East Village Other, NYC, 1979
For Joanne, Tim, Stephanie and Charles
Open Movement: work of people asking themselves and each other, “What is necessary to do?” And as an artist, how to engage oneself actively with another human being? What is the practice of an artist who does not offer finished works of choreography, theatre or painting? What distinguishes the different functions of “skill/craft” when applied to time specific art productions or ongoing activities in creative process?
I am involved in developing craft in working conditions which have no intention of Exhibiting or presenting artistic products. What kind of craft can develop? How are the Qualities of presence, attentiveness, spontaneity and simplicity spawned and cultivated as techniques much in the way a dancer works on the plié? These qualities are connected with True experiences in the body and its senses. And to simple actions such as seeing, waiting, Walking, holding, standing and falling.
In open movement the essential element is a “condition.” It is created by and for those who participate. It is like the preparation of a field for planting corn, sweeping a workspace clean, Washing a window, changing a light bulb. What is necessary that we might begin? How to begin together? Arriving and looking. Waiting and acknowledging. Simple actions done wholly.
Looking to create a secure place. Delicate and strong. Not afraid of itself. Prepared, preparing. Still and anxious. Moving, not moving. Still and not still. Not doing. Not doing. Not to do. Doing less, less and less still. A place to be with others: a peculiar place, noticeably kind and simple. landscape, floor, soil, beach. Without composition. Composition satisfied.
Running. Running with whom? This improv contact. This dance. This place. This move. This Crossroads, this turn, turn. This walk and walk. How to be with oneself? How to be with one another? You-me. Up against. Up for. For rolling and tumbling. Freely, less freely, freer. Free and tyrannically felt. Impulse and breathing love. But fire and confrontation too. To see and be seen. Silly rhythmic shroud. My lies. My shrouds. Easy. Hard. Claim. Claim. Claim it. I come from this place. You go there. It’s not a question of wanting others to follow. It’s more the way of going and being joined. Write it clearer. Going and joining. Joining and meeting. Patchwork. Network. Joining in movements. “Can we stay forever?” asking. Asking.
The body: the body has a way to heart and breath. The passageways of heart. Oh memory! Association! It can be a dance. A dancing writer, a working person. Seeing the factories and the larger ships. Anyone can be there. Simpler still. Stretching. To stretch. Stretching. Stretching a distance to build a bridge. Hands. Legs. Torso. Hugs. Walls fall down. A bridge can give way back and forth. Give and take. Muscles relax. Nature, meteorology, glowing for this day. And there is a practical meaning, being in the city continuum. To be as one is. Here. We. With others. Away from the words, writers with their books and pages of meaninglessness! The weight. The burden. The life-invested page, the chairs, death and dusty seats. Away! Away! Stacks and stacks of slides and videotapes. Put the dances in the boxes and the theatre images on slides. Oh, junk-heap, car scraps and celluloid. Garbage too. Where is the ground? Oh, ground! Exhausted. But energy still. To stop. To stop after this. To this forthcoming. The act. Forthcoming. Series of actions. Construct of activities and practical meditations as a service to the meeting of one’s life. Questions. Questions. Blocked.
Deblocked. And more questions still. What? Kind of dark and oh so hollow. Hollow. Hollow. Hollow from time of time and time again. Oh, can they love? Oh, these figures, paper money to our town. From these woods. Legs shake and rattle psychotic points of tension deblocked. Out there! They go. Through layers and sections dissected deep places dancing. They fly too. Coffee. Coffee. Body. In a city. Our city. Great city. Learning through practice, a rhythmn, breath, scrawl of words. THIS IS AN ESSAY!