Initial research and exploration conducted in residence at Paloma St, downtown Los Angeles, in April 2016.
Video: Yiannis Christofides & Kestrel Leah
Performer: Kestrel Leah
Visual Artist: Dasha Sur
Choreographer: Panayiotis Tofi
Research & Texts: Yiannis Christofides & Melissanthi Saliba
ALARM (working title) performs the disruption of silence by warning signals that assail the body and surrounding space with stimuli. These contrasting states presuppose one another; eventless, continuous time, is a required condition for the rising of the alarm signal to the foreground. A full-length choral score by Christofides will use the opposition of silence and its disruption to portray the particular character of a recurring alarm recorded in Brooklyn, NY, in a stage performance that casts Leah as both bystander and trespasser. Through movement, design and text, the reactions of the body will be translated into space as it is subjected to the fragmentation of its senses, its emotions displaced amidst the eventlessness of an unknown event, which nevertheless demands its attention and physical response. Choreographer Panayiotis Tofi brings a process of deep physical dramaturgy to create the physical experience of alarm, likewise using stillness and chaos to portray our relationship to boundaries and the metaphor of the skin as limit.
ALARM explores the idea of limit and transgression through the political implications of security alarms, the aesthetics of surveillance and punishment, as prevalent in the present geopolitical scene, and the relationship of desire and law. The public performance of danger turns punishment into a demonstrating spectacle that sets an example for the violating body and its desire to transgress, disrupt and renegotiate the limits of its existence. Once the alarm announces the act of trespassing, the limits and divisions between public and private that were previously hidden in the background, become demarcated, as do the limits, disruptions and relations between self and other. Alarms implicate us in questions of language, and difference; poetic vs. technocratic discourse; rational vs. mythical thought. The vocal ensemble, acting as alarm, law, and the majority, will also embody the powerful symbol of the mythological sirens. Visual Artist Dasha Sur, inspired by networks of cables and wires, the material infrastructure of our digital civilisation and the techno-capitalist social and spatiotemporal organization, is working to integrate a minimalist aesthetic with the reality of information excess, and use light to define the boundaries within and around a playing space.