Early Processes

Summer 2008

Began fundraising, came up with title and general concept, actually began with idea to meld two most recent major works into one piece. Began conversations withAngela Mattox at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Winter 2009

Major Fundraising push, began speaking with collaborators. Jörg, Maria, Claire, Matthias

Summer 2009

Reading   Self/Image by Amelia Jones at the behest of Guillermo.  

What stays with me.

Haptic Visuality – desire

The fictional characters of Cindy Sherman.

Punctum – How is this useful in performance.

Idea to have everyone create photos of their bodies in death.

Björn Andresen proposes web site/blog as working tool.

Learned that Matthias cannot be present in Davis because Irati is having baby.  Work remotely?


Broke collarbone on Mountain bike ride on La Gomera.


Quote from Maria:  “Every body is some version of a virgin.”

Idea: writing project on “Every body……”


Maria has dream ofstrange world in odd building a la John Malkovich where Chimpanzee is controlling peoples thoughts.  Fun wacky telling of story as scene?


Thought/Dreams last night and this morning of the cast teaching small dances to the audience in walk-around pre-show.

Everyone beginning very dressed a la “fictional characters” or perhaps dressing as part of the pre-show, a la Menouchkin.   And by end being naked and super simple.

Decided to go to Berlin Nov. 11-21 and be there for the work with Matthias.


In Guillermo’s performance theory seminar he asks about current concerns and “obsessions” in performance.  I admit to myself that the onlything I have been “obsessed’ with lately is bicycling.  How do I fold this into the work.  Can I trust this as information from my own “non-fictional body” or is it addictive consumerism feeding like a cancer on my sleep-deprived and lonely consciousness. 


Writing in Janet Papale’s class about bicycle obsession I think about how to make this work to my advantage , how to fold it into the piece. I have image of setting up a cycling trainer that is connected to a generator and powers something significant in the performance, requiring be to expend a significant amount of energy through an extended period of time.


Two hours production work emailssetting up Berlin Residency week for November

One hour chat with Peter L. on logistics, explaining project getting him up to speed on the project.  Looking forward to getting his support in the process.



Phone meeting with David Toole.

Need to check on:


Access Requirements.

David seems nice enough, is available and interested.  Needs no special access issues. Can do a few stairs and travels without a PA.

Left it that we would think about it a bit and decide by next week.


 4 hour Project/Budget meeting with Randy where we run through project budget and create a “real” version using only confirmed funds for the project. This is extremely satisfying and stress relieving.  We have enough funds at this point to pull offa fairly committed rehearsal/creation process.  Without more funds we can pay everyone$700 per week for 16 weeks (including performance weeks) This does not include touring which at the moment will be at least an additional 3 weeks.


Matthias confirms rehearsal space for Berlin.  I work on Blog and make first posts.


Dave Toole agrees to offer and signs on to project.

Meeting with YBCA,  Angela Mattox, Alexandra Quinn Randy, re: Creative Work Fund LOI.   Really interesting.  they will write and get draft back next week. 

Meeting with Randy and Julie to discuss Graivty admin structural changes.  Randy working into central admin role with Julie as Project Manager.  Julie wants more specificity in her job descriptions, which makes sense and I am happy to support.  At one point though she gets resistant to the idea that what we are describing sounds like she is being Randy’s assistant.  So in a way she wants a very exact amount of responsibility/authority.   I guess we all do.

In discussing the Davis iteration of the project we decide that Gravity staff’s main focus, first priority is making sure that the cast is all housed and welcomed comfortably.  Working with the Davis student production system seems necessary and so lt’s utilize that and see how Gravity staff can interface with them, or if Randy or Julie need to do that at all.  Randy’s connections in the department and his knowledge of Davis feel like they will come in handy.

Randy is taking on the housing problem,  Julie is organizing travel (Flights and arrival in Davis.)

We set a full production meeting for next Friday at 12:30

Posted on blog today:


“So the semiotics of theatrical performance has shown …. its own proprium, its distinguishing and peculiar features. A human body, along with its conventionally recognizable properties, surrounded by or supplied with a set of objects, inserted within a physical space, stands for something else to a reacting audience. In order to do so it has been framed within a sort of performative situation that establishes that it has to be taken as a sign. From this moment on, the curtain is raised. From this moment on, anything can happen……

- Umberto Eco

“ Something is a sign only because it is interpreted as a sign of something by some interpreter….Semiotic then is not concerned with a particular kind of object but with ordinary objects insofar ( and only insofar) as they participate in semiosis.”

- C.S. Pierce

Something I like about the simplicity of this.  Bodies in a space and anything can happen.  The sign becomes a sign by our creating a frame for it.


Daydreaming Ideas while reading Althusser,  The PiccoloTeatro: Bertolazzi and Brecht.  What if the audience is in multi-centered walk around mode and at some point the whole cast leaves and leaves them alone to look at each other for a long time. Could we get them to dance? What about a musical chairs game where we always have one less chair than audience members and something happens to them if they are caught out without a chair.  (Have to leave, have to be in some scene?)


Jörg, Claire and Matthias meet in Berlin.  Make cigarette paper puppets and improvise lovely music with them. Post them to blog


Maria and I are still in Brescia with her family.   Jörg, Matthias and Claire improvise a lot.  They create a number of musical events; lyrics to a song written through a “writing weave” collective process “Green Fun” is very silly but has a catchy tune.  Jörg composes a melody using the letters of each persons name in sequence.  Matthias and he arrange for Clarinet and Bass and Drums. the three of them record extensive improvisation n the large empty factory-ish room outside the rehearsal studio.  Lots of natural re-verb makes for a big cathedral sound on voice, trumpet and cello.


Maria and I return to Berlin and I go to rehearsal today.  I try to learn bass parts for two arrangements (name song and “drip song”)  We play games at a table


We play through results of the week and make a crazy improv with Maria. More table rhythm games. Everyone hitting me with drumsticks, not so lightly.

Sven Hagolani stops makes photo shoot.

End of First Rehearsal Period in Berlin


Met with Matthias to discuss musical strategies.  He is nterested in creating a kind of triggering program/device where the whole music could be played off of a single computer and interacted with sonically. Triggered by Jörg’s trumpet etc. I am open but skeptical.  Sounds like a potential technical nightmare and a big possible time sucker (Remember Touched program!!)   We listen through songs from the November Rehearsals


Berlin Ideas waking up.

New beginning for Mouse Polka


How do you like my hair?

How can I like what isn’t there.

I think I ‘ll change my nose.

What would you do without that hose?



From surgically sculpted cyborg sex kittens and chemically enhanced superhuman road warriors to genetically engineered/selected wonder children - our bodies more than ever are shaped and marked by the imagination of higher and higher levels of performance.  Is the body obsolete?  A carbon based fossil shell just waiting for us to evolve out of it? Who decides what the body of the future will be?  What should be deleted?  What should be mass produced? Can you afford the body of the future?


Holiday Pause