Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Performing Live (Recorded)
I still think a lot about permanence. I, at times, feel I don't care whether the work I create has any permanence. I know I prioritize the event in the room over the evidence. But I am grateful to the artists before me whose work (still exists and so) can teach me and inspire me. A recording of a work of art becomes a new work unto itself. The difference is particularly significant if the art is a performance. An artist who chooses performance as a form is likely interested in the live-ness of a body performing. The body might be the medium that can best do what the artist wants her work to do. Or it could be the movement. More likely it's a person's presence that accomplishes what an inanimate objet cannot. A recording of performance art can be useful to artists and scholars, but whether the artist intended the recording to be an element of the work, or whether it is an afterthought, is also worth considering. (Sometimes I feel almost too lazy to record my work, but that is a whole different issue.) I wonder if scrutinizing a record of one's own past work is as useful as simply reflecting on it.