Re-Frame: A Gathering discussion

Why create art?


How does art help heal?


As an artist, What has been meaningful to you in the creative process?


Please share your thoughts to any of the above questions in the comment section...



19 comments:

  1. Is there a particular experience or moment in the creative process that really exemplifies your artistry? share below...We'd love to know what you think.

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  2. a moment: i am lying on the floor of a studio in downtown brooklyn, witnessing two dance artists (Manelich Minniefee & Sunder Ashni) rolling ontop of each other. there is no need to communicate or direct them...it's just the opportunity for them to get to 'know' each other: body to body. their breath is the way in which they let each other know what feels right and what is too much weight... this goes on for about an hour and then i see an exchange which exemplifies 'the dance'. asking them to pause, we as a group attempt to recreate that moment...while what happened to create that 'dance' moment could not be copied, the attempt to recreate it was just as inspiring! and a 'dance' that would lead to other longer dances was revealed...

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  3. Thoughts about my experience at Axis Summer Intensive 2011 (discussion with Baraka)

    -- For the first time of my life I was not thinking about "what am I doing here"...
    I was just enjoying, not wondering if I was at the right place

    These people were so strong even though a lot of them had tough lives
    It made me realize I was not allowed to complain about my life cause I was pretty lucky after all...--

    I don't consider myself as an artist but , in my experience, Creation can come from a revelation about ourselves and others, about what life could be, what beauty could be... and meeting the right people at the right time in your life...

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  4. There have been MANY touchstones of inspiration/motivation during my creative/artistic awakening. From the first pop song I memorized (George Benson's "Masquerade")to my first dance recital (at Chicago's Arie Crown Theater)to performing my first original script (via my high school Scriptwriting class). However(in my adult life), the biggest influence on my artistic process has been collaboration. Particularly, my collaboration with my sisters in performance----Meida McNeal & Abra Johnson. Via Abra, I met Meida after seeing her MFA performance "Quiche,Collards & Curry" at Chicago's Links Hall in 2000. I was blown away by Meida's strength & beauty as a choreographer & writer. I then told Abra (who is a fantastic writer & performer, as well) that whatever projects Meida was recruiting for, I was down! A year later, we founded our first performance group together called Thick Routes Performance Collage (along with Aisha Jean-Baptiste & Michelle Mashon). Our opus was "Bag Ladies: Carrying a Diaspora Colored Black". The process we implemented then (i.e. journaling, recording conversations & rehearsals, sharing news stories & stats, juxtaposing sound, movement & images)remains the same in our current iteration, The Ladies Ring Shout. The best word to describe our process is "organic". No GMO's here...our authentic experiences/perspectives & chemistry is what we bring to our process and our shows. As Baraka would say, we bring "the juke"!

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  5. I call it the moment of truth....or "i am stuck/blocked" This is like my good friend will say the juicy part of the process. Right now i've been in the development and creative process of a new multidisciplinary performance....for the longest time i couldn't get started....i was able to explain what I am investigating....but it wasn't until the moment i walked and stayed in the studio and pushed my body to that initial place to the birth of why, how, where and when it lived in my spirit that i discover the IGNITER of the reason to embark the process. WAO! very intense and beautiful moment. I continue coming from that place and at other moments of the creative process i reshape the path to create a new way of reaching that place. Maps are created in both the body and the space of creation. I look forward to creating this space and investigating the BODY of creativity. The juicy part!

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  6. this past summer, urged to continue with a collaborative writing project where i showed up everyday with whoever was there. we brought inspirations, offerings & then drew our "own" words out of them, & then re-cast, re-drew, re-formed, re-mixed from what was already there. i see it as a junk aesthetic, grabbing hold of what's there, what's under, what's below, what's not put together yet, what's been drawn apart to create something between the stitches ....

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  7. I love the moment of realization, when the focus or theme of a piece begins to coalesce. I (like many of us, I'd imagine) sometimes commit to projects before I really know what specific thing I'll be doing; continuing to write and work on something until an "Ah ha!" moment of "This is the theme!" comes through is always rewarding.

    More generally, I love working with others, even on solo material. Peer feedback, discussion, and engagement makes every piece better. Working alone in a vacuum is too hard!

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  8. perdition of the imagination, and the infinitesimal instance where it summons the most beautiful thing ever...then being able to understand it and how to birth it for all to see. maybe not even for all to see but for the acknowledge that am i am doing, and this a mode to be. the creative process is ever evolving, and i have to trust all those deadend moments to make the right turn onto some crossroad of magnificence. but today, i am very much humbled to be a part of darrell jones's process because of the challenges and desires to transcend the bodily/readied self. from it, i learning how to align and harness new powers...and i would like to continue that in my own work as power is something many of us do not have in may conceits of this world. thus, the creative process i am interested in destroys (in sustainable ways) to create (in sustainable ways). :-D

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  9. what has been meaningful to me is a skeletal or map-based creative process: where the specifics are very specific (laid out in time and/or space), leaving most of the rest open for improvisation. i think dancers use the word "score" to name their restrictions or rules within a structured improv...i like that term, and in a broader way i find that borrowing language/conventions across different disciplines is a source of great inspiration for me: cross-pollination is how the best new fruit grows. most examples in my practice involve the use of dance as a new metaphor to breathe life into something that does not consider itself a "dance": when i have re-framed a song i am singing in terms of a dance..."how the sound dances through time," for instance...i have found ways to bring the song, which may have come from a very mental place, into the physical realm where it is going to exist either way. this is very helpful for clarifying what i see as the shared lineage between my art and meditation: experiencing things as they are, not as i would like them to be, or as i imagine them to be. that is, the song may have been born of a mental image or an insistently verbal aspect of the mind, but if its calling is to be a song, or even to be spoken aloud whatsoever, then it enters into the physical realm of the lungs, the throat, even the teeth and wings and tail and feet! so as it emerges into the open air, and i now invest it with the physical scale of a dance -- full-bodied, not just vibrations in the chest -- i may allow it to animate the body as it comes, three-dimensionalizing what was a one- or two-dimensional story/song. i should finally mention that opposites/contrast are a big part of my creative process, so once i've overloaded my "score" with metaphors upon metaphors upon metaphors, it is also very powerful for me to come back to JUST THE SONG, in its simplest purest form, or even silence.

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  10. I create from what exists. I respond. I remix.

    TECHNOLOGY has been key in giving me ample amounts of content, for engendering virtual collaboration and seamless sharing of multiple mediums.

    GEOGRAPHY & MOBILITY have been other strong themes. The Bay Area supported me in almost endeavor, observing New York has kept my standards sharp, landing in Chicago will allow me to root and dare to be authentic. I bring my full experience of these cities into anything that I write and into the way I move. When thinking of movement, I also think of Nashville, TN where I became steeped in the notion that, even under the specter of 90's hip-hop (when people stopped dancing), you cannot take dance away from the Black South.

    Meaning on a practical level = critical feedback and opportunities to excavate what already lives inside me.

    Meaning on a personal level = Compagnie Tche Tche's performance of "Dimi" (Women's Sorrow) and my friend turning to me and telling me that she was almost in tears because women in her family did not HOLD each other like that, psychically or physically. And in that moment, I thought that I MUST do something about this - about Black people not holding each other/touching each other.

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  11. What is meaningful to me as an artist is that I connect with the site I am working with, whether I am comfortable or not. It is a fulfilling experience to ask strangers and friends to collaborate with me or utilize existing marks and/or found items for example rusty nails on walls, faded posters, fences, etc. Spontaneity plays a role in my process and I appreciate how these existing factors help transform my work. The art I create evolves into another perspective, or life and it is the result between my relationship with the urban environment.

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  12. K. Hannah FriedmanNovember 4, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    What is most meaningful to me as an artist is the process of collaborative experimentation. True experimentation is defined, in part, by the risk of failure - if I knew my work could tell a story all by itself, I would have no need of an audience. My work is performative, visual, and questioning. I love working within communities, and I draw inspiration from ensembles. I use chance operations and found objects (which often become puppets) as tools to access the truths we struggle with every day.
    Address books make me cry. They are tiny, perfect symbols of how technology has changed/is changing the history of human relationships. I curate a lab that invites artists and others to experiment without the pressure of a paying audience; one project we're working on is a museum of obsolete objects. Address books, newspapers, children's toys, etc., will litter the exhibit. I believe art is, at its best, the beginning of a conversation. My work is an invitation to re-imagine the world we inhabit together.

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  13. Sorry I missed your call yesterday!. I am so excited and happy for the beginning. Everything starts with a first day which are always filled with many emotions....excitement, fear, love, risk, change....Welcome to Re-Frame: A Gathering

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  14. Prayer is the foundation of my creative walk. I believe that God is my source for all creative ideas, and through my spiritual walk I am better able to create, design, love, hold, and collaborate with the physical world/ people around me. Right now my work is centered around the African Diaspora and the women who prayed/birth me into being.

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  15. Representation. What has been meaningful to me most in the creative process is genuine representation. Representation of my self foremost, but that expands or spills over beyond my self as an individual and into a collective self that inhabits a universe (my own volition if you will) of like minded individuals who share similar perspectives like that of my own. It is the opportunity to express a perspective or views that even in today's world of growing acceptance is often misunderstood (mistaken for ignorance and lack of consciousness), completely disregarded, and discredited (because of the source offering the perspective or interpretation irregards to the fact that everything is relative) and typically regulated to fringes of society, molded into a sub-culture of those same like minds, gains admiration through a vehicle of pop-culture which in-turn exploits those same ideals, incorporates and adopts them, makes em common place until they have completely saturated a particular moment of existence, been forgotten by most of the original like minded individuals (casualties of war fallen soldiers) but protected and held sacred by many and some who still represent, regulate, resisted and still resist it. What ever that means... I'm just representing.

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  16. We sat looking up at the ceiling- I thought as long as I have known myself I have been tone-deaf. Then Abe opened his mouth and I opened mine. That day I realized I will never forget what the word harmonizing means. Proud and terrified on how new unlearning of limits can be .
    That learning that scares and excites you because well you are really unlearning a wall thats been put on your reality.

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  17. I like knowing the people that I work with on a personal level. It has helped me avoid burn out, miscommunication, and get the best from the artist I work with. Most people show you their insecurities before they show you anything else, and to me the creative process is a healing process when done right. Environments that are open to letting that happen are the ones I thrive in.

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  18. As long as I've known myself as an artist community, dialogue, and the excavation/recognition of creolized lineages have been key components of my creative work. Movement, or a kinetic sensibility, are always present but so are text, sound and image. I use whatever the story needs to find itself in performance, in the world. I love to gather and tell stories. Always searching for the intersections between ethnography and choreography, between scholarly and creative inquiry, between various modes of knowledge production and various degrees of embodiment.

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  19. Being around. Being around everyday people. Being able to experience their highs and lows with them. Being there when someone falls apart or when someone pulls himself up. Even better, being there for the everyday of things. Being intimate with someone else's daily routine. It's astonishing. It's what all art comes from. Experiencing everyday people at their most normal. Normal as in normal to them. To their own likes and dislikes. Artists are just tasked with making something out of it.

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What has been meaningful for you as an artist in the creative process?