ARC

by Lenny Seidman

“Drum and dance traditions from all over the globe combined Fall of 2018 in the premiere of ARC, a multidisciplinary performance suite conceptualized by tabla artist, composer, and artistic director, Lenny Seidman. This original work melded North Indian tabla, Japanese taiko, and a hybrid of contemporary Western, Asian Pacific, and African Diasporic movement into one evening-length performance. To bring the work of ARC to life, Seidman enlisted the talents of eight highly-distinguished co-creators: tabla artists Daniel Ando Scholnick and Jonathan Marmor; taiko artists Joe Small, Kristy Oshiro, and Isaku Kageyama; and movement artists Laurel Jenkins, Orlando Hunter, and Ani Gavino. Together, the artists created ARC over the course of a three week residency at Swarthmore College, living and working together to build the piece from Seidman’s early sketches. What resulted from their residency was an intimate, electrifying, and cross-cultural performance that convened an array of forms, styles, and disciplines.” – excerpt and photo of dancers Orlando Hunter and Ani Gavino from Swarthmore 

The performance was reviewed by the Swarthmore Phoenix. 

Illusions of Embodiment

by Jesse Fleming (http://jessefleming.com/) with performance by Laurel Jenkins

EMBODY, TOTAL RUNTIME: 10:37. SINGLE CHANNEL VIDEO, COLOR, SOUND, 4K. MOVEMENT + VOICE: LAUREL JENKINS.  ANIMATION + SOUND: PHILIP SCOTT 
EMBODY IS AN EXPERIMENTAL PERFORMANCE OF IMMERSION, SOUND, MOVEMENT, EMBODIMENT, AND OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCING. THE PROJECT ILLUMINATES A POWERFUL AND IMPORTANT HAPPENING WITHIN VIRTUAL REALITY — AN ARRAY OF EXCITING, POTENTIALLY POSITIVE OR DANGEROUS HAPPENINGS FOR THE HUMAN PSYCHE. THIS PHENOMENA OF VIRTUAL EMBODIMENT OPENS CONVERSATION OF WHO OR WHAT “THE SELF” IS, AND FITS WITHIN THE CANONS OF PHILOSOPHY, SPIRITUALITY, PERFORMANCE, AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE; ALL SEEKING TO UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF SELF.
“The initial surprise was just how easy it is to trick the brain. When you look at an avatar that’s meant to be someone other than you, the temporo-parietal cortex stays quiet. But when the avatar starts mimicking your movements, showing your heart rate or speaking your words — all tricking your brain into thinking the avatar is your own body — the temporo- parietal cortex lights up, just as it does when you watch yourself in a mirror. Two minutes of simulation can override an entire lifelong experience when it comes to what your body is and where it is. It goes back to Descartes, “Cogito ergo sum.” I think therefore I am. But if our brain adopts an avatar as a body, are we still? We seem to take for granted that our consciousness is in our body. But what if it’s not?” 
—Olaf Blanke 

 

Studio of Earthly Delights

Made in Los Angeles 2017 

Performance by: Laurel Jenkins, Kevin Williamson and Nick Rodrigues

Sculptures by: Nick Rodrigues

Filmed by: Matthew Seidman

Edited by: Ami Furgang

Book of Change

by Mishinnah Productions, Elise Kermani (http://www.mishinnah.org/elise-kermani/) with choreography by Laurel Jenkins