Through iterative performance research, Desire Motor aims to crack open the relationship between humans and nature, and examine it through the lens of scientific information, daily practices, and rituals of engagement. As we feel the breadth of the effects of the Anthropocene period, what are ways that we imagine a future where humans can continue to co-create with the natural world? Can we plasticize our imagination through tactile explorations of this physical world with our bodies? Can we imagine co-transformations both real and imagined?
Resisting spectacle, moving slowly in process, and rooting in physical scores and structures which provide containers for sensual and non-linear processing in the body, Desire Motor vibrates with the dissonances that occur between nature and humans, and within our individual selves as we navigate the possibilities of a shared future.
Since 2016, Graczyk’s performance research project has manifested 5 of 12 planned pieces. These pieces are Beast, One of You is Fake, Thirst, Thesis Things Do Not Bellow Long Together and Precipice. Desire Motor is slated to be completed in 2028.
This past year, Graczyk attended Vashon Island Residency and Hambidge Residency to explore making bio-materials with detritus and transformed raw materials into new forms—for instance, charcoal skins, decaying spines made from eggshells, a translucent pine needle sculpture, and other experiments.
This past fall, Graczyk worked with two dancers, Emily Cattan and Rachel Sigrid Freeburg, to explore incorporating these bio-materials into time-based performances which culminated in a studio share in Bushwick, NY October 21st 2022. The next phase will be shared in LIVE performance at The Center for Performance Research in NY March 17 & 18 2023.
In April 2022, Graczyk went to Rabun Gap, Georgia to be part of the historic Hambidge Residency. Graczyk used this time to immerse in the natural landscape of the Georgia mountains and the 600-acre forest of Hambidge where she took take daily 2-hour solo hikes actively creating sense memories of the forest through smell, textures, immersive connections and observations of wild life. In the afternoons/evenings she would bring these experiences into the studio to process in her body, through moving, writing, and drawing.
In March 2022, Graczyk participated in the Vashon Island Residency. Graczyk used this time to integrate and further develop her new skills and exploration in making biomaterials into time-based performative experiments, unveiling processes of material transformations. Below are some video studies from that time incorporating visual, kinetic and sonic elements. For the residency Graczyk focused on making bio-based objects from raw bio material including eggshells, pine cones, pine needles, charcoal and shells working with the natural environment's detritus of the Northwest.
Images taken in process during the residency March 2022.
Be politely strange you tell yourself.
The lick over the knees and the fourth word.
Desire is best structured like an emptiness.
Objet petit a.
A tongue. A cat’s tongue. Soft liquid to meet a scratch surface.
Give it a life of its own.
The engine of burrow, nest.
The golden space of forget.
Hollow, A hollow, a halo, A hall, hallaway.
A lump of exhaustive condensation.
Parcels of pools, water beads on wooden small shapes last longer.
The walls. They aren’t pixelated.
You wanna keep the lights on so that your ocular input will extract information from this encounter.
You wanna hold your hand.
You want something soft to put over your shoulder to bring some warmth, weight, and texture to the air.
You wanna fall into these words.
The actual words. D, e, s, t, the letter bodies, with their solid shapes, slippery slides, notches, and bends to give you a real ride.
Rub your body along the sides and take a plunge to the middle spaces that have open or closed surfaces like O. U. R.
The textures may delight you.
Isn’t always the case.
Keep going. Keep going.
You’ll find just beyond these letters and through the words:
A river of clouds, high in the sky that morph into mountains as the perspective shifts, while creatures in the foreground silhouette walk on the edge of a drawn line.
The light passes through their bones, while a giant plant finger reaches across the whole of the landscape smudging you and everything a green green.
You yield into gravity as the scene accelerates twisting, bending, browns, reds, yellows, cream brown blue and a splash of pale pink.
The cowbell around your neck punctures the silence as you fall, and fall, eventually landing on a decaying log.
No one told you about the sounds you make, so this is a first.
The water you held in your mouth to keep yourself from going dry, is gone.
You are now beyond the precipice, the precious piss, the line between green and gray, the living and dead.
The dead rolls down into another kind of green. Vertical, old, in a repetition, not one mirroring another.
The dead, they make sounds high pitched, bright and long, sometimes falling silent when you come too close.
Desire is best structured like a lick over the knees and the fourth word.
Be politely strange.
* Precipice (2021) was shared in a evening with Fana Fraser of their written works April 16, 2021 (online)
Photos: Effy Grey & Beth Graczyk
Photos: Effy Grey & Beth Graczyk