Thank you! Remembering ‘Saltus Chori Aevum’, the MMMM 2012 performance

‘Saltus Chori Aevum’, the MMMM 2012 performance happened more than a month ago; it’s difficult for me to believe.  I usually drop off the planet right after finishing a huge project, and this one was no different, except for the sense of moving the action and motivation of themes of the project into the recesses of my private life; cleansing, scouring, stripping down to a rawness and starting fresh, renewing.  I have been cleaning my house like I have never done before;  moving into my own home with a baby 7 years ago, I have never taken enough time out from working to really even move in, or upkeep much of anything.  There is always a new project, more work.  But this has created mental blockages for me that have grown difficult to overcome, it seems silly but very real.  So, it seems small, ordinary, menial, unimportant to even mention; giving away piles of things, removing old patterns, and cleaning layers of real and psychological dirt….but it feels very much like the process of creating this performance is the impetus for this private excavation, and will hopefully un-block my way to re-newed making.

It brings me to a feeling of gratitude for choreographer/dancer Jessica Jobaris, for helping all of us involved to dig around in our heads and bodies for the movements to say what we needed to see.  Through meditation and improvisation workshops, she helped us all create a score, and I always found myself on the floor scrubbing, pushing and pulling imagined waters.  More than just creating what you might have seen at Dupen Fountain in May, she helped me unlock a new quiet vocabulary in my own body, and I’m nervous and excited to see how it will influence my new work.

I owe huge thank you’s and deep gratitude to all my collaborators on this project.  All of them, as well as Jessica, Monica Schley, Saskia Delores, Andrea Ivesand Rodrigo Valenzuela approached this project with a sense of nurture and working from a place of intuition and experimentation.  There was a rawness in the piece that I really loved that reminded me of community gatherings and ritual; intent takes priority over perfection.  And this is what I found compelling about the flood of cell-phone pictures that I found on the internet after this public piece opened; they’re like tiny moments of the individual’s perception.  The images in this post are just a few of those:

I also am so thankful for the guidance and support of this project from Marcia Iwasaki at the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs  and  Layne Cubell from The Seattle Center Foundation/Next 50.  This project wouldn’t have been possible with their sharp management and dedication.

I also am grateful to the kind volunteering efforts of the friends and acquaintances who came out to assist us with putting this on: Mary Lee Drake, Rebecca Bloom, Wyly Astley, Kristie Metcalf , Glenn Billard, Ellen Eades, Barb Matthews, Renata Almeida.  I know I have forgotten a few names – I’m so sorry – but I am so grateful for the support!

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More images taken by Photographer/Filmmaker Rodrigo Valenzuela

This weekend: Community Crochet at Northwest Folklife Festival

COMMUNITY CROCHET WORKSHOPS: May 25 – 28, 2012, 1-4pm everyday, Northwest Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center, Next Fifty Plaza Activity Tent ( HUGE white tent just west of the EMP)

Catch me this last weekend to participate in my on-going project Mater Matrix Mother and Medium as it returns to Seattle Center for more Community Crochet Workshops and the final weekend to see the re-envisioned installation!

'Saltus Chori Aevum' performance for the MMMM Project, by Rodrigo Valenzuela

‘Saltus Chori Aevum’ performance for the MMMM Project, by Rodrigo Valenzuela

Participate! Fri. 5/25 – Mon. 5/28, 1-4pm

Help create the artwork at Seattle Center at several crochet workshops during Folklife in the Next 50 Plaza Activity tent, just west of the EMP. I will teach beginners how to crochet chains and add onto the ever-evolving artwork. Expert crocheters welcome, too! All materials provided, but contributions of recycled fibers and yarns welcome, in any shade of blue!

TONIGHT! ‘Saltus Chori Aevum’ final performance at the Seattle Center, 7pm

 

TONIGHT! ‘Saltus Chori Aevum’ at the Seattle Center, 7pm,

The final performance!  The responses I got from yesterday’s performance were incredible!  Thank you everyone from coming out and enjoying what we’ve been working on since February. Don’t miss the final performance tonight!

by Ellen Eades

by Ellen Eades

Meet at one of three places to begin the performance, at the Kobe Bell, The Poetry Garden or the northwest corner of the Key Arena.  See the map, with the pink stars!

And here is The Seattle Channel’s profile on my work from a week ago!

http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?file=1&ID=4011228

MMMM Performance Collaborators

Mater Matrix Mother and Medium’s    new multi-media performance “Saltus Chori Aevum”  is almost here, and I am awash in realizing what a great pleasure it has been the past few months of collaborating with some very generous, humble and talents artists: choreographer/dancer Jessica Jobaris, performance artist/vocalist Saskia Delores, harpist/poet Monica Schley and filmaker Rodrigo Valenzuela.   My initial seed for this project was to bring several people together who don’t work together, haven’t worked together, but all of whose work I feel incredibly drawn into, like I am disappearing into a well of deep water.  So it has been an experiment, throwing people together and seeing what happens.  There is rawness, and refinement and some intense crystalline moments of people making work that they wouldn’t be making on their own.  It has been a feast of influences to be a part of the creation of performance, and I believe it will be a feast of sensations to experience as a viewer.  The creation of MMMM, the entire project, has always been about celebrating process over end-product;  the crocheting has a life of its own as it grows and is impacted upon by the environment.  And I see this performance blooming out of that same process.

 

Also, please take a moment to watch Rodrigo’s film Diamond Box, which is up for the Vimeo documentary awards, and Vote for it here!  Voting ends tomorrow April 30th.

Premier of “Saltus Chori Aevum”, the new MMMM multi-media performance, May 5th & 6th, 2012, 7pm

film still by Rodrigo Valenzuela

It’s almost here:  the new MMMM performance!  You don’t want to miss this and have only two chances!  I am so grateful for my collaborators and I have learned so very much from all of them as they have helped me stretch my abilities at creative direction.  Please come celebrate our efforts and join us May 5th and 6th.  Free to all.

film still by Rodrigo Valenzuela

film still by Rodrigo Valenzuela

Mater Matrix Mother and Medium 2012 Performance,

May 5th and 6th

7pm at the Seattle Center

“Mandy Greer’s ongoing Mater Matrix Mother and Medium project premiers a new multi-media performance entitled “Saltus Chori Aevum”, all words in Latin that mean “passage” but in very different forms, from the passage of time, to a passage in music, to a passage in the landscape.

Led by the three female figures of the Moirai – the Spinner, the Allotter and the Unturnable – this experiential performance delves into how simultaneous and conflicting states of being function in collusion.  Referencing the transformational ability of water to slip between three states, and the spectrum of impact water has on the human drama –from tranquility all the way to devastation– the performance will interweave rites of passage into an investigation of the sometimes-contradictory predicament of being both an individual and a member of a group.

You are invited to join the performance by choosing your “Fate”, by meeting a performer at one of three sites at the Seattle Center at 7pm –either the Kobe Bell, the Poetry Garden or the northwest corner of the Key Arena outside the building.  You will be led in procession to the Dupen Fountain in the Alki Courtyard, to the site of Mandy Greer’s Mater Matrix Mother and Medium installation and a video-scape created by filmmaker Rodrigo Valenzuela.

film still by Rodrigo Valenzuela

film still by Rodrigo Valenzuela

Created in collaboration by Greer, choreographer/dancer Jessica Jobaris, performance artist/vocalist Saskia Delores, harpist/poet Monica Schley, dancer Andrea Ives and video artist Rodrigo Valenzuela.  The performers, working together or apart, traverse the landscape, coaxing out the thin space between manual labor and contemplative practice.  Small acts of menial work  — washing, cleaning, caretaking, spinning, weaving — are revealed as thresholds to states of transformation, exploring the dual role of water in the mundane and the mystical.

film still by Rodrigo Valenzuela

film still by Rodrigo Valenzuela

Presented by The Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and Commissioned by Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art.  MMMM celebrates and interprets the splendor of Seattle’s urban watersheds and encourages stewardship, especially as it connects to SPU’s work.   MMMM performance and installation is sponsored by the Seattle Center Foundation’s Next 50 program of events, during Sustainable Futures month. ”

 

Creative Direction, Installation, Costumes: Mandy Greer

Choreography: Jessica Jobaris

Vocals, Mixing, Co-production: Saskia Delores

Harp, Vocals, Arrangement: Monica Schley

Video, contributing sound design: Rodrigo Valenzuela

The Three Moirai: Jessica Jobaris, Saskia Delores, Monica Schley

The Two Supplicants: Andrea Ives and Mandy Greer

 

 

Where to meet to begin the Performance at the Seattle Center: Either The Kobe Bell, or The Poetry Garden or the northwest corner of the Key Arena.

Re-envisioned Installation, Community Workshops and New Multi-media Performance: MMMM returns to Seattle

Me crocheting at Dupen Fountain, Seattle Center

Mater Matrix Mother and Medium is back in Seattle!  I’m at the Seattle Center for the next week with artist Paul Margolis, as we re-sculpt and shape the crocheted pieces from the past three years of this project around the embankments of the Dupen Fountain at the Alki Courtyard (just outside Vera Project), opening on April 21st until May 31st.

In process at Dupen Fountain, Seattle Center

Paul installing at Agnes Scott College, Atlanta

As I shake out the dust of 6 months at the Cathedral St. John the Divine, I come across pieces in the large panels made by people I remember in Portland, NYC, Atlanta, Kent, Issaquah and all over Seattle.  New pieces made on the lawn of the Cathedral while I was in NYC are added next to older faded pieces made by kids in White Center.  I’m reinforcing weak spots with new cloth, and seeing a friend’s blue Brooks Brother shirt, donated and cut up, and crocheted by many different people into circular pools.

Crocheting at Cathedral St. John the Divine, NYC

Delridge Library, Seattle

It feels appropriate to circle around the Fountain site, as this project seems to come back to a full circle to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1962 Worlds Fair with the Next Fifty program of 6 months of art installation, lectures, films, and hands-on activities.  Yet in this closing cycle, the community workshops continue this April and May, again pulling in more people to add their voice to moments of community created around busy hands; teaching and learning at the same time, active listening while strangers find connections with each other.

The Dupen Fountain site has also inspired a newly commissioned performance I’m developing in collaboration with some of my favorite Seattle-based multi-media artists; dancer/choreographer Jessica Jobaris, harp poet Monica Schley, vocalist/performance artist Saskia Delores and filmmaker Rodrigo Valenzuela.

Zoe Scofield, 2009 MMMM performance

The inaugural installation in 2009 featured a stunning performance in the woods with visionary dancer/choreographer Zoe Scofield and composer/experimental musician Morgan Henderson.  This new performance begins at the same jumping-off concepts — of the role water plays in the formation of community and how this is both ancient and contemporary – but is radically spinning off in new patterns of direction.  Inspired by the transformational ability of water to slip between three states, by the three stages of life of growth, length and finite end, and the spectrum of effects water has on the human drama from tranquility all the way to devastation, this new multi-media performance will interweave rites of passage into an investigation of the sometimes-contradictory predicament of what it means to be both an individual and a member of a group.

I’m already mesmerized by our early multi-layered soundscapes and movement scores, and am so spurred on by the talented people for whom I’m making a series of wearable sculptures and gowns inspired by Roman-era Alexandria mixed with a bit of glitz.   The performances happen just before twilight on May 5th and 6th, 2012, so mark that on the calendar already and follow @matermatrix on Twitter or on Facebook to get more details as they come.  What you experience will be luminous; I am almost sure of it!

In the meantime, join me at the Seattle Center for the opening of the MMMM installation during The Next Fifty Opening Day Celebration on April 21st, 2012.  I’ll be hosting a Community Crochet event from 1-4 pm in The Armory/Center House at the Westside courtyard in the newly remodeled food court area.   There is just a huge list of activities for kids and adults, workshops, performances and exhibits happening all day from 10am -6pm.  Check out the list HERE.  Drop in and see me for a break from the activity and relax for a bit while adding some crochet stitches to panels that will be added into my installation.  This is totally for beginners with all materials provided, as well as a great place to share what you know if you are an expert crochet.  Help create community one moment at a time.

I’ll also be back at the Seattle Center the next day April 22nd, 2012 for more crocheting for the Earth Day Celebration.  Community Crochet will be from 12-4 pm at the activity tent at Next 50 Plaza (just west of the EMP).  I’ll be there until 2pm, then head into The Armory/Center House to be on a panel discussion about Sustainability in the Arts in Conference Room H until 3:30 pm.  Again, there are a whole host of other presentation and hands-on activities for kids and adults  in The Next 50 Plaza tent happening all day from 11-5, see the list HERE.

And more Community Crochet workshops are set to happen during Northwest Folklife Festival, May 25 – 28 : 1-4pm at the Next Fifty  Activity Tent at Next Fifty Plaza,  just west of the EMP.  All materials provided, but donations of old blue yarns or fabrics are always welcome!

Commissioned by the Office Of Arts and Cultural Affairs and Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art, as a way to encourage stewardship, and to celebrate and interpret the splendor of Seattle’s urban watersheds, MMMM has brought people together in communities around the country, crocheting recycled materials, adding their voices to the conversation about personal and civic responsibility to heal our relationship to water.

Mater Matrix Mother and Medium community workshops, performances and installation probes how civic communities have always formed around water, and how we as individuals through creative acts, can tap back into the reverence for water our ancestors felt.

Terraces at the Key Arena, Seattle Center

 

MMMM in 2012

I am always amazed at how this on-going project seems to come to a moment of closure, and very quickly is pulled to expand in new directions beyond what I even considered!  Mater Matrix Mother and Medium will be headed back this spring from NYC’s Cathedral St. John the Divine and evolving once again as part of the Next 50 program at the Seattle Center, as part of their Sustainable Futures focus area programing.  I’m very thrilled to be a part of the Next 50 and the enormous amount of cultural programing, not just culling from the region’s creative thinkers, but from around the country.  If you don’t already know about it,  “the Next Fifty, (is) six months of events and activities planned in 2012 at Seattle Center that celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the legacy it left to the region, and the opportunities ahead during the next 50 years.”  ‘Events and Activities’ doesn’t begin to sum it up, with this line up of focus areas, it would be hard not to find something to engage with: