Artistic Statement

Artistic Statement

When I started out in the early 1980's, I wanted to be a synthesis of Robert Wilson, Laurie Anderson, Eric Bogosian, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Nina Simone and Stanley Kubrick. Increasingly I think of Edward Albee, Caryl Churchill, David Hare, Wallace Shawn, Suzan-Lori Parks, Dennis Potter. I started working and occasionally lost track of whom I was imitating, allowing my voice to find its texture, timing, and appropriate form. The finding of the right format has been the biggest struggle and the most frustrating/frustrated part of my career. I hop from film to live performance art to plays to nonfiction essays to songs. With each hop, more adheres and is carried forth. I think my writing and my grasp of narrative has arrived at a synthesis of style and substance that is significant and communicative, with media as a way to get that further out into the world.
I believe that powerful dialogue, acknowledging the humor/tragedy/mess of human relationships, reminds us of the possibilities of those relationships; it reflects as it refines. When art embraces the actual agony of contemporary life yet does not simply accede to it but gooses and prods, we get (as we give) better. So much of our lives draw off of media sources, so we have to make those models more compelling, deeper, and cross-historical if post-modernism is going to be worth living in.
• I no longer really know what the "broad art community" is. Perhaps because that very broadening/diversifying has made it hard to encapsulate. Which means a kind of victory. When my downtown NY (or academic AZ) colleagues and I careen from a show at MOMA to Jane the Virgin to Hilton Als to David Foster Wallace to fascinated distress at the selfies taken at Kara Walker's show at Domino, I try to listen for the through-lines. I want to work with my collaborators, cast and crew (all younger than me, many former students) to get this work out to communities in my admittedly peripheral vision. I need help with this. Maybe that's why I teach in a University in Arizona.
• Can a 60 y.o. writer/performer whose work has primarily been in solo live and multimedia performance and nonfiction writing be a "new" filmmaker, and synthesize his skills in a more distributable and affecting format? I just finished a 8 minute film I created based on a live monologue, but translating into media space. This is how words get distributed now. How do I refine what I have learned from years of "experimental" work (and is disjunctive narrative really experimental or simply evolved?) to make my work more effective and witnessed?