Performance Art

a small lightbulb went off today on the phone with andy mitran, professional musician and founder of the men’s art forum.

i’ve been reflecting on the importance of that forum lately, as i consider what of my own creativity i can and can’t bring to my work, sometimes tempered by how much my clients are willing/able to bring or not bring, or what they’re willing to invite/allow others to bring… noticing how much i am enjoying my half of wedding planning, too, working with the flow of gathering, drumming, storytelling, and the rest of the ritual process in the mansion space we’ve booked… remembering, too, the easy enjoyment of the work i was doing in london, in the maintenance of the meditation center.

i’ve been wondering about how to describe and invite this more actively in my current working. then today, andy got me thinking about my art again, whatever that is. i guess my medium, interest, and aptitude (or at least genuine fascination) is with space and flow, how things move or flow, happen or get done, with ease, and in time. but what kind of “art” is that? maybe some sort of performance art? yes, what i do is artful. and yes, there is a bottom line. flow and cash. creativity, design, measures, frames, etc. yes, this fits.

it follows then, that what we so often do in business is focus in on the measures. if we did that in music, there’d be nothing but lines, no notes. and no images inside of frames. no surprise and no joke. so i want to find ways to bring this conversation into more of my working situations. this makes space for meetings that are more than method. makes space for the messiness of actors to actually get in and do real performance, beyond a tidy little script. business and community, connecting and collaborating, as performace and art. bravo!

i wonder, does this view change how i practice? …and what else does performance art mean or do or change?

2 Replies to “Performance Art”

  1. Alan Watts has some thinking about this. He says that if musicians and dancers did their thing like people in business did their thing, i.e. only aiming at results, then things would get absurd quite fast. Imagine…there would be composers who only wrote finales, or better still, final chords. Or dancers who simply came on stage and assumed the final position of the ballet, and there would be rousing applause for the excellent and perfect results.

    Nope…life is all about the journey, and this work is about the stuff that happens between point A and point Z. And living that life well, and serving groups of people well, truly is an art.

  2. [grin] …or they’d just walk on stage and ask for applause. then they might start trading amongst themselves, bidding up the right to walk out on the most appreciative stages!

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