Director/Curator of Artspeak
February 26–March 5, 1998
Warren will present three micro performances that may serve as demonstrations of his practice, an introduction to the possibilities of performance in general, and a jumping off point for potential dialogue with the students attending.
The first will demonstrate a compositional approach to performance where, like a musician, a score is conceived and scored, but rather than a melody for guitar, the raw material will be the speech patterns of Vancouver street characters. This will show the possibilities of taking working methods from one medium and applying them to another.
The second will be about the power of voice, and the limits of language in relation to sound making. In this piece, a short text will be repeated, broken down, taken apart and reconstructed to show what lies on the other side of it. Consider that whenever we say anything, it connects in innumerable ways to that which was said, will be said, and remains unsaid. To use a metaphor, any statement we make is like the front of a house. What’s in the alley? what’s in the basement? what’s buried in the foundations? There’s so much one needs to hide and put away and forget about in order to make any sense. And never mind about the operations language performs on us as we speak. Some hold that language is an organism. A virus. A virus from outer space.
The third will be a short story describing an episode in the spiritual education of an urban aboriginal. In this piece, an attempt will be made to forge direct links with the members of the audience, or to determine the width of the gulf. This will demonstrate another aspect of performance, often called spoken word, and is perhaps one of the first places an emerging performance artist will begin.
At this point, Warren will segue into further discussion performance by pointing out that although his work emerges from writing and theatre, other artists might come to performance as painters, sculptors, dancers, musicians, or architects. In this way, performance art might be seen as all the work an artist does that is not easily described or accounted within the framework of traditional media.
At this point, time permitting, the open ended dialogue portion of the program will be underway, where the students may be dismissed, and an informal greet and chat session will be undertaken.