THE FUTURE OF THE PRESENT
Spring 1999

February 19 KATHY WESTWATER (New York, NY)
Kathy Westwater, choreographer and dancer, presents The Fortune Cookie Dance, a contemplative and slightly irreverent multimedia exploration of East meets West. Fortune cookies and our preoccupation with their messages serve as a metaphor for a timeless, cross-cultural wisdom sought by so many. Here, fortune cookies’ numerical sequences also direct dance and music constructions. Users select cookies with associated numerical sequences that randomly organize movement and music material, thereby choreographing their own version of The Fortune Cookie Dance. Set to an original sound score by composer Betsy McClelland that incorporates samples from numerologists, casino slot machines, boxing, and other new millenium phenomena, Westwater’s piece explores how information from the mundane to the sublime is communicated through structure and chance. Kathy Westwater (director, choreographer) was born in Virginia and raised in Kentucky. She moved to NYC in 1989 to pursue her interest in the interplay among choreography, improvisation, and multi-media. Her work has been presented in many NYC spaces, including Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Performance Space 122, Movement Research at Judson Church, 92nd Street Y, and the Knitting Factory. In 1997/98 she was a Harkness Space Grant recipient and Artist-in-Residence at Movement Research; in 1995/96 she was awarded a space grant from Gowanus Arts Exchange. Recent work has also been supported by the Jerome Foundation through Danspace Project’s 1997/98 Commissioning Initiative. Since 1992 Kathy has performed nationally and internationally in the works of Choreographer Merian Soto and Visual Artist Pepon Osorio.

The Shockwave version of The Fortune Cookie Dance can be downloaded here.

February 26 DOORIKA (Brooklyn, NY)
Founded in New Orleans in 1988 by Erika Yeomans and based in Chicago for five years, Doorika recently relocated and incorporated as a not-for-profit theater collective in New York in 1997. The Forgery is a cross-discipline, public work piece that intertwines theater, installation, sound and visuals. The structure of the work radically questions self-identity, not only in the sense of the character who inhabits the work, but also in the status of the work itself, consisting of collages and appropriations of dialogue from the "hard boiled" detective genre in American film and literature from the years 1948-1952 — the film noir era. The Forgery is staged simultaneously for a live audience and the camera, with the intent of literalizing the practice of multi-media and theater. The work exists as a theatrical endeavor, an experimental video narrative and an independent radio soundscape. Doorika has also presented The Forgery at the Downtown Arts Festival, HERE Living Room Festival, and the Ontological Theater 7 Minute Series. Doorika performs throughout Chicago and Cleveland as well as at various other New York venues such as P.S. 122's Avant-Garde-Arama, the Ohio Theater, CBGBs, and The Knitting Factory, and was a 1995 recipient of a Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art award.

March 5 ANDREA KLEINE (New York, NY)
Andrea Kleine presents Josephine, a solo piece about eating disorders and how they relate to female sexual archetypes. Incorporating video, Super8 film, and live video feedback, the piece dissects pastries, plucks cherries out of torch songs, dances a jig or two, and keeps a smiling face on a starving body in search for a true image of the female form. Ms. Kleine recently presented Flesh Food at P.S. 122 and at The Painted Bride in Philadelphia. She studied at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Experimental Theater Wing. Since 1991, her work has been presented at various performance venues in New York City such as P.S. 122, Danspace Project at St. Mark s Church, New Dance Alliance, DIA Center for the Arts, Movement Research at Judson Church, Here, Gowanus Arts Exchange, The Knitting Factory, and other theaters. Other recent works include smiles at my suspicions (1993), These Photographs Are Underexposed (1993), Mine-Mine-Yours-Yours (1994), Exhaustive Duet (1994), Dangerous Assignment! (1995), Cake (1995), and Deserama Part Deux (1996). Combining a multi-media aesthetic with highly personal, highly physical performance, her performances investigate the visceral underhistory of the oppression of women.

March 19 MARK FOX (Cincinnati, OH)
The Kiss examines the accidental life change that accompanies a man’s witnessing of a single gesture between two people. Neither tragic nor heroic, this non-narrative piece wanders among the times before, during and after the witnessed kiss, exposing the speaker’s essential dynamic change into someone new. The Kiss consists of live puppetry performance, video, and recited poetry. The alternating use of live puppet and object manipulation and recorded video mirrors the split between the character’s present and former selves, as well as the difference between this character as an observer and the act which is observed. Live small-scale three-dimensional opens up into the freer visual world of animation and video. The visual imagery of The Kiss is created and performed by Mark Fox; the poem is written and recited by David Zaza; the piece was conceived collaboratively. Fox and Zaza have previously collaborated on A Criminal’s Story, produced by Fox’s Saw Theater in Spring 198. Mark Fox received his M.F.A. in painting from Stanford University in 1988 and his B.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, awarded full scholarships to both. He has received numerous grants from the Puffin Foundation, The Jim Henson Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council, and many others. Fox has presented his work at The Detroit Institute of the Arts, Threadwaxing Space, the late-night puppet cabaret at The International Festival of Puppet Theater (New York), The Contemporary Arts Center (Cincinnati), and Miami University (Miami, Ohio), among others.

Also available: Mark Fox's THE CRIMINAL

April 2 TERESA KONECHNE (Richmond, VA)
Folding Prairie translates a rural-specific performance to an urban landscape. Inspired by and performed in a barn loft, Folding Prairie is a solo performance piece constructed from interviews of South Dakota rural women, autobiographical text, video projects, and movement. It is a testimonial of contemporary rural life by one of society’s most forgotten minorities. Folding Prairie is derived from an earlier project, Women of the Prairie, an experimental documentary video begun four years ago when the artist first started returning to her native state of South Dakota to interview rural women. Ms. Konechne is a multidisciplinary artist who arrived in performance art, installation and video from her background in scenic design. She received her undergraduate degree in Interior Design/Architectural Emphasis at the University of Texas at Austin, and graduate art training at the University of Iowa and has worked with such luminaries as Theodora Skipitares, Mark Hunter, and Hyman Yeung. Ms. Konechne’s current projects explore her interest in the exclusion of women s histories and experiences from the education system, history books, medicine, and cultural information, often involving gathering oral/written histories of women of all ages. First Blood, for instance, is an international participatory project which asks women to talk about their first menstruation experience and to answer biographical questions about their cultural/class/religious and generational backgrounds. Asking the audience to actively participate is itself a commentary on the taboo.

April 16 PAUL GRANJON (Cardiff, UK)
Paul Granjon is a French artist working in Wales. He presents Z Food in New York, the local installment of his series Z Food Across the World, in which the performer travels and applies an identical performance development procedure in all the visited countries, arriving a few days before the gig and researching local food, armed with video equipment. The performance goes in four parts: a presentation of filmed experiments, a live experiment on local food, songs on local food, and distribution to the audience of a customized local cake. He has presented this work previously in Holland, France and Germany, and coming to America, he will deconstruct the hamburger: "I keep the open mind of the researcher, and welcome surprises. But somehow I feel that a venue in the United States would be an excellent opportunity to confront my European imaginary version of the American hamburger with the actual reality of the thing itself, an encounter that would certainly produce tasty performative effects." The artist received his fine arts degree from l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Marseille, and as an undergraduate, studied mathematics, physics and technology at the A levels. A seasoned graphic designer and video editor, Mr. Granjon has been using computers since 1986, and is fluent in the latest multimedia programs such as Macromedia Director and Premiere as well as web design and computer aided animation. He is a Lecturer in Time Based Arts Studies at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. He also runs Z Productions, a "delimited company founded in 1988, specializing in low or obsolete technology applied to electronic art and popular foods. Main current projects are the fluffy tamagotchi, a robotic pet, 2 Minutes of Experimentation and Entertainment (a video series for television) and Z Food Across the World (international performance food research program)."

Visit Z Productions please!

May 7 DAHN HIUNI (State College, PA)
"Art History 487: Late Twentieth Century Art": Be an online student for this 23rd century art history lecture. Following the syllabus, May 7th's netclass focuses on "time art" or "live art." Professor Benjamin Hiuni, descendant of the 20th century artist Dahn Hiuni, will talk about the art of that epoch, particularly the intersection of performance art -- popular at the time -- with the then also burgeoning Information Age. Through Professor Hiuni's examination of his famous ancestry, students will gain an understanding of the historical context that saw the advent of this art form, as well as its influences on 21st and 22nd century art. As per usual, global students are encouraged to submit questions via live-chat at the end of the cyber-lecture.

Dahn Hiuni, educated in Israel, England and Canada, went on to earn his MFA from Penn State University, graduating summa cum laude in 1996. He has exhibited and performed widely in the U.S. and Canada at such venues as P.S. 122, Thread Waxing Space and the Cleveland Performance Art Festival, and is the recipient of numerous grants and awards.

May 21 ROMY ACHITUV et al. (Brooklyn, New York)
Flies is an independent video piece based on material developed for the multi-media performance, Abacusparts. Abacusparts is a collaborative project exploring the potential for real-time performer interaction with video, film and graphic images. It brings together an eclectic group of performers and creators with extensive experience in theater making, choreography and interactive design. Flies was conceived and produced by multimedia artist Romy Achituv and theatrix Danielle Wilde; with video by Achituv, "dream" by Bosmat Alon, and performed by choreographers/dancers Yasmeen Godder, Charlotte Griffin, and Ms. Wilde. Flies is an example of a "2D choreography" which, in performance is presented on stage, captured real-time and simultaneously projected. Romy has Studied Fine Art and Philosophy at the Hebrew University and the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, and is a graduate of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU. Ms. Godder is a graduate of Tisch School of the Arts, and along with Ms. Griffin, a Juilliard alumna, presented Ms. Godder's A bench and a car at The Gowanus Arts Exchange. Ms. Wilde resides in Paris and has presented her work throughout Paris as well as in Australia and Germany, and San Francisco.

June 4 LAURE DROGOUL (Baltimore, MD)
The Nipple Project invites the viewer to design areolar tattoos for a breast reconstruction. Ms. Drogoul started this work during her reconstruction in 1997 after being diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing surgery the year before. The site makes public what is usually a private, oftentimes painful process and touches upon issues of body image, its ephemeral nature, and technology. Through collection, observation and interaction her work examines the relationships between nature and technology: the netcast will incorporate live performance with video documentation of the tattooing with the responses received over the web, and an on-line nipple library will be created. Laure is a visual artist from Baltimore, Maryland who also works with video and performance. She has exhibited her work throughout the East Coast including the Delaware Art Museum, Washington Project for the Arts in Washington, DC., Richmond, and Atlanta; in New York, she has performed at Dixon Place, P.S. 122, and Dance Theater Workshop. Laure is also director of The l4Karat Cabaret, a Baltimore performance space. As such she has presented multi-disciplinary performances, film, poetry, and sound experiments of all sorts, and is currently producing an on-going show for cable access which showcases these performances. Ms. Drogoul received her undergraduate art degree at Tyler School of Art and her M.F.A. from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

June 18 JOSHUA FRIED (Brooklyn, NY)
Joshua Fried’s Headset Sextet is a suite performed by six headphone-driven actor/performers with taped musical accompaniment (all instruments by Fried). Performers try to imitate vocal sounds that are played over headphones. The performers have never heard these sounds before, and yet they are asked to reproduce the input as it happens — with every word, pitch and expression accurate and no lag time whatever. This last requirement makes the task quite impossible and the result resembles a bizarre unknown, mostly indecipherable language — even though the source material is, for the most part, plain spoken English. Here and there an intelligible word or phrase emerges. In some sections, simple movement directives are added, electronic signal tones cuing the performers to listen for instructions. Headphone-driven performance focuses attention on the present moment — no one knows what will happen next, and the performers can't afford to look back. Electronics, normally associated with mechanical repetition, become a catalyst for a one-time-only live event, exposing raw human qualities in the performer. Joshua Fried has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center artist residency, a NYFA grant, and an NEA Composer’s Fellowship. He has performed at The Kitchen, La Mama, The Knitting Factory, and numerous other venues around New York City -- as well as internationally, in Berlin, Copenhagen and Tokyo.

July 2 MICHAEL BRAMWELL (Brooklyn, NY)
In Formalball, the artist in a tuxedo dribbles a basketball through a sleepy neighborhood in Somerset, England; the action is a "homeopathic use of stereotype" according to Bramwell. Michael Bramwell was born in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx of New York City. He received a B.S. from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama in 1976, an M.A. from Columbia University in 1983, and continued his arts training at the School of Visual Arts. His work has been exhibited in many national and international art galleries, including Jack Tilton Gallery (New York), the National Civil Rights Museum (Tennessee), International Artist Residency (Somerset, England), and the Artists’ Museum (Lodz, Poland). He has received grants from NYFA, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and Art Matters, Inc. In a recent work, Building Sweeps, Michael Bramwell traveled to the same shabby Harlem apartment building every Sunday morning for seven months, put on a custodian’s uniform on arrival and proceeded to clean the hallway floors, merging the "poverty-vow" real-life performance event and the social reclamation project.

July 16 STACY MAKISHI (London, England)
Join the cartoonish characters drawn from the depths of a despairing soul, as they contemplate life, death, desire and crabs. Was it Nietzsche or Mr.Waihau from the Moiiliili Chop Suey House who once said, "He who has a WHY to live, can live with any HOW"? What? Why?!? How?!?!! Find out the answers to these questions and much, much more when you tune in to "Suicide For Beginners"!

Stacy Makishi is an Okinawan from Hawaii currently residing in Hackney, London, the subject/location of her new mixed media project On the Street Where You Live, funded by the London Arts Board. She has performed at various venues as The Improvisation (Los Angeles), On the Boards (Seattle), The Groundlings (Los Angeles), The Comedy Store (Honolulu), The Joseph Papp Public Theater and the New York Theater Workshop during a conference on queer theater. Her solo show, Tongue in Sheets, was commissioned by Dixon Place. Club Deviance, commissioned by Gay Sweatshop and The Almeida Theater, enjoyed a Transatlantic tour last summer. Stacy was also awarded the prestigious and coveted 1996-97 Attached Artist Residency for emerging artists at The Institute of Contemporary Art/ICA London.

AT LaMAMA in 1999:  Inspired by Carson McCuller’s novel, Ballad of the Sad Cafe, as well as the lives and work of Tennessee Williams and Yukio Mishima, Stacy Makishi’sSalad of the Bad Cafe is a treatise on queer love in a post-catastrophic era. It candidly explores race, gender and sexuality, demystifying the queer, disorienting the Orient, and "demythifies" the Southern Gothic and the American Grotesque, all the while questioning technology and whether it serves to bring us any closer to our own humanity. This work, created in collaboration with Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, debuts at LaMama ETC. in 1999.

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