THE PRECESSION: AN 80 FOOT LONG INTERNET ART PERFORMANCE POEM
JUDD MORRISSEY & MARK JEFFERY
“The Precession” is a durational visual art performance in which movement sequences derived from gestures of labor and astronomical concepts are integrated with a multi-screen panoramic installation of web browsers intercommunicating to construct discrete and continuous visual architectures. “The Precession” constructs a fluid and variable data feed of visual-poetic movements in live and virtual space.
Instigated by a study of the Hoover Dam and a celestial map created to commemorate its construction and fallen builders in 1935, the performance embodies a complex ecology of text and image-making based upon inquiries into history, astronomy, simulacra, labor, and the economy. Content for the panorama is parsed from diverse sources including original and found writing, data sampled from Twitter feeds, and catalogues of star positions. “The Precession” incorporates interventions from local participants who have included a physicist, an astrologer, a singer, and a pole dancer. Busby Berkeley-inspired movement sequences map the gestures of six men with shovels into formations based on the positions of stars above the building. Dynamic dialogues consisting of real-time Twitter feeds include reference points to keyword and geographical searches with phrases like “In the vicinity of the Hoover Dam, I hear… .”
The Hoover Dam memorial accurately traces the position and identity of the polestar over the course of 26,000 years.
echo “In the vicinity of $index, we hear: $index=>$question”;
(“the performance space” => “How do we construct monumentality and intimacy in physical-virtual space?”
“language” => “How do we weave poetic ecologies of pattern and randomness with code, poetry, historical texts, live data?”
“labor” => “How do you dance your grandfather’s occupation minimized 80% for nine minutes on the floor?”
“electricity” => “How do you make a turbine out of spinning MP3 players channeling the dead?”
“the night sky” => “How can astronomical algorithms be hacked to create a dance based on the movement of actual stars?”
“a great heighted drop” => “How does a falling father become a feather at the top of the stairs?”
“worklessness” => “How does a work, made in components, recited and re-sited for places and contexts, (p)re-scored, (p)re-computed, (p)re-assembled and (p)re-interrupted, approach closure?”
“closure” => “If I resign from my post, will I precede its delivery?”)