Amass is a collaborative project involving 3 dancers, 3 musicians, and a visual artist. Is it possible that a common shared experience with others influences us more than we tend to acknowledge, and even more so if not explicitly defined? With every singular action made, individual by individual, can we create a singular group? Through the shared experience of a live performance, how can individual choices be made to contribute towards creating a unified group?
AMASS to make bigger than the singular body, a collection of incoherent pasts, which challenge and change one another and invite an open and coherent future together.
"Performance honors the idea that a limited number of people in a specific time/space can have an experience of value which leaves no trace afterward." -Peggy Phelan
What are the merits and worth of sharing contact, observation, and food? What do we gain from taking the time to share an experience that has no tangible profit? Amass is a work that explores coming together, encountering and participating in an event. Perhaps the experience invites you to think about the role each individual plays within the evening. It is an interactive dance piece, that has no beginning and no end. Enjoy food, drinks, performance and a time of value creating an evening together.
Documenting this Work
1) How was your artwork perceived in its original intended context and who was the audience?
AMASS was originally performed in partnership with Judson Memorial Church on May 25th 2018. Judson has been a supportive performative venues for decades. AMASS involved free food and wine as well as performative work with dance, music, and visual art pieces. It was a ticketed event where each ticket was $10. The audience consisted of friends, family, Judson community members, and acquaintances in the music, dance and art worlds.
2) Why it is now articulated primarily through documentation?
Sharing a meal, having a drink, watching a show are all examples of ephemeral encounters that leave lasting impressions. AMASS was a one night performative event directly honoring and celebrating the unique experience of just one night's event. This work exists primarily through its documentation, because it was from the onset created as a singular event.
3) What is the existing relationship between it's documentation and the viewer?
In it’s documentation there is a moment in which the videographer runs across the space not turning the camera off but in the interest of capturing the performance from a new angle he lifts the camera and moves through Judson Memorial Church. We notice Judson's arch ways, columns and peeling ceiling, and we are drawn for a minute to the environment in which an event is taking place. This is a lovely aberration from the standard ways in which dance performances are captured. In the documentation of a performance whose subject is an ephemeral shared experience, there lives the choice and autonomy of the videographer. A fleeting decision, now is part of the choreography of that one performance (the time code for this particular moment is 11:29 -12:24).