Welcome to this landing post of my home residency blog. I am just arriving and finding my way to settle in.
So many questions and uncertainties at this point. Like, how does one begin? I have a lot of excitement and anticipation of diving into this opportunity to learn about screendance and explore the intersections between choreographic and screen based practices.
In a way I’ve already begun.
This journey started in March 2020 when COVID19 arrived in Queensland and restrictions were put in place on our movements. My friend Alicia De La Fuente started a Facebook group called “Improvisation in Isolation”. She posted videos of herself moving titled with particular themes such as ‘Hands only’, and invited others to respond with their own interpretation of the theme. Using video as a tool to record our dancing moments was a fun and wonderful way to stay connected, and to exchange with one other as participants responded to each other’s videos. I really enjoyed being involved in this group, both watching what others posted and creating videos myself. The videos I created during this time were quite raw and personal, and I was not thinking about sharing them more widely. But as I am now sharing my process of learning more about Screendance, I might as well share the beginning of my journey.
A couple of months later Moreton Bay Council started offered a ‘Continuing Creating Grant’ which is designed to support artists in adapting to the conditions of COVID19. I had no desire to ‘translate’ my live choreographic practice into a digital context. I still value very much the exchange of live energies as part of an art experience. However I started thinking about the possibilities of expanding my choreographic practice to include screen based practices.
I began reading articles which mapped out screendance practices, and watching works by screendance artists. I got incredibly excited. If you are new to screendance, you might be surprised to learn that screendance may not look like a dance, but “has the kinaesthteic impact and meanings of dance” (Greenfield 1983), or that the editing process is considered a choreographic strategy, and that movement and positioning of the camera is considered to be an agent in the co-creating of the dance (some examples show these points in screendance works below, and I’ll share more along the way). This feels so familiar, a way of working and thinking I am already engaging with in my choreographic practice. The concepts and provocations I am seeing and reading about are feeling like very juicy points of departure for me, in exploring approaches to making screendance that resonate with my already established artistic practice.
Birds, David Hinton (2000)
Ping Pong, Franck Boulégue and Marisa Hayes (2015)
Nest, Dianne Reid (2020)
Right now, I have some hazy curiosities, questions and desires that I would like to explore over the next couple of months. I am approaching this blog like a workbook or journal. I will be sharing my experiments, explorations and reflections on my process, and also communication between Dianne and myself. I don’t have a set agenda, I prefer to be guided by the process and work within a frame of reflective practice. Donald Schon describes reflective practice as being in dialogue with the materials at hand. And that’s exactly what I intend on doing.
Bigger picture, this residency offers me the opportunity to continue exploring how I can situate my artistic practice in non-institutional spaces. This is in part to question and challenge the ways captialism has shaped our systems of art production and presention, which focuses on the creation of things which can be bought and sold and defines our existence through the lens of the market economy. I am more interested in the sharing of processes and practices and working collectively to discover new ways of thinking and being. This way of working as an artist is not easy to label neatly or sell. More on my thinking around this issue can be read in my article “On the question of value”.
Being at home a lot during COVID19 also got me thinking about the home and local community as sites of creative labour and artistic production. Shannon Hayes wrote a book called ‘Radical Homemaking: reclaiming domesticity from consumer culture’. She questions the logic of spending so much time outside of the home in order to work and earn money to purchase and consume things from outside the home. This thought provocation was perfect fuel to motivate me in planning a home residency. I love being at home! It is not easy. It means interruptions from my children. But it also allows inclusion of my children in my work. They get to witness me working and be a part of what I’m doing.
Another thread is my journey which feels particularly relevant to this residency is that I will be locating my artistic practice at my home which is on Yuggera Country.
I wish to pay my respects to the Turrbal People, and acknowledge the Elders past, present and emerging as the custodians of the land on which I am living. Always was, always will be!
As I continue to learn about and connect with local indigenous culture, and reflect on weaving my artistic practice in with home life, I may also include some of these more personal aspects of my practice in this residency blog.
Kappenberg, C. 2009, ‘Does screendance need to look like dance?’, International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, vol. 5, issue 2-3, pp. 89 – 105