House Music: A Performance Lindsey Drury and No Collective

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Lindsey Drury and No Collective

Performers: Lindsey Drury (USA), Johanna Gilje (Germany), and You Nakai (USA)
Composer/Choreographer: You Nakai, Society for the Promotion of Sciences (USA) + Lindsey Drury, PhD Student, Erasmus Mundus Program in Text and Event in Early Modern Europe (Germany/UK) + Kay Festa, Independent Scholar (USA/UK)



No Collective [You Nakai, Kay Festa, Earl Lipski, Jay Barnacle, et al] and Lindsey Drury (Dreary Somebody) present a performance of music and dance involving multiple inhuman dancer/musicians and human performers [Johanna Gilje, Lindsey Drury, You Nakai]. Within the work, the inhuman dancers move in seemingly random trajectories through a performance space without programmed pathways or the manipulation of a controller. Through their interaction with the human dancers, the work reframes “improvisation with objects,” as one cannot fully predict the movement of the objects, or their response to contact with human bodies and other objects. Regardless as to the internal mechanism that drives the objects, the experience on the outside is that they are “making choices.” The focus of this work is to create a situation which challenges the performer’s ability to enact her will over the objects with which she performs, along with the tendency of audiences to identify human performers as enactors and objects as receptors of action. The resulting work reveals how the ability to move unpredictably can assert an object its own will. The question of agency traditionally oriented toward the bodies of human movers (“Why does she move like that?”) is thus expanded. Despite the necessity in this description to differentiate between the inhuman and human performers, the point of the piece is to explore and problematize common notions of what constitutes a body. The work was developed through the concept that the delineation of body is based in the perception of a certain agency that controls a given movement. All the moving objects in the piece, whether inhuman performers, human performers, or human (and inhuman) audience, appear to have agency because the source of their movements is instilled within themselves. The most important thing accomplished in the piece is not that the inhuman performers “become human,” but instead that the humans present in the room face the fact that they are also objects. Therefore, the work does not reinforce the difference between human and inhuman, but instead dissolves that very distinction through an expanded definition of body and its basis in movement.


Lindsey Drury is a dance artist and body studies scholar. She is from New York City and presents her work internationally. Major artistic projects include a collaboration performance called Against Forensics with Johanna Gilje (2016), the large-scale sculptural dance Vesna’s Fall (2012–2014), the opera Any Size Mirror is a Dictator (2012–2014), and the solo performance Aftermath (2014). She has performed in the works of Ellen C. Covito and Yvonne Meier, amongst others. Drury also founded the feminist organization No Wave Performance Task Force (2012), and burgeoned a performance genre called Post-Dance (2013) for the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival. During her presentation at CARPA 4, Lindsey was a MA student at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

No Collective (You Nakai, Kay Festa, Earl Lipski, Ai Chinen, Jay Barnacle, et al) makes music, dancers, and books, among other things. No Collective was featured in Leonardo Music Journal (MIT Press) as one of the artists under 40 doing interesting things with technology. Recent works include Concertos No.4 (2012, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo), where professional blind athletes played soccer with ball-shaped loudspeakers in a completely darkened 16,000 square feet performance space filled with 300 audience, and Vesna’s Fall (2014, Judson Church/Black Mountain College), made with Lindsey Drury, in which each dancer, enwrapped in a 13-foot movable curtained stage, danced to the audible counts from other dancers while herself counting for others she couldn’t see. Extensive essays on No Collective’s works have been published in Performing Arts Journal (MIT Press) and TDR (MIT Press), among other journals. No Collective runs the publisher ‘Already Not Yet‘ which has released Ellen C. Covito: Works After Weather (2014), and Museum of Unheard (of) Things (2015).


Carpa4 Proceedings

The Non-human and the Inhuman in Performing Arts — Bodies, Organisms and Objects in Conflict