Laurel Snyder’s solosarehardtomake makes wildly good sense

Dancer Laurel Snyder screaming

Laurel Snyder wails in solosarehardtomake

Read my review in Bushwick Daily!

The first thing I said when I spoke with dancer, singer, and musician Laurel Snyder on the phone before seeing her solo work solosarehardtomake was, “Thank you for writing an artist statement that makes sense.”

Don’t get me wrong: I feel quite sympathetic to anyone tasked with writing about their art (even writers!), but some of the blurbs I read go beyond just not illuminating the work; they actually muddy the waters with a bunch of big words and esoteric constructions and make it harder to understand. Yikes!

So when Laurel stated that the multiple creative disciplines she works in allow for “layered expression,” and that playing her field recordings during shows “invites performers and viewers to exist within the same world,” it made sense to me on the page—and then it enriched my understanding of her performance when I saw it on stage.

That’s brilliant! That’s the point!!

And, as a bonus, my heightened understanding of her work didn’t at all detract from its innate sensational-ness: it’s a wild show with lots of spontaneity and emotion, packed to the gills with nuance. So “getting it” didn’t break it down or make it boring. It just made it like a Beck song: orchestrated chaos I can get into.

My favorite.

Writing about architecture is like… dancing about music?

People wearing building costumes

I had no idea until this moment that there is a persistent mystery surrounding the origin of that famous quote (which of course I chopped and screwed above).

But whoever originally said it doesn’t really matter for the purposes of this blog post. What matters is that some words I wrote about architecture recently appeared in the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter‘s newsletter!

The Ways and Whys of Incorporating Social Science Methodologies into Architecture Curricula

What does all that mean? You’ll just have to read it to find out!

Many thanks to my very righteous clients Scott Francisco of Pilot Projects and Melissa Marsh of PLASTARC for hooking me up with this fun gig.

Now, let’s dance!

What Trisha Brown calls the “bees going into your face” part

In June, I had the pleasure of writing for one of my clients about BEEcosystem, a modular honeybee hive made for today’s urban lifestyles. It sits inside your apartment!! You let the bees out to frolic and pollinate through a tube. You have to see it; it’s great.

BEE

BEEcosystems at work in State College, PA

I interviewed the invention’s founders, awesome Pennsylvania dudes Mike Zaengle and Dustin Betz (I really do love Pennsylvania), and they had lots of interesting and important things to say about reestablishing our connection to the origins of our food, Colony Collapse Disorder, and how one in every three bites we eat was probably produced by a pollinator.

But what’s stuck in my mind most since then was Mike saying, “I had thought being outside in the yard with the BEEcosystem tube coming through the window might make me nervous, but after I worked with honeybees for a while, I realized they’re much friendlier than I thought. You can definitely walk around doing yard work all afternoon and they won’t bother you!”

Hot damn.

BEEcosystem is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to get this shizz off the ground. Throw a little dough their way, honey, and help grow the buzz!

Oh, and what was that about Trisha Brown at the beginning? It’s an all-but-unrelated quote (especially now that Mike’s weighed in about the bees not going into your face) from a wonderful interview with her by the inimitable M.J. Thompson—titled “Dancing? ‘It’s Awesome’ “—in one of my erstwhile stomping grounds, The Brooklyn Rail. I read it in 2009 and haven’t forgotten it. An excerpt:

Bob [Rauschenberg] and I were very close. I had the best dialogues with him. Bob had a fix on me like no one else. He called me at least once a week, especially when he was in New York, and said, “I’ve got an idea for you.” And I’d say, “Wait, I’m already working on the piece. Write it down, save it for me. And if you have another urge to talk to me call my office, it’s four in the morning.” He had a sterling vision [Thinking for a moment, then demonstrating: hands and arms cutting downwards quickly, away from her face]. Do you remember that part? What I call the “bees going into your face” part? I was working the edges of what was acceptable but at the same time the piece was a study in structuralism and scale and bees going into face.

Trisha

Love you, Trisha! (photo from artsalive.ca)