World Without a Head: Ballast

Leith Hall Performance Space, 2009 
Bronx, NY



WWH: Ballast was created as part of an evening length performance featuring choreography by Cori Kresge with production assistance and photos by Jeremy Tressler. Directed and performed by Cori Kresge and myself, and set to a sound score by Alyce Santoro, Between Stations, the performance speaks to the nature of our being headless, mindless, and thoughtless when it comes to our daily interactions with the very world that sustains us. WWaH is an interdisciplinary project that I started in collaboration with composers, musicians, sound artists, dancers and choreographers, most notably Cori Kresge and the Wendy Osserman Dance Company. Combining live painting with illusions of shadow, movement and sound, WWaH has been performed in galleries, in a public garden, on stage in New York City and in a remote village in Rajasthan, India.


Some time ago, I felt compelled to perform live as a way to get closer to the act of drawing and painting. I continue to explore various ways to bring the audience inside that process.  To my mind, painting is a lively, active, undulating thing, and less so the motionless, inanimate object left to hang on the wall that it later becomes. I also consider all the stuff, the constant stream of material that infuses our daily lives. What we choose to remember and what we try to forget is a kind of hierarchy.  I think of the stream of trash, of primarily plastic waste that falls from our bodies like a second skin.  It is without question, a modern phenomenon. But it is an ever present and largely ignored outgrowth of our fast lives.  These performances were created as a way bring attention to these waste materials, to what we refuse to see.  What we throw away and blind ourselves from caring or noticing may well have the power, by sheer quantity and neglect, to change us and the course of our biology, our planet and our evolution permanently.