Essays

A query into Marlon Griffith’ use of projected images as proto-cinematic devices in some of his trademark processional performances ponders whether the ensuing effect functions as the necessary disembodiment of a practice that is no longer localized. In not to many words, it simply asks: How to be a masman from Japan?
A virtual exhibition in SFMOMA’s online magazine for the reopening of the museum outlines a theory of and curatorial methodology for processional performance, hints at the return of the body-in-motion from screen to stage to street, and elicits why the millenary display mode of the processional matters anew today—inside and outside the museum.
The artists in the exhibition EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean come from distinct historical backgrounds and artistic formations that do not preclude yet cannot be subsumed under the canonical histories of artistic performance, which are aligned with narrow Western modernist narratives long debunked by black Atlantic countercultural networks.
If the avant-garde […] is the strategic and ethical position in which artists should always strive to be, they should all become masmen, leaders of Carnival bands or public demonstrations of thousands to whom liberatory, if temporary, power would be conferred through collective artistic creation.

Q&A

Guest editor Amy J. Elias asked a group of artists and scholars in different arts fields to consider what the “networked commons” means for art and artists today – when “networked” is defined not only in terms of technological connections but also in terms of affective and social relations.

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Claire Tancons