In my recent performance Slipping Into Darkness – Day and Night – situations of difference stretch out along an elongated timeline. We tangle with exchange – both in and under a 20x20 foot leather cover – once live bio-entities with “zoo intensities” (Hayward), different thicknesses of skin, of leather are sutured together – this is a backward violence. Taking back the dead. Slipping – Night was an institutional building emptied of its staff that included one-to-one encounters with a stranger in a fully empty building and out (outside) into the night and the dark warm underwater - held by a canvas gold-gilded inside reeking of cedar. Participants were led through the quiet building, through the yellow portal, down stairs and into the backyard by Pigpen (Stosh Fila) and Charlie Mai, as I awaited their arrival.
Not thinking with metaphors - and perhaps in Ahmed (killjoy, queer use, race politics and mixed race care - not merely the common dialogue drag towards drops towards whiteness, and her rigorous critique of the university and POC feminism) helps me in all of this work. This project, as both a mini- four-hour durational project and its accompanying 9.5-hour project – a long ass day, record of motion - it is a kind of peeling-off. The role of touch in the depths of a dark warm pool of mineral water explores not only a-beyond-communal-not-the-goal-kind-of-joy, but the urging towards collective disappearances, temporal distopias, consensual drowning - watery impossible unisons to depressurize conditions of interaction and now-ness. Supporting different temporalities and needs of an other.
1. listen for a bit, then
2. fade out the sound on the YOUTUBE link
3. Let the video play with no sound --- allowing the image float in the background)
THEN, in another window:
play this (remember: right click this link or “copy-paste” to open a new window): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FOZKMPc53c&list=RD2FOZKMPc53c&start_radio=1&t=30[xi]
1. Volumes up (computer and this link)
2. Image from previous video side-by-side
3. notice how crowded it is, this page, that image, that song….the past’s making future-making collide to find us all here in all its impossibility. Can we gather this feel in 2.30sec? Stop song
Ahmed is what I have brought forward, in this post-performance state. I am sloth-y. I am looking from outside. Sensitive. There’s a pulse, a downbeat.
Not many have actually entered an interlocutor space with me now that I am back in the I.E. (the region called the Inland Empire, 60 miles east of the Pacific) – and though I am not quite complaining, it just might be that I am a needy and an unwieldy person. Vulnerability is a space I go to – so, I say to myself: don’t run, don’t hide. I know you want to. There is another thing beyond vulnerability that weighs on me. In many ways, this is where the work borne from can both take care of these tougher moments - and also reminds me to let go into the void. To bounce, like float even. The outer spaces image as untethered – but they aren’t. Going hard is a thing to reconsider in this time. In mine, another handicraft. Lots to think about as I linger away from Ahmed.
(pause the movement of the VIDEO that is silent – or just let it play in the background. And, OK to stop the song that is still playing if it is still playing.)
“The abyss between …. Is unbearable … yet we resonate in relation to our different movements and processes.” Eva Hayward
In the work that I continue to consider/make/weave, I propose that there may be a sense of deprivileging “closeness” or the shared articulation of the “glue” that might keep a group together, but instead, looking towards letting things unravel, destress, break, or merely come undone as a way of knowing and perhaps, giving to a diverse and shared archive of (be)longing. In this world, and under the promise of different happiness-es, I look for different/deviant/punk forms of guidance(s) as much as I may be inspired by different iterations of joy. Sometimes things do not touch[xii].
I am just differently equipped right now, maybe forever. Maybe not equipped at all to conclude or surmise. This kind of inside out is making it to the page. Space-makers collect the echoes and sensations in the room of strangers.
“Is not the force of our emotions that of other animals?” (Alphonso Lingins on “composites” and “subjectivity (as) less about individuated forms and more about distribution, collection, variation.”)
Bounce it on the beat
We are all trapped in a body.
We are all trapped in a moving unraveling disintegrating body and with those around us - seen or unseen. The slippages stink, give off heat, push and pull on our breaking point. We are too much and too little.
to remix into that good night & to set the body on fire.
(play for a bit, 1993 Clit Club Classic, don’t forget the volume)
& then fade out the old and into:
& if she (me) won’t (can’t) dance she (me) says fuck it,
let’s splay this thing. (Give it up for history-laden improvisation and queer low slow vibratory waiting, waning, wanting.
Dig into each day with Introduction to Dance aka Dance 5 students.
Catching, flocking, in long lines. Lost in it. Turning up the heat.
How do you do “this thing” – get to “the thing” that does good?
There is no answer.
It is just a question that Ahmed asks us to get up on, get around with.
INSERT PAGE BREAK
[x] Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock - It Takes Two
[xi] Tre Oh Fie – On Beat (audio only)
[xii] Karen Barad on touch – also in the SliPPing Into Darkness book
[xiii] Deep, Deep Inside from Little Louie Vegas’s Harddrive (1993)
[xiv] Tre Oh Fie – Dance compilation from 2019. Thrilled to watch this catch on as TikTok dance challenge during c-19.