Fly on the wall

3 dimensional ephemeral performance on flat screen tvs by Art Happens
June 27, 2008, 1:22 pm
Filed under: performance | Tags: , ,

Recordings of live performance – i still can’t decide how to feel about seeing something captured eternally (well probably not given how quickly technology changes these days HA!) that is created for and made for a living breathing space that is fleeting and subject to individual perception and our memory’s moveable impressions.  Not to mention the energetic exchange between performer and audience that is completely flattened in the virtual realm of recorded live performance.  Video has taken a strong and clear place in our field.  It is expected that an artist have videos of their work available to any one who asks to see it – producers, schools, granting organizations, the list goes on. And while we all acknowledge how much is lost in a recording, so much is often decided on based on these recordings.  It is as though we can say that it is incomplete and does not function well and then yet our actions follow through in such a way that allows these recordings to have the power of something that is representative.  this is beginning to sound like a rant and that is not actually the intention, i understand the dilemna.  I am actually more curious about my own relationship with video and dance.  the question arises for me that perhaps when working with video and dance we should be making versions of the dance that are made for the 2dimensional world of television and video.  so that the “stage” and “site specific” nature of the realm in which it is viewed can be acknowledged.  Artists have been doing this for some time and have made beautiful art work this way.  it is not live performance but it’s own medium of dance video which can be captivating and inspiring.  yet this does not function for the above mentioned uses – when trying to imagine what a live performance of the work feels like.  or can it?  is something made for the virtual world of our tv screen that captures the energetic feeling of a performance more accurate than an uncut flattened version of a live performance?   sometimes I feel like it is more accurate.  Even if I am presenting a piece that has already been performed i consider the new venue, the new site and all of its specifics and always shift and allow the piece to change in order to accomplish what is at the heart of the piece in this new environment.  video feels like the same thing to me, a new environment.  and while I would never take a piece and carte blanc transport it into a new space unchanged and unconsidered, why should I do that here? other than because I have been told that is what people want to see, uncut footage from live performance…  artistically this makes no sense to me.  the purest in me cringes.  and for the business of the art this also seems improbable as the best way to represent oneself – even when you do get a great video of the work… it is so sub-par to the real thing.  so far I have mostly simply avoided trying to define how i choose to have a relationship with video in my dance work, but i recognize the need to discover what my relaltionship with video might be moving forward.  I have put video up on youtube for the first time.  I am testing the water to see how it sits with me, to have some footage live that approaches the dance on video question in some different ways.  nothing has really hit yet, but I am trying to understand the form, its possibilities, its problems, and to discover for myself how i can dialogue with it to have available the things that the field demands and stay true as an artist to the way that I work and the relationship that i have with these dances.  part of me says just get over it, keep it simple, record, copy and send… and part of me is intrigued by all the different sets of problems and limitations each new space or site-specific project presents – and this feels no different…



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