We invite you to get familiar with the fourth participant of the dance research platform “bitės’22” – Kevin Fay – and his insights about the process:
Do you have questions/thesis/challenges from which you want to continue the research that you have started?
In my work, I engage with the subjects of masculinity, feminism, language, and the body. Research in these directions includes a lot, but I focus on deconstruction, and that feels important, exciting, and arduous.
Thankfully, after a long stretch of serious, studious engagement with literature from masculinity researchers and feminists, input and support from “bites” points me towards new possibilities. Indeed, as I think about sociopolitical strife and my relation to that as a queer, white, male artist, I ask myself about love, lightness, play, and wonder. I challenge myself and ask – “How can I revel in chaos or find pleasure in madness? How do I create pleasure in the midst of deconstruction?” With deconstruction at the heart of what I’m doing, I wonder: how do sense-making capacities like listening relate to the fragmentation, dissolution, or hybridity that results from deconstruction? Can artistic work make an experience of deconstruction pleasurable? These are tricky questions, but I respond strongly to them, and I know that’s valuable.
To continue, I will invite a sense of wonder or play into my experience. After all, deconstruction can be jarring and confusing, and the balms offered by love, lightness, play, and wonder feel very important to me right now. What’s more, as a queer, white man engaging with issues, questions, and desires oriented specifically towards the deconstruction of the patriarchy, I feel very much like this shift in mood and orientation will give rise to new methods and ideas. As a matter of fact, I’ve decided to develop “sensitivity salons”, which I imagine as workshops or performance happenings where new forms for social dancing exist alongside intimate, small-scale lullaby sessions. It’s maybe a little bit muddy or hard to understand when I write about it like this, but this idea feels like a way for me to work with play, and I’m excited to see what comes.
Which aspects of the platform enabled you? Which aspects were challenging? In order to know: what did you need/what worked for you?
Input from guests and facilitators was inspiring. In a special way, proximity to artists who are already busy with unending questions and processes gives me hope – not that something will arrive or resolve, just that following questions and keeping them alive is worthwhile – admirable, even.
Also, sharing a practice of writing in the group gave me a feeling of solidarity, and that supported me very well – especially since we could share musings and inspirations on a blog. Finally, as someone who is currently not sharing his work online, preparing posts for social media helped me clarify what I’m saying. Truly, having other eyes and ears support me in my ruminations clarified what I want to do. I just sometimes wished that we had more time to talk, ask each other questions, and share resources. I mean, I know it’s not healthy or practical to stare at a computer for many hours in a row, but there’s only so much we can do together online. So, I hope we’ll meet in person in the future, and I hope we’ll find ways to share our unending processes as they develop. In the meantime, it’s great that we have a blog to record what we’ve touched on together. For sure, I’ll go back to it, and I’ll continue adding to what I shared.
What is the value of having a constant exchange and discussions with the same group of people? How did it influence your thinking?
Constant exchange and discussions with the same group of people is something I’ve been seeking – especially because collective, emergent intelligence is always of interest to me. What’s more, in times like these, I crave a sustained feeling of community around artistic work, and I’m very grateful we had this time together.
For me, the value in what we shared comes not from specific feedback or statements – though those have been stellar, and I’ve got a lot of favorites in my notes – but from the support of others witnessing me in process. That is, having constant exchange and discussions with the same group of people gave me the feeling that others were listening, following, and remembering with me so that when my thinking shifted or something new emerged, there were many ways of processing and reflecting. Shortly put, beyond tracking a structured progression in one person over time, a collaboration like this one enriches individual thinking in as much as it also offers a person new possibilities. I mean, there’s tremendous respect and freedom between us, but the openness, the honesty, and the strength of conviction among us produced questions, thoughts, and feelings I know I’ll return to as I continue. This is special, I think, and this is something I will always treasure.
The project is funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture.