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JUSTIN F. KENNEDY & EMMA W. HOWES
CAMming: Collective Auto-Mythologising for the Camera
A Field Project for movers and filmmakers alike
The focus of this research project will be durational dance on film.
Featuring Derek Howard.
CAMming, or Collective Auto-Mythologising for the Camera, continues our line of research (see Wormhole through Your Brain + Alive… & then Some) about the experience and analysis of trance dance and its further translatability into live performance, or in this case into film. CAMming is a method of co-creation where the directorship is shared collectively, shifting continuously amidst its co-conspirators. Participants take turns witnessing and improvising in various altered states framed by movement, vocal- and/or imagination-based tasks, for sessions of up to 45min±1 hour at a time. Inspired by a process we have been developing over the years, called “deep observation of trance”, “myth-making” emerges after the physical exercises, when the participants exchange what they have experienced and observed without judgment or hierarchy. These findings lay the foundation for a communal dreaming, where characters, dance moves, gestures and other performative materials emerge. These materials are then synthesised into a score to be filmed and edited during the weekend intensive. It is an important intention in the practice to integrate these principles into the consciousness of the body — the auto comes when the practice is so deeply embodied that it becomes second nature or automatic. Principally, the CAM sessions encourage participants to dance into a state of metaphorical and egoic death, in order to shatter self-limiting beliefs. We get out of our own way to ready ourselves to channel this newly uncovered knowledge through the forms of music, dance, sound, and ultimately the eye of the camera.
During the week, we will introduce and guide the participants in our working methodology, which is bookended by guided meditations and includes a rigorous physical and vocal warm-up in the morning and scoring and several CAMming sessions in the afternoon. Over the course of the week, we will assemble a tool-kit which will include but is not limited to: gimbal dancing/solar plex training, the gaze vs. the lense, cam-personing, chorus corralling, vernacular dancing, speaking in angel tongues, pissable sculptures, etc. During the intensive weekend, a filmmaker will join us to shoot a durational dance film loosely based on the themes: Anthropophagy, audacity, authority and conducting a flustered symphony. On the second day of the intensive, we will LIVE score the film together. Co-mythologising builds a future world of trust and reciprocity, which celebrates space for chasms, dissension, and disruptions to the status quo. The process is intended to surprise us with new frequencies and modalities that can only emerge from the instability of working in real-time and improvising together.
Derek Howard is a director and cinematographer whose collaborations on short and feature length documentary and fiction films have led to screenings at the Venice Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, HotDocs, IDFA, Clermont-Ferrand, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (Montreal), Festival des Films du Monde (Montreal), and many others.
Derek has participated in the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam’s Summer School, IDFAcademy, Reykjavik International Film Festival’s Trans Atlantic Talent Lab, and the Berlinale Talents program. Derek was the assistant director and 2nd camera on renowned director Victor Kossakovky’s Venice Film Festival opening night gala film Vivan Las Antipodas (2011), and Oscar shortlisted Aquarela (2018). He shot Brett Story’s latest documentary The Hottest August, (True/False, SXSW, & Hotdocs 2019) as well as Jeremy Shaw’s Venice Biennale premiering art piece The Quantification Trilogy (VIFF, NYFF, Tate Modern) as well as his Centre Pompidou 7-channel video exhibition Phase Shifting Index. Most recently, Derek directed a short documentary called The Harvesters that premiered at the VIFF (2018) and True/False (2019), and is currently completing another short called Underground about harassment on the subway.
ARTISTBIO: Justin F. Kennedy
Justin F. Kennedy aka JK (1983) is a Berlin-based dance/vocal artist, teacher and DJ originally from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. With a playful and collaborative approach, their research evolves from experiences and analysis of trance dance and its further translatability into workshops, science fiction operas, durational dance installations and film. In 2006, they earned a BA in Dance and Ethnic Studies from Wesleyan University and in 2013, an MA in Choreography from HZT Berlin. Justin's notable projects of late include Some Murder Theatre in Here, Volksbühne Grüner Salon, Berlin (2020), UNFURL: a lucid sci-fi opera, BB11 (2020) and SPUR: a fashion western (Winter 2021). They have performed intimately with and for Emma Howes, Ligia Lewis, Louis Vuitton, Tino Sehgal, Adam Linder, Liz Kinoshita, Jeremy Shaw, Josh Johnson, BODYSNATCH, Faustin Linyekula, Jeremy Wade, Peaches, Wu Tsang amongst others.
ARTISTBIO: Emma W. Howes
Emma Waltraud Howes (1976) is a Berlin-based visual artist/dancer and choreographer originally from Toronto, ON, Canada. Through graphic scores for performance-installations, and sculptures as translations between movement and form, she oscillates between ‘soft head-banging’ and classical gestures of rhetoric to engage peripheral vision and embrace paradox. She holds a certificate in professional dance from Toronto Dance Theatre (1997); a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver (2002); a joint MFA in Open Media from Concordia University, Montreal (2008) and The Bauhaus-Universität, Weimar (2009); and ran a martial arts school for ten years. Her most recent solo and collaborative productions include: UNFURL: a lucid science fiction, 11th Berlin Biennale, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2020); Some Murder Theatre in Here, Volksbühne Grüner Salon, Berlin (2020); Scores for Daily Living, ZIL Cultural Centre, Moscow (2019). She has performed with and for: Joan Jonas, Georgia Sagri, Lundohl & Seitl, Jeremy Shaw, BODYSNATCH, kondition pluriel, amongst others; and facilitates lucid sci-fi labs in all things exubeRANT with her long-term co-conspirator Justin F. Kennedy.