When I was an undergraduate in North Carolina, I would often decide to drive home to Louisiana late at night. Around ten or  eleven pm I’d decide that now was as good a time as any to make the 12 hour southbound drive .  My car only had a radio, and the late night interstate travel radio station options in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana were quite limited.  A solution I came up with to combat boredom/fatigue was to drink as many redbulls as my heart could handle, pretend I was Terry Gross, and interview myself–an activity I recommend to anyone who finds themselves as self-involved as me.  So, when the lovely Ryan Crowder (go to Marketing Man of counterPULSE) asked to schedule a video interview with me I thought, shit…might as well do it myself for practice.  Without further ado, here’s the interview I did with myself the night before my counterpulse interview:

So hotwings, the piece i’m working on for counterpulse’s arc program, is an openly feminist piece.

it imagines these four different queens as played by liz tenuto, rachael dichter, atosa babaoff, and ashley west-roberts in this kind of borderland, wasteland kingdom..

it is the second piece of what will be a triptych of work.

i made the first work, fingerbird, last year.  There was this kind of burgeoning power that was underneath it.  It seemed almost empowering. the women started very small, very simple… the work even kind of started very stupid and everythng shifts in the course of the work. The women somehow become powerful, the frame shifts how everything is seen, it seems to end in very open way. perhaps even hopeful…

and i imagine hot wings as totally on the otherside of that. i think of Hot Wings as these fingerbird women years down the line, or even in another lifetime, i imagine them queens who are inflated with a sense of potential or power. Like Parade balloons or something they are so full but because the container is so rigid they are totally powerless. they seem very very stuck.

it plays a bit with felt boundaries, frustration with being stuck, these polarities that get set up. and quite obviously we are using gender as the main binary. it’s all framed in what seems to be very polarized space. things are either very real or very artificial etc. even in the visual design the set/costumes etc. will mostly be black and white. we’re using very natural things like dirt/fur and very plastic things.

i listen to this podcast radiolab a lot, and there was a great episode about anger and feeling and it explained how when you are in a state of anger or rage, you meet a moment where your mind comprehends that you are no longer angry but because the body hasn’t gotten the clue and all the feelings of anger are still there, tension, increased heart rate etc your mind is essentially over powered.

so that place is interesting to me

how profound feeling is

especially as it relates to femininity… i think in art in general there’s quite a high premium placed on being clever and cerebral, and though i love clever and cerebral i personally also really love feeling, image, intuition, sentiment etc.

feeling is a huge part of my process.

trust is crucial.

i often don’t understand what i’m making in a way that’s like “this means this.” and “this dance is about this”

but i feel what the images/ideas make me feel and go from there.

the dancers also are amazing.this particular cast is remarkable. i feel very fortunate.  i can just sort of throw things at them. they are quite open, so there’s an ease to the whole process. They don’t need to understand where i’m going or what it means. that’s such a luxury.

Here are a few images that provoke a lot and relate to some of what i’m talking about

one is an image from the film AntiChrist

one is from a Tori Amos album

and a scene from the bitter tears of Petra Von Kant

bitter tears

One Comment

  • Margarita

    Hi Laura!

    Wow . . . . . . after reading your auto-interview I am left with such an unexpected feeling of calm. I think it was your description of feeling in your work, and how it fills and inspires what you do.

    I’m so excited for you and the journey you’re on! Thank you for sharing a piece of it with us!


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