2020-11-03 Andrew Tay and Maxine Heppner in conversation onONline
(Recording did not take place. These are notes on the discussion)
Referring to the “thought sheet” re: Losses and Gains.
Andrew rejects the binary. To be in the dance as creator and/or interpreter there is no loss-gain. Dance-work is always to be with what exists and work with what exists.
Maxine: So, from that point of departure the idea of losses and gains is contrary to dance-making? Let’s consider then what the digital environment is offering at this time.
Andrew: Accessibility – people without the means-resources to be together to make dance can gather in this digital space. Legitimizing those who have been for a long time creating/performing in previously non-conventionalized places. Digital spaces have been used for decades, only under-recognized. Digital is now a place to work. Home is now a place to work. Outside of four (4) walls is a place to work.
Work can/does happen in un-linear time. (People on-screen together may be in different time zones…night for one, morning for other. What else about this?)
About Live performance.
Digital places are performance places. Leads to asking:
What is or isn’t “live”?
Audience with performer in shared real time? Director with interpreter in shared real time? Must people be sharing the same screen at the same time for it to be live? Must physical proximity exist for performance to be live?
Maxine: Many individual dance artists seem resistant to accepting, even trying out digital work space- the closest they come is performing as usual with a camera(s) recording the action and showing the document (either live-streamed, edited or unedited) Many institutions and companies very quickly uploaded their programming to online presentation….as if working as close to what they know as possible. Fear of unfamiliar…
Andrew: Fear of what?
That hierarchies may/are being dismantled- hierarchies of knowledge, aesthetics, production politics.
Current institutions-Are they co-opting by putting their non-digital programming online? Are they co-opting the digital platform to use it primarily as a market place? Is this maintaining the pre-existing hierarchy? Maintaining old guard aesthetics (even as social politics seem to be shifting). Is the explosion of use of digital technology simply as a platform undermining and therefore keeping underground truly new creative propositions?
If consider the screen as an entry point to a complete environment then all the choreographer’s concerns of space and time/rhythm form shape dynamic etc. still can operate on-screen and between the online and the offline, that then together become the performance place.
Andrew has not used the online interactions as a replacement or second best for studio work.
Online interactions are what they are, complete in themselves.
With practice, those not yet accustomed will become accustomed interacting in that interface and will develop personal and group ways of art/dance making in those places.
Andrew: This is a time to consider where art/self-expression happens, and when it happens?
Maxine: and where is the body/my body in all of this?