Archive | September, 2010

Last Meeting People

30 Sep

Scrutinize yourself, what kind of a person are you? Are you a person that has opinions, do you express other’s opinions or do you actually stand tall? Are you ready to clench fists and pay the consequences?

Tell you what, opinions are like creativity or imagination, a great medicine for people that want to remain on the safe side. Opinions are for graphic designers and musicians that make soundtracks for dance pieces. “-It’s a good way to fill the gaps in my economy”, exactly, you talk about your devotion, the importance of your own project, but in fact you don’t have a project, or your project will always just be a project. Stop pretending and get yourself a kid.

Opinions are a means to stay under the roof, to maintain yourself within the balanced and well-meaning. Stop it.
Most people in the arts have understood that having opinions is a good and healthy strategy. Have you forgotten that opinions are not about to produce urgency – which is a pissy word – or, say, any impact on the current situation. Opinions are just bad excuses. But of course – – OMG – – you don’t want to dismiss an argument, appear narrow-minded or categorical, but is that really the situation? Just because you occupy a position doesn’t necessarily mean that you are obsessively about to converge every other person. Opinions are just for you who want to surround youself with consensus, or the illusion of it. Take a stand, give me something that contests my position. Beat me up.

In the creative industries including art a particular character has emerged. The so called “last-meeting person”, you know people with a little bit of power but not on the top positions, that change their perspective in respect of their last meeting, and I tell you those people have a lot of meetings. These are people that want to, and find it important to have opinions, but the sad thing is that the opinions that they have always belong to the person that they met last. It’s particularly common among dance programmers – dramaturges hired by dance venues, ouch – and you wonder: “-aha, oh that was a u-turn. Oh, but that’s actually a reiteration of the opinions of…” Those people are obviously far smarter than myself, because they have understood that this is a strategy that makes them immune to any claim, subject to any conflict and always benevolent to everything. On the other hand those people are always afraid, always scared and they sleep well at night but they have never experienced fear. But then they have never had anything else than half bad sex, and they are sloppy bottoms. The only really bad thing with those is that they end up in dance because they are too stupid to fit into some other more lucrative business, and they support each other endlessly. Sit in each other’s boards, sleep in the same bed, and produce more blanket-like policy that avoids exclusion of any kind at any cost. What the last meeting person fears most of all is collateral damage.

They endure. They know they are not really loved or even appreciated but they persevere until too many have forgotten that they have nothing to offer, zero to add and are totally void of conviction. Those people would never give up their salary, but love to complain about bad budgets, they are full of see-through excuses “-We would really like to present your work but…” – you are so lame you can’t even tell me up in the face. They persevere until they are just part of the landscape and impossible to get rid of.

Scrutinize yourself, do you actually have an opinion, or do you prefer to repeat after?

Take a stand, I know it’s impossible but just do it. Get ready to lose your honor, if it can’t be stated on the basis of expression to take a stand can also mean staging the impossible and living the consequences. You won’t be successful, because your position will not be confirmative to all and everybody, but are you ready to give yourself up for general accessibility. Are you that cheap? Sell out without return. Take a stand, and you will fear –but at least you will know you are alive.

Fuck opinions, they like you, like creativity, imagination, concentration and enthusiasm. Take a stand, stop thinking vis-à-vis policy, act categorically, be fanatic. Utilize instruments you can’t master, play Helmut Lachenmann and do it as loud as you possibly can. No, louder than that and with a sub-woofer.


Suck Your Own Blood

30 Sep

“-Oh no, don’t do it… Don’t, not the ladder, not the attic.” It happens every time, why do they have to, all these nice American adolescents ready to be slaughtered, cut to pieces, ripped apart, their panic ridden gazes, and I know it’s just a film and it’s supposed to produce fear, and still I can’t hold back. “-Don’t go there!” I’m addicted to fear. Makes me feel alive. Fear is my new autopoiesis, it’s silent like my psychoanalyst. It’s not the violence, blood or gore that makes it, it’s suspended time, the lack of telos that attracts me. The blood part might be scary and disgusting, but that’s just a matter of cleaning up, using an efficient tool or wearing rubber gloves. Fear is the shit, and it is fear exactly because it’s not recognizable and offers no solutions. That’s exactly the groovy part; fear is the experience of authenticity. Fear is my new sexual phantasy, the latest wet dream produced by capitalism, and the experience of authenticity its latest commodity.

No, it’s obviously not about becoming authentic – you will still have your performativity – it’s about the experience of authenticity, which can only be provided by a simulated situation that disqualifies telos, that departs from communication in favor of pure communicability, or from causality, and instead calls for, so to say, disinterested movement, gesture without signification. This experience is necessarily individual, it is not as we have seen discursive and can not be inscribed in modes of interpretation; it operates directly on subjectivity, i.e. on one’s own subjectivity thus becoming a product one consumes.

Make pieces that produce fear. That make the audience pale, totally fear ridden when helplessly applauding at the end of the performance. Affect, our last outpost, has become commodity. It’s pretty much amazing, global capitalism has managed to finanzialize potentiality as such. But as much as fear can produce economy and stability, in respect of immobility, fear can also become productive of other economies and instability, corruption. Insist on fear, put your spectators in a state of an endless “don’t go there”. This has obviously nothing to do with proposing something violent or spectacularly dangerous, not at all, what is scary is excessive abstraction. An abstraction produced through strong entities and extremely weak connections. Fear is precisely the lack of connection, organization and frame. Fear isn’t collaborating, isn’t negotiating, it doesn’t talk to programmers, doesn’t love its audience, doesn’t present itself: fear exists.

Vampires are last Friday and their films a sentimentalism vis-à-vis a long gone capitalism organized around materiality and what can be extracted from the environment. The zombie is a kind of immaterial worker, travelling in flocks compulsively laboring as pure activity. The new zombie isn’t a Bolshevik or some grey communist, oh no nowadays the zombie is a interior decorator, lives in London, puts on well-balanced house music in his office, drives a SUV and is really good with the kids. Haven’t we become auto-vampires, consuming our own subjectivity, like sucking ones own blood. Capitalism has entered its homeopathic era, we are in a loop that produces economy due an endless consumption of one’s subjectivity.

We have no choice but to be meta-vampires suckin ourselves, but to the same extent that capital can produce experience of this kind, so can you and me. We have no choice but to engage in the worst most ruthless and amazing financial and capitalist strategies, and in fact we have no choice, cuz we can’t have any other intentions than to do the same. There is no disguise anymore, we can only produce more, and there is no escape but that is perhaps an opportunity as well as… I like it, the possibility of consuming one’s own attention, that’s when hyper-camouflage becomes tangible.

It’s sort of fearful in itself, but you are aware about the fact that your next, and my upcoming piece will deal with time and space – – yes, that shit that we have always rejected as a bad excuse or some sick relation to exploration (btw exploration is a bad word, it’s like bad education: patronizing) – – but this time it is not what time and space can do, or what the body can do with, or in it, but rather a matter of producing time as pure duration (unconditioned time) and a space without signification. This isn’t some sillilitude about smooth shit, oh no this is a time that can but be experienced although not measured, related or codified, it is a space that intensifies experience but offers no horizon. This is like an endlessly suspended journey up in the attic. There won’t be nobody to say boohoo, no ghost that can removed with a brush or monster that needs a visit to the dentist, it will be nothing at all and that is just fear. Colorless fear.

We Like What We Do

28 Sep

Take drugs. Law abiding citizens are not for us. Enjoy all kinds of mystical stimuli. We have excluded the word addiction from our vocabulary. “-Good, no?” Take drugs but refuse the idea of user. User directed networks, quite embarrassing. Instead take drugs. I like alternative movies, indie films, French movies, even. But alternative cinemas, movie theatres, is to say the least a bit comme si comme sa. They smoke pot those people and some have colorful tattoos on one arm. Not such a good idea. Take drugs. You would obviously never take drugs at a party or whilst clubbing. Take drugs on Tuesdays, around two in the afternoon. That’s a good moment, and preferably alone. One should keep away from taking drugs with close friends of the same sex, and never with persons to which one have whatever amorous relation. Sex on cocaine is really overrated. Avoid that.

Dance – – dance a lot, but don’t become a user. Enjoy all kinds of movements – up and down, even side to side – but reject any temptation of becoming a dancer, and even worse a choreographer. You “are” not a choreographer. Choreography is something one does, not something that defines one’s being. You know it already, but this cannot be repeated enough many times, it’s a profession, a job, work, trade, and it is not a calling. You don’t have a gift, you are not addicted! Madonna was right all the time, choreography is like love, it’s something we do. The moment it touches upon something else – obsession – it all goes down the drain. Obviously, somebody that would consider that love is something special, not just an activity, or choreography a calling, would be both a worthless lover and choreographer. Why, well if it’s not entirely in my own power but actually choreography, on some transcendental basis that makes choreography, I can but confirm choreography. I want a lover that decides, not one that is addicted, not a user. I want me lover to take me on Tuesday around fourteen hundred hours, not after the party, half drunk and not completely decided, but you know…

Passionate. When somebody is baptized passionate, “such a passionate person” you know it’s time to disappear. We don’t want passionate, that’s like worse than calling. We want reason, labor, activity, style, superficiality, sex, darkness, carnival and putrefaction but, by God, not passion. Passionate is self-promotion and conservative. At the end of the day it’s simply narrow-minded since it prefers quantity in front of quality. People that are passionate about dance utter things like, maybe it wasn’t a masterpiece but at least they are doing something. That’s very bad, very very bad. At least- is never good. Tell people to stop, me too – dance should better die, be terminated for good than “at least” be doing something. Fuck passion, let’s go to work. Quality is also fucked up, but that’s another story. Stop your disgusting desire for dialectics. We can think without it!

Passion is not enough. Passion is enthusiastic and forgiving. Passion is like alternative cinemas. Passionate individuals say that they organize things laterally, they give workshops were you feel stuff but only what you are supposed to. Vera Mantero is passionate, and she improvises. Passionate people take an interest in opening up, – Oh, I was close to vomiting right now – opening up the body, exploring its limits and depths. But opening up is always in style, it always defends the body vis-a-vis a state of barbarism. They worship the body as a possibility for a deeper experience, for something not civilized, for something that language can not grasp. Jezuz, those are the people that will betray the revolution. Abolish them, send them to France – oh my they already live there.

I prefer poetry. Poetry is really good. I like poetry because it is excessively and only created. There is no deeper experience in poetry. It’s just language straight up. Poetry is not passionate, but constructed. It’s precise and not about breathing. When somebody starts to talk about poetry in respect of rhythm, change the subject. We like poetry because it is inorganic, superficial, non-human. We hate passion because it wants us all well, we denounce passions because it strives for oneness. We love poetry because it is violent and aggressive. We do poetry because it divides, differentiates and breaches.

Passion is not enough it’s passive and reactive. We totally don’t “just do it” – that’s like Beckett – gööööööö. We do things, we do things, we do things, we do things, because we refuse to stick to what we know. We are pretending to be fanatics, but what we do is poetry, not music – no no no we make sounds. We don’t organize them, we just make sounds, poetry, we make ourselves non-human. We do things, we do things, we do things like Egyptians – hieroglyphs – poetry made of strong entities and weak weak weak connection. Connections so weak they can only be made, only manufactured, only artificial. Connections so vague, sounds so superficial, poetry so hollow, we become inorganic. That’s what we do. We are not passionate, no chance, but we like what we do. Today.

A New Free sex

27 Sep

“-Feel free…” that’s the moment when you leave. You just walk out and into the world, and you might actually feel free. It didn’t come as a surprise, your suspicions were just confirmed. It all started with the word “dialogue”, became obvious with “-I’m most of all interested in you and your work” and the curtain went all the way down when the importance of taking time was emphasized and repeated. “-Feel free”, was just the last drop and never again.

Feel free, are you totally out of your mind, don’t tell me anything about free. I decide when I want to be liberated, it is my freedom, and watch out, you don’t want to have anything to do with it. The moment you oblige me to feel free you have done nothing smaller than obliterated any opportunity to free anything at all. The more free you want me to be the more bulimic I’ll become. Feel free and you have already decided how free looks, how it performs a certain pleasant conviviality within the boundaries of contemporary liberal capitalism. Free as in individual yet confirming your, i.e. you, existence. Indeed you have to pursue your personal interests for actual freedom.

Workshop, workshop, workshops – something dance and performance have developed a rather obsessive relationship to. And how many times have I, you, we heard the workshop host tell us to feel free. Yeah, sure it might have been important, however fucked up during the heyday of hegemonic well-fare state West. Feel free might have been an option when Erica Jong, a kundalini handbook and your copy of Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” where collaborating on your night table, but today feel free is like asking me to become a communist, and I don’t even remember who Uncle Ho was?

Similar with this dialogue BS. Why would I participate in a workshop, perhaps even pay for it, to have a dialogue? I have dialogues everyday all the time, I’m fuckin full of social networks, Skype and SMS-hyteria. Let’s me be, talk to me and I’ll listen I didn’t come here to chit chat, that’s what the world is made of, so why. – -Do I look like someone from Williamsburg – Look, workshops aren’t for lonely people that go shopping to have somebody to talk to. And you are not responsible to make them happy, but rather the contrary – be hostile. I participate in a workshop to get as much information as possible, pack me full , and have no desire at all to listen to the workshop host having a dialogue with some whatever dance artist from Scotland that missed the train already decades ago. Or, oh my, the older artists that participate in workshops who haven’t understood that their career options are totally over and can’t stop telling anecdotes without a punch line. No, I’m sorry I’m not giving workshops to engage in dialogue, this is about knowledge production. Full stop.

And we all know what the urgency for taking time actually is? It’s just a means to try to disguise that I haven’t got that much to say and in fact I have no idea what I’m doing here. The taking once time hang up – goddamn I hate artistic research and its petty arguments around slowing down and meeting other artists – I have nothing but artists around me and most of them are far too slow – the hand up is not for you it is for the sake of the workshop host. Look, I can take my time the whole year, every day if I want. I take my time right now. And if I want to take my time it’s certainly not by slowing down. Long silences are not an evidence that a workshop is good, intense or mind expanding, it’s more often just the result of not being good enough. Slowing down doesn’t imply a critique of capitalism, slow is already incorporated and a concept Jamie Oliver sold to Channel 4.

Workshops are a menace. Don’t take them, they are bad for you, and make you a devotee to people that want attention. What do you think you will learn from a week five hours a day with who ever artist? Do you think Robert Stein will provide a revelation, that Tim Etchells will show you the light or Ivo Dimchew make you make a solo worthy yourself? Stay home, don’t fall for it. Make your own workshop if you need, it’s there all of it on the internet, and internet won’t need your confirmation. The workshop host just wants to be loved. Make your own and love yourself. I mean why do you give workshops? Because you are so busy touring your own works? Because you run a large-scale dance company consuming the festival circuit? I don’t think so, we are d’accord right, people that give workshops are losers. Expel all workshop hosts, put them all up in some reality show on a deserted island, and start doing it yourself.

Think about this. The reason why workshops are so bad is because if they were not then the mediocre artists would gain opportunities in teaching that would stand in the way for the upkeeping of the mediocre career in the field, and that in its turn would subtract even more belonging and sense of being a choreographer or performance artist. Workshop are bad because they have to, not because of lack on knowledge. Wishful thinking? Stop taking them.
At the same time workshop is obviously totally contemporary. The piece-making choreographer enjoys Fordist economies and modes of circulation, which basically means convincing an audience member that his so or so much of money was worth investing and on top of that the approach to the world proposed was so cool that I – the spectator – will change my mind about… like everything. Not very likely, but in a workshop the whole idea is that the participant has already decided that the situation is awesome and I’m here to be transformed. Deliver motherfucker, yeah. And stop thinking that knowledge should be linear, clear, casual and sympathetic to general narratives. No no no, the workshop host’s job is not to regurgitate but to ruminate with the participants. But of course to ruminate totally inside out, to process knowledge – practical and theoretical – in ways that make the participant completely dizzy.

Don’t try to give another one’s workshop, insist on the format being you and nobody else. Be a capitalist, be the Gordon Gekko of Arsenal, i.e. the Wallstreet of dance workshop. David Zambrano, is amazing, but he is also the last giant. There is no place for such anymore, no workshops can be fresh and groovy for half a century. Workshops are like pop music best before and best before is right now quite soon (which of course is excellent, the alternative is stagnation and bore). Technique is over, skill-based training is dead, workshop is about becoming specific, fuck experts, the next cool thing is all about competence.

Workshop today is not about freeing somebody, perhaps the opposite – yes indeed the problem is that people are so fuckin free they have no idea of what they are doing or what doing is – nor about facilitating knowledge. Workshop is a line of flight, a convergence gone astray, it is a set of circumstances that organizes responsibility, social relations, power and knowledge in ways that at the same time obeys the rules of capitalism and simultaneously proposes the possibility of another systematics. Don’t give workshops to survive, but to die a little.

Workshop is amazing the moment you give up your pretence to knowledge. The market of performances and dance pieces are saturated and fucked from left to right by networks, subsidy frames and coward programmers. But workshops, obviously, is the place to be – dance pieces are things, workshops are cognitive production – so where do you want to be. Dance pieces are things, workshops are experiences and transformation – so where do you want to be?

Workshops is where we can experiment, make fools of ourselves, come up with absolutely idiotic stuff and talk for too long, like really too long and like every day for two weeks. It’s brilliant, and you have endless opportunities to manipulate people, brainwash them, if you want. Yes Benoit Lachambre is a great teacher but the only thing he does is to make you him. Workshops featuring legacy, is so not contemporary. Fuck that, I manipulate you to become different than me, that’s the future, my job is to individuate you. Shake you out of belonging and make you make the impossible move. Away away away, to a free that has no feelings, to a free that knows no interests, but is desire pure and simple.

In the workshop we have nothing to lose so let’s lose it. And hey, don’t you dare to say thank you. I didn’t do it as a service. I didn’t do it for your sake. I did it just because. Just because! Workshop is like the contemporary version of free sex, free group sex.

Take Me To Bed Now

26 Sep

Order, structural accuracy and separable steps could be the three watchwords of classical production. Typically repressed people state things like: order and tidy and you get paid on Friday (which is like catchy in Swedish), but you know as much as I that this is passé. We don’t first design, then build, then test, then market and then sell it. No way, that’s a waste of time and resources, but it’s also not enough to reverse the order. That’s not change but just happy variation, says Bruno Latour – and you know how it goes, what has to be changed is not this or that but the modes of change themselves. So starting with the marketing is not an option.

Today you won’t get the good money on Friday if you keep up order, on the contrary, if you do, your competitor will in no time detect your strategies and you end up in a business agreement with Nokia. Corporate business doesn’t do “showings” halfway through the process to which they invite competitors. No, this is all about release dates and the right kind of cool power-point presentations. Contemporary production does everything to produce more mess, the messier the better, weak organization, strong entities, vague hierarchies and personal responsibility. Soft-undercover, shadows, lateral production and leaking narratives.

We have to get rid of the Western model based on weak entities and strong organization – like the alphabet – and go Egyptian, where the entity is strong, the hieroglyph, and the organization weak. Stability is there anyway, what is needed is speed and ability to navigate. Make sure you can change your mind, transform a research process into a commodity, a product into a campaign and a Youtube production made to hurt a community issue. Stability is there anyway, what is needed is even more mobility and even less static resources. Stability is there anyway, sell your house, don’t open a space – it’s the most stupid idea. Are you willing to pay most of your subsidy in order to feel like a typical performance artist? Yes, I know if you have a space your funding is secured, but dude – don’t go there – it’s a trap cuz the increase of funding equals the amount of becoming stable, and thus being disabled from expanding markets. Pina Bausch was the ultimate Fordist choreographer and nothing to aspire to. Dance and choreography shouldn’t mourn and complain about the lack of structures and big houses – look what has happened to dance in Germany – but on the contrary use this as an opportunity. We have speed and we can use it to not have to do what we can. We don’t need to become a communist party, but we can occupy ourselves with lines of flight.

You know what, the most uncool ever is to evidence the process in the piece.

Make sure that you are not justifying a creation in respect of the process. More research is bull shit, and yet it has to be there, but mind you, research is not a good thing, but as corrupt as business, families and class struggle.

I wonder why dance still obsesses about being professional? That was important ten, twenty or fifty years ago, but today it’s exactly the wrong question. We don’t need to fight for our survival any more, check it out there is Queen Elizabeth Hall and whatever de la Ville. We have what we wanted, now it’s about getting rid of it. Yes, sure institutions, such as educations, dance venues etc need to watch out with quality assessment, but if your art is being understood as professional quality it also means that it is supporting established markets and measures of quality. Professional quality is always well and balanced. If you want to make something that kicks ass you have to accept accusations of being unprofessional (which obviously has nothing to do with provocation, body fluids or badly prepared work). Ditch your good ideas, exactly because they are good which means that they behave, fit and seem to work. – The only thing professional I want is kids – – If you get invited two years in a row your work is simply not evil enough. You can do better!

Why, and I seriously can’t get it right, do we so ambitiously try to appear bigger than we are, to secure structures and represent our practice in relation to other art-forms. Yvonne Rainer’s No-manifesto is not good, brilliant or even half ass smart when it comes to producing dance – Trio A is a failure (and fuck Beckett) – – and it’s quite boring that Rainer is making it even more of a failure today – but it is also the most important impressive and sparkling manifesto for in what respect dance is specific to other art-forms and expressions. It denounces the idea that dance is compatible with any other art-form, and their positions in respect of dominant discourse, and instead it resurrects dance as singularity. The No-manifesto should not be used vis-à-vis expression, shape, look or attitude but in the sense of production in order to unground our little sister complex and need for reliability, and instead intensify us to operate exactly through volatility, vagueness, ephemerality, movement and mobility. Yeah, as if by magic dance just ended up being totally contemporary. Let’s surf the wave, we have one chance and there is no looking back. Do you really have something to lose? Is what you want to keep up some more of the same?

Check it out, we know – our audience will remain super tiny, our future won’t be amazing and the subsidy will not multiply, we have no chance to go commercial and are doomed to be small, marginal, budget, exception – so let’s stop pretending something else, and at the same time stop being forgiving and tolerant. – – Terminate all opera ballets NOW – – No, upgrading is not an option and we don’t need them as museums – we don’t need Dixieland Jazz museums, so why should there be operas ballets – sure I’d be fine with an opera and ballet museum but not before we have a contemporary venue and scene that maintains a similar amount of state coverage. Every country that builds a new opera house, should be excluded from EU, UN, IMF and some other abbreviations. It’s not acceptable especially as it is anyway just a means to support local entrepreneurs, builders and security companies. Forget about it – there is nothing good what so ever about Verdi’s Othello, nothing, not even when staged by Alain Platel – [send me an e-mail and give me some arguments for a new opera house in Stockholm or whatever city, please].

Let’s return here! So let’s stop pretending, the situation is excellent – basically nobody cares about what we do, nobody bothers about dance. We are too small – we don’t even have a decent magazine – like whatever Artforum, like even poetry has a cooler magazine than we: “-What’s it called?”
“-Oh, the poetry one? I forgot.” That’s how bad the situation is in dance. We have no history, no size, no money, no nothing. No nothing except, passion.
So stop thinking about one thing at a time. Stop asking for money before you start to work, use the marketing campaign as rehearsal, rehearse in spaces that don’t belong to you – you don’t need 150 m2 to make a dance – if you have one, it’s gonna be exactly a 150 m2 dance, and that’s what every dance show is, so why another one – rehearse in the kitchen, over the phone, stop wanting to be a choreographer – look what they have done so far! Mess everything up and sell out. Stop cleaning up- work, fuck transparency – without confusion nothing different. Stop being confused as a means of justifying your lazy attitude. If your audience has nothing better to say after the show than that they liked it but that it was too long, you have not done your job. Make people ravage. Allow yourself to be boring boring very boring. Make really small shows, and short ones. Make tanz-theater and hate dance theater. We have nothing to justify, and hello why should we. Don’t even think about thinking about some idea that you are privileged to work in dance. That’s the moment when you start making really shit work. That’s like saying thank you to somebody that you just had sex with. Look, I didn’t do it as a service. I didn’t do it for your sake. I didn’t do it for any other reason than the fact that I like having sex with you, like a lot.
Take me to bed now, let’s dance.

More Chaos

25 Sep

“Everything is under heaven is chaos, the situation is excellent”, have we heard it before? Nah, I don’t want to, no more bio-politics now. It’s Saturday fwochristsake. So let’s try another one.
Everybody is totally fucked up: there is not a single festival worthy it’s name, not one dance venue that has a program; programmers, choreographers, dancers, producers, set-designers and the guy you hire to make the music. No no no no, they are completely over. Completely! Dance as an art-form, like you have to be pretty stupid to make it your passion. I did, and there is something even more embarrassing about it – it wasn’t a choice. I would of course never admit it but in fact I just ended up here. I have a handful of almost exiting versions for why but as all you others, the reason I’m in dance is because I wasn’t good enough for something else.

Somebody asked me why there is an absolute lack of kick ass producers in dance? Isn’t the answer evident: because if you are any good you leave the business. There’s no money, there is no fame, where is the fancy party? Who is the choreographer who orders two bottles of exclusive champagne and asks the waitress to waste one – pour it in the zink – just because it’s just too middle class to shake the bottle and spray it. – – MTV is really the most embarrassing television channel around – – and the business idea behind The Hills is pretty much amazing.

I have another confession, one that hurts. My first experiments in dance took place in 1990, I wrote my first reviews and took a few courses in dance-studies at the university. In 1990, how amazingly stupid is that? I must have been blind and totally senseless. How could I have missed out the Internet?  Why didn’t I work two afternoons to understand the rudimentary whatever about web-publishing and made billions. I can assure you, hadn’t it been for dance I would be rich like Bill Gates today. And what has happened instead, I work as dance teacher and write a blog. I could have invented wordpress, but no – I decided for dance. I wasn’t forced, I didn’t decide, I wasn’t passionate – and you know there was no Marcel Duchamp thingy, you know that the ready made has to choose you – no dance didn’t choose me – I ended up here and I stayed. Do you know what that proposes: thumb and index fingers in a ninety degrees angle placed on your forehead. Loser LOSER L O S E R – Leave now, get out of dance and choreography at this very moment. Don’t wait for an opportunity, an offer from Hollywood or to be part of a band. They wont come to you. You have a mission, to leave the domains. For each day you wait the offers become less and less exiting. Check out, book a one way ticket asap. Go catch that flight. And don’t you dare and come visit.

The problem with dance and performance, help me god, is of course the lack of chaos. Who wants to invest in a business that hasn’t changed since the beginning of time? Yeah, dance is the oldest art-form right… An idea, perhaps Belgian dance got its legacy because it is the only country where business is so primitive that investment in dance could appear attractive. My impatience has nothing to do with what you and you and you are doing, I’m just so sick and tired of waking up to the same. I’m writing every day, because I can’t wait, I can’t extend the contract any longer. My lease is over and it just keeps going. I need a total make over. I’m not excessively fat neither do i have seventeen children but SVP make me a total makeover. Twenty years and I’m still curious, I want more, I want much more, I’m empty, lost, the season isn’t running anymore, I have nothing to say and I’m not John Cage – and even if I had something to propose I couldn’t cuz that’d be no better than any other networking festival director dance artist art-council choreographer’s proposition. I can only swing my arms without aiming – – I can’t retreat into yoga, it’s great, it feels tops, makes me body triffic but I can’t – not even Youtube ashtanga – I can’t because of how it proposes a healthy soul in a healthy body – and that woman in the yoga video ends the session, with a flattering “rock it!” – only… I’m devastated, painful – squeezed between an absolutely striated world of dance and total chaos. I can not propose anything at all, and yet I must continue to write. For 100 days, I must write – it’s a mission that can not be altered. And don’t ask why. I have to sit out detention, no parole. A 100 days, three times more than Lindsay Lohan. OMG – the moment I propose the potentiality of any revolution however tiny, is OVER. It’s our job together not mine to search for the beginning, and begin. In the meantime I can only do one thing: Betray all sides.

Im Scared, but…

24 Sep

“Everything under heaven is chaos, the situation is excellent” said Mao – Oh no, is Spangbergianism doing yet another loop into communism, “We’ve had enough of your leftist jargon!” – Tahaa, nope I’m not, cuz think about it, this is exactly what every politician that is not a present day communist sais. As long as there is chaos the world needs politics and politicians, the moment all units are go go and house music has turned omnipresent we don’t need politics no more. Politicians have a shared hidden agenda, to never let stability rule the dance floor. Hence, chaos equals excellent independence of your political aptitude, and “Houston, we have a problem” is precisely all units are go go.

But admit it, it’s pretty cool to dare to say it like Father Mao, instead of pretending to be a well-meaning maintenance unit, like present day politics and its staff members. They aren’t nasty enough to be called politicians any more. Politics has come to face the same destiny as architecture, in the old days – you sentimental fuck – architects had ambitions, their job was to build cities, societies, worlds, futures; today architects only desperately hold on to cornerstones that are no longer attached to buildings, but they still do because what else is there: selling out to construction companies that think that Greenpeace is a fertilizer. The problem is just that what else is there that has already happened. Greenpeace IS a fertilizer and the harder you tighten your grip around those old grab handles the easier it is to overtake you. You are not Ayrton Senna, but just because you’re not, does not free you from the obligation to be in control.

Contemporary politics issues a clever double play on the basis of identity. In particular in respect of expression, politicians uphold the position of the architect of the society, a proud yet humble servant with an ear to every citizen, but on the level of production the story is quite another. Politicians have uncovered the wail of today’s capitalism and realized that politics is not formed around consequence or repercussion but has become a play with values. It’s not a matter of staying in control, nor of trust in the classical sense, or even presenting a reasonable political agenda, it is about risk management, based on risk understood as commodity.

However, when Mao proposed his chaos-theory it was obviously excessive of ambition and power: personal, collective, global and pretty much amazing. It was smooth, chaos as the absence of horizon, a chaos to be civilized, to be brought out of the shadowlands of capitalism. And he managed, and we all helped out. Today the excellence of the situation is rather to maintain chaos, and preferrably without theory, but smack packed, filled to the brim with affect, i.e. unconditioned possibility. But watch out this is not potentiality, but exactly its commodified neighbor. The real deal of contemporary capitalism is this corporatized affect. Life in the mainstream is no more about reliability, trust, generations and a football team connected to your business, it’s about the ability to change, to never coagulate, never gain identity proper, but to always show up somewhere else without negotiation, without storage or real-estate, without employees or products. Let’s circulate.

For a while there we lived the dream and thought that change, mobility, becoming, rhizome, BwO, wart-machines and other assemblages were the Eigentum of a conceptually advanced population but, oups – how wrong we were, today all those terms are the building blocks, or rather the soft-subversion with which every company, organization and community builds their multifaceted identities. Capitalism of today doesn’t give a flying fuck about identity, it lives on and sells individuation. It’s not about upgrading or a new models but about innovation pure and simple.

“Everything under heaven is total chaos, the situation is excellent” and I’m still wondering why am I doing good work, and why are we all trying so hard to make good work. If everything it chaos and that is excellent why do we make such efforts to produce order, we do we make things that are not chaos at all but are trying embarrassingly hard to be transparent, linear, balanced, stable and dramaturgical. In fact I think most dance works if they were to be filmed would look pretty much like The Lord of The Rings, filmed outside Brussels.

Dance and choreography, and art in general, is to an overwhelming amount creating images, movements and situations that have lost every compatibility to present-day political reality and reproduce imagery that is only there to comfort the audience, that embraces like a grandmother in a long skirt, smelling of butter, a somewhat liberated version of Jane Austen. The utopian, dystopian or whatever –topian is just so feel-good and Haagen Dazs that nothing can ever happen, up or down. Dance is a kind of well-behaving bulimic.

We, the dancers and choreographers, the immaterial workers of all times, the champions of post-Fordism we don’t have to any more, we don’t need to feel intimidated about our vague syntax, we don’t have to insist on composition but should, perhaps even with a smile and some high-fiving, leave these terms behind and celebrate that everything is total chaos, to open our eyes to the excellence and allow ourselves to be as enigmatic as our expression. Stop making pieces about anything at all, and especially not about identity, gender, differently able bodies, immigrants or Katrina. We should of course make pieces exactly about these issues but only all of them and at the same time, or without any proportion. But look, if you make a piece about something make sure you don’t celebrate that thing, cuz you know, celebration is always for those that celebrate not for the celebrated.

In fact we have a responsibility here, and there is no second option, we have to leave something behind – the desire to become architects, the builders of society. We should look only forwards and engage in the excellence and the chaos but not in order to generate order and stability but rather to make sure chaos is getting even more chaotic, for excellence to be a word that speaks about pushing positions. Causality, must be left behind. Causality is like sex-toys, we think it expands our opportunities but in fact makes us even more conventional. Sex-toys are for sentimental souls, it makes you feel imaginative and maybe you practice some group sex with your boyfriend, only the two of you.

To maintain excellence it is a good idea to leave the notion of the body of works behind. To make totally unrecognizable stuff. It is not your works but the fact that they cannot be connected, that produces the right kind of fear: a fear that makes people move and stop holding back. Maybe even act a bit out of the frame.
In order to stay within the chaos it would be favorable to leave consensus behind. To be judgmental all the time but never judgemental concerning the centre. Getting obsessed with details and not only the good ones. Be extremely enigmatic with your opinions, and change them without warning, make pieces that you rearrange every day and yet make them very formal. Read the wrong books by Rancière, and stop feeling guilty about reading novels. Hyperstition is the notion for the creation of intact worlds that have no compatability to our reality.

It is time to stop thinking about yourself as a brand, to forget your Hollywood dreams. There are no riches there for you to administer, so let’s bring the chaos on ourselves and start making really foolish things. No, this has nothing to do with being unprepared but perhaps about new modes of understanding satisfaction and joy. It has nothing to do with those too long too slow rehearsal periods when nobody dares to have an idea, and it has nothing to do with speed. There is nothing subversive in being slow or fast, speed is something we consume, not produce.
We have nothing to lose except chaos and excellence, so let’s keep it alive. Let’s take it as our responsibility to cultivate it. We must take seriously the fact that capitalism has asked us to return affect, and turned it away from potentiality or the virtual. We can’t rely on Deleuze and Guattari no more, we need new concepts. But you know, I think innovation is not enough, inventions, neither, cuz they all build upon the previous and are constructed in respect of transformation. From day to day, and we hardly notice how inventions enter our lives and change them. We must become immigrants – curse interdisciplinary practices – we must immigrate on a daily basis, we must immigrate for every piece, we must break with the past, must break even more with our known and friendly relatives and landscapes. We must immigrate in order to be solidaric.

Change your mind for no particular reason but just because. Be as enigmatic as you can, but this is not vain. Renounce vanity like Tilda Swinton, be modest but totally without consistency of opinion, and from time to time, make sure you don’t fall in the trap of becoming totally void of outlines. Make up stories about why and when, and change them all over on a daily basis. Make projects that are totally hermetic. Refuse risks, they are corporate anyway. Turn over a rare Ming vase at a party, and forget to spend your subsidy. Affect is for beginners, experience isn’t much better than enunciation. Embrace your inner chaos, change with it. I’m scared, the situation is excellent.