Weight was a large-scale video installation, arranging four video projections and four televisions of various sizes throughout the gallery. Viewers were surrounded by stuttering sequences and asynchronous, rhythmic interactions of gestures, as Rauer leaps, jumps and crawls through the empty space of a blank, sunlit studio. The installation made it impossible to see all screens at once – or any screen in isolation. From rafter-mounted speakers, closely-miked recordings of similar movements hovered above the small scattered sounds emerging from television speakers. The gallery space was filled with creaky footsteps on a wood floor, bodily thuds and breathing.
This performance, celebrating the 100th anniversary of John Cage’s birth, was curated by Mack McFarland at the Pacific NW College of Art. Dancers, musicians and a poet were stationed in all areas of the building’s large open atrium, along balconies and in far flung corners. Multiple and varied activities surrounded the mobile audience.
My original sound score for this dance performance was developed through an extended series of improvisations with the company, in rehearsal and in-progress showings at various venues. I asked Linda to keep an audio diary, collecting the sounds of family events, passing conversations, interactions with strangers and ordinary environments – specific moments in time. These everyday sounds were mixed live for each performance, along with ambient drones, airy hisses and musical textures. Additional sounds played from multiple on-stage televisions displaying video documents of the choreographic process.
Children’s Games was an evening-length performance combining cinematic images with sung and spoken voice, abstract sound, and performative actions. The piece drew inspiration from the 1560 Breughel painting (of the same name) and the 1970 Truffaut film, The Wild Child.
Children’s Games celebrated the associative, fragmentary and irrational aspects of play and explored the traumatic colonizations of wild space. Onstage, a chorus dressed in the medieval garb of the Breughel painting conduct vocal games and patterns.
Video projections, recorded sound and live voices mingle before giving way to an enigmatic noise band.
This dance performance, created and co-directed with Linda Austin, was based on a “forgetting” of Seijun Suzuki’s 1967 cult yakuza film, Branded to Kill. Themes, images and language emerged in our thinking through and half-remembering the freewheeling surrealism of the film. Against the back wall, projected fragments of video narrative and noir imagery flashed amidst the dancers.
This outdoor dance performance was the culmination of Linda K Johnson’s year-long artist residency amid the construction of the South Waterfront. Promenade responded to a rectangular park – a blank plot of grass surrounded by cranes and just-finished high-rise buildings. A PA system was mounted on the balcony of a nearby condo, where I mixed ambient tones at a volume just loud enough to integrate with the urban environment. Six performer-participants rode bicycles with portable amps attached. Circling the park, they played long drones to create a swirling doppler effect. The bicyclists then moved among the audience, playing clusters, streams and bursts of loosely synchronized sound. At various locations, dancers dressed entirely in white performed short interactions, illuminated by a crew holding battery-powered lights on long poles.