Surf Set Sun Set

SurfDance3 SurfDance5 SurfDance7 SurfDance10

Surfing Arts, Science, and Issues Conference (SASIC) held at Scripps Oceanographic Institute in La Jolla, California, in 2010. The conference was guest-organized by The Modeling Agency, a Los Angeles artist initiative founded by Nick Herman and Christopher James. This introduction presented the organizing themes of the conference—the aesthetics of surfing and modeling as an investigative strategy. A concurrent exhibition of relevant art was hung in the Center for Coastal Studies building on the Scripps Campus, amidst and among the trappings of Oceanographic research and its documentation. Further information may be found at:

Adaptive Lines, 2007

16mm film transferred to digital, 3 minutes

Choreography and performance by Wiegmann

Cinematography by Margo Victor

click here to see the film

This piece was concetualized to lay bare the collaborative process—one that is part of dance production with lighting, costume and sound designers. My goal, though, was to react to each set of elements, allowing the dance to be altered by these factors, instead of the elements visually enhancing the work.
A text by Vito Acconci supported the process of this work. In “Vito Acconci on Activity”, he talks about adaptive lines of action:
“A performance can consist of performing (adhering to the terms of) a particular element (a rule, a space, a previous performance, another person)…..the performance can be set up as a learning process. When the performer makes a move, the consequences of his behavior can control his next move. The use of feedback can steady and bring into unison one stage of the performance, after which can come change as new material is imported and adapted to. The performer can work as a producer; the performance pattern can be linear—a series of additions of material. And energy. Or he can work as a consumer.”
–Vito Acconci, 1971

The wall text that accompanies this film sums up the process:
Step 1: Choreography by Wiegmann
Step 2: Space chosen by Walead Beshty
Step 3: Choreography adapted to space by Wiegmann
Step 4: Sound score produced by Alix Lambert and Joshua Myers
Step 5: Performance adapted to sound by Wiegmann
Step 6: Costume conceived of and produced by Andrea Zittel
Step 7: Performance adapted for costume
Step 8: Performance filmed and edited by Margo Victor

This process of addition and adaptation, resulted in a final edition that found repetition where there was none, experimented with film as a medium, and modifies the aspects of time and speed.

Black Box / White Cube

Drew Heitzler and Flora Wiegmann
Black Box/White Cube, 2006
Dual-screen projection, dimensions variable
16mm film transferred to digital video
color, with sound

Click here to see the film 

Black Box/White Cube is a dual-screen projection of two 16mm films of a dancing body, performing a single movement phrase, mirrored within two specific spaces, the black box of the theater and the white cube of the gallery. These two spaces, sites of performance for at least the last 40 years, locate nuanced sets of rules that inscribe specific conventions upon all they contain. Black Box/White Cube, through a filmed examination of choreographed movement within those walls, re-presents those rules in an effort to re-inscribe those conventions; laying bare the subjective and thus socio-political limits of any action realized within the boundaries of any institution.

As the performer marks the boundaries of the space, initially through a pacing of the perimeter, she calls attention to the edges of each space. The theatrical stage suspends belief in these boundaries, witnessed in brief disappearing acts into the wings. The white walls of the gallery become very real spatial limitations, on which the body can lean, slide against or crumple into. As it progresses, the movement suggests spatial reference points (corners, walls, ceiling) whose variable distances from a perceived architectural center are echoed by shoulders, hips, thighbones, and their relationship with the torso.

The movement, though tempered by various aspects of each space, remains contained by both, punctuated only by slippage inherent in the film medium itself (light leak, over/under exposure, and non-synchronous sound) that pronounce the use of this archaic form of capturing an image of an archaic form of movement. Both are reflective of a period of art-making and dance that forty years ago sought an expanded field, an exploded boundary, and now are conventions of their own.