Way too much information.
So, I have no idea if we've mentioned this publicly yet but we've been accepted to the Art(ists) on the Verge 4 program, which (I know, I know, names with mid-word parentheses but give me a minute, this one is awesome) is this program designed to support artists "working experimentally at the intersection of art, technology, and digital culture with a focus on network-based practices that are interactive and/or participatory." So yeah, you're probably like, "That's hilarious because nobody is as bad at technology as Mad King Thomas". But actually! Well actually you probably didn't think that. Probably you've just never thought about us in relation to network-based practices and digital culture. Or... you know what, I'm just gonna leave this one alone. I have no idea what you've ever thought about us in relation to any part of the previous paragraph.
BUT ANYWAY: We've been kind of feeling homesick (which is my way of saying we are permanently sad about living so far from our homes, even as we make new homes).
And I personally am so frustrated by the fact that you have to go sit in a specific room at a specific time to watch dance. I mean, I know that's the best part about dance & performance, but I'm kind of a hermit with an addiction to spontaneously deciding to stay home, so it makes it hard to see shows. When I really WANT to see shows is in the middle of a bad day at work, or at two in the morning (of course you can find dance anywhere anytime, as described in this great essay by Lightsey Darst, which deserves more commentary than just this parenthetical but let's not get carried away).
So, as I'm swimming farther up the internet stream (guys, I'm learning PHP) and as I'm feeling more and more homesick and also veering wildly between loving & hating dance, it seems like a good time to figure out how dance & the internet can get a little more cozy. Which means we're making telephone dances, by which I mean dances through a telephone, by which I mean...well, we don't know what that means. If Monica or Theresa were writing this, you'd probably get a completely different explanation, so hopefully they will and you can hear all the ways in which we don't know what a telephone-dance is.
It's maybe a bit retro-fetishist, unless of course it involves smartphones & skype & videophones and whatever, but it might not involve those things, in which case it probably is retro-fetishist, and I have way too many thoughts about that to stick them in here. But in any case some of that is seeping into this project, where we are going to have breathing and liveness and also distance and intimacy.
ANYWAY I actually came here to write about our first AoV4 meeting, with the directors (Steve Dietz & Piotr Szyhalski) & the other artists (Asia Ward, Chris Houltberg, Anthony Warnick & Sarah Julson). And you know, I'm sometimes kind of judgey about people & their art and stuff, which is why I don't have as many friends as I'd like, but can I just say...I'm really really excited not only about our project but about their projects as well. Because they're awesome is what I'm trying to say. Here are notes I took from the meeting, to show you how great this is gonna be:
Making dances on found phones. 50s & 60s party lines, where you call in and talk to a bunch of strangers. Cell phones vs. anchored phone lines, the visceral experience of. How long seven years is. Maholy Naj/Electronic Cafe. How people interact with art. Making landscapes that are less static. Disneyland (not fair of me to bring it up since I love it so much). Thomas Hirschhorn & caves of duct tape. Shamanic power & google. Divine knowledge. Church lights. We are all already interacting with these systems. What is given vs. what is taken without our knowledge. Facebook. Google. Corporate personhood. DIY Art kits & famous performance works. Medium-agnostic (my new favorite phrase). Fake institutions vs. investigating real ones. UN headquarters vs. easter egg hunts. HTML on a chalkboard on a frozen lake. Is it okay to be a Luddite? Ideological soccer match (sounds like an ideological boxing match).
I mean, come ON. Awesome.
Anyway, now I'm off to see First Position, during which I will undoubtedly cry about my lost childhood and/or lost future a little bit, or a lot. But guys, the trailer has sparkly gold intertitles!!