The performances started happening because I wanted to figure out a way to have people experience what I regularly experience in working with photographs and photographers. The performance space that the event participants share with the photographer becomes an opportunity to experience photography on a level that hadn’t been possible before. And that interactive element made something that is otherwise a finished thing — e.g., the framed print on a wall or the printed and bound photobook— something that was malleable.
That experiential process of editing, cutting, sequencing or whatever action is brought into play is a means of slowing down what otherwise happens at such a high speed that it doesn’t register as an experience. The viewer, when looking at a (good) photograph, completes the process initiated by the photographer. Looking can be transformative. In unpacking that process of building macro structures such as composition, sequence, or edit, the participants have the opportunity to move their hands and solve problems. That form of praxis is what editors, researchers, and authors are generally privy to in working with photographs. The performances started as my way to have others to plug into similar experiences in an organized (read as “sustained chaos”) sort of way.
But soon enough, performances became another “thing” and that initial excitement and wonderment that the participants were engaging in some new form kinda passed and my interest in performance as a vehicle of extension passed similarly. But recently, I’ve started experimenting with the idea of clashing sound and photography and there’s a part of me that thinks there may be something there to explore. Or maybe not.