RODEO. From the Latin verb roto, rotare, rotavi, rotabus: to revolve or rotate, to whirl around. The word encompasses the concept of surrounding or encircling a territory, and also of circulating within, as an individual body moving in a circumscribed space, or even spinning around itself. The work Rodeo explores the multiple concentric expressions of encircled circulation: the enclosed area, the corral, the ring; the circulation of individual elements within the circumference; and the conveyance of energy in a closed circuit.
Cyclical encircled circulation / Encircled circulation cycles / Circulatory cycles encircled
Inside the electrified enclosure (an 11 x 11 foot diamond-shaped enclosure made of neon ramparts fitted with 4 wooden gates, one at each corner) the participants, charged by the physical intensity of the neon and the state of collective confinement, are set into motion by the energetic current flowing from an external drum station, situated in the back-left corner of the space, outside the neon pen. Operated by a solitary hand drummer who uses his drumming as well as certain vocal commands to conduct the work, the drum station functions as the power source that propels and controls the activity that takes place within the pen. The room is illuminated only by the white glow of the neon, and the electric buzz of the transformers equipped with contact mics, is amplified, filling the space with a warm drone. The buzz (hum, whir) is combined with the raw drumming (ta-ta-ta-bum-ta) and pumped back into the pen like a heart pumping blood. When the drumming stops the action is interrupted and the energy dissipates. During the drum-activated sessions, the participants are engaged, and physically contained, in a continuous circuit, which is represented sequentially through 3 different manifestations of an energetic chain: spatial (body in motion)*, gestural (transfer of a symbolic object)** and perceptual (non-verbal, non-physical communication)***
* 1st cycle:
Buzz, whirr, hum ta—ta—ta
Vibration, reverberation, pulse.
Move – flow – mill – wander – wind — weave – loop – swirl – snake – spiral – braid – whirl – reel — spin.
(Participants are instructed to circulate randomly and freely within the pen, but constantly, without stopping, for 8 minutes. Each individual moves all around the enclosed space, spontaneously determining their trajectory, weaving in and out of the path of others, and always careful to steer clear of the neon fence. The drummer plays a soft, steady rhythm for the 8‑minute duration of the session. When the drumming stops, the activity ends and the participants are free to rest and/or interact with each other during the 2‑minute break).
** 2nd cycle
Buzz, whirr, hum ta-ta–ta
Vibration, reverberation, beat.
Hand – reach – pass – give – remit – bestow – consign — entrust.
Accept – take – receive – have – hold – palm – press — secure.
Share – distribute – spread – scatter – disperse — radiate.
(3 stones are introduced into pen, handed to 3 of the participants, randomly selected. There is a black stone°, a white stone°° and a red stone°°°, (crystals, which are both physical and symbolic expressions of energy). The participants with the stones pass them to the person next to them, who in turn pass them on to others. The stones are passed hand-to-hand, so that the receiving person opens their hand enough to observe the color of the stone before closing their hand and passing it on. The stones are circulated among the participants continuously for the 8‑minute duration of the session, in no particular order. The same person may receive the same stone multiple times, in a collective effort for each of the 3 stones to reach every participant at some point in the session. The participants may move in and out slightly in order to pass the stones but remain more or less in the same position while the stones are circulating among them. The drummer plays now with more pressure, a throbbing rhythm that swells in volume over the 8‑minute session. When the drumming stops, the activity ends and the participants are free to rest and/or interact with each other during the 2‑minute break. The 3 participants holding the stones at the end of the session remain in possession of them).
° Onyx: for protection, focus, resolve
°° Milky Quartz : for wisdom, perception, enlightenment
°°° Red Jasper: for courage, equanimity, endurance
*** 3rd cycle
Buzz, whir, hum, ta-ta-ta-bum-ta
Vibration, reverberation, pound.
Eye – still – turn – slant – look – scan – lock – gaze – stare – fix – retain – absorb — incorporate.
Beam – irradiate – emit – exude — infuse.
(The participants remain stationary, maintaining their position within the pen, using only their eyes to connect to others. The participants must be continually exchanging gazes with each other throughout the 8‑minute session. The head may move slightly to search for the gaze of another, but the rest of the body remains immobile. Two participants will lock eyes for any amount of time, before shifting to look at another person, or scanning for the available gaze of another. All participants perform the same activity simultaneously. This spontaneous rotation of perceptual engagement is maintained, with no particular order, until the end of the session. During the session the drummer plays a fast, pounding and ecstatic rhythm, gaining tempo throughout, until it ends abruptly after exactly 8 minutes. At that moment the participants are released from their activity and the work is over. The gates will be opened and the participants are free to leave the pen).