I am an interdisciplinary artist who works choreographically with various technologies and materials, including bodies, cameras, objects, soundwaves, instincts, and ecosystems. I make work to illuminate the role of the nonhuman in formation-practices of self and material environment, and turn to interspecies ecologies to challenge distinctions between nature and culture. My research takes shape in various forms, including live performance, experimental video, sound design, and writing. I work as both an artist and a writer and value pursuing multiple methods of “theorizing” and presenting research across various disciplines, forms, and contexts.
Projects have included a four-month investigation into the porous materiality of desire and eroticism in caves of Virginia, developing multi-critter movement scores to research the oscillation patters of tides on the islands of British Columbia, and a one-month ethnographic study into the choreographic relationship between stray cats and the local restaurant economy of Lefkada Island in Greece.
I see my work emerging from the inquisitive traditions of experimental video and performance pioneers of the 60’s and 70’s. I am influenced by the ongoing criticality of these artists to resist conventional narrative and challenge assumptions of form, image, and identity. Moving between experimental video/digital practices and dance has led me to intricate considerations of materiality and the many ways in which we mediate and modify our bodies on various scales, from clothing to cellphones to diet fads to social media. These interests are also deeply informed by the ontological tornado of growing up as a queer non-binary kid in the conservative south.
As both research methodology and a choreographic infrastructure I turn to the phenomenon of diffractions. Moving beyond reflexivity, or reflecting back information either through representation, critique, or assimilation, working diffractively is to work-with, think-with, make-with, to discover significance and difference through relationality. I see my work materializing through its relationship to not only my immediate collaborators, but also other artists and thinkers I hold close to my thinking: Jennifer Monson, adrienne maree brown, Donna Haraway, jess pretty, Karen Barad, and my canine companion, Laika, among many, many others. I value the prospect of creating work that could be read alongside and through other projects, with influence and citation becoming visible and necessary material attributes to process and meaning. In other words: I want to be in conversation. I have no interest in the illusion of the solo producer, maker, thinker, etc.
I am situated inside of the current trajectory of scholars and artists across disciplines turning to the field of “new materialisms” to respond to the political-ecological moment we live in, while also extending some of these ideas to discourse in transgender studies and intersections of feminist theory and science. Choreography and writing serve as the two primary forms I work within, often interchangeably, to better understand the ways in which bodies, objects, ideas, and information move through time and space.
Currently, I am producing an interdisciplinary multi-year study called Agua Viva: Choreographies of the Sea, set to premiere in September 2020. This project looks choreographically at the evolution of fish and benthic ecosystems as potentially radical sites to inform how we move through our precarious terrestrial future. This research is emerging through intersections of dance, science and technology studies, and queer/feminist theory. It will result in an evening length performance, a video series, and an interactive archival website that will document the research process and include all field notes, data sets, interviews, videos, writing samples, photographs, diagrams, and other process components.
As an extension of this project I am also developing a book manuscript titled Dancing at the End of the World: Choreographies of Time and Uncertainty. Weaving theory, speculative fabulation, personal anecdote, and science fiction, this experimental text moves between various sites to examine our relationships to material environments in our current political-ecological climate. It centers dance and choreography as invaluable methodologies to research social, political, technological, and environmental phenomena. Excerpts from this text are used in the short animation Canis Major, which begins touring internationally January 2020.