Decem­ber 2015
The work first takes place at Com­pañia de Jesus; a qui­et, shady street in the neigh­bor­hood of Yun­gay, dos mil ochocien­tos cin­cuen­ta, where worn-gran­ite steps lead up to carved-oak doors that open onto a long entrance hall that spills into a bright-open court­yard that gath­ers into a dark-vault­ed pas­sage­way that lets into a big-over­grown gar­den sur­round­ed by high-stone walls. The court­yard and cor­ri­dors are paved with red and white geo­met­ric tile; are lined on both sides with tall-pan­eled doors, each guard­ing an emp­ty room with ornate falling-ceil­ings and gap­ing-par­quet floors stash­ing lit­ter and junk, piles of waste from years of human and oth­er ani­mal inva­sions. We pool in the red & white court­yard where weeds, three feet tall, grow through the cracked tiles. We begin our work. We cut the weeds, sweep the floors. On our hands and knees, we scrub the tiles for many hours under the hot sun. 



The plea­sure of the work is to observe the com­bi­na­tion of order and dis­or­der, con­trac­tion and release in orches­trat­ed social inter­ac­tions. Respond­ing to spa­tial delim­i­ta­tions and behav­ioral direc­tives, par­tic­i­pants nego­ti­ate between instinct and instruc­tion, flow and form. The result is a har­mo­niz­ing of col­lec­tive, coor­di­nat­ed coop­er­a­tion with arbi­trary but inti­mate inter-indi­vid­ual exchanges. The are­na for the work is the red-and-white tiled floor of the inte­ri­or court­yard, upon which the 8 cross-shaped, counter-height tables are set in a tes­sel­lat­ing pat­tern, each leav­ing 4 clear­ly delin­eat­ed neg­a­tive spaces, com­part­ments neat­ly suit­ed to the vol­ume of an indi­vid­ual body. When the work begins, the par­tic­i­pants in place are direct­ed to inter­act exclu­sive­ly with 1 table-mate at a time, alter­nat­ing part­ners dur­ing 4 short, con­sec­u­tive episodes, accord­ing to the pre­scribed sequence of con­fig­u­ra­tions. We refer to the work as a dance because of the for­mal­ly estab­lished inter­ac­tion and sus­tained 1‑on‑1 engage­ment that occurs in timed inter­vals, anal­o­gous to danc­ing with one part­ner for the dura­tion of 1 song. 

We bring in our fur­ni­ture: eight cross-shaped tables, counter-height, and eight nar­row stands, all crude­ly made of pine lum­ber. The tables are made of two inter­sect­ing sets of long, par­al­lel strips topped with a small-cen­tral ply­wood square. The square-cross cre­ates four right angles, pro­vid­ing four half-squares of neg­a­tive space; each a nook for a sin­gle body to fill com­fort­ably, enjoy­ing a rea­son­able range of move­ment, to lean in, lean out, pivot…etc.
The tables are arranged in a stag­gered grid, with two out­er rows of three tables and a cen­ter row of two. The stands are dis­trib­uted even­ly among the tables in equidis­tant inter­vals.
A large bowl of red grapes is placed at the cen­ter of each table and a glass of red liq­uid is placed at each indi­vid­ual setting.



All par­tic­i­pants have equal sta­tus, and all cat­e­gories of par­tic­i­pa­tion and posi­tions on the floor are deter­mined by chance. 

The par­tic­i­pants arrive and form a line at the door for check-in and place assign­ment.
Pluck­ing a fold­ed paper out a hat, the par­tic­i­pants are assigned their posi­tion accord­ing to the coor­di­nates of their table and slot. Some are ran­dom­ly select­ed as musi­cians. The rest are dancers. When it is time, they all take their posi­tions on the floor.

4 per table x 8 tables = 32 dancers plus 6 pre-select­ed guides posi­tioned in an even pat­tern among the tables. Plus, on the edge of the floor, a clus­ter of 5 musi­cians with hand­held per­cus­sion instru­ments. There are 4 dances, each with a dura­tion of 5 min­utes, plus a 1‑minute inter­val between each one.
First Dance is the lon­gi­tu­di­nal intra-table rela­tion (“A”s with “B”s and “C”s with “D”s)
Sec­ond Dance is the lat­er­al intra-table rela­tion (“A”s with “C”s and “B”s with “D”s)
Third Dance is the diag­o­nal intra-table rela­tion (“A”s with “D”s and “B”s with “C”s)
Fourth Dance is the diag­o­nal inter-table rela­tion (only the inte­ri­or col­umn (“A”s with “D”s and “B”s with “C”s) piv­ot to face each oth­er while all oth­er dancers take one step back­wards to line the perime­ter of the floor). 

After the 4 dances are com­plet­ed, the par­tic­i­pants are released from their posi­tions and are able to move about the floor freely. 

Glass­es are emp­tied and cleared as just night falls into the court­yard. 

Obs.: The con­straints of the for­mat pro­duce an ener­getic side-effect. In com­pli­ance with the imposed struc­ture, indi­vid­u­als are incit­ed to forge a spon­ta­neous com­plic­i­ty in a way that does not eas­i­ly occur in every­day life. The col­lec­tive expe­ri­ence – the whole group repeat­ing the same action simul­ta­ne­ous­ly – enhances the indi­vid­ual exchange by giv­ing it con­tex­tu­al val­i­da­tion and amplification.