It is best accessed on his site directly by following this link: FOCI Arts – Art and Athletics 4
but I have also included this version below for those that just happen across my site willy-nilly….
Introduction by Ray Evanoff
One of the parallels between athletics and art is that both are personal practices. The daily endeavors of such practice become ritualized over time. The repetitive work therein becomes a study of one’s self, forming inroads to unarticulated regions. These regions may be defined or clarified or altered or reflected by the practices that illuminate them. Athletic and artistic practice may thus connect with other parts of life.
Here artist Angela Guyton branches both outward and inward from her physical practice, charting regions along the way that are both personal and broadly applicable. Her’s is a reflection on the body as medium for the insubstantial but intensely significant. She is an overlap between athlete and artist.
In no particular order
Aphex Twin – Windowlicker
El Guincho – Bombay
Erykah Badu – Window Seat
Gesaffelstein – Pursuit
18+ – Drawl
Die Antwoord – Zef Side
Jon Satrom – 100 Force Quit Noise Cancel Calculators
Nirvana – Heart Shaped Box
R.E.M. – Imitation of Life
Sia – Chandelier
I made these a year ago but I wasn’t ready to let anyone see them. I worked on these everyday for a while then. They’re a dialogue I was trying to open up to. Between me and me…or the universe and the universe. They are both, and they are silly. They’re little drawings, because as it turns out the universe is ridiculous sometimes.
That’s Helmut Lemke. He was my teacher for a while.
That’s my husband, Rod. We don’t always see eye to eye.
On January 22, 2013
So the most important thing to me would be
THE SIMPLE TRUTH
It’s that fundamental idea that I’m just here.
There’s nothing more to say about that.
Then there’s something I have to deal with:
THE IMAGINARY ADVERSARY
which is that it is a filter.
Then we can talk about
This can be broken up
—as far as I know, or have thought about it—
into MY MOTIVATION and THE CONDITIONS
That is called the Homunculus, and this is called the Cartesian Theatre.
Memories! That’s weird…
Then it will be the end of our species.
Again, I need to focus on right now.
So some of my MOTIVATIONS are fear-based
Maybe you’re just me.
Maybe you’re just me out there.
[At this point I should have written
This occurred to me only later that day.]
probably the most
legible manifestations of that communication
Evidence of touching to feel comfort,
things that I did not see
when my eyes were closed.
breath —> light : gesture —> voice.
draw to shape sound. The sound is the feedback from my voice. Three/four tension points
-physical visuals created (ie lines)
-physical gesture used to create lines/manipulated voice/feedback
Performance requires execution or criteria for execution.
How does gesture effect the voice without supplementary technology?
Will the voice still be [like] a line?
More interested in other people right now.
The animal in the machine
The human – the monkey
The machine – the animal – the sublime – the unknowable beyond
-The animal is at his best when the machine functions properly.
-A healthy mobile body
-The movement of the body to construct the mind
-The animal needs to maintain the machine, but sometimes doesn’t (probably causing psychotic behaviour on a large scale – society out of balance.)
-The animal as a seeking being — that imagines what is possible and tries to do it — is human. The animal in awe of the sublime is human.
-The seeking animal within a functional machine may know more/experience more of the unknowable — the beyond yourself.
-Between the animal and the sublime on that spectrum lives our best self
-The unknowable reveals itself to the seeking animal
-We gained the ability to see the unknowable at the symbolic revolution. An effect of which is also detachment by way of language.
-The ability to analyze the thing insulates us from the thing while in that “mode”.
-Aware of experiences I would normally not be aware of without language but the language creates a buffer around that first contact “feeling”
The machine isn’t just a healthy body. It is the processes of the mind–those that are in place for survival–also functioning properly. The machine also includes your instincts and automatic mental processes.
The animal appreciates the functions of the machine. All the joy of having a stupid monkey brain. Sometimes just the animal being.
I can’t experience everything
I am experiencing all I can
I need to be open, and learn how to be open to new experiences
I need to know/remember that other people may not be “I” but they are me out “there”, where I stick my arm out.
Move the drawings to three dimensional space.
Do it with movement and sound.
Possibly by diffusing the sound.
Eliminate the canvas/flat surface [any surface].
Eliminate the physical mark.
Use concat synthesis to create the sounds using gesture.
The natural gesture that would create them on the canvas surface I’m used to (as a starting point from which to build).
Keep breath to light.
Move in space.
Draw with sound to create the drawing.
I’ve built up the experience I wonder if I can do it without the visual output of actual marks.
Collect a library of sounds.
Build a corpus.
For home listening/viewing disconnected from the performance
Record the jit.window output
Record the sounds
Viewer wears headphones and closes eyes, then is placed in front of a projector (maybe just a computer screen is bright enough)
A version of the experience (just like the painting is–just a sample), if one can’t be at a performance, which is the ideal situation.
Things I can do:
-Control brightness: the ramp up rate/decay rate
-Light off or all black
-Intensity of red based on pitch
-Red splash (currently with a set duration but doesn’t have to be)
-Synth pitch based on voice pitch
-Stutter/strobe (currently can’t control the alternating rate. Currently set at the constant 50 milliseconds)
Things I want to do:
-Illuminate specific area of a canvas (control the brightness & shape of those areas)
-Play back sounds using gestures in space–sounds that those gestures would produce on the canvas. Concat?
-Get my left hand free; not tied to a wiimote. Can do this if I move to gestures.
Extended mind thesis
If you can do anything, why do this? –Rod
Anything is possible -me
Not everything is worth doing -my father
What’s worth doing?
I assume I can control [some aspects] of my development–conscious development.
I assume the norm for me is to exist in time and that it moves forward, as far as its perceivable to me. Its not useful in terms of my own development to assume I have no control or to not believe in time, or to believe the most useful things occur outside of time.
f(k) = A
Thinking of myself in terms of Kate Freeborough. (Is that formula kinda right?)
Kate is interested in play without agenda.
I have an agenda.
I do what I do to exercise mixing up information. I think I increase the probability of success by doing it in an unforgiving environment–in front of people, performing, in time (which is unforgiving because there are no ‘take backs’).
Doing it with other people (Anton and Rod) creates a dynamic, stimulating environment that I have to navigate in. I have to read it and respond.
Its getting easier to hear.
I improvise in that environment.
I set my intention to be aware and to be as fluid as possible so I can learn what I don’t know. I want to be surprised.
Questions to ask Kate:
Do you believe you can do anything?
Do you believe anything is possible?
Is everything you do worth doing?
Do you set an intention before beginning to make?
Do you [always] play without agenda? or is there sometimes ‘game’ involved?
Can you expand on the difference between the two as far as you’re concerned?
Do you consider unpredictability in your closed systems?
What’s the role of of unpredictability in your closed systems?
I am mostly bacteria. My body is in stability, an equilibrium of symbiotic small organisms. But I also have a single point of view, I. And it is a tool, or a muscle, that evolved from that organization of trillions of simpler life forms–presumably because it benefited me. I am still trillions of bacteria. I think sometimes about how my I is not as big a part of me as I necessarily presume it is.
I wonder if that consciousness formed slowly or came into existence all at once. What is the simplest form of life that has that singular awareness? Or is that singular awareness just a group of dummies that cross a critical mass threshold, and the whole crowd puts that self-awareness hat on for the time they are that group? Its funny to think about ooze that’s all of a sudden like “whoop! Here I am”
What am I doing when I am part of a group and we explore the transfer of information–and there’s an ephemeral abstraction to it?
Bonnie Bassler: Discovering bacteria’s amazing communication system
Joe Rogan: “There’s a study that proves that humans are 96% chimpanzee. If I gave you a sandwich that was 96% shit… and 4% ham… would you call that a ham sandwich? Shit sandwich, my friend.”
I want to put small things in high places in big rooms with tall ceilings.
These things make sound–as if they are building something up there…
What are they doing up there?
Little things in big rooms.
Big things in little containers–high–in big rooms
How quick is our “present” frame rate? (ie I’m aware of “now” “now” “now” “now”.) We have the potential to be present at a faster frame rate than we can speak, but once we begin to indicate it with words we stutter that slowly.
I stobe and flicker into the future.
Guides for tech informed by performance principles:
-Start with nothing
-Density – of sound and of material
-Natural gesture is more desirable than artificial gesture. Less intrusive to the intuitive process. Intuitive movement triggering non one to one actions = flow
-Shapes to dictate artificial gesture. They are only useful in so far as the movement they demand on the body. Shapes as potential sequences (motions). Useful only as the motion they embody (perhaps to be done with the left hand, requiring simplicity?)
-The repetition of figures. The figure recalls [an aspect] of the sound that was in play when the figure first appeared.
-Dropping off a curve. While creating/following a line and I change direction dramatically–when I do this I accelerate through the change. If I don’t accelerate I suggest that trigger the drop off of [an element]. A perceivable dropping out. The drop out happens at a certain rate as if it were effected by a force–like the acceleration/deceleration of a force such as gravity on an object–so it doesn’t happen instantly.
This object is placed in space. I know its is ‘hanging’. That means very little. There is this space and there are different things intersecting in it–supporting themselves perfectly. The shadow and the wall make me aware of this.
Construction: (as the opposite of de-construction) assumes that there is a cohesive whole once all the elements have been executed/put in place.
Improvisation: sometimes gives me access to greater understanding, intelligence, ability–something, maybe not even exclusively ‘mine’.
Improvised construction: surprises me and when I am able to recognize elements that I pulled out of that event/state that I may not have done otherwise–those glimpses are beautiful. It is what I find beautiful.
Aftifacts: elements that persist even after the construction has fallen away. The painting. In these artifacts there is space that those other elements once filled/fit into. There is sound in my paintings only because there is now no sound in the paintings. These holes are also places for my imagination to wander. The artifact came out of the cohesive singularity.
Joy: Constant amazement for serendipitous, spontaneous, singular moments. Things are beautiful and there is direct communication with that larger, surging, sublime under-current.
Compositions: Not in direct opposition of improvisation. The art is to leave room, with reason, for things to appear/happen. Set the parameters for singular moments to happen.
What is the painting?
-It is an artifact
technological connotation = glitch evidence
archeological connotation = from another time
There is a mystery to this, an unknowable or lost context
-It is the continuation of the work through time
-My emphasis on the performance makes you think of the painting as evidence of action in a very real way. Its a bridge to that event whether through memory or imagination, because it does not stand here self-contained in a bubble
-It stutters forward, incapable of changing. It is dead. The amputated limb from the dynamic body it came from. Through the performance event the dynamic body is set into motion. It is an organic machine made up of parts. These are forward moving present time, those things encapsulated in me, Rod, and Anton, and visual & audio information filtered through us in a feedback loop. And the other element –the unseen x. The binding body that allows interaction and understanding of unfamiliar abstract ideas–that which completes the singular moments for which we make room and attempt to contour. (The aggregate of our intelligence? Transformed and evolved in this context?)
I am in a playground. I build playgrounds.
Improvisation is a direct line
Audio and visual information is the medium
The body thinks through gesture
The mind produces ideas too, but can’t actuate as quickly (?)
All tools are necessary because time moves quickly and forward and doesn’t care if you’re left behind
Navigate dynamic landscapes with the dynamic body to try to be present and glimpse at synchronicity, beauty, or the sublime
Romantic language is deceptive and probably mostly ultimately wrong
Let’s speak plainly
and simply perform.
Bigger is better…and if it feels good do it (?)
-Internal conflict as follows:
From the gut. Awe felt at witnessing a great big physical work. how can this not be good or worth doing?
My ideological stance against the object fetish. Cerebral. What I need to train myself for and remain disciplined in–because it does not come as readily. Discipline is required to transcend materialism.
-It is possible endulging/being moved by/connecting with an object is not giving in to the fetish. There may be a middle ground
OR (but not both)
-It is possible they are one and the same; enjoying an object is enjoying an object, and you can’t hope to transcend by rationalizing there are exceptions.
-The parameters set by the rules of a system follow freedom. You can just act in accordance to the one rule set rather than assuming the default rule sets of the various social contracts that we live in/by — Which are many and inappropriate for creative work.
Example: It is difficult to find a situation where staring at someone for hours/days isn’t uncomfortable, but it is more comfortable if the pretext is portraiture.
-Allow enough room within a system for improvisation. Personal preference. improvisation is powerful.
-Otherwise: Less is less – draw a line using a ruler in the usual way. There are no “glitches” or “artifcats” (the unexpected), no tensions. The exciting thing about systems are the surprising unexpected outputs.
-An efficient, concise, eloquent system does this. ex Stockhausen, From the Seven Days
Put something into words that you’ve already put in paint and sound.
An economy of gesture and material can be achieved by putting yourself in an uncomfortable position — so no motion is made without necessity. you will do the most efficient thing if you put yourself in an effective system. You can construct the system. This will make you more efficient than just consciously trying to be efficient.
One uncomfortable position is to work in time that moves, where things change constantly and you’re only as good as your ability to recognize the shifts and decisions–and then you can go further and try to act appropriately. In the process causing ripples–causing the system to change–again and again and again–in minute ways. Recognize micro and macro shifts so you might anticipate the future. So you’re not caught un-aware.
No interest in slavishly transcribing sound. Visuals not subserviant to the sound if I’m creating visual information. Transcriptions may be ok if in the context of trying to communicate them–just a means–to get someone else to reproduce them. Purely utilitarian purpose. Or as an exercise. Personally, boring.
It is not that the end product is worth nothing, but you must be willing to sacrifice your notion of the end product during the process of making it.
Make friends with destruction.
Liberating. Accept that its ok that its final form may not have been the most appealing compared to other moments in its making. This is infinitely better than 0ver-working it.
Over-working it ruins all of it. Muddy. Uninspired. The worst thing. Worse than having a pile of little bits (because no chances were taken–less opportunity to learn/gain something.)
There is always a next time.
Lighten up, knowing when to stop and call a work finished is difficult. This philosphy helps with that timing — as well as liberating you to explore threads (benign and destructive alike), so you can grow.
failure, arc of beauty
Trust: This is what it feels like to trust. Everything is right — the plan for what to do is in the work itself. The drawing sound and the drawn mark are not the same thing but work in concert to give me access to a place where every thing works. Things I am not aware of and discover later. The plan for how to interact with the work is in the work.
I trust sound–and it builds with me
What a benevolent thing giving me this access.
Its playing with me–and I am playing.
-Write everything that comes through as words near where you think it
Don’t finish sentences if they are unfinished
-Explore the sounds with joy
-Draw and think on the sound–the marks are wonderful
-I tried editing the interference–like contradictions or alliteration that are self-serving/closed/selfish/shallow
-What was left told me how to navigate it.
It was more and more physical–until it wasn’t.
I don’t want to show you anything that I think I may know. When I paint, I just want to experience that thought [method]. As if there are many ways to think. Thought through that method. Visual. Kinaesthetic. Physical. Can I make sounds there? Yes. Aural. All of it together there. An I am thinking some way else.
More than anything else–sound is ours. Its the complicated codes of our own psyches manifesting themselves outwards–as beautiful music/language. its as present as a touch on the shoulder and grabs your whole mind–entering at your ears/eyes. Sound is ours. We can create it and eminate it so easily we just pulse.
I don’t know anything.
I am confronted by the amazing thing that I am conscious from a singular point (I) every single moment that passes.
I am a human like you are.
I need to work beyond the bashfulness/theatricality(?)
I will share with you what it is to be human
I confront the present and I confront myself
That is all there is.
pg 69 – 70
3 Section Composition
1. No light, hear breathing, sounds not manipulated
2. Light associated with breathing cannot hear breathing, sounds manipulated/evolved
3. Room mic picks up volume. Once reached a certain threshold lights associated (white/viewing light). Breath/voice not heard amplified. Just seen via light intensity.
Say what you think to those that will listen. be completely honest no matter how it sounds. Don’t be embarrassed by the way it makes you feel–and don’t stop even if you are.
I don’t know what to think about time. I looked into myself, trying to look into the place where thoughts come from and I couldn’t see anything. I opened my eyes and I couldn’t know anything out there either. I’m just where the two meet–so thin its impossibly thin. Is that who I am? I’m aware (as much as I’m aware) only there. How do I live now?
I recognize something so much a part of me that I know it is a part of me. That thing emerged into a human at some point in time and it is fundamental now. It is the same now. Not just a perfect copy into me but the same.
A part of me is painting on cave walls now.
It has always been the present for everyone. I wonder if people looking at me are also me or a part of me…just over there.
An impossible 30,000 years.
I don’t know anything.
I’m glad I know this–overwelmed before I died.
How to live now [knowing this]?
I don’t want to do anything that will distance me from that. I don’t want to “honor” it or be afraid of changing it.
I am here now.
How to live if everything is now
It makes me cry.