The New Museum presents an exhibition of nine new dance-for-camera works created through a shared open-studio process.
“AUNTSforcamera” Production Week: Open Studios (September 10–14, 2014). Photo: Travis Chamberlain
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Originating in Brooklyn, AUNTS is both a growing community of artists and a choreographic structure for organizing simultaneous performance and art activities in shared spaces. Produced in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum and the arts space and nightclub TrouwAmsterdam, “AUNTSforcamera” is a special multi-venue, international dance-for-camera edition of AUNTS. Created through a shared open-studio process in the New Museum Theater (September 10–14, 2014), the nine works that comprise this exhibition were first presented as an immersive moving-image installation for the club environment of Trouw (November 6–30, 2014) and have now returned to the New Museum where they can be viewed on monitors installed in a dispersed exhibition format in various interstitial non-gallery spaces throughout the building.
“AUNTSforcamera” presents new work by Cara Francis, IMMA/MESS, Vanessa Justice, Anya Liftig, Karl Scholz, Larissa Velez-Jackson, Gillian Walsh, Collective Settlement (Felicia Ballos, Jean Brennan, and T. Charnan Lewis), and collaborators Salome Asega, Chrybaby Cozie, and Ali Rosa-Salas. Select works include an interactive game utilizing hacked Kinect software that rewards players for learning the original Harlem Shake dance; an interactive social media platform that utilizes a downloadable app to accumulate eight-second viewer-generated dance videos into a single-channel loop (#auntsforcamera); a multichannel sculptural installation reconstituting the dancing bodies of its creators into a single “exquisite corpse” moving-image form; and a single-channel video combining hand-dance and interviews with aerial footage shot by an AR Drone flown inside the New Museum Theater. New material produced with artists and audiences at the New Museum and Trouw continues to accumulate over the course of the multi-venue project, with new content to be added throughout the duration of the exhibition at the New Museum. Descriptions of all nine works follow below.
Contribute your own dance-for-camera content to this project at Ocho.co: #auntsforcamera
An important component of the installation at the New Museum includes a series of nine artist-led tours, which have been organized using AUNTS’ chain-curation model. Using this model, tours are led by artists who have been invited by “AUNTSforcamera” artists to create a response to the exhibition in the form of a tour, which will be performed exclusively for participating audiences. In keeping with the spirit of AUNTS, the currency of exchange for attending these tours is not monetary. To participate, visitors must provide proof of submission to #auntsforcamera, an interactive work by Karl Scholz included in the “AUNTSforcamera” exhibition. For submission guidelines, tour dates, and further information, visit the project tour page.
“AUNTSforcamera” is presented as part of the New Museum’s 2014 Fall R&D Season: CHOREOGRAPHY, spearheaded by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement. It is organized on behalf of the New Museum by Travis Chamberlain, Associate Curator of Performance and Manager of Public Programs, in collaboration with Laurie Berg and Liliana Dirks-Goodman, organizers of AUNTS. The project was originally commissioned by the Stedelijk Museum and TrouwAmsterdam as part of the “Trouw Invites…” exhibition series, made possible by support from De Verdieping, TrouwAmsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, AFK, SNS Reaal Fonds, Stichting DOEN, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, IAmsterdam, Stadsdeel Oost, ABNAMRO, and Lloyd Hotel.
AUNTS was founded by James Kidd and Rebecca Brooks in 2005 and has been organized by Laurie Berg and Liliana Dirks-Goodman since 2009. Adapting to any architecture that might temporarily house its current activities and guided by core principles of collectivity, cooperation, and sharing, AUNTS generates a constantly shifting environment where artists negotiate the simultaneous production and/or presentation of their work in relationship to one another. Often taking the form of a live event, AUNTS allows audiences to freely move about the spaces it inhabits, engaging with as many or as few of its offerings as they like, choosing their own path through the event and creating their own experiences through chance encounters. The whole can be viewed as a work independent from, but no more or less important than, its individual constituent parts.
“AUNTSforcamera” TIMELINE OF ACTIVITIES
September 10–14, 2014: “AUNTSforcamera” Production Week: Open Studios
Principal photography for nine dance-for-camera works occurred during a weeklong shared open studio in the New Museum Theater.
November 6, 2014: “AUNTSforcamera” Opening Event: BYOC! (Bring Your Own Camera!)
BYOC! was a six-hour, transnational AUNTS event performed at the New Museum and TrouwAmsterdam, presented simultaneously at each venue via livestream. More than one hundred performers participated.
November 6–30, 2014: “AUNTSforcamera” Installation: Trouw
The nine works comprising “AUNTSforcamera” were exhibited as an immersive moving-image installation at TrouwAmsterdam.
December 16, 2014–February 15, 2015: “AUNTSforcamera” Installation: New Museum
The nine works comprising “AUNTSforcamera” will be installed in a dispersed exhibition format at the New Museum.
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS AND INDIVIDUAL DANCE-FOR-CAMERA PROJECTS
Cara Francis: REMOTE
REMOTE combines hand-dances and interviews with aerial footage shot by an AR Drone flown inside the New Museum Theater—a comment on the mass-market appeal of civilian surveillance products in light of how such devices are used in warfare.
IMMA/MESS: “STAGING STAGES
STAGING STAGES s a single-channel split-screen work for which IMMA/MESS invented a new extreme and sometimes dysmorphic drag look during each day of production—echoing the artist’s process of preparing to perform at a nightclub. Each new look was then used to generate an improvised dance that was performed for camera and recorded in a single take at the end of the day. Blurring the line between documentation and dance-for-camera, STAGING STAGES candidly exposes the effort it takes to become extraordinary.
Vanessa Justice: Dancing the Edits: Videotaping the Dancing Body with the Body
Dancing the Edits is a multichannel video in which the editing process is approached as a particular mode of dance research. The artist enters into specific somatic states and uses a handheld camera to capture and edit previously recorded footage of her choreography as it’s played back on multiple monitors. The original footage is shown next to the edited versions and a video documentation of the editing process.
Anya Liftig: A Very Something or Other
A Very Something or Other is a single-channel, single-shot extreme close-up dance video in which the dancer uses her face (and no other part of her body) to manipulate miniature props—an exploration of the face as a terrain for choreography, ballet, and non-verbal storytelling, where expressions become abstracted while scale is distorted.
Karl Scholz: #auntsforcamera
#auntsforcamera is an interactive social media platform that utilizes the downloadable app Ocho Video to record eight-second video clips. Users may record and tag a video with #auntsforcamera to become part of a sequenced single-channel video installation that will accumulate over the course of the entire project from September 8, 2014 to February 15, 2015
Larissa Velez-Jackson: Star Crap Method via Lens
Star Crap Method via Lens features three single-shot recordings of the same hour-long improvisatory score by Larissa Velez-Jackson performed sequentially in a single evening by Tyler Ashley, Talya Epstein, and Velez-Jackson. The camera moves between perspectives of dancer and spectator, representing the dancers’ absurd attempts to observe and comment on themselves as they endure a marathon practice.
Gillian Walsh: Primary Source (video): AUNTS at the New Museum 2012, 2014
Primary Source (video): AUNTS at the New Museum 2012, 2014 is an intimate single-channel work that uses private videos as a form of primary-source personal archiving. Here, Gillian Walsh’s practice of using her participation in AUNTS events to develop material in a shared public workroom—outside the sanctity of the studio or theater—becomes the subject of a critical inquiry.
Collective Settlement (Felicia Ballos, Jean Brennan, T. Charnan Lewis): drawing a line with my body straight to you
drawing a line with my body straight to you is a three-channel sculptural work created by three choreographers using the format of “exquisite corpse” to generate unique video-dances for three different parts of the body (head, torso, and legs). The videos, displayed on a stack of three CRT monitors, offer a moving-image representation of the dancers’ bodies reconstituted as one figure.
Ali-Rosa-Salas, Chrybaby Cozie, and Salome Asega: Level Up: The Real Harlem Shake
Level Up: The Real Harlem Shake is an interactive video game utilizing hacked Kinect software in which users are rewarded for how closely they come to performing the original Harlem Shake, a dance that originated in Harlem and has been subsequently distorted by a recent YouTube meme.