To Do List, still image of Jen Rosenblit. Photo Credit: Kerry Downey and Joanna Seitz

The Echo of an Address
Performative Analysis
With Kerry Downey

Saturday March 30th 2013
Columbia University

Kerry Downey and Natasha Marie Llorens screened a short clip from the video To Do List, which Downey made in collaboration with Joanna Seitz and Jen Rosenblit. A semi-scripted analytical dialogue between Downey and Llorens on the structure of address in the work followed the screening.

The address, according to Judith Butler, is the means by which subjects are called into existence by others: called out, called to order, called to defend or to submit. Because the address is the moment of recognition, it is also a site of incredible vulnerability. What happens when address fails or when it drifts? Do these subjects of failed address lapse into the space of the indecipherable, the queer, and the liminal?

To Do List documents an echoing address between persons and spaces pictured and un-pictured. The work does not document a score, these are not actions performed according to given coordinates. The video documents a call and response between Downey, Rosenblit, Seitz and the space’s architectonics. It also calls into question the performativity of the subject under capitalism: the gendered, raced, or non-normative self within a discourse of dance and beyond it.

This experimental lecture was part of UNSCRIPTED: A Symposium on the Study of Performance at Columbia University.