and “established” artist in his 70’s, who has recently taken to destroying his unsold paintings in a performative capacity
( Nobu Fukui destroying work )