Ooy. Back in the hotel at last. Half the FCPettes are off partying at a bar; the rest of us hopped on the nerdmobile and came back to snooze.
Nope, the evening's not as hardcore as the Singapore edition, but it still took a lot out of the presenters. Meg went up first with her improv jam compacting memories of Vietnam into violent physical movements.
“Is this improvisation still happening? Intimate spaces make me nervous.”
“This is for me.”
“This is for Mich.”
“To live in a city where it scares you to just go from A to B, across the road. And you get used to it. I just think people like you must be very brave.”
“You are from?”
“May I listen to your heartbeat?”
“I like him.”
“I just want to say I‘m so happy all these apples could get toether. These Mac computers.”
Naeem did a remix of his Singapore material, now entitled "Our Revolutionary Sweetheart", jiving off e-mail correspondence with a Bangladeshi revolutionary's daughter who peeled him oranges while he interviewed her father.
“All my father wanted is to be free of history. He wondered why his son is turning out this way.”
Koosil-Ja screened excerpts from Dead Man Dancing, in which she dies more than 40 times: her reflection on how broadcasting media saturates reality cf 9/11; her hack of the noh play Dojoji with her boyfriend as the monk on electric guitar and herself as the snake spirit coiled around the bell where he hides. I ran up and did a semi-intervention with a reading of my performance poem The Right Hand from VISTA Lab 1.0: Impetus with a pen stuck between my teeth; Brian showed off his collaborative videos with The Necessary Stage, Ananatural, 72-13.
"I like the idea of contamination and creative promiscuity."
A break to visit San-Art, where Tiffany had a new hanging of urban photography: back at 8pm, for Melati's performance, cradling a colossal liver of an ox in her arms while dressed in red with an impossibly long river of hair snaking before her feet.
Then Tadamime: “I showed very sexual stuff in Singapore. So I want to show another side of mine.” Nonetheless, this man has a preoccupation with the naked body: stripping and exchanging clothes in Greenwich Village in the early 90s; his video Inertia of a the panties of a woman gone train-surfing, skirt billowing up to the corners of the screen; dance multimedia based on the contact of feet and buttocks on the ground.
Chee Wai's abstract sound: "It’s the idea of performing non-performance. I string this thread across almost everybody. And work with the idea of the moments, the gaps, the problems of translation. I played just looped samples, and I didn’t make an effort to actually perform them." Electronica converted from digital photos of ourselves on the cruise to nowhere, in the gallery space itself.
Then Rachid, moving slowly, joint by aritculated joint in black motorcycle gear. Then Julie's videos: tarted up in black vixen outerwear and glitter makeup, playing "I Am the Moon and You Are the Man on Me", "Divine Comedy of an Exquisite Corpse", "High Art at Low Tide": herself as universal woman, nude satellite with an American flag in her butt and mermaid. Then her improv piece: Arriette is confused over how to translate “I'm just going to fuck around with my balloon.” She blows up the latex and whoomphs it around the space, throws it over the head of the audience, nearly brings the videocam crashing down; boings Tadamime on the head, crawls inside and pops it round her ankles so her slinkdress becomes a fishtail.
And lastly, Kaffe, blending noise art with a Vietnamese string instrument she bought yesterday off the street; the house is pitch-darken and we lie there, listening, listening. In the five minutes she has left, she describes Music For Bodies, her line of sound furniture, including her sound beds in Quebec, Shanghai and Texas: "It social experiment: will people take off their shoes and lie down in bed with stragngers? And in fact they do."
Twelve o'clock and we're ready to break: the room is a nice mix of Vietnamese and expats, artists and culture vultures, adults and children (yes children). Keng Sen thanks everyone, impressed by the number of people who've stayed: “I hope this is the future," he says, "that there’s this really blurred space between what is art, what is life, what is work, what is holiday.”
I'll end this posting with a brief list of the remedies prescribed by people at Superintense for my upset tummy and impending fever:
Chinese medicinal pellets
Lots and lots of water.
May be sleeping in tomorrow to convalesce. Otherwise, time for some shopping.