"They Call Us a Storm" is a performance made for the Museum of the City of New York as part of the \Art Fellowship at Cornell Tech.
During the 6-month fellowship I worked with Renee Esses and Nishad Prinja to create a performance in which 4 female performers carry out certain actions that cause a storm to brew.
Thinking about this political climate, I wanted to make a work that addressed power (those with, those without) and the different mechanisms that can function to refuse, demand, and threaten change. Through certain symbolic physical actions, the women conjure up a storm. A familiar kneel, a pointed finger, hands on the waist—instigate sounds of wind, thunder, and lightning (and the occasional pop song). The unseen power of the performers in relation to the "secrets" of the technology is used to create a force to be reckoned with and a threat of the coming storm.
In Matthew Weinstein’s discussion of his project with \Art, he states, "For it (the fellowship, the project) to succeed there needs to be a clear and attainable goal, the knowledge that technology is not magic, and an openness on everyone's part to be swayed by the process."
I would say that I went into my project thinking that technology was magic—I still kind of believe this, but understand process is needed to make it SEEM like magic is happening. As someone without the technological expertise to accomplish a lot of the tasks that were needed to make the piece successful, I relied on the knowledge of the Renee and Nishad to make things happen. After going down some roads that took us in many different directions, we came upon a technique that allowed us to start accomplishing what we set forth to do.
Because we were on a tight deadline (6 months) and we actually had a performance happening at the Museum of the City of New York, the show had to go on even if everything wasn’t exactly as it should have been. I feel like we got a good draft of a piece that needs tweaking, molding, refining—and then it will be great. \Art-version 2!
Kate's photo by Joe Fig.