This collaborative performative drawing work is a quest for those brief moment of synchrony, in which the body actions of many become perfectly coordinated offering a confirmation of one another’s existence and a fleeting chance to seemingly extent one’s consciousness into the one of a fellow participant.
The work was performed daily for a period of 6 days during which it involved around 25 performers, excluding the audience members that joined in freely. Performers negotiated and collaborated through repetitive and rhythmic mark-making and the electronically amplified sound of drawing grounded the work and delivered an immersive experience.
Half an hour into each session, the floor was covered in chalk and charcoal dust and timber splinters. Though our ears were echoing with the amplified sounds of us drawing, we kept going… The text below, written by Herb Shellenberger, sheds some light on the thinking behind this piece.
“In Chasing Synchrony 2.0, Dejan Mrdja creates a link between drawing, installation and performance. Instead of becoming a means towards an outcome, drawing becomes a shared activity that unites the performers and viewers in an immersive experience that connects them for the duration of the performance. Mrdja is here concerned with synchrony, with temporary linkages of people and bodies, examining how this functions under capitalism while creating a space free from commodification for people to relate on an internal, instinctual level.
The apparatus of the work consists of a round slate table resting on wooden supports. The table is amplified from below and when drawn on produces varying noises. Mrdja gives his performers instructions for simple marks to be drawn and varying materials including chalk to metal tools to draw with. The performances grow naturally and the participants lock into rhythms and patterns through intuition and improvisation.
Devising a platform that gives participants a robust sense of contribution to activating the work, each performance is unique and varies depending on the materials, participants and instructions. Rather than participatory works that utilize a somewhat passive connection with viewer-participants, Chasing Synchrony demands full engagement. In turn, the work becomes engrossing for both participants and viewers alike.”
Also, have a look at the interview given to CSM web team about the performances:
Below are videos and images taken on various days of the show. All photos and video footage by Ben Lansky. Video editing by Dejan Mrdja