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).