We all agree to the idea that art, whatever expression, reflects its mode of production. You make your work in a studio that’s twelve by twelve and you will inevitably make twelve by twelve art. The moment you close the door behind you and start creating, you will make work that is not exactly open, transparent or inviting. Set up a process of three months and you will obviously make a three months process work. Thus, if you don’t want to make work that looks like Alain Platel’s make sure not to set out for a five months rehearsal process. Or, if you don’t want to make work that resembles Meg Stuart’s keep away from video documentation. Seriously, if you from the start estimate to make work that can be documented, work that, so to say, fits in a video camera, work that can be converted to some notation, or fiddled into some search-word story, your work is just not radical enough and already defined by the mode of documentation. Ban people that speak about the importance of documentation. Your work won’t be better because the documentation was high-res or elaborated through some fancy software.
If your artistic endeavor is supported by the state or not doesn’t make you more or less independent. The sort of dance that we do always belongs to the state, no exceptions! It’s always already inscribed in the stage machine, like where would you present your work if not within the atmosphere of the state. By the way, if you have BalletTanz lying around in your work environment you will do BalletTanz dance. I think it is a very good idea that you stop doing that kind of dance. Terminate your subscription, mega-loser. Stop it and throw away all your back issues. Make sure to erase the name of anybody who ever wrote for the magazine from your mind. Now! I’ll tell you something. You totally don’t remember me. Yes, I did. I confess, and I was even proud about it. But I stopped, or perhaps they just stopped asking for contributions. So your work is funded by the art council, and you know who sits in the jury deciding who will and will not… that’s the circumstances that govern your work… No wonder you make shit.
Dance and choreography, art whatever, is business. Nothing special, selling choreography is like selling cars, dealing and wheeling on Craig’s list or renting out your flat far too expensively. But then, if your work is resonating of its mode of production, aren’t you then making business dance. You are not making money but yet you are commercial. Tadam, I knew it! You run your business well, very well. You always send in the reports on time, perfect bookkeeping, and you make dance? Yeah, so what you do is a perfect bookkeeping dance?
Hmmm, perhaps not even dance is that linear, but watch your ass, before you know, it’s the accountant that makes your stuff as touring becomes priority and keeping the business together is your magnum opus. In any case, whatever conditions you work under, you have only one thing that should concern you. It’s simple, banal and hellufalot of work: master the circumstances and make sure never to fall victim for them. Make yourself king of the circumstances that are at your disposal.
If you have no money to rent a studio, stop complaining about it and spend the time working somewhere else. There are lots of big rooms in the world where dance and choreography can be made amazing. The local nightclub, the town square, the beach or the phone? You want to work in a studio because it makes you feel like a choreographer. Choreographers don’t work on the beach, surfers do. And you are so keen to feel and look and move like a choreographer that you’ll never give up your precious twelve by twelve studio. A space that you probably have given a name, göööö. If you ever visit the choreographic centre in Montpellier, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Moreover who says making work in a big room is a good idea. Fuck that, make choreography in small confined spaces. Make it in the bath tub and it might come out like an early Jerome Bel piece? Make it whilst you commute to work and it’ll be mobile work. OMG, people that complain about having a day job, and not blah blah dance – they make day job choreography – not because they have to but because they want. They are just so happy victimizing themselves under the burden of being a waitress. Fuck that, and make your waitress choreography, show some dignity.
Aha, dude – This is exactly why making yourself king of circumstances is a gargantuan enterprise, the adventure of you life, because it means you’ll have to give something up. To obey, support or whatever circumstances is sweet because it feels good, boosts your identity. At the same time only if we challenge circumstances can we produce something that will not be just more of the same. If you have a company, sell it! If you have a manager, bitch like you were Argentinian! If you have a dramaturge, fire him! – I say it again — If you have a dramaturge, FIRE him! – Two is not enough: If you have a dramaturge, fire him. No send him to another galaxy. He’ll be very happy cuz he probably also admires Douglas Adams, and still laughs about the tacky jokes about a planet inhabited by bed sheets. Jezuz. If somebody wants to make a book about you and your work, run run run! If you have a studio, rent it out – but make sure not to rent it to something dance.
So you say, but maybe if a dramaturge is such a bad thing maybe I should keep him, produce closure and hence make myself open to radical change, to breach? Might, be a good idea but when it comes to the dramaturge this is not a fact, because he or she is somebody that always operates vis-à-vis priority. Making yourself king of circumstances is exactly a matter of passing through a distinct closure, or perhaps even better the moment of mastering circumstances, i.e. emancipating your production from its mode of governance, you will necessarily configurate an open. Or perhaps, the moment of emancipation from circumstances implies a shift from multiplicity to multitude, that is a space of innovation or becoming.
Obviously, this process implies renouncing identity. To rule your circumstances will by default make you appear like a fool, an idiot, irresponsible, unprofessional and laughable, naïve or childish. Yes, emancipation, in this sense, proposes a certain refusal to negotiation, or a least a refusal to a change in the terms of negotiation, a suspense of negotiation until the field has been reset, rebooted. This can only take place by some kind of unconditionality, such as fanatism, obsessivity, non-provoked postponement, total irreliablity, some sort of humor. Humor in the sense of collapsing signifier chains: a joke is the deliberate formation of signifiers that at the same time construct consistency and incompatibility, that produce incoherence where coherence rules, or in other words that is both and and and or at the same time. The joke, the mastery of circumstances, opens for a space of innovation, for a space where the subject can no longer possess the sentence I feel, but is deferred to a position that is being felt.
We all agree that the mode of production governs the result, the production or product. FUCK YOU, not any more it does! Refuse it, refuse it. Just goddamn repudiate. And this, as you know, means one kick ass thing: BETRAY ALL SIDES.