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with Will Lockett
Performed at Challenges and Futures of Communication 6 April 2013 » 17h-20h
Concordia University, 1515 St. Catherine W.

The central tenant of post-industrial capitalism is a futurity based on data. Bits travel through the trivial deliberative agency of the individual on their way to a manifestation of a prognosticated situation. Many events are then odd repetitions of something that existed in the first place as an information-rich model of a future state of affairs. From the scale of financial capitalism’s systemization of material flows down to the dailyness of the creative worker, information preceded the existence of its object. The grant, design brief, and various other forms of “pitch” act as precursors that gather together hints of the yet to come, condensing potentials for creation through the assemblage of information.

This performance enacts the creation of a text, presents the existence of an object that it suggests into being, and uses collective digitizations of linguistic thought as a means of gathering together the potentials that inform creation. The performers collaborate in the creation of a document from a remote location using Google Drive, and the real-time writing process is projected into the gallery space. Their cursors dance on the screen and the text is written and revised while the producers communicate information about the quality of the text in formation and commune over the felt experience of the act of creation as it is situated and gains significance in process.

Though each cursor relates to its companion and to the text that is created, the subject of their dialogic invention is the future existence of the very piece being shown in the gallery space. The work precedes itself, and these (pre)cursors lock themselves into the performance of a situation that never quite catches up with itself. The performance ensures its existence only by inventing the stage for its next iteration. Rather than defining performance as an ephemeral occurrence, or as an event that produces its own archive in the act of being performed, Ecstatics of a Google Drive (Pre)cursor places the performance in a present defined by its persistent encroachment upon potentiality. This enactive rethinking of performance positions the artist as a creative worker exploiting the future-oriented framework of a careerist art world in order to determine the stable set of information sources that can be used to define the contours of possible events yet to come. The present of performance remains but exists only as the (pre)cursor informing its horizons. The relationality of two Google Drive cursors is enacted as an ecstatic excitation of a future event that emerges through the movements of gathering, assembling, searching, inscription, and communication enacted by the two performers.

The performers will identify a future event that will be suitable for the next iteration of Ecstatics of a Google Drive (Pre)cursor. The performance for Challenges and Futures of Communication will consist in the creation—on Google Drive, and in collaboration between the two performers—of the proposal for this future event. The research and writing process that enters into the creation of the proposal for the future iteration of the performance will be broadcast over the internet and projected into the gallery space using a live video stream. The performance will also be recorded using real-time, moving image screen capture software. The recording of the performance will be installed for the duration of the show along side a computer monitor displaying the inbox of an email client that awaits the coming news of the performance’s self-manifesting reiteration. In the context of Challenges and Futures of Communication, Ecstatics of a Google Drive (Pre)cursor will act as a research-creation piece questioning the contemporary status of “the future” as a facet of communication’s temporal orientedness and investigating the role of human subjects in the use of digital technologies that shift the means by which pre- individual fields of potential are manifest through performance.