When Sarah asked me to write about creativity outside of my artistic practice, I thought that would be an easy topic. When am I creative in my daily life?
-playing with the cat
This is around where I get tripped up. Because strange thrift store clothes and rambling conversations are where my performance pieces usually start. Is it life informing the art making practice? Or can it be separated at all?
Sometimes I take out an audio recorder on coffee dates and interview my most patient friends. Sometimes afternoons at home with my husband turn into brainstorming sessions, art critiques, or rudimentary contact dance improvs. I’m constantly writing things down, dreaming choreography, playing, wasting time.
Last week I was sitting in my little reading corner with a John Berger book and listening to the greatest hits from 1972. Berger spoke about women seeing themselves from the outside; that a certain self consciousness shadows every motion. I can relate to that feeling of always performing. No doubt this idea is familiar to women everywhere, but in our current landscape of images and voluntary surveillance I suspect that most people can relate to the experience. Dance training also makes you hyper aware. It can be a bit maddening, over analyzing the minutia of each movement in the everyday. Even reading at home alone, I have the shape of my silhouette accessible in my mind.
Where am I going with this… I’m bringing my living room to the Dusty Flowershop next week. I’m going to recreate the moment of imagining myself from the outside for an audience of real humans, which is what performance perhaps always is–a visualization of an imagined self in front of an imagined audience. If we’re habitually observing ourselves, does that audience ever leave? And furthermore, how can our creativity ever stop?