The workshop is collective gathering, meditation, and group dance held over zoom and performed safely outside. Multidisciplinary artist, Mike Durkin will lead a series of prompts exploring public space, our initial impulses, shared impulses and gestures over zoom, as well as a guided meditation finding balance between the body, the natural environment, and technology.
The goal of the workshop is slowing down, focusing on stillness and the hyperactivity of the world around us. Finding harmony amongst the multiple worlds we make contact with on a daily basis- natural, digital, and personal. Everything is at play, the plants, the trees, the birds, the keyboard, the clouds. How does our body move within these constraints, how can we receive natural landscapes at the same level as a digital landscape. What shapes, structures, movements can be made while reflecting the various worlds around us. The movements will continue to be developed by viewing each other’s movements.
Lastly, attention will be paid on internal and external gaze. The participant should work outside in a space that is accessible to them. Preferably with some level of natural plant life. It could be a forest, a beach, a field, a park, or a small stretch of weeds peeking out of concrete. Preferably wearing wireless headphones, or on a device loud enough to be heard outdoors. There will be moments of walking and travel, so you want to find yourself in a location with enough room to move and wander. Since this work is outdoors we will be potentially in view of others. We will look at how gaze influences our behaviors and movements. The gaze can be from bystanders, from others on zoom, in addition to the animals, and natural landscape who also are viewing us. The workshop will culminate in a sharing session of the work we’ve developed together.
Participants will work at the speed that feels appropriate to themselves. Phrases will range from stillness to virtuosic depending on the environment around them and physical level of comfortability.
Mike Durkin (He/Him/His) is a large-bodied multidisciplinary social practice performance artist residing in New York City. Mike was born in Boro Park, Brooklyn, and has lived in Philadelphia for the last 10 years before moving back to NYC. Mike is guided by the intersection between art and the everyday. With his performance group, The Renegade Company he has created site-responsive social practice productions exploring food access, place, and gentrification. He currently works at the Two Bridges Women’s Shelter in Chinatown, NYC as a Recreation Specialist employing art and performance therapy techniques. He conducts artmaking activities, story-sharing sessions, mentorship, and performance activities for the women in the shelter. Most recently he developed an audioplay, Mallbodies, a solo listening experience gathering audiences at their local shopping malls to explore the tension between sharing public space together, the lure of nostalgia, and exploring what the future of malls could look like. For more information: www.mallbodies.biz.
He is currently in development to create a performative cookbook that looks at the role recipes play in communities incorporating dance, video, and communal meal making. Mike has held residencies with Space at Ryder Farm, Drop Forge, and Tool, and the San Luis Valley Social Practice Residency at Adams State University in Alamosa, CO. Mike’s work has been presented at the Brandywine River Museum, Barnes Foundation, Mt. Moriah Cemetery, the Life Do Grow Farm, and in parks, churches, fields, along the streets in Kensington, and online. Mike is part of the 2017 MFA in Devised Performance class with Pig Iron Theatre Company/University of the Arts.