Sunday, December 27, 2009


It was around 3 a.m. when I made this. I had to make something and I was too tired to dance or write.
1 metre away from me my father was in his chair, sleeping. Terminally ill. I told a friend I made this not knowing what the images meant to me and not wanting to know. But they all signify death in some way or other. Even the family shots. Those moments are gone. And I sit here just trying to stay present to everything thats happening and everything I'm feeling. I could be doing a better job of that.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

extract from "Relational Aesthetics"

"An overwhelming majority of critics and philosophers are reluctant to come to grips with contemporary practices. So these remain essentially unreadable, as their originality and their relevance cannot be perceived by analysing them on the basis of problems either solved or unresolved by previous generations. The oh-so painful fact has to be accepted that certain issues are no longer being raised, and it is, by extension, important to identify those that are being raised these days by artists. What are the real challenges of contemporary art? What are its links with society, history, and culture? The critics primary task is to recreate the complex set of problems that arise in a particular period or age, and take a close look at the various answers given. Too often, people are happy drawing up an inventory of yesterdays concerns, the better to lament the fact of not getting any answers. But the very first question, as far as these new approaches are concerned, obviously has to do with the material form of these works. How are these apparently elusive works to be decoded, be they process related (italics authors) or behavioural by ceasing to take shelter behind the sixties art history?" (p.7.)
Nicolas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics, 2002

Monday, August 24, 2009

An Improvisational Performance Using Improvisational Performance to Examine Improvisational Performance

At the final stages of a 2 year process of master's research, Kristian Larsen presents a 45 minute solo performance of new dance, and new text. More than just a bunch of dancing around Larsen breaks open the husk of good old post modernity and points at things! Ironic! Pointy! Fun for the whole family!

Where: Kenneth Myers Centre, 74 Shortland St, Auck CBD When: September 11, 12. 8:30 pm. Entry by Koha (in the truest sense of the word)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Vitamin S reflection/refraction

image by Phil Dadson
I dropped in on a Vitamin S workshop last nite. Bit of background: Vitamin S are a network of musicians who improvise together on a regular basis. Their website software randomly selects musicians names to play together in different configurations each week, then notifies them via email. Then whoever turns up is whoever turns up. This is a good old fashioned chance mechanism that produces ‘interesting results’. I have danced with them on and off for a couple of years now. From time to time they run workshops for each other and last night I dropped in on one just to have a gander, not to ‘play’. In between sets the group had little discussions, reflections on what was just played and the provocations that the workshop leader was deploying. Some interesting things came out of those discussions. One topic was ‘listening’. The amount of listening sensitivity going on within any of the improvised sets made an impact on how things would go in the process of making. In watching several short sessions I got the impression that the more that individuals in the group listened to each other, the simpler and more refined their individual decisions and offers were. However there seemed to be some discontent amongst some people in the group about this. Because the simpler decisions emerged as an identifiable tendency there was an immediate mistrust from some - some of these guys get a little twitchy when anything ‘familiar’ occurs, or a sonic pattern emerges within the improvisation. This seems to come from an assumption that improvisation is a constant moving away from the familiar and the habitual. Yup I reckon that improvisation can be driven by that. It still seems to me that when it is, the performance always seems to manifest a very recognizable set of aesthetics in spite of a compulsive ‘moving away from the familiar’. From experience an increased quality of attention / listening is attainable through dedicated practice. And during that practice certain bandwidths of imaginative processing narrow down whilst one attends to the task of improving ones improv-ing through increased conscious attention. So I’ve found that I become less creative for awhile and some old patterns re-emerge when I work on this. ( There is something to be said for mastering stereotypes, and I don’t think you can fully depart from a thing you haven’t actually mastered - you can't give up what you don't have). In the context of deepening a skill or developing a new one I’m all for old patterns - if I can re-experience / recontextualise them fully they open more doors of possibility than when I resist them, or when I make a goal of being evermore inventive by compulsively departing from whats there. Anyway, it was nice to hang out with a bunch of musicians, who were gently and sincerely playing for their own enjoyment and curiosity in a basement off K Rd. July 25th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comm

Friday, May 15, 2009

Artist / Autist

Aspergers - more common in adult males
  • Average or above average intelligence
  • Inability to think in abstract ways
  • Difficulties in empathising with others
  • Problems with understanding another person's point of view
  • Hampered conversational ability
  • Problems with controlling feelings such as anger, depression and anxiety
  • Adherence to routines and schedules, and stress if expected routine is disrupted
  • Inability to manage appropriate social conduct
  • Specialised fields of interest or hobbies.
Also as part of the autism spectrum

  • Superior pitch perception and other musical abilities
  • Better at noticing details in patterns
  • Better visual acuity
  • Less likely to be fooled by optical illusions
  • Solve many puzzles at a much faster rate
  • Less likely to have false memories of particular kinds
Superior desire and talent for assembling and ordering information. Especially when they are given appropriate access to opportunities and materials, autistics live the ideal of self-education, often to an extreme.
Autistics also have, to varying degrees, strong or even extreme abilities to memorize, perform operations with codes and ciphers, perform calculations in their head, or excel in many other specialized cognitive tasks. The savants, while they are outliers, also reflect cognitive strengths found in autistics more generally. A recent investigation found, with conservative methods, that about one-third of autistics may have exceptional skills or savantlike abilities.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Five Corrosions

Poisons in the practice of making dance. These things perpetuate dissatisfaction and hostility. These things prevent us from slaking our thirst. These things play together to create the conditions for obsolescence.
Solipsism Self involved, self absorbed, self protecting, self aggrandizing one dimensional approach to making. The inability to flex with other points of view. The refusal to truly reapproach.
Melancholia Humourlessness, bleakness, public self flagellation. The tragic that fails to be universal. Angst and catharsis without the maturity of design. The hard done by attitude amongst the elders. Spirit of celebration buried under the weight of self consciousness in performance.
Disingenuousness Dishonesty in ones art, desires, actions, perspectives, communications and relationships.
Dilettantishness Inadequate skill and historical information, an ahistorical approach to the form. Absence of reverence. Premature birthing of works. Confusions of the post modern with the conservative. Superficial investigations.The prolific amateur.undermines diversity with earnestness and cliche'. A position of anti skill based on shallow misunderstanding of the No Manifesto and a futile engagement with a search for originality.
Lovelessness A profound absence of generosity and a debilitating culture of hyper criticism. Withholding. Ubiquitous lack - commonly its in the work, its in the performances, its in the audiences, its in the foyer conversations, its on the net, its in the body.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Settlement project Wellington 08

above image by Kate Baker, the rest by Hans

Settlement was created and performed by: Amber Stephens, Anuschka Von Oppen, Andrew Rutherford, Alyx Duncan, Callum Strong, Cathy Livermore, Claire Hughes, Claire O' Neil, Crystal Scia Scia, Elle Loui August, Francis Christeller, Hadleigh Walker, Hans Van den Broeck, Joshua Rutter, Juliet Shelley, Kerryn McMurdo, Kristian Larsen, Maria Dabrowska, Megan Adams, Merenia Gray, Rose Beauchamp, Sophia Elisabeth, Tessa Martin, Zahra Killeen-Chance, and Sarah Knox.

This work was re-created in 2 weeks with a local group of professional performers from different ages/ origins/ backgrounds. We constructed a temporary village/ settlement with found and collected materials. 'The Print Factory' a disused industrial space was chosen as a site that honestly evoked a gritty roughness. The creation process took place in that environment.

"Built from improvisations, the works of SOIT revolve and turn around ideas in very ‘real’ ways, giving the audience a sense of watching it unfold for the very first time. Life imitating life from tragedy to celebration, Hans Van Den Broeck’s studies in psychology and film brings characters of subtle complaint towards their own breaking points." from press release


Things that Move Me Created and performed by Oliver Connew - NZ Fringe - BEOP Studios , Mt Eden, Auckland - 2017 Dear Olive...