psi19performanceblog: Past, Present, and Future Performances

Blog Map: 2013-09-13

Please note that the visits are based on IP addresses, and so any and all visits during the conference were registered as US visits.

26 June – 13 September 2013
Blog post by Kellen Hoxworth

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Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s “Strange Democracy: Border Wars”

Friday, 28 June, 2013
Pigott Theater

Blog Response by David Preciado

(See also Megan Hoetger’s Blog Response here.)

Photo by Jamie Lyons


“Radical discrimination!” yelled the woman, who resembled an Aztec warrior in an eagle headdress, fishnets, steel underwear and holding a sword. The woman came out of the theater around 7:30pm and addressed the crowd who anxiously waited for the performance outside by the stairs, much like a master of ceremonies. “Radical discrimination!” she kept yelling. The woman had power and did not hesitate reconfiguring the rules of theater. She prompted people without tickets to enter the theater first and suggested that those with tickets “fight” for their seats. “Radical discrimination” she called it, and those with tickets, those who spent money to view the performance were not guaranteed a space within the theater and those who did not purchase a ticket, either because of financial constraints or because the show sold out or because they left it to the last minute or some other reason, were granted access first.

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Performing the PSi Conference: A “Complete” Twitter Archive

Using the online platform, Storify, we have attempted to document as much of the Twitter feed as possible. However, limitations have led to several unintentional omissions of material, producing gaps and lacunae. Simultaneously, though, the Twitter Archive captured various strands and threads of live discourse, most notably in the form of “re-tweets.” However, Storify has a maximum limit to how many items may be included in any single “story.” Therefore, in order to produced a “complete” archive of Twitter activity during the conference, we have omitted re-tweets to try to collect as much original material from the Twitter feed as possible. The final, “complete” Twitter archive can be found here.

Prior posts of the Twitter Archive can be found at Post 3Post 2 and Post 1.

“Shuttle” by Mick Douglas, Beth Weinstein, and James Oliver

Thursday, 27 June  through Sunday 30 June 2013
Ongoing: Time Observed (i.e. 6 – 9 pm; noon – 12:15 pm; Wednesday-Friday, intermittently; etc.)
Toyon Courtyard/Old Union Courtyard

Blog Response by Yasmine Jahanmir

I was naïve to think a performance entitled Shuttle would be performed in a static location. It now seems like common sense that a mobile performance piece would be in motion.

I wandered into Toyon Courtyard at about 7:20am looking for the performance and found nothing. I circled the building just in case there was a second courtyard and again found nothing. I double-checked the conference itinerary and I was indeed in the advertised location, so I gave up, got coffee, and went to a panel. As I was leaving the panel, I passed the Old Union courtyard and came upon a tent and stacked wooden boxes in the grass; one of the boxes was labeled “shuttle.” Turns out they had decided to move and had left a note which I did not see. Seizing the opportunity to be mobile with my review rather than canceling it, I asked about the performance I had missed and was immediately invited into navigating the remnants of the performance.

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“Pastoral/Posthuman Sunrise Hike” by Joy Brooke Fairfield, Elizabeth Hersh, and Joe Moore

Friday, 28 June 2013
5:30 am – 8:00 am
Stanford Dish (Outside Roble Gym; on the shuttle bus; Stanford Dish; on the shuttle bus; outside Roble Gym)

Blog Response by Michelle Lindenblatt

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I sit here on the patio of our hotel room, the baby sleeping soundly in the bedroom, and I begin to travel through time, backwards, to yesterday morning. Will I remember it properly? Sleep deprivation makes everything seem hazy, like a dream. Perhaps I was dreaming. It was 5:30 in the morning.

I am in the taxi at 5:15. It is still dark outside, but the sun quietly peeks out in the crevice at the horizon. The taxi driver careens wildly along El Camino Real even though there is no traffic to speak of, telling me he has already been to San Francisco and back that morning. Perhaps he is dreaming, too. I give him an extra $5 as he drops me off outside of Roble Gym.

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“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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“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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