EMERGENCY INDEX

AN ANNUAL DOCUMENT

OF PERFORMANCE PRACTICE

VOL. 2

documenting 2012
EMERGENCY INDEX, 2012
COPYRIGHT UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE
ISBN 978-1-937027-12-4
EMERGENCY SERIES EDITORS
YELENA GLUZMAN & MATVEI YANKELEVICH
PUBLISHED BY
THE BROS. LUMIÈRE FOR
UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE
OLD AMERICAN CAN FACTORY
232 THIRD STREET, #E-002
BROOKLYN, NY 11215
>WWW.UGLYDUCKLINGPRESSE.ORG<
FUNDED IN PART BY
OUR GENEROUS SUPPORTERS, SUBSCRIBERS, PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS, AND THE NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS
PRINTED IN THE USA BY
MCNAUGHTON & GUNN (SALINE, MICHIGAN)
ON 100% RECYCLED FSC-CERTIFIED PAPER
WITH COVERS FROM FRENCH PAPER CO
COVER PRINTING
OFFSET AT POLYPRINT DESIGN AND
LETTERPRESSED AT UDP ON RECYCLED
COVER STOCK FROM FRENCH PAPER CO.
DESIGN & TYPESETTING
DON’T LOOK NOW!
WITH ASSISTANCE FROM
MICHAEL NEWTON AND ANDREW ROSS
TYPE: AKZIDENZ GROTESK & ORATOR
emergency index
made possible by
generous donations
from the following people
  • Alex Abramovich
  • Anonymous (8)
  • Eames Armstrong
  • Luke Arnason
  • Eryk Aughenbaugh
  • Adelaide Bannerman
  • Susan Bernofsky
  • Lara Borrell
  • Colette Boudreau
  • Ana Bozicevic
  • Camila Caneque
  • Steven Chodoriwsky
  • Elizabeth Cleary
  • Will Daddario
  • Viadislav Davidzon
  • Yehuda Duenyas
  • Dana Edell
  • Amy Fusselman
  • Tom Gally
  • Vallejo Gantner
  • Adjua Greaves
  • Amy Huggans
  • Geof Huth
  • Yuko Itatsu
  • Doug Jaffe
  • Mark Jeffery
  • LEIMAY-CAVE: Ximena Garnica & Shige Moriya
  • Leonid Lerman
  • Melinda Maclean
  • John Maloney
  • Jeffrey Joe Nelson
  • John O’Dea
  • Ashley Rawlings
  • Amber Reed
  • Chloe Rossetti
  • Larisa Safonov
  • James Sanders
  • William Skaleski
  • Roberto Tejada
  • Christine Louise Trudeau
  • Keiko Tsuneki
  • Tadashi Uchino
  • Helene Vosters
  • Sarah Walsh
  • Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)
  • Christine Wenc
  • Tara Wright
  • Lucien Zayan
  • and many others
With additional support
provided by
The New York State Council on the Arts
contributions to index are tax-deductible
and can be made online at
www.uglyducklingpresse.org/donate
  • PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
  • Bodega Philadelphia
  • Grace Exhibition Space
  • Issue Project Room
  • Live Art Development Agency (UK)
  • Movement Research
  • NY Public Library for the Performing Arts
  • NYU Dept. of Performance Studies
  • Presentaatiory (Finland)
  • PS122
  • Spread Art
  • Hideto Maezawa
  • CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
  • Luke Arnason
  • Adelaide Bannerman
  • Linda Frye Burnham
  • Corina Copp
  • Steven Durland
  • Branislav Jakovljevic
  • Pekko Koskinen
  • Kristen Kosmas
  • Olga Kudrina
  • Claudia La Rocco
  • Anya Liftig
  • Caden Manson
  • Sawako Nakayasu
  • Esther Neff
  • Ben Spatz
  • Sara Wint
  • EDITORS
  • Sophia Cleary
  • Yelena Gluzman
  • ASSOCIATE EDITORS
  • Michael Newton
  • Andrew Ross
  • MANAGING EDITOR
  • Matvei Yankelevich
  • WEB MASTER & REDESIGN
  • Andrew Ross
  • ORIGINAL WEB DESIGN
  • Playtime Collective
  • ADDITIONAL COPYEDITING
  • Christina Aushana
  • Alena Jones
  • UDP INTERNS
  • Carly Dashiell
  • Daniel BB Friedman
  • Jamie Fox
  • Ines Pujos

HOW TO READ THIS BOOK


FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS, one of the most hotly-disputed issues in performance has been that of documentation. Acknowledged as, at best, a conflicted endeavor, and at worst, a betrayal of the very essence of performance, documentation has been problematized while performances have proliferated. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of performances have come and gone, witnessed only by the people in the room, or on the street. And though we can argue about the advantages of such a condition, it does make a rather unique situation: performance has become a field whose practices are largely invisible to itself.

To respond to this situation, we began with a simple idea: to create an annual periodical allowing the people who made performances in that year to document their work in print. We would not curate these entries on the basis of their genre, their popularity, their location, or their perceived quality. All performances were eligible, as long as they identified themselves as performance and were performed in the year of publication.

In its non-curatorial approach, Emergency INDEX is indebted to the legacy of High Performance magazine (1977–1998) and their “Artist’s Chronicle,” a section of the magazine in which performance artists were openly invited to send descriptions of their recent works—the result is a surprising document of performance in the late 1970s. Famous works appear alongside one-offs, celebrated artists next to unknowns. From this democratic hodge-podge comes a fascinating snapshot of an emergent form.

Emergency INDEX is not, however, concerned solely with performance art. We believe that the broad, confusing field of performance has evolved into a similarly emergent situation, and we hope that our contemporary re-imagining of the “Artist’s Chronicle” can help make visible the breadth of contemporary performance.

Because each annual edition of INDEX will include dance, therapy, poetry, protest, rehabilitation, scholarly research, theater, conceptual art, advertising, and many other fields utilizing performance, we feared simple descriptions would be opaque to those who are not familiar with the histories and problems of a particular field. So we asked authors to articulate not only what they made, but why they made it—to describe the problematics driving their work as well as the performance itself. Instead of focusing on the inevitable misrepresentation of describing the performance as experience, these documents endeavor to describe the choices, tactics, and techniques used to pursue a specified aim.

Each yearly volume contains hundreds of performance descriptions. For all we know, the pages of Emergency INDEX may provide the only print documentation of some performances described herein; certainly, for most, this is the only printed description written by the performance’s creators for no purpose other than documenting the work.

While eschewing traditional curation and designing the book with equal space for every performance, we do not wish to imply that the works documented in this book are equivalent through their self-identification as “performance.” On the contrary, rather than emphasizing the category, the book aims to underscore the variety of the works themselves. Moreover, instead of being discouraged by the disparity between the descriptions (necessarily reduced to language) and the performances they inevitably misrepresent, we have decided to cheerfully use the materiality of language itself to provide yet another channel of information.

That is why the back-of-the-book index is a salient feature of this book. By cross-referencing and indexing the language used by authors in their descriptions, we hope to leave a document not only of the performances themselves, but also of the language used when talking about performance.

You are holding in your hands a simple, flexible, physical, and time-tested technology. It allows for chance encounters, unplanned adjacencies, sudden epiphanies, as well as casual browsing and concerted searching. We hope that INDEX will serve as a useful tool and an inspiration for those to whom performance matters, to whom it is a persistent thorn, who look to performance as a means or as an end.

In short, we are tremendously excited for you to get lost in the labyrinth of Emergency INDEX and to find many threads to guide you through its pages.



EDITOR’S NOTE


EXACTLY 11 YEARS AFTER two planes leveled the Twin Towers, I am flying to New York and coincidentally the woman seated next to me had been exactly where I was during the crash, just north of Canal Street. She and I were probably then standing in the same horrified crowd. Someone’s parked SUV was blasting the news on the car radio. That is the sound I remember, the news, and the shrieking of the crowd around me when the building collapsed.

The aftermath of the day extended via the sound of that radio. News broadcasting replaying endlessly scenes of horror, television doing what it does: using suspense and scale to keep viewers glued, breathless and afraid. The television replicated the tactics of terrorists on a tiny scale, small enough to fit into living rooms all over the world. For me, this was a lesson that performance is not separate from so-called reality, it constructs reality.

I haven’t owned a TV in years. The woman on the plane told me she recently got rid of her TV, “I sleep better now,” she said, “I’m happier.” It isn’t that I advocate shutting off to the word, but I do think you can, to some extent, choose the constructions you inhabit. And more importantly, you can try to understand how experiences are constructed.

I’m wary of replicating the tactics of television in performances I make. What an enormous responsibility: to construct an experience that others will undergo. I’m always on the verge of giving it up.

What happened on September 11, 2001 was a performance, and in this way it is different from more fatal disasters that have occurred since then. This event was fully constructed. It was designed and enacted and experienced. It changed lives.

Together with Matvei and Sophia, I started the annual compendium Emergency INDEX in 2012 to think deeply about the concrete methodology of performance: how actual works are made, what sorts of techniques they use, how they affect the world and construct worlds. I want INDEX to be a space for us to consider what we make, why we make it, and what it does. It is a long-term project, committed to years of documentation and reflection.

—Yelena Gluzman