“Record of the Time” by spatula and barcode

Wednesday, 26 June 2013 through Sunday, 30 June 2013
PSi 19 at Stanford
Blog Response by Kellen Hoxworth

In addition to the various multi-media archives of the conference — including this one, the “PSi19 at Stanford” Facebook page, and  the Twitter Archive — a durational, collaborative performance has taken place through the direction of spatula and barcode. Their piece, “Record of the Time,” offers a polyvocal series of temporal “snapshots” generated through random voluntary participation from conference-goers. Each registered attendee was offered a random time (mine was 0800) on a random date. Attendees were encouraged to share their thoughts, moments, activities, encounters, etc., from their assigned time with the knowledge that their text would be posted anonymously. Each post thus presents a slice of time in one individual’s experience of the conference as a whole. However, these slices, laid next to one another in a chronological progression chart an affective progression from anxiety towards exhaustion.

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“Strange Democracy: Border Wars” by Guillermo Gómez-Peña

Friday, 28 June 2013
7:30 – 9:30 pm
Pigott Theater

Blog Response by Megan Hoetger

(See also David Preciado’s Blog Response here.)

I had resigned myself to the fact that I would not see Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s performance Strange Democracy: Border Wars; it was sold out when I registered for the conference and I thought to myself, “who is going to be a no show for Gómez-Peña?” Friday came though, and a friend of mine convinced me to put my name on the wait-list where, it turned out, I was number one and the front of house assured me that I would most likely get in. At ten minutes to 7:30 pm I was buzzing around the ticket table, anxiously waiting for them to begin calling out wait-list numbers.

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“Variazioni su un Oggetto di Scena/Mr. Quill Let There Be Light/Louganis” by Luciano Chessa

Friday, 28 June 2013
10:00 pm
Pigott Theater

Blog Response by Yasmine Jahanmir

Photos by Jamie Lyons9210386981_99d32bbdfb_o

The bare stage was dark except for a pool of light focused on a center stage  grand piano. A stage hand placed what may or may not have been sheet music onto the piano and exited the stage. After a moment, with the ceremony of a concert pianist, Luciano Chessa  entered the performance space and faced the audience to present himself. Then just at the moment where this familiar symphonic scene would have him sit at the piano, he seemed to be struck by a thought, left the stage and re-entered with a large stuffed toy cow, returned to the moment in the conventional symphonic script and sat at the piano with the cow on his lap. But with another disruption in the flow of this event, Chessa manipulated the stuffed cow’s clumsy limbs over the keys of the piano. The rotund paws of the stuffed beast sloppily pounded the keys producing a cacophony of noise.  Yet, perhaps it was the sincere connection between the animate and inanimate or the joyful absurdity of memories that the childhood toy recalled, or perhaps it was the sheer exhaustion of having heard words all day, but after about thirty seconds, my ears began to hear differently and suddenly I began hearing, or perhaps imagining, a melody within the cascade of notes.  This melody which may or may not have existed became a calming meditation in the otherwise chaotic aural present of the moment. This scene opened “Variazoni,” the first part of Chessa’s larger performance entitled “Tre.” Like the larger piece, “Variazioni” dealt with themes of transmission and the painful or chaotic errors noise that arise in any type of communication. While I fear this performance trace may fall into pitfalls of cross-disciplinary analysis, as experimental music and noise are not my area of expertise,  I hope that, in the spirit of this piece, that my misreadings will at least prove productive.

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“Purge” by Brian Lobel

Friday, 28 June 2013
7:30pm – 8:30 pm
Clubhouse Ballroom

Blog Response by Bryan Schmidt

Brian Lobel’s Purge initially took place in 2010 when, over the course of two six-hour sessions, audience members voted for him to keep or delete each of his over 1300 Facebook friends after hearing from him a one-minute excerpt about the person (usually written by Brian himself, but sometimes through words chosen by the de-friending candidate). The act of putting his friends on trial for their virtual lives led to numerous angry messages, pre-emptive de-friends, and stories of reconnection, which were the subject of this year’s re-performance (or perhaps documentary performance) of the event.

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“Tomorrow We Will Run Faster” by Katharine Fry

Saturday, 29 June 2013
9:00 pm
Prosser Studio

Blog Response by Kellen Hoxworth

Photo by Jamie Lyons9210447387_0850572dfa_o

Lights come up on two women wearing blue dresses, each standing behind a microphone. Behind them, a screen image of a pristine clock at 12 o’clock looms. A fan produces a soft breeze, rippling blue fabric and the water half-filling plastic cups on a stand between the pair. Alexandra “Sasha” Kovacs, stage right, begins to sing “tah” on a long tone, ending with a gutteral “kuh.” Natalie Mathieson, stage left, immediately follows with “tih” on a slightly shorter tone, ending with the same “kuh” sound. The second hand moves minutely.

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“Corpulent Temporalities” by Miranda Olzman

Friday, 28 June 2013
10:00 – 11:00 pm (time observed)
Roble Studio 25 (Performance Gallery)

Blog Response by Dr. W.C. Meier

Experiencing Miranda Olzman’s Corpulent Temporalities as an audience member I knew, having read her bio, that she was performing an extension of Halberstam’s queer temporalities and social constructions surrounding fatness using tactile modalities. Walking into the gymnasium, I first laid eyes on her sitting on a tarp quietly chatting with the people who intently approached her surrounded by gauze covered in Plaster of Paris, bins of water, paint brushes, glitter sticks, markers and other various art supplies. The space looks both fun and inviting. As one of the artists who makes up the Performance Gallery, Olzman posed in the space (I saw her both standing and sitting crossed-legged) and invited transient audience members to stop and contribute to the casting of her body.

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“Paperwork: The Department of Dreams, Hopes and Fears” by L.M. Bogad

Friday, 28 June 2013
10:00 – 11:45 pm (observed intermittently)
Roble Studio 25 (Performance Gallery)

Blog Response by Dr. W.C. Meier

Photo by Jamie Lyons9209924679_738ed1aa71_o

As soon as I happened upon The Bureaucrat sitting behind his regulation metal desk, dressed in a polyester suit, silently grimacing, gesturing intently for me to sit, and surrounded by all of the props a busybody who works for something called The Department of Dreams, Hopes and Fears would have been issued by the unknown higher authority he comes from, I knew I was in trouble. With trepidation and unable to stifle my giggling, he turned a bright desk lamp so it shone directly onto my face as I sat down in the chair and squinting, connected with his eyes glaring back at me with glee. Watching, his finger tapped the desk impatiently three times. He was waiting for me to pick up the pen provided and write on the white paper…my fears. The Bureaucrat has three plastic signs which he uses to silently instruct an audience member brave enough to answer the call of his desk bell what to do. As I handed him my confession, he took a large feather out from a drawer of his desk and tickled my nose, quickly hiding the instrument of my olfactory torture when he was apparently satisfied with my recoil. He then carefully examined my document, highlighted one word, stamped it with the words ‘Return to Sender’ before promptly crumpling it up and handing it back with a smug grin. And with that, the Bureaucrat was indicating that he was begrudgingly ready for the next client to hand over to him their dreams, hopes and fears. And while I was only a part of this performance for a few minutes, I watched L.M. Bogad in character with absolute delight on and off for a few hours. And I swear, paperwork was never so much fun.

“Honey” by Stosh Fila and Julie Tolentino

Friday, 28 June 2013
7:30 pm
Roble Courtyard

Blog Response by Sampada Aranke, PhD Candidate, UC Davis Performance Studies

Photo by Jamie Lyons9209945645_e9a90d01f5_o

Truthfully, I didn’t go to the performance gallery expecting to see HONEY. But it captured me. As I walked through the performance gallery courtyard on Friday night, I noticed a tall, black tripod structure towering over a woman. As I walked toward her, I noticed a glistening golden trail leading from the top of the black structure towards her face. It was excessive, extravagant, velvet, and moving like sand through an hourglass — slow, layered, purposeful, directive. Honey. Honey slithering down a wire catching the evening light with it’s fleshly materiality. Atop the structure crouched a man, white wearing all black. He poured the nectar from above. She stood underneath, wearing a garment made of what looked like a white tarpy vinyl, and caught the honey in her mouth. Tediously keeping her mouth open, she writhed from ease to discomfort, joy to crazed fear. Fear of choking on honey. What a luxurious murder.

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