The New York Tour - Autumn 2005

I arrived in N.Y. like a dancer on tour with my body, my mind, and choreography in-scribed. (1) But the ‘theatre’ was new, as was the stage to be ‘set,’ and so certain adjustments were made. Standing upright and alert at my new table, or stage, I quickly adjusted my stance: “Every movement in the studio must be [graceful].”(2) And “all true grace is economical”.(3)

My movements had become less than graceful – even cramped – as my short upper-torso was not long enough to see my now longer lines through in one arc.(4) So I resumed a stance first taken in July 2004 when, also presented with a new table/ stage, I secured my position by placing one foot behind the other, gaining extension and spring in my moves. (5)

Now my ‘swing’ has become more like rock’n’roll: I begin by rocking backwards, then forwards, or downwards, then upwards, through the first two repetitions of the line. Repetitions three and four are yet more dynamic as I roll right through the centre of my line.

That first line is performed ‘on the flat,’ as it were: both flat-footed, but also flat-leaded as I hold my pencil sideways, thus producing a flatish, widish mark. Then, rising onto my toes, ‘en pointe’ over the work, I also lift my pencil point to a loftier position on the sheet. Thus poised and concentrated, I proceed to bisect that first line. Just as Apelles claimed to do.(6) “There are so few [movements], but so many variations.” (7) The variety is assured by the subtle shifts in choreography, according to my intuitive sense. Judgement follows, measured always with those compasses in the eyes: that I may receive what I have brought forth, and “so bring forth as [my] intuitive sense aspires to receive”.

1. My choreography is not only written, or in-scribed: it is also sounded, or scored into my being. This is what I listen to, and what I mark out “exactly as it is scored” (John Cage, advising Christian Wolf; see studio jottings, ‘Selected Jottings, Autumn 2004’, 6/11/04).

2. Bruce Nauman: “Every movement in the studio must be artistic.” Mapping the Studio, Tate Modern, 2004.

3. Samuel Beckett. See studio jotting, ‘Selected Jottings, Autumn 2004’ (25/11/04).

4. See my description in the studio jotting ‘Summer 2005: The ORLO, Natural Forces, and Giving Up the Notion of Convergence’. Photographs also bear this out.

5. See studio jotting, ‘Flashing Conviction, Summer 2004’ (20/07/04).

6. According to ancient lore, the Roman artist Apelles proved his superiority over his rivals by his ability to bisect their lines. Thus he’d leave a mark of his presence: “Tell them Apelles was here”.

7. See studio jotting, ‘Flashing Conviction, Summer 2004’ (21/07/04).