This Residency is entitled Movement Art Practice. I must admit I am nervous as hell about approaching that first word, when it’s placed along with the other two. MOVEMENT art practice. I’m not a dancer, like all of the other amazing artists I’ve seen accepted for this residency. I watched with envy as they stood in front of the audience and talked and danced and moved about with ease. I felt sick with the thought that I might have to do the same during my residency. I really don’t like being in front of the public. I’m not even feeling very good about writing this blog. It was this sense of stage fright which at a young age whipped me out of ‘acting’ and led me behind the camera, the set, the lights, the programming. I love being involved in the performance space, but I hate being in the middle of it.
So, I begin this residency, and my initial question at the beginning of this research is, what is it about my work that has meant that I have applied and been accepted for a movement residency when I absolutely don’t move in any particularly special way? This, thankfully, leads quickly to a core question - and the objective to my research for the next few weeks - which is, how can I focus on movement, by not moving myself, but by concentrating on how others move? How can I manipulate spaces and situations in order to highlight, confront, and choreograph people’s movements, without being bodily present or dressed in camouflage?
In my part time job as Project Manager, managing websites and augmented reality apps, we often talk about CTAs. A CTA, in drawn out speak, is a Call To Action. It’s the button on a website or screen that is begging for you to click on it. You probably didn’t know that that button had a name, and you might not have thought about the fact that someone has put a lot of thought into what that button asks you to do, what that button actually does, where it placed, where it takes you, and how it works in the flow of the overall UX (User Experience) of the website or app.
I believe our lives are full of natural CTAs. I believe that many of these calls are unseen, unthought about, lost in the unending dilemma of our daily lives. I want to construct thoughtful, thought provoking CTAs for audiences, and give them both the time to take notice and the invitation to engage or to be confronted. I want to encourage people to move consciously. I want to heighten certain emotions by creating different spaces for them, by creating journeys for them, by setting up situations and objects which are begging for them to interact with.
I start by lining up these questions and desires. I conjure all of my interests and gather them around these questions.
I brainstorm through versions of CTAs. (Audio, lights, objects, environments, sensors, signs, directions, maps). I begin to have visions and plans.
I wander through the amazing series of spaces in the YMCA that I have to work in during this residency, and think about what their inherent CTAs may be and how I can draw them out. Think about what kinds of exercises and adventures and objects I have to set myself for next week, to help me discover the CTAs.
Mezzanine Stairs - CHCH YMCA
I let visions come to me, all these thoughts meshed through the YMCA spaces meld together creating wonderful scenes in my head. I talk with Julia about what’s better - having a vision and then creating the reason or theme behind it, or workshopping around the theme or reason in order to create? I believe more in the second, but I almost always create works that fall into the first. I decide to embrace this for this research. The two must be inevitably entwined at some point.
Thanks to Julia, I think about William Forsyth - yes, movement art, he’s a dancer! But I know him mostly for his installation work. I remember a piece of his that I came across at the end of 5 hours of walking through the Venice Biennale. Exhausted from plodding through halls full of the joys and horrors of art, ‘The Fact of Matter (2009)', was sweet, refreshing, playful, violent. It was an obstacle course made of rings, and I was invited to cross the room without touching the floor. It shook me out my rhythm. It moved me.
MAP invites independent artists to share their practice with written and video blogs.