Made and directed by Ginger Krebs with
Maddie Kodat, Naoki Nakatani, Zach Nicol, and Harlan Rosen, dance
Joseph Kramer, sound
Christine Shallenberg, lighting
Rillan DaSalla, drone video
Unity Lutheran Church, Chicago, 2019, 60 minutes
video documentation by Carlos Augusto de Oliveira and Yao Yi Wang
"Escapes & Reversals" is a performance that wrestles with behaviors and technologies that negotiate visibility and access in times of increasing surveillance, targeted advertising, drone warfare, and self-branding through social media.
This documentation begins with a scene that suggests the shifting point of view within a virtual reality environment. Later, after a socially awkward arcade interval, the scene glitches and momentarily recalls video game characters from the 90’s, animated to “breathe” when not active in the game. They gradually unfreeze but then cycle in separate, hypnotic loops until the ESPN theme song jolts them on to hustle around the room, competing for virtual "followers" while ignoring the live viewers present in the room.
Still later, as the team fights with some gigantic but amorphous threat, an aerial perspective of the performers appears, projected on the upstage wall behind them. They run for cover, but as soon as they exit the frame, the camera lifts higher to track them again. I was thinking about U.S. drone strikes in Afghanistan, where thermally illuminated, high resolution human targets crouch down, trying to hide their cross-haired bodies before being shot.