DESIRE LINES: translation
I first met Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener as fellow artists in the Extended Life residency program at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2016-2018). During this time, I became involved in their complex and unfolding improvisational practice Desire Lines. In nature and landscape architecture, ‘desire lines’ are alternate, unofficial routes or social trails. Representing an accumulated record of disobedience and transformation in public space, Mitchell and Riener apply this phenomenon to an improvisation practice that maps individual and collective action.
In 2017 they were commissioned to create DESIRE LINES: Prismatic Park, a 12-hour movement marathon at Madison Square Park. As part of my ongoing interest in the archiving of improvisation, we began collaborating on ways to approach the physical transmission of this work. In the role of collaborator and creative adviser, I've continued to be in conversation over several iterations of this project, including this creative residency at MANCC.
With DESIRE LINES: translation, they brought dancers Stanley Gambucci, Jennifer Gonzalez, Eleanor Hullihan, Cori Kresge, and Paul Moreland into residency to experiment with ways of transmitting and indexing their practice. This residency was developed with longstanding collaborator and writer Claudia La Rocco as part of her three-year Doris Duke grant to create context around contemporary performance. Filmmaker Laura Checkoway collaborated with Chris Cameron on the documentation.