Saturday, April 9, 2011


Patrick Kennelly / U-N-M-A-R-K-E-D
This article in the LA Times from last week got my goat (does anybody still use that phrase?) by again latching onto those retro hip "art" terms - particularly "inter-disciplinary."  For a minute now, I've been espousing something I call "outer-disciplinary."  This is both conceptually contemptuous and perhaps another useless container.  By believing in it, my process as somebody who does work (I don't like to consider myself an "artist," mostly because I don't know what that means anymore), has become scarce, fragmented, and of an ambition that is ultimately futile.  But I'm hoping to instigate a fluid, open conversation, something that is increasingly rare in the development, creation, and presentation of new work today......

When I say “outer” disciplinary, I am specifically addressing the complications I have discovered in using the word “inter” in regards to work that brings together artists, tools and methodologies from different disciplines.  In the extensive curation I have done over the past number of years, I have come to feel how abused this term - "inter-disciplinary" - has become.

Rauschenberg / Cunningham / Cag
When Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, and John Cage came together in the 1960s, unexpected convergences of content and form were enacted in a critical dialogue within the performance itself.  The unexpected possibilities of what would result were expansive.  Now, anyone can decide to employ video or music to their work and call it inter-disciplinary.   This allows them to stay in their comfort zones, while creating an illusion of true collaboration.  It eschews the foreign, unexpected, and potentially dangerous nature of its actual reality.

With my conceptual project U-N-M-A-R-K-E-D,  I'm always seeking to interrogate, exploit, question, and subvert what it means to have a conversation between dance and video, sound and performance, storytelling and fashion design.  Inevitably, the artists and the tools move out from the “inter” in opposing directions.  The work becomes less gravitationally bound and more like a constellation of ideas, occasionally glimmering or bouncing off each other - much like the work of Rauschenberg, Cunningham, and Cage.

Rauschenberg / Cunningham / Cage

No comments:

Post a Comment