god.inthe.gaps is a multi-media duet conceptualized and choreographed by Manuel Macias and Brenda Reyes-Chavez. The work explores the discourse generated from shifting technological perspectives on land and its impact on social structures. The work conjures the theological viewpoint within history called “god in the gaps” that is used to explain things that were not easily explained by science.
The work assembles these teleological perspectives and juxtaposes them with the contemporary “God’s eye view” perspective on land and society that is only made possible by technological advances (such as drones, Google Maps, etc). How do these tools have had an effect on complicity to global and domestic war atrocities? How does the “God’s eye view” allow for imperialism and globalization to flourish? The project is heavily influenced by artist Hito Steyerl, and specifically, her book titled The Wretched of The Screen. In this work, Steyerl dissects the ideological power of images and language throughout the advances in technology.
god.inthe.gaps is part movement exploration; sing-song; and a visual collage of drone footage, war atrocities, farm workers, deported and displaced people, biological anatomy, and aerial map footage.
Volcanic Winter (2017)
Volcanic Winter is a dance theatre project which uses collage to explore elements of history, surrealism, literature and other themes. In this work, two events are superimposed -the large scale volcanic eruption in 1815 which lead to the year without a summer (1816), and the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of New York in 1911. Here, we look to Frankenstein’s monster, mass production and capitalism, fire, ice and looming forces of nature, isolation, migration, and labor. The debut showing of this work was site specific at Mills College in Oakland, installative, and included a live sound score performed by Anastasia Clarke.
Constructal Thoughts and Unsupportive Structures (2016)
This work draws from the Constuctal Law of design and evolution in nature (physics) developed by Professor Adrian Bejan at Duke University. The law states that in order for a flow-system to persist or "survive" it must evolve in such a way that it provides better access for its currents. Our interest was in tree-flow particularly, and the fractal-like branching behavior that serves as a metaphor for the flow of knowledge, access, and social revolution. The work incorporates physical barriers with moving/dancing bodies, and echoes themes of colonialism, institutionalization, movement patterns (pedestrian/migration), and social unrest. The work was set on a group of students performed at Cal Poly Pomona's University theater, and presented by Mechanism at the Research Scholarship and Creative Activities conference (RSCA) where Jennifer Gerry led a talk on research as part of the dance-making process.
A duet choreographed by Brenda Reyes-Chavez and Gabriela Garza-Vazquez based on the histograhic fiction-narrative A Former Cop Dies written by Jenna Culotti. SUBFUSCOUS, meaning slightly dark, dusky or somber, focuses on racism and police brutality, and is told from the darker perspective of an incapacitated cop reliving his "glory days". The project was shown at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, the SCA Project Gallery Controverses exhibit, and presented at the American College Dance Association's Baja Conference (ACDA) where it was selected for the informal gala in 2016.
In 2014 Jennifer Gerry lost her father to cancer. In coping, she wrote a series of essays about his life and death. One titled The Photos was published with Songbirds Southwest (an online publication) and became the impetus for this work. Snapshots speaks to the process of digging through boxes and memory when someone passes, and evolved from her experience throughout the death and memorial process. This piece was shown at the Cal Poly Pomona University Theater, Highways Performance Space (triple [inter]sect), the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles (Gayle Fekete Presents, with Mechanism Dance Theatre), and the SCA Project Gallery's Swan Song exhibition in Pomona.
Panoptic Tendency (2012)
Created in 2013, and exploring Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon supplemented by Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault. We create an environment in which an observer exist and the inhabitants police themselves and each other. The project is often viewed in a voyeuristic fashion (from behind) and deals with issues of body-politics, identity and imbalanced power structures. This work was shown in full-length at the Cal Poly University Theater, and larger excerpts were seen at the SCA Project Gallery's Mentors exhibit and Highways Performance Space (New Shoes 2).