Friday, June 12, 2009

Resuming the Journey...

Yes, the last post was in December!
What can I say?
It's been a tumultuous season.
I cut off all my hair, for one. Have been on several twists and turns, and I find that much in m life is now mirroring my new haircut.

I buzzed my head on Spring Equinox, the same day that I made this video. I recorded the music afterwards, as an improvisation with music and piano.

I went out to the prairies and woods of Carver Park Reserve, in Victoria, Minnesota, continuing the process I began for "The Survival Pages"-- (see for more about this project).

There's so much to catch up on, I hardly know where to start!

Major updates to the project
1. I spent all day today creating a flyer, calling for people to interview... gathering information from people. Offering $20 per interview, as incentive. Similar to what I did in "The Survival Pages": as research for that project, I walked around Powderhorn Park asking people two simple questions: "Do you come to the park often?" and, "What do you like about the park?" If there was time, I also asked them, "Do you think nature is important? Why?" These few simple questions led to a really fascinating journey, in which I ended up gutting a fish on camera, and talking to preschoolers in Spanish. My goal for "The Culture Pages" is to tell a story about culture and place-- and for the material presented to include more than my own perspective. So, I am gathering.

2. I've just recently abandoned the idea of having 4 main collaborators to work with, as equals on the project, to brainstorm material together. I put my feelers out in many directions, and have been postponing the project this whole time, out of uncertainty-- I did not want to come up with too many concrete ideas, so that the bulk of the material could come from a collaborative process with my artistic peers. For various reasons, this has just not worked out... and the persistence of its "not-working-out" finally led me to to the conclusion: I think it is important for me to stretch myself as a director, to really own that this is my project, and I am the one with the most fire and the most dedicated time to really create something which reflects all that is in me to express.

I am inspired by the MayDay Float I designed for this year's parade-- I created a shell-- a frame, that I then invited others in the community to fill in with their own vision. The end result was a crazy quilt pattern, that was so much richer for the array of mixed voices, literally woven together.

What I hope, is to create a performance that mirrors this process in its creation... to contain many different voices, but to exercise my leadership, vision, and director-ship in weaving it together into a cohesive whole.

So, I am gathering video-interviews as my main project over late June & early July, and will plan to see what emerges from that process. In late July I will put up postings for performer-auditions-- perhaps some of whom will be located through the interviewing process.

Update #3: In addition to performing the piece at some nice theater with lights and sound and the whole works, a new goal for the piece is to perform it in at least two unconventional venues, where it can be accessed by populations who may not see it otherwise. (I am inspired by the work that Zamya project does, in its work with homeless shelters)

I am finally growing in my certainty about what this project is, or what it could be. At the very least, a glimmer as to its aspirations-- and a reflection of the phase I am in, at this point in my artistic journey.

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