This residency supports the late stages of composing Always Already. This is an 8-hour performance installation, with an embedded performance in its penultimate hour presented online on Thursday 3 June 2021.
“This is the moment of sculpture for us where we carve out what is not the performance.”.
In these final stages Karen Christopher & Tara Fatehi Irani are refining their choreography, seeking to distill a large quantity of material into a handful of significant signature moves that speak for or signal towards their underlying motives.
The 8-hour scale references the length of a working day. Weaving revolutionised the textile industry in the early 1800s, and subsequently influenced the early development of computing — commercial Jacquard looms were programmed via punch cards, the prototype for computer programme cards. The binary foundations of computing can be related to the loom’s warp and weft. These histories significantly affect the ways we live and interact, but often go unnoticed — they inform the project’s foundation. During the 6 hours leading to the embedded performance they commit themselves to the slow progress of a minimal and repetitive movement sequence interrupted by work of warping the room.
“The words of weaving artist Anni Albers brought our attention to the dynamics of weaving: that it works with an alternating combination of rigid and submissive materials, that a whole is built of small parts through a time-consuming process. Weaving concepts have been our structure for improvisation and a frame of reference as we conceived and developed the project.
Additional project research has been focused on issues of plant/human/technology hybrids, eg seeds growing within the body; gut flora; medical implants; machine operators. And we have composed directives to generate performance material: eg ‘By taking control of your breath, override the automatic process of normal breathing, and convert yourself into a kind of conscious machine to stretch a story to its longest length.’
The ‘Paper leaves and other constructions’ reading companion accompanying the project features four people each responding to one of three questions we have been working with: “Define question,” “What is the difficulty in a dance of great difficulty?” and “Can you now sing of humans becoming other things?”.”
Performance installation by Karen Christopher & Tara Fatehi Irani.
Image by Jemima Yong.