Performance Arts, Theatre, Music, Dance and Multi-media -
August 8, 2013 - In conjunction with CalArts, REDCAT continues to be the beacon of what’s new and what’s possible in the Arts. New Original Works (NOW) 2013 is just such a presentation. REDCAT presents the tenth year of NOW over a three-week period and features 9 new works.
NOW is not a “one size fits all” collection of works; nor is it for those rigid in artistic acceptance. It does stretch the boundaries of one’s artistic experiences beyond mere experience to artistic adventure. This evening some viewers were obviously not ready for an adventure, and weren’t shy about expressing themselves in a manner that could be heard by all. One audience member left the theatre professing loudly in an ungracious manner, “I want this to be heard loud and clear. This is garbage. Absolute garbage!” — “Lady, just go away and don’t make it my business. Good-bye, good luck and get out.”
This opening piece, DISLIKE created by Daniel Corral, did start out making the evening difficult for me. Eight accordions and the deconstruction of 24-hours worth of comments on the most “disliked” video on YouTube, created this work. The eight accordions were thus described: “eight accordions create a lush, post-ambient sonic environment inspired by a time-stretch interpretation of that video’s song. The resulting dichotomy depicts the Jungian shadow of the digital collecitve unconscious.” With this explanation, I spent the rest of the performance scouring my collective unconscious. I could only recall French philosopher, Jacques Derrida’s, form of semiotic analysis from about 1967 and binary opposition as a form of deconstruction. I then spent the rest of this performance thinking, “What on earth does this have to do with this piece in 2013 – it’s been done…just not with accordions.”
And so went the rest of the evening for me: Trying to figure out “why”, and taking personal responsibility for not finding an answer as an audience member.
As I said, these pieces are not a ‘one size fits all’ for personal experiences by an audience member. But, they are important in the overall scheme of the Arts. We will always need the adventurous and daring to challenge us with different possibilities in thinking, even if we don’t understand them at the time.
CalArts and NEA grants continue to make this possible for the Arts. We all must continue to support these sorts of adventures. since you never know what you’re going to see, always expect the unexpected.