[-empyre-] intersections

Renate Ferro rtf9 at cornell.edu
Thu May 7 04:22:12 EST 2009

Dear Ashley, Stamatia, and Erin,
"...In a certain sense, I do think that dance, theatre and all
performance art, amplify gestures, not in the sense of an enlargement and an
ostensive display, but in the sense of a close vision, so close and
microscopic to
lose the sense of all clear visibility and neatness of detail: movement,
as Erin was
saying, is something that will never be comprehended in its entirety, so
imperceptible and diffuse is its resonance (the resonance o the
Ashley refers to)."
Thank you so much for an amazing beginning to our discussion this month on
Critical Movement Practice. I am so excited by the possibilities you all
raise.  I realize that you are all choreographers/dancers but I'd like to
press you to step out of the boundaries of dance and talk about the
implications of your work in everyday ordinary space and time.  How is 
movement in everyday life-- moving through a public space (that is
permeated with the human constructions of gender, race, age, etc).
affected by  technology such as in surveillance cameras, personal
computers, iphones, ipods, etc? What affects do these technologies have on
infinitely moving bodies?  Do these technologies divide/ create gaps in
relationship to these human constructions or do they provide a way to
suture the gaps?  As an installation artist working with technology and
media from video to sound to sensors, I consciously think about bringing
everyday life into the exhibition/gallery/museum space.  And vice versa
how to bring the exhibit into the real, practical world.  Are my
interventions in the critical architectural space of the gallery relevant
outside of the art context?  As choreographers how do you critically look
at the space in which you perform?

What common intersections of critical thinking and philosophy exist
between choreography and artistic intervention? These questions are
certainly not meant to interrupt but to perhaps add
new twists and turns into the discussion.  At the heart of my
installation, "Screen Memory" the ordinary movements of the viewers body
within the exhibition traverses the physical and technological data.  At
times the body completes synapses of vision and meaning at other times she
creates gaps or pulses.   http://www.renateferro.net/screenmemory.html

And then work within the context of a public, urban space: I'm thinking of
the work of Jill Magid whose installation/performance entitled "Evidence
Locker"<http://www.jillmagid.net/EvidenceLocker.php> takes place over 31
days in Liverpool, England.  Magid nurtured personal relationships with
local police whose duties were to watch the video surveillance system
throughout the city.  She staged her own performances for these police
wearing a red rain coat as she maneuvered through the city blindfolded. 
Her safety and orientation were guided by whomever happened to be on call
that day.  Magid phoned details to the surveillance police of where she
was and asked them to film her in particular poses, places or even guide
her through the city with her eyes closed, This project enfolded the
system of surveillance and the process of the male gaze and looking upon

I'm also thinking about Sophie Calle's much older piece, Suite
Venitienne/Please Follow Me, where she secretly follows a traveller to
Venice shadowing his every move and documenting those movements through
the city.

Hoping that we can continue to talk about these crossovers throughout the
next few days and weeks.


Renate Ferro
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Art
Cornell University, Tjaden Hall
Ithaca, NY  14853

Email:   <rtf9 at cornell.edu>
Website:  http://www.renateferro.net

Co-moderator of _empyre soft skinned space

Art Editor, diacritics

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