Posted by Irene Loughlin on September 18th, 2014
Our 10 am meeting started off with quinoa and fruit by Robyn (mmm) and performance art exercises on the patio led by Soufia. I didn’t document those because that would be, well, either too invasive or too silly. We mirrored each others’ actions and made some of our own, as well as communicated through nonsensical verbal games. Following this dadaesque a.m. exercise, the conversation circulated around the question of space and its affect on movement. Unlike Soufia’s methodology which centred on taking the time to walk in Edmonton and respond to her surroundings, Pam Patterson described her process as necessitated by pre-planning because her performance involved creating with two or three participants she had not previously met. She talked about internally adjusting the plan to the circumstances of her surroundings as she became more familiar with the space in which they would work together in Latitude 53.
Naeyon reframed space as that which is not necessarily outside ourself, asserting that “our body is the space” as a unit of time, and as a biologically-defined space. It is from this place she suggests we can explore the concept of space, rather than defaulting to our understanding of space as something geographical, something outside of ourselves. Todd Janes spoke of transcending a concretized space through the use of smell and sound in performance, and the embodiment of space using our physicality as a kind of psychic extension of our surroundings, an extension often animated through the storytelling that takes place via the viewer, during and after the event. Performance art can also function as a kind of projection into space, where the performer views themselves and their performative situation from the outside by casting their awareness out into the viewing area – an ‘over there’ throwing of one’s consciousness, a technique which pre ponders the ‘fantasy of reception’. We briefly spoke about the opposite of expansion via collapsed space, and its underbelly – displacement, as immeasurable (although there was something about a eureka moment in a bathtub), which I imagine are threads that will return later in the week. Naeyon posed the question “What is the purpose of measuring?” which will be tackled tomorrow. We finished with Soufia recounting her experience of last night’s performance, where she guided our evening walk by following ‘where the space opened’ in the urban landscape via traffic lights, empty spaces, and the passage of other walkers. Gavin noted the difference to Capetown, in that Edmonton generally obeys traffic light crossings, whereas Robin contributed her knowledge of the policing of crossing in Edmonton, which we would come to know more intimately following Pam Patterson’s transgression over the threshold of appropriate public space for a body, which is apparently, not in the plaza fountain.
Posted by Adam on September 17th, 2014
Posted by Irene Loughlin on September 17th, 2014
The Visualeyez table Images by Irene Loughlin
Incredible! The sun and heat. I should have left my winter coat at home! This morning after being pummelled in an early morning session of deep tissue work (and when they say that in Edmonton, they mean business) I wove down 106th St wondering what would happen today to amaze me. Visualeyez participants met for the first time around a table at Latitude 53 over mid-morning breakfast, thanks to Robyn O’Brien (Latitude Admin Coordinator) the self-described ‘creepy ghost making toast’! We were also joined by Latitude 53 creatives Karen, Emily and Olivia.
The artists spoke on some of the predicted themes of Visualeyez in relation to movement. Naeyon Yang beautifully articulated her thoughts on scent, which will play a central role in her upcoming work. There is no certain archive in which to hold scent; she therefore proposed that we consider memory as an anchor, a metaphorical container which addresses the problem of scent’s temporality. Todd Janes recounted crossing paths with a coyote last night on his way back from the airport with Naeyon, and reflected on the panicked responses to coyote sightings and the urge to enclose wildlife via environmental colonization and urban sprawl. I posed the question of intentional space in performance and how choosing space affects the artist’s movement in their work.
Adam Waldron-Blain and Soufia Bensaid location scouting
In the afternoon, we scouted for locations and Adam spoke with a reporter about the festival. Soufia Bensaid continued to familiarize herself today with the city of Edmonton. I received a cryptic text message at 8:30 pm to join her at Latitude 53 at 9 pm, where I found her sitting quietly on a bench in the front patio area. Awkwardly crossing the barely discernible line between public space and performative space, I sat down beside her and assumed her meditative pose. Todd Janes and Gavin Krastin noisily drove up and stumbled out of the van, yet Soufia’s concentration remained unbroken. They were also compelled to sit with her. I thought about Soufia’s different way of hearing, and her contributions regarding experiences of the auditory as we sat with her in silence. Earlier in the day I had noticed how some abrupt sounds made her jump while other sounds were barely discernible to her. I heard people come and go, the traffic, an ambulance.
Soufia eventually handed us flashing LED lights and led us in a walk. Waiting for us to catch up with her near the Days In, she did not hear a car pull up behind her waiting to turn into the parking lot. She held her ground peacefully and made eye contact with the driver, much like the coyote Todd encountered in his headlights an evening earlier. The driver became impatient and irritated while she stood unmoving and we stopped and started, negotiating the awkward and invisible boundary in the hierarchy of driver/pedestrian.
Edmonton or Venice..
Soufia’s walk revealed a romanticism about Edmonton I didn’t know existed – historic buildings reflected in the water, people dancing by the water fountain. I felt confused as I walked around the edge of the fountain. Later we confronted traffic at a busy intersection, singing childhood songs, and screaming as loud as we could, our voices lost in the acceleration of the vehicles.
Posted by Irene Loughlin on September 16th, 2014
I arrived in Edmonton last night, armed with iPad, laptop and phone, happy to be the Visualeyez blogger and eager to begin documenting the cultural life of the city. Here is my first victim.
the common Edmonton hare
If you find a solitary baby hare in Edmonton, do not pick it up. If you do, you are a KIDNAPPER. (more…)
Posted by Adam on September 10th, 2014
We’re pleased to announce the schedule for this year’s festival: you can find it right here.
As always, Visualeyez is an experimental, responsive series of events—watch for announcements, changes, and new discoveries to be posted, along with writing by this year’s Festival Animator, Irene Loughlin.
Posted by Adam on September 5th, 2014
This year’s Visualeyez theme is movement – how the city moves us and how we move the city. We will be looking at our relationship to our urban environments and how we navigate these spaces in our daily lives.
Pam Patterson is an internationally recognized performance artist, educator and scholar based in Toronto and she is looking for individuals and disability artists for a movement-based performance(s) of Brick for Visualeyez Sept. 16-21 2014.
Brick will explore our personal movement patterns, frustrations and found joys. Our “bricks” are the institutions we navigate, the objects we use (or are unable to use), and the relationships we have with both. Our movement-in-context becomes an educational instrument for social change.
The performance is basically a dance/poem with objects: dryers, vacuum cleaners, Lazy boy chairs, low tables…. We will try and make sure you can choose one that “moves” you! Personal assistants are welcome and will participate as creative enablers.
Performers will improvise and repeat in performance three solo/group gestures/aktions/sounds including: an umbrella protest “walk”, a personal “dance” in which you find and repeat a gesture that relates to/supports and powerfully responds to your own movement patterns, and a “dance”-with-object. Still tableaus punctuate the movement piece and work with timed cheorography. We may also write a joint poem/text and incorporate this into our own sound scape. Check out Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”
What we will require from you as a participant:
We will meet twice before we perform (about 1 ½ hours each time) to chat, workshop together, and set a framework/cues for the performance.
You will need to wear comfortable clothes, bring anything/anyone you need to meet your own comfort/communication needs (please let us know of any specific accommodations you require as well), bring a personal assistant if needed, have an idea for a furniture or appliance you would like to work with and a black umbrella!
What you will need to bring for the performance, what to wear, where to go, and when to arrive will all be discussed when I we meet for our workshops.
It is going to be fun and interesting, I think. And enjoying the process is the only reward or incentive I can give you as this is an unpaid gig. Apologies.