statements from today and thinking about the original

These were the statements regarding the question of documentation from today’s session:

  • performance’s life is in the present. Its ontology (nature) – and perhaps strength – is expressed through disappearance (Phelan 1993).
  • ways of knowing and experiences are deeply embodied in the liveness of the performance events themselves
  • we are responsible for communication and preservation (Rye, 2003)
  • the unrecorded has no value (objects of knowledge, economies of reproduction) (McQuire, 1998)
  • there is no such thing as pure “live” performance, and liveness is only a *thing* because recording technologies came into being (Auslander, 1999)

thinking about the original

  • the term documentation can assume simplistic relationship to the original
  • that live performance is real, original or true, and documentation is a poor cousin
  • what if the temporal relationship between performance and documentation is not as simple or obvious as you might imagine?
  • what if documentation’s primary role is no longer preservation?

some key things to consider (or takeaway?)

  • if the terms of documenting practice (or performance) are open, then how does writing fit into the picture?
  • basic project would have three key surfaces: artwork, traces of this artwork, written component
  • this potentially falls into (not the worst) trap of everything serving the artwork
  • single project with many surfaces
  • the nature of the relationship(s) between these surfaces to reveal your understanding in relation to the work of others
  • juggling the poetic with the discursive
  • skeptical attitude towards reflection (it’s critical)
  • consider our practices as comprising materials and traces (and indeed how these overlap or may even be synonymous)
  • what is the nature of our materials-traces?

questions for personal reflection

  • what are the materials-traces of your practice(s)?
  • what kinds of relationships exist between them?
  • what ideas might they be serving other than your practice?
  • what kinds of writing might make sense with these materials-traces?
  • how might they change or help evolve your practice?
  • what is missing?
  • what are others doing that you might steal?
  • what is un/necessary?
  • what is most/least clear?
  • who else has handled or developed similar materials-traces?
  • what becomes available to you?
  • how do these *other* materials-traces function? What if they are not other? How is a singular proposition, work or iteration emerging from my practice?
  • how might we understand *loss* and *gain* in relation to traces, documentation, liveness and originality?