“The less you do, the stranger it all seems.”
Dallas Clayton

Hello Goodbye

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I recently had an opportunity to do some work in the desert. I was about to upload some images from this work – and then I changed my mind. A few months ago I had been to the same area in the desert with two amazing performers – Anna & Helena. It was during the second Artness Orchard Labs project. That first visit was a very intense and personal project (on the more recent visit  I was more of a guest) – that has not been completed. I wanted to breathe new life into it. So this post is about that first visit.

A few weeks before the Orchard Labs began I spontaneously wrote a text. It was based on the lyrics of a song. It was written with a twist in the song’s story telling character. Each verse in the song became an individual text. The text poured out of me and was completed in 20 minutes. I then wanted to do something with the text during the Orchard Labs. It’s a wonderful opportunity because of the wonderful performers that attended and their complete focus and dedication to create.

I shared this idea with Shahar and played around with it for some time. At the beginning of the Orchard Labs I still didn’t know what I wanted to do – or actually if I wanted to do anything at all. I kept swinging from passionately wanting to do something to completely forgetting about it. It was clear all the time that if something were to happen – it would be in the desert. At one point I approached Helena with the idea and asked her to consider joining me. She spent some time with the text and then generously said she would gladly join. Then during one practice session, just a day before the planned departure, it occured to me, watching her work, that Anna needed to be a part of this. Helena and I discussed this and couldn’t make up our minds, so we asked Anna – and her response tipped the scales. She too joined the project.

The project took place over one day from early morning to sunset. We transformed each part of the text I had written into an improvisation score. We then began to drive through the desert. When we found an appealing location we stopped and performed. The work kept changing to the very end. Some scores were performed as planned, others never took place, and somethings happened that were not at all planned. I was amazed and humbled by Anna’s and Helena’s dedication – they did some difficult physical work and the conditions were not easy. I feel that it is this dedication to create and the improvisational openness to embrace whatever may come – that made this day an amazing and inspiring experience.

We came back with over 1500 images and  75 minutes of video footage. Following is just a small taste:

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