the website launch performance was fun and confusing, truly bizarre to perform to an audience without the direct feedback. i’m excited by where my work is going and this foray into social media like this, i think it has some interesting intellectual value, but as my dad said, via text, “it was not your best work — sorry”
so luckily, readers and viewers, the essence and many quotes were captured in a really beautiful art review, published just minutes after the performance ended.
Greg, you are amazing. as are all of my other 4 viewers. Thank you all for joining me at the website launch performance, and I hope you enjoy my new website. Please let me know what you think.
The documentarian failed at his job of recording the livestream, and I didn’t do it when I could have, so the piece will remain in this account, as well as some mostly-dark photos that Joe took.
This was definitely a strange evening. The beginnings are always strange and awkward feeling.
MISSED CONNECTIONS, BUT WITH FLAIR AND FILTERS
by Greg Josselyn
FEB 26, NEW YORK — “You’re late,” a young woman says to a undisclosed man behind a computer with an unreliable connection. The invitation to the performance said (8pm sharp!). This performance began at 8:03. When was the last time you missed a lunch date with a friend because you got caught up in the excitement of FarmVille? Aliya Rose Bonar’s newest piece “LIVE, NON-DIGITAL WEBSITE LAUNCH PERFORMANCE (2012)” painfully but playfully engages in the complexities of that question. Her performance is an artfully crafted and charmingly voyeuristic journey into the beauties of self-reflexivity. With the internet as her stage, she uses live streaming technology as a metaphorical debating room for tremendous contemporary questions about ‘liveness’ and virtual interpersonal connections. Masked with a headpiece of straws poetically mirroring the invisible technological tubes that link exchanges in our daily lives, she kindly reminds us of our privilege living in a post-telegraphic age with boundless fountains of social media platforms available to drink from (or in this case, slurp). Her joyfully abrupt and improvisational post-dramatic dance score (sweeping and spinning downwards head riffs) — one that plays with shifts of foregrounds and backgrounds — connections coming and going in an ADD world — has the makings of the city’s hottest arrival to the dance theatre scene this year. A carefully swirling and whipped baton made of blue ribbon and coffee filters glow with divine flair under the low lit (and undisclosed) New York City outdoor location [Our guess is Brooklyn], leaving us dumbfounded in reflection — What ‘trails’ do we leave in cyberspace? What do social media companies ‘filter’ as people desperately try and connect? The most alarming element moment in Ms. Bonar’s piece was a final spoken testimony – with ‘accidental’ internet blackouts – causing us to refresh our minds and Google Chrome browsers in awe. “I don’t know how to use this. Maybe you can help me,” she laments to the web camera. These words, with the mere three viewers signed on to the performance, was a heartbreaking and truthful account of the pains of navigating and adapting to societal pressures of saying hello to a person through a screen. As the text: ‘go to www.aliyarosebonar.com NOW!’ were broadcast on our own screens, framed only with Ms. Bonar’s hands clasped tight in tableaux, I can assure you that her audience of three were sending virtual hugs. *
Greg Josselyn is a performance art critic for I FEEL GREAT TODAY Magazine. He received his Ph.D in Experimental Psychologies, Life Art, and Relationship Studies as a honorary doctorate student at Hampshire College. When he’s not writing about the magic of everyday life, he spends time with his cat Merce Cunningham.