Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The “We think, we like that” we wanted to do has become an image ... and that is because we were wondering about what does "rehearsing WE” means?: to solve the problem? "to show a consistent image and as such an exclusive-conclusive idea of what is to be done?
In the context of apt?, We have asked ourselves: what does mean to manage WE from a comprehensive, workable and sellable basis? How to resist the coherent movement of the production that is -and- we demand(ed) in the context of an international festival of contemporary dance? What kind of movement (s) we may think of in order to "cancel and / reject” the dominant image of WE in the theatrical context, with no informed basis, with no director or direction, but with an address: WE? How to change our perception of the so-called institution of theater, performance and spectatorship? How to put that into an action that discovers WE in situation (understanding that action is perception)?
With these questions in mind, we are interested in producing a cancellation of the–theater´s/we- dominant image.
... But let´s continue analyzing the title´s image
WE is…THAT, that, this, it, whatever ... We are not interested in becoming the authors and public of our own or our image-brand ("a piece ... together?" Paz and Cristian ... etc) but, we want to further investigate the conditions which permit the anonymous and impersonal sense that the practice of "doing WE" indicates.
WE THINK: It is an ambivalent movement between doubt, thought and belief of THAT WE that we like ...
WE LIKE THAT: it is the contingent and playful process through which we hold the doing (work?) of THAT / WE
, It is the small / large discontinuity that continues making THAT
“We” proposes:
  • A type of attention that supports the question of holding together within a context ... the context is what we have in common, to say, the situation that shares us in the theater event.
  • A kind of de-occupation of the time and the dominant regimes of visibility sometimes given for granted in this context.
  • That WE does all this in plural, and in a co(i)mplicated way.
  • A game between fiction and the reality in this fiction that produces conditions that could invite to participate, help, perceive and share with others.
  • A situation that discovers WE in "a making situation of (it)self”
This image could represent "We think, we like that". In any case, this picture gives us an image and a crack: a group of workers at an impasse. We do not know if they are planning how to run the project they have in their hands or if it is a break. They are in a circle, a leader may have given instructions to continue the project. We do not know if what they really are doing is to propose a time and day to go in the streets, with the intention of claiming their rights as a result of precarious work. The fact is that they get paid and spend their productive workforce and to build such a space.
Undoubtedly and, much to our regret, today we are all insecure and as such, vulnerable to the continuous flow of movement that capitalism imposes on us if we want to be visible and sell-able (artists are a living example of this.) Since there is no longer opposing force to fight against (the communist bloc, labour force) there is no way to find an antagonistic force to fight the capitalist life. Today the single productive workforce we need to fight back is life itself. Life itself is the company, the project, and the future promise of "our self-managed bodies”. That's what we capitalize, we sell and what benefit from.
Besides this, there is another problem: capitalism is an open mapping, without an outside. The world is like a de-totalizing choreography but self-determined that we imposed to others, or that we impose on ourselves, because we have to survive "(on behalf of a promising illusory 'freedom' that we say to be 'democratic'). The point is that our artistic practice is not separate from this life, but it is life itself. This life that we can no longer live.
We can say that we suffer the life that we produce and reproduce us in endless transformations, inventions, labels of endless networks and relationships. As artists, we feel the pain of the constant self-promotion, the professionalized personal relationships, the going back and forth between being employed and unemployed, the curriculum always updated and the continuous self-examination on behalf of certain 'autonomy'. We sell our 'lives / bodies' and the important thing here is the benefit of life (even when “life” feels really bad). The body and life are, and in very different ways (representative, affective, economic) 'private properties' or in a constant process of privatization.
The point is that we all live in precarious generalization because this is the very condition of the body we are. There is no defence possible against such precariousness, but only to build inside it a common life. Since we are concerned and in-motion by this reality, what we propose therefore is a space to be constructed, one that first and foremost -moves.
What kind of openings, cracks and leakage do we need to think of to go beyond pre-established physical manifestations? How can we open in a sensible and sharable to other modes of thinking spaces and relationships that create and invent other territories and artistic practices? What kind of body and reflective tones need to implement if we assume that 'the other', at the end of the day, is a sensible extension of what we are now? How can a body existential care to be uniquely productive and at the same time, sensitive and shared? What if WE are not one and the other or each other, but the world we share?
With the image in mind, it is important to ask and insist on the 'margins of visibility' that allow us to maneuver a truly public space with which to oppose and reject, remove and move back this privatization of life. Since we are concerned and in-motion, the "space to build is one that primarily moves." In this connection, we ask: could we take the space / in which we operate as a common place which belongs equally to each and every one of those involved in it? if so, how it can be sustained and given to every one of the participants of / in / with it?, what would be the sites of resistance and otherness that are modifying the (mis) appropriation and / or joint production ? How we can open in a sensitive and sharable way to other modes of thinking spaces and relationships that create and invent artistic practices of a being-together? What kind of body and reflective tones need to be implemented if we assume that the other, is a sensible extension of what we now?
Conclusively, the space that holds the image of these workers, cancels their precarious future for a moment. In that interruption, their mission is to de-occupy the fields of representation that dominates them, and to perceive themselves again back from a different perspective and a different tone.
We (would) like to create a suspension, a void in the moment of the theatrical opening, a space to drop the habitual movement of the world (our world), a place that de-occupies and interrupts the time of a marketable, producible and sellable life, a place where we can disconnect and disengage from the totalizing, profitable, and promising image of WE.
Bellow, the "tool" that made us approach all these problems. We call it "the cancelling tool" and it was performed in the Festival Contemporâneo de Dança - São Paulo/Brasil:


Location: A theater, a university, a hall in train station…any “public space” whose dominant representation in terms of roles, time and perception could be cancelled.

Basic-General condition: this "practice" may not be announced a priori. It should engage people through another announcement basically engaging the participatory activity that the public space is usually engaged with.

Basic Ideas:

· To cancel the dominant representation of such a “public space”. For instance, in the case of “theater”, it could be to cancel the stage, spectator, piece, performer/author, frontality, selling, product, time-frame…etc

· To make a collective-useless construction that gives something to thinkto others…

· To hold the question of what? for whom? with whom? what for?

· To re-signified the use-value of the notions, space, content and relations involved in such a “public space”.

Basic metaphors:

· “moving”

· Moving, where?

· To cover the entire materiality of the space with materials for a “move”

· To camouflage the entire dominant representation of “public space”

· An strike with no address and no claim specific of anything and to no one…

· A blurred perception of the situation

· A blank page over which, to rehearse with others “being together?” in a public space

· A space out of use

Duration: (2 hours minimum)…it can only be finished?, when an authority - security guard (or similar) that takes care of the public space - says that the space will be closed.

Number of participants: everybody who is in the space is a potential participant.

Necessary materials (quantity must be calculated in relation to the size of the space and the number of possible participants):

bobinas/rolls of bubble plastic 1,30 x 100m

bobinas/rolls of kraft paper or similar 1,20 x 250m

tapes: for packing (crepe)

Boxes: cardboards (different sizes)

Garbage bags


Sprays (different colors)

Nose masks

Color pens (permanent markers to write over paper, buble plastic)


• Make yourself busy with wrapping walls, floor, objects…etc
• As if the space would be about to move somewhere, at the same time that is wrapped, you “name” what each thing is. This means that you name the materiality of the space you are wrapping for what it is.
• Involve others in things you do.
• Help others in what they are doing.
• Ask the help of others on what you are doing.
• Once the at least 70% of the space is wrapped, you start to relate the materiality of the space that has been named before. You do this, mapping out the process of your perception over any surface in the space (walls, objects, floor, boxes) by using the material available (pens, sprays, tapes).
• Relate, cross and use your mapping traces with the map-traces of others.Conditions
• Be simultaneously busy with what you do and how your thinking process is communicated in the space.
• Everybody involved in the experiment is acting and treated as an “assistant”. That means that you are supporting peoples actions and, at the same time, you are supported by the ones of the others.
• You are not allowed to talk or explain anything about what you are doing to others.
• You are not allowed to do anything addressed to anyone (there is no front, nothing to show).
• Everybody in the space is potentially in the same game, which means that the audience is there to do the same as we do, but no one is obliged to join.
• You are perceptively in contact with the space around you and what you are doing.


• The mapping of the space, may be perceived as a “semiotic battle”. It may be a strategical game of its potential and collective content and expression.
• When you put your mapping process in relation to others, you may take care that it doesn´t cancel the proposals of others, but that you give “life” to them.
• You may want to start mapping the space by “naming” what that space, object is, could be, is doing to the space, to you, to others…etc. In that sense you can relate the name of the material in relation to: Rename the covered surface, object for something that is not, You can adjetivized the material, You can put it in a circumstance: where, how…etc, You can humanized the material, You can put it in situation of...
• During your mapping, you may want also to problematize the general thinking process and experience of what’s going on. That means that you may want to treat the materiality and its mappingas: Crossing, Subtracting, Cutting, Addon, Recombine, Displace, Dividing, Kidnap, Transforming, Piercing, Breaking, Covering, Decomposing, Re-composing…etc
• You may feel that you want to relate performatively with what is written and what is being done in the space. Not only the actions you may do, but also the way the words are inscribed on the surfaces, the way they look like, the process-action of its writing…etc
• If there is a technical problem, you communicate it to the others with normality…that´s part of the situation we are creating…so you ask for cooperation, help…etc
• You may feel at some point that you need a break, in that case you can play the radio, music or have a snack.