Proximity began as a numinous experience of wetland life in the Barmah Lakes in Yorta Yorta Country. Surrounded by frogs clicking at one another (and at us), responding in an aural choreography to our every movement.
Our latest multimedia work, PROXIMITY, has been released by Interim: A Journal of Poetry and Poetics for their Body Issue. This issue has been carefully curated by Autumn Widdoes, who took the opportunity to integrate her background in dance, performance, and poetry, to actively include works which “require the presence of the body.” We are so pleased to be part of this expansive approach to poetics and we are eternally grateful to the artists who made this work with us: movers Danilo Andrés, Tereza Silon, Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau, Bishop Black and ROC and cinematographers Jo Pollux and Raja de Luna.
Proximity, we might say, underlies everything–and nothing. A measurement of distance, an exactitude that defines a broad range of emotional perspectives and access to privilege. Birthright. Mobility. Trust. Community. Family. Language. Safety. Neighbor. Care–if one cares and how one cares.
But then again–does proximity bind? And what, if anything, is modified in the exchange of touch, skin contact? At the point of acceleration–what’s the thing that draws us together? That motivates care? And in the absence of touch, of proximity–what then? Do digital proximities fill in the emotional gaps, does VR substitute skin contact? Is Proximity, then, a hallucination? A necessary hallucination?
Building on the previous methods we developed for our work BINARIES, we utilized techniques and forms of attentiveness to create a work of A/V poetry: frames as syllables, seconds as stanzas, text merged with image, bodies merged into other bodies, subjects merged into objects.
Proximity attempts to represent not answers but questions, questions which are more often felt than articulated because their formation escapes both everyday and specialist academic vocabularies. They are questions posed by the skin, by orifices, by a gaze that mediates recognition or its opposite, care or its opposite across a room, across a skype call, across a Guardian front page.
These questions are suggested but not wholly contained by the video’s text:
do you recognize me my your sovereignty / I am not close to you / I am not there / it is not me / I make better contact with your ghost / how much of my body could I lose / does our proximity bind us / I am afraid to touch / I might get a sense of you if you were within / reach / the further away you are the easier it is to ignore you / are we close / even though we touch / I you can’t hear my your voice / proximity
These corporal questions are multiplied by the encounters that proliferate as a consequence of hypermediated thought and speech acts. Ultimately they form a territory for experience. Other bodies, present in their absence, or absent in presence, disturb my relations to my own body enmeshes my body in ever-multiplying exchange practices – of money, of fluids, of goods, of glances exchanged.
Each of these interlocutors is a singularity in and of itself. The other that is the subject/object of my gaze/desir/touch, or in whose gaze/desire/touch I am objectified/subjectivised, this other deserves its own question that is not subsumed in meta ethical questions like “how should others be treated?” Yet the work of asking this question for all the entities with which we are connected exceeds the limits of expression.
Proximity does not seek to ask the question for every body present to consciousness but to identify the necessity of seeing each relation we have — even those we have to invisible others via media, geopolitics and global systems of manufacturing and food harvesting — as worth questioning, as worth raising as a form of potential intimacy.
PROXIMITY is the first in a series of singles, associative mixed reality performances and audio visual installations that interact with the conceptual origins of the auditory process, entitled Foreign Bodies. The work has been developed through the practice of learning from individuals and communities who move in resistance to, in spite of, and as a result of the management and control of bodies by states and other authoritarian actors.
Pleased to have composed the musical score for this important film by Yony Leyser.
Dissatisfaction with “bourgeois” aspects of the gay rights movement and machismo in the 1980s punk scene triggered the emergence in Toronto of queercore, a portmanteau of queer and hardcore. Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution documents the development of this anarchistic, alternative punk/gay culture. It embraced the DIY attitude of punk – making fanzines, distributing your own records, inventing and expressing your own aesthetic – to address revolutionary gay politics in homemade magazines and experimental films. After the film, the Berlin electro duo Hyenaz, who created the soundtrack for the documentary, will give a wild live performance. https://www.facebook.com/Queercoremovie/
Pleased to have contributed music for this forthcoming film about one of our inspirational interlocuters and talented Berlin performance artists ReveRso.
Here is the trailer for the new film “the beauty of reverso”, a documentary portrait about ReveRso by Michael Brent Adam.
Zum Start ins neue Jahr, der Trailer zu unserem neuen Film "The Beauty of Reverso". Ein dokumentarisches Portrait über Reverso (Andrej Vile), einen Berliner Performancekünstler. Vielen Dank an Lukas Kunzmann, mit dem ich diesen Film drehen durfte. Großen Dank an who's mcqueen für die großzügige Unterstützung!
Queercore: How To Punk a Revolution + Live: HYENAZ
Uit onvrede met de ‘bourgeois’-aspecten van de homobeweging en het toenemende machogehalte van de punkscene in de jaren tachtig, ontstond in Toronto homocore – een samentrekking van homoseksueel en hardcore. Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution documenteert het ontstaan van deze anarchistische, alternatieve punk homocultuur. Deze omarmde de DIY-attitude van punk: het maken van eigen fanzines, het onafhankelijk distribueren van eigen platen, en het uitvinden en uitventen van een eigen esthetiek en revolutionaire homopolitiek.
Na de film doet het electro-duo Hyenaz uit Berlijn, dat de soundtrack verzorgde, een wilde live-performance.
Techniques for Auditory Resistance
a weekend intensive electronic music workshop with HYENAZ
13 -15 October 2017 at betOnest
This was a sound art workshop and collaborative laboratory facilitated by HYENAZ. Using a variety of tools, with an emphasis on free and open source software, we explored a variety of approaches to creating sound in an electronic music context, including the manipulation of field recordings through sampling, digital synthesis and vocal recordings. We explored techniques of arrangement to create sonic landscapes from the sounds that emerged and began to think about how we can develop sound art that responds to the experiences of those who gathered as well our context at betOnest.
PROBABILITY PRAXIS 21 of 28 waning gibbous
COVEN – Underdog Gallery
short reflection and photos from Mil …
“I have really appreciated your open and inclusive approach to performance making. There is so much bullshit around in the world and in the art world that it was great to experience something genuine, layered but simple, and with integrity. I loved the different textures – smooth painted bodies, laced canvass strip used to wrapped Adrienne at the beginning, plain cotton strips used for blindfolds, a large plastic sheet, small pieces of paper, metal bars – that were used or been available during the ritual. And the fact that we were part of a breathable structure that allowed all of us, you, interlocutors and audience alike, to feel supported together but also left with plenty of space and time to improvise, join in or take a step back on our own, and in Nietzche’s words to become who we are. Someone said that a lesson in art he learned from Tarkovsky was to allow room for spirituality and to be true to reality. I think you achieved both in your performance of Critical Magic on Saturday. Thank you!” — Mil Vukovik Smart