It is Jan. 31, the second tryout. I invited two artists, Lex Braes and Yasuyo Tanaka.
Around 2pm, Lex arrived with several white papers sticking out from his cloth’s shoulder bag. We waited Yasuyo for few more min. but decided to start.
We did One min. Improvisation/Contact Improvisation first.
And, this is the Lex’s 1 min. drawing
Then, we did 3 min. Improvisation/Contact Improvisation.
Right after that, Lex draw for 3 min.
This is his 3 min. drawing.
Next, we did Six min. Contact improvisational dance. We enjoyed watching Lex drew. His drawing style was very kinesthetic and raw, which our dance is as well. We started to feel some development in our dance while dancing.
Watching Lex drew for six min. was something very emotional and exciting to me as if watching the birth and transformation.
Just before we fished our 6 min. dance, Yasuyo showed up. And, Lex was very focused on his drawing and his fingers were covered with the drawing materials.
I asked Yasuyo if she wants to draw, she said she would rather watch.
I decided to do two very short: 30 second twice. And, Yasuyo offered to time 30 sec. since iphone only has timer with 1 min. and more.
This is the first 30 sec. improv. dance.
This is the first 30 sec. response drawing.
Then, we did the second 30 sec. improv. dance.
Lex drew this one for second 30 sec.
We were indeed responding each other at that moment. And, it removed all those smart brains from dominating our choices. we had little more time at that moment.
So, just spice up the duration of time, we did two and half min..
This is our last 2.5 min. improv. dance.
And, this is Lex’s last drawing of 2.5 min..
It was great tryout and felt good about this project. I asked Lex to send me his experience in writing expecting to be rather short. Surprisingly, he sent me this. I think this is great writing.
some writing for you, it’s not immediate so it fluctuates between memory experience and seeing my drawings the next day. I hope I remembered the timing correctly? Also I’m more happy with them than I was yesterday, it was an incredible time, thank you for being so open with your creativity, I hope this helps you
First I prepared mentally in my studio, and I thought about my materials. I chose an Arches hot pressed watercolour paper that I am comfortable with, torn into sheets 11.5 x 15 inches then I thought about the marks I might want to make on this smooth surface. I brought several pieces of natural rock, all fit in the hand slightly differently, the largest and the one I initially chose for the first 3 drawings was a lump of graphite lead resembling a piece of coal, 2 lumps of natural red earth chalk and a large stick of French charcoal.
the first session drawing: always the most difficult, warming up a given, but to what? to letting go needs training.
how to let go with a controlled mark is not so simple as it may sound. I am aware that I have to let go of what I have just watched in order to experience what actually happened in the contact improv, to access what my essential experience is? If I’m truthful in a literal, a retinal sense alone, following shape and movement litterally transcribed then I know I’m lost, all I could achieve would be, at best, an illustration. I am after a translation of my personal experience, an immediate deeply felt response, without a priori knowledge of what drawing is/should be — I am after a primitive mark making response with an intention to discover an emotional architecture.
I will briefly try and describe each drawing experience following each improv
1 minute: improv _1 truly a warm-up only my feeling my way into the paper and perhaps realising the task at hand and with the swirls I made I was already aware that I was being literal to movements still resonating in me.
3 minutes: improv _2 following previous attempt, I now feel what I don’t want more than I know what I do, still it propels me forwards as I make marks and a rhythm seems to materialise, a shape from 2 distinct if not quite opposite forms begins to reveal itself
6 minutes: improv_3 I’m glad for more time, not convinced the dancers were. I slow down and get involved following the found rhythm from the previous session, I’m very much still in warming up mode, a groove is finding its way onto the paper, almost forming 2 shapes distinct yet making one shape. I’m done too early like the dancers, we’re in tune in this way!
a change to the scheduled conditions is made: decided after improv 3 in part due to how many sheets of paper I had left to draw on, there are 3
30 seconds: improv_4 I’m dissatisfied with previous drawing, too articulate too soon I think. I want to open up again, a material shift should help, I chose a red chalk. It feels very different almost alien to the touch now after the smooth contact of the graphite, I was in danger of being seduced by my material. Now I don’t know what I’m doing I keep my chalk contacting the paper until I’m uncertain and then begin again, I am finding better speed and inner focus. I am making 2 distinct mark making even although the movements are the same, one is lighter perhaps delicate and the other is made more forcefully, the speed is different for both, they are making a singular shape with an out crop on one side and an open line on the other but I am not conscious of this grammar in the moment, I am enjoying the short spurt, it seems to work. there is a dividing line separating them but the whole shape is so strong that the dividing line doesn’t divide, this has potential. The chalk worked, yet I change drawing tool again for the next session.
30 seconds: improv_5 this time to charcoal, is all instinct now. I am involved and want more. I open up and lose my curving line which is annoying me, I feel it’s emulating movement (therefor illustrational) and I want another way to talk about the experience I’m having of these 2 entities coming in and out of contact. I am now feeling more potential to think abstractly, ie, in another language. I make a different type of mark and look to discover a different architecture for this experience, it’s opening up and the paper is left alone more, I am orchestrating more freely and yet more concisely at the same time, allowing the paper to be space I am not dominating the paper I am in more control of letting go, this is one of life’s wonderful paradox’s, willing to let go! there is something here for me.
1.5 minutes (it was 2.5 min.): improv_6 we know it’s the final, I keep the openness going from before but I make more deliberate and stronger marks than I’d wish to but here I am and I’m making responses one mark from another and a more open form emerges and there’s 2 parts but they are so involved with each and it’s one place and shape and maybe….