Super Short Bursts of Light!

11 February ∣ Melbourne, AU – Yo! Sissy Goes Down Under @ 24 Moons
16 February ∣ Melbourne, AU – Honcho Disko @ The 86
24 February ∣ Sydney, AU – Tokyo Sing Song
25 February ∣ Sydney, AU – Control @ Red Rattler
04 March    ∣ Sydney, AU – Unicorns – Mardi Gras Edition

We’ve developed a new format for the club shows in Australia. It is a much
shorter set in which we concentrate on the basic: building the circle, making contact with hands and eyes and asking for people to crouch down. This  gathers attention so that we can then all stand up together and begin the  Octomantic Ritual.

Then we do something really new–we speak from the stage about what we are doing. At first, we were worried that it would be really “cheesy” but we also realized with short stage times in club environments, its too much to do an hour long show and its too much to do a short show without an explanation about what the hell is going on.

So we have been speaking about magic, about harnessing energy (we liked a lot what we read from Starhawk about their definitions of magic) and how we can use this energy to send out positive, affirmative statements, intentions.

We also guide the group into the practice of breathing, using the fire breath as a focal point of activity. This helps go from the calm speaking part to the high energy Binaries, in which we shout out our opposing categories … sacred/profane, cock/cunt, border/flow.

Binaries then leads directly into the shouting out of the intentions, so there is no drop in energy. And in this moment we (intend to) scream them out. Then without stopping, we go directly into the last section, bringing us
all into the here and now, twerking/dancing together.

The format is compressed and doesn’t have as many or as deep highs and lows, but we both feel that it works in the context a lot better than the full “probability praxis.” For this reason, we’re also unsure whether or no to count these “super short bursts of light” a full probability workshop session or not.

Some of our favorite mind memories are these:

At Red Rattler and at Unicorns, bringing everybody on stage for the final twerking. At Unicorns, the twerking got really dirty and intense, spreading onto the dance floor off the stage and went straight into the club feeling. At Red Rattler, we passed out the instruments and people began to play them with us. Someone told me, “at first I was trying to make sense of how the instruments fit together, but then I realized … it really doesn’t matter. Anything can work with anything else to make sound.” When the music fell to the last silent part, with just the large “log on water drum”, we created a kind of group tableaux,
where everyone from the audience was on stage, touching each others’ backs. Adrienne was dancing alone on the floor with the log. I want to always keep a mental picture of this, it was so beautiful.

When people came onto the stage, for some reason I was compelled to say to them, “you should really go up there is
really nice, it’s really much better in the light.” I felt happy and joyous as they came with me. I wanted things to feel really light, really easy.

Someone said to us “I really liked how you asked consent before you even touched my shoulder”. We in fact don’t ask consent every time we touch people, but this positive feedback makes me think its really important to do that and helps me rethink how I approach people.

At the final show in Sydney, one woman said to me, when I first came
up to her: “what do you want me to do. Cause you are freaking me out.”

I realize that I should have asked her ahead of time if I could touch her
hand. I explained that I wanted her to crouch down with me. And that we
were going to do a spell together. But this still did not suffice as an
explanation. So I ended up moving to another person so she would not
feel pressure. But I also felt bad that I “left her” because she is
someone that I could have, perhaps, reached out to more in answer to her
resistance. Or … maybe letting her alone was the right choice so that
she could observe.

We thought a lot about how to explain from the stage how to state an intention. While we don’t want to tell people what intentions to have, we also want to quickly and effectively set an example of how they should be stated. Our friend Linsey who is a practicing witch says that we should speak of the wish/intention as though it has already happened. This is a bit challenging to explain quickly without giving an example. In any case we would like to use a present
tense, to show that it is a process, a present thing that is
happening and ongoing, for example: I live in a world without gender.

It is sometimes difficult to get many people moving during the “moshing” part of binaries. Sometimes I feel like we are just knocking people around. I would like instead to help slowly “stir” people into increasing intensive kinetic movement.

We used the blindfolds during it was not the earth, which is a complete change in our normal “choreography.” But we found it effective to begin with Kate blindfolding Adrienne and then beginning to turn her (Adrienne) as though she is the water moving through the water wheel, Adrienne becoming the water wheel, and creating the energy of the spell. Then Kate moved through the audience hoping to blindfold others and to engage other people as water wheels. It was difficult, however, to pass out the blindfolds to very many people without assistance.

The show is ecstatic for us and for our audience when it works because it
is an opportunity to become interactive with strangers in a way which
is not possible in everyday life, though we would like it to be. You
cannot approach someone at the bank and necessarily have such an
encounter. But through performance and show we can begin, and this is one small breaking of the norm. This small breaking of the norm helps us to see how this could be an opening, a larger breaking, an alternative way of interacting, spreading and enveloping.

Critical Magic Live // Probability Praxis 4 of 28 // Waxing Crescent // Urban Spree Berlin 21.10.2016

HYENAZ with Interlocuters: ReveRso, Federica Dauri, and Valentin Tszin
Styling: Yeorg Kronnagel with Thea B Adora
Mix / Master: Bartlomiej Kuzniak
Camera and Edit: Akkamiau and Giordano Cioni
Additional Camera: Voin Kaiser
Thanks to Sylbee Kim and Nicolas Pelzer for the inception and to SPRINGSTOFF for believing in this project

show reflections

La Colonie, Paris,
France at MN³ w/ Polychrome – Society of Silence


17 December 2016

translation is badly needed for french and german. As well that the people who act as interlocuters are told ahead of time that we would like them to speak ahead of time to people in their own language; I dont think its fair of me to spring this on them the night of the show. It is so important for this project to happen. We have to make links to people ahead of the show. We would like to make recordings of peoples intentions for change that we can live trigger during the show, but we are wondering about how to do this dynamically so that it is a smooth trigger of clean samples. Especially when there is a lot of
noise prior to the show how do we get samples that are clean enough.

We are living in a slippery place, a ritual, a show, a concert venue, an expectation of a theater. Not wanting to force anyone to do anything, not wanting to tell anyone how to participate. This is in a music venue for the most
part ,except that the show is long, that there is a lot of expectation of our audience. We have tried now several times to do the show n the club context and each time I have the impression that the show is just a little bit too long for some people, that they would like to duck out, that unless they are entirely swept under and with us, they fall detached, they wonder how to stay within this.

Every time we do this show, I do not finish with a sense of euphoria, I finish with a sense of critical awareness of how I have now achieved the best show possible. I finish with a sense that I am in unchartered territory, even that I might have bitten off more than I can chew. That I am trying something that is difficult and I am not really able to entirely pull it off. But I also finish with the distinct feeling that I should continue on, because so many people give me the
feedback that they felt it was incredible, sometimes the most amazing thing they have ever seen, sometimes that they think they needed it, that “something” in the room happened, that they experienced euphoria, that they felt transformed. So I continue on of course, I mean, we do. And I want to.

The ground feels fresh and fragile to me. I know that not everyone feels transformed, or even touched. I know that some people hate it. I know that some people feel alienated, or leave. But others feel transformed. Others
feel hopeful. Others at least feel that it is the right challenge to be taking on. They sometimes also offer constructive feedback. In this case, one person said it was too long, which confirmed a hunch of mine.

In answer to this we would like to ask that when we agree with a venue ahead of time that indeed we will do a full club show, that we take on the idea of fully
going into this … perhaps by opening with breathing (I did bring this consciously into my movement, but we are speaking of something even deeper, more conscientious). Then perhaps by going into yoga, or eating together, or having some other kind of meditative incantation.

I still feel that I havenot created a clear enough “entrance”, or “partition” into
the circle, an entry for the audience into the ritual. It is ratherthat I enter their space, not that we enter a fresh space together. I find this problematic. We have to work towards the goal of full immersion, which requires a level of volume, the project, the lights. One where we all feel taken inside a space. And the bar is not a distraction.


Show Reflections – Paris 17.12

We felt, overwhelmingly, that we had performed well. We were pleased with ourselves, with what we had achieved. Our dancers were a strong support, we had an experience, we were with one another, and with our audience. It was a strong encounter.

We felt some limitations. Our goal with the ritual has always been to meld with, into the audience. We have achieved this, in our small gathering in the pilgrim’s shelter in Murgia in southern Italy, at our album launch, in Bologna, these were strong experiences. From our perspective though it requires a strengthening of our ability to shape the context of the ritual. We would like to share a communal meal, to re-enliven our bodies through stretching and yoga, to talk politics, economics, magic and spirituality
with those gathered in order that when the ritual begins, we have constituted something like a spiritual public.

More and more, with the limitations imposed by arriving at a club, establishing the ritual space, soundchecking, entering costume and make up and performing, there is no time available to perform this necessary being with others, and so there is an uneasy tension between the normal expectations of a live music event (to provide entertainment) and the broader goals of our ritual (to connect, to find empowerment, to embolden collective action).

We have begun to think that, perhaps we should demarcate our club performance from our ritual performance, and enact the ritual only where those who bring us to a space or a venue are able to provide the conditions and the time necessary to constitute a spiritual public.