In the absence of any technological mediation manifest on stage, I am drawn into a uniquely different experience of your performance. I am especially attentive to the fact that lines-of-sight established in the first (naturally functioning/operating) iteration of the choreography are maintained across distortions of the material’s temporal profile. As there is no electronic (or otherwise) mediation of performance, the model of performance is not so much transformed, as it seems to be transfigured. What I mean here is that when the original ensemble moves their line-of-sight directly to their laptops and away from each other, there is a transformation of the entire choreographic/performative situation. In the case of the original performance, the idea of maintaining the original material’s choreographic form was sacrificed for a switch in performance mediation. In the version you three have produced, what I pick up on is something more akin to that of transfiguration. I have a sense that your bodies are transfiguring (contorting, bending, stretching, straining) to accommodate the temporal stretching without allowing the formal (compositional) makeup of your choreography and lines-of-sight to change.
On both an experiential level, and through a retrospective observation of the video, do you get any sense of a kind of transfiguration (or at the very least disfigurement) taking place?
I am especially interested to know if you feel yourself in a process of becoming (re)figured or if this is something I am projecting onto your performance.
I see a developing stillness.
No, not really. I think that I am already ‘re-figured’ by the start of the video – a consequence of having played the piece several times already.
On an experiential level there is a kind of re-figuration taking place. The newness of operating as a body/instrument dynamic – augmented by the additional challenge of adjusting one’s own rhythmic and corporeal proclivities to the dynamics of a set, group score – encouraged a heightened awareness of kinesthetic sensation and impulse.
I’m not sure this is obvious from the outside.
My memory of performing this piece was that it involved a continuous sense of changing form, that the physical and sonic structures where often in flux - contorting, extending, reducing, merging. Perhaps this could be described as transfiguration, but I am not sure about (re)figuration.
Baldwin, M. (2014). Contemporary Notation Project: Michael Baldwin. http://johnsonsrambler.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/contemporary-notation-project-michael-baldwin/.
Viola, B. (2011) Quintet of the Astonished. https://vimeo.com/15130088.