Cosmic Body is as if I am standing in a hall, a wardrobe between several dance floors at a club. A heavy bass can be heard, far away, and while the room is spinning and the bodies on the floor do the same, it is as though I too have fallen into this movement. And I will remain
there . . .
Presented as part of IN>TIME Festival
Simple yet powerfully affecting, Ingri Fiksdal opens up a new performance plane with Cosmic Body, an interactive event that resists classification and channels writer-artist William Burroughs’s Dreamachine. This device, composed of pulsating light, produces complex patterns behind closed eyelids. The patterns become shapes and symbols, and the user feels surrounded by color. Fiksdal believes in making art that is “utterly useless” and at the same time a motor for change. Part performance and part music event, Cosmic Body is her latest collaboration with electronica/EDM artist Ingvild Langgård and visual artist Signe Becker: a collective and affective event where new experiences, thoughts, and ideas can occur. The collaborators challenge traditional ideas of audience engagement, removing the burden of any expectations to release something in the mind mysterious and wholly alive.
Fiksdal is naturally inquisitive, constructing Cosmic Body as something joyously hypnotic and mischievously spacious. Her expansion of choreography as patterns of social units, gorgeously arranged, flows out of a neo-religious idea about ritual. Similarly, William Burroughs often described the Dreamachine in his novels as a weapon “of unearthly brilliance and color” against mind control. The prototype device was constructed by Brion Gysin, ejected years earlier from the surrealists by André Breton who lived with Burroughs in the Beat Hotel in Paris, along with Allen Ginsberg and other counterculture pioneers. Cosmic Body is Fiksdal’s updated pillowy expanse of choreographed lights, illusions, sounds, and bodies. She invites audience members to be seated or stand close to the performers—to experience a transformative visual and cultural complexity.
This performance is designed for a small audience: capacity is limited.
Running time: 70 minutes
Late seating is not permitted.
About the Artists
Ingri Fiksdal is a choreographer and performer and the current Research Fellow at The Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Her work has toured to brut-Wien (Austria), Kapnagel (Denmark), In Between Time (UK), ANTI festival (Finland), the Armory Show (New York), Harare International Festival of the Arts (Zimbabwe), and Homo Novus festival (Lithuania). Her collaborative creative process engages human phenomena, such as the revulsion, or uncanniness, experienced when facing almost-human creatures (HOOD, 2014) or the paradox of a concert experience without musicians, instruments, or sound (BAND, 2013).
Ingvild Langgård (Phaedra) studied at the Academy of Fine Art Oslo and is a composer and performer of music for stage and film. She has an electronica/EDM music following as Phaedra, and her core projects employ sound art, analogue film, and video installation. As a curator, she cofounded the artist-run gallery Rekord. Her artwork is shown in Kunstnerforbundet and the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (Oslo), Lydgalleriet (Bergen), Chashama Gallery, Pulse Art Fair, and the Armory Show (New York), as well as other museums and galleries.
Signe Becker studied at the Norwegian Theatre Academy (NTA) and the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. As scenographer with Verk Produksjoner, she received two Norwegian Hedda Award nominations for Performing Arts and Performance of the Year awards for Det eviga leendet (2011) and Stalker (2013). She represented Norway in 2015 at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space with her installation work.
Generous support for MCA Dance is provided by David Herro and Jay Franke.
Cosmic Body is supported by Ginger Farley and Bob Shapiro, and Arts Council Norway and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Additional support for Ingri Fiksdal is provided by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.