The Maya Project

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THE MAYA PROJECT is actualized in live performances in virtual space, galleries, and cinema spaces; video installations; and practice-based investigative workshops. This work can be translated into full courses or guest lectures.

This project was named perhaps a bit dramatically, but nonetheless earnestly, for Mayas Angelou, Deren, and Lin. Angelou, for intentional composition, immediate action, and multidisciplinary study; Deren, for powerful framing, movement, and complication of time; Lin, for purposeful visual landscape, sense of scale, and activating 3 dimensional space.

The Maya Project is a series of investigations that utilizes dance and the camera to interrogate dominant social and cultural structures in acts of viewing, framing, editing, and sharing. In this process, participants engage in discussion and physical inquiry that considers the camera as a tool of archive, composition, transmission, and inclusion/exclusion. This work examines the relationship between humans and cameras, how acts of cyborging (picking up and utilizing the camera to capture a human perspective) shifts power dynamics, how consent and agreement come into play, and how gaze is affected in this act. Dance improvisation is utilized in this process as a way of privileging the moment of occurrence as opposed to an end product, which is complicated by incorporating the camera (a tool intended to be used to make a revisitable product) into the ephemeral act.

Collaborators in this work act as both movers and camera operators. They are participants with the camera frame, as opposed to subjects of the camera frame, an act of democratizing the traditionally accepted singular role of framing/capturing footage. The conceptual content of each of these events is not singular, but is expanded to include each participant’s point of view. The piece itself is considered to be a combination of the multitude of perspectives in the room. In a moment of cyborging, the camera’s point of view might represent, and thereby capture, the point of view of one of the human participants. The camera’s point of view might also, at any moment, be abandoned. The point of view of the camera is considered, but not solely privileged. Therefore, these events are too multiple to be re-experienceable.

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The Archive

In a tribute to the project’s ongoingness, all iterations of The Maya Project have been archived with descriptions, letters and/or numbers. Here is how to translate the archival names of each piece of this work:

The Maya Project_4_S_VisibleTime_1 translates (moving backward) to:
The 1st performance
of the “Visible Time” vignette
on the 19th (S=19th letter of the alphabet) gathering
in the 4th series of devising,
of this iterative art work, The Maya Project.

One-off sessions of The Maya Project like a workshop, installation, or single performance, include a description of that event: eg, The Maya Project_Virtual Lecture_Orientation

In addition to the iterations, all cameras used in The Maya Project have also been archived with a letter.  In some cases, the cameras used are included in the archival name: eg, The Maya Project_4_E_1_D, which is the footage from only the Camera dubbed ‘D’ during this iteration.

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  • The Maya Project_Virtual Lecture_Orientation
  • The Maya Project_Virtual Lecture_Acts of Framing

APRIL 2020

JANUARY 2020

AUGUST 2019

  • The Maya Project Workshop: Power_Group Forms Composition
  • The Maya Project 3_G
  • The Maya Project 3_F
  • The Maya Project 3_E
  • The Maya Project 3_D
  • The Maya Project 3_C
  • The Maya Project 3_B
  • The Maya Project 3_A

JANUARY 2019

  • The Maya Project_2_G
    • The Maya Project_2_G_2:Witnessed
  • The Maya Project_2_F
    • The Maya Project_2_F_2
    • The Maya Project_2_F_1
  • The Maya Project 2_E
  • The Maya Project 2_D
  • The Maya Project 2_C
  • The Maya Project 2_B
  • The Maya Project 2_A

AUGUST 2018

  • The Maya Project_1_J
    • The Maya Project_1_J_1-3_Excerpts
  • The Maya Project_1_I
  • The Maya Project_1_H
    • The Maya Project_1_H_3
    • The Maya Project_1_H_2
    • The Maya Project_1_H_1
  • The Maya Project_1_G
  • The Maya Project_1_F
    • The Maya Project_1_F_2
    • The Maya Project_1_F_1
  • The Maya Project 1_E
  • The Maya Project 1_D
  • The Maya Project 1_C
  • The Maya Project 1_B
  • The Maya Project 1_A

JANUARY 2018

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Contributors to The Maya Project include:

Second Working Group: (2019-2020)
Davianna Green
Yildiz Güventürk
Dian Jing
Laura Patterson

First Working Group:  (2018)
Brianna Johnson
Claire Melbourne
Katherine Moore

Workshop Participants: (2018-2019)
Hailey Armdaeng
Victoria Bell
Sarah Bodony
Jacqueleen Bordjadze
Demetra Chiafos
Sophie Claman
Jacqueline Courchene
Isaiah Harris
Caitlyn Higley
Taylor Hurd
Ishmael Konney
Abby Koskinas
Andrew Johnson
Brianna Rhodes
Miranda McGovern
Meledi Montano
Andrea Moses
Laura Neese
Michaela Neild
Maxi Riley
Sydney Samson
Jaquie Shoshaki
Michelle Sipes
Kylee Smith
Sophia Smith
Molly Stanton
Eddie Taketa
Sarah Wagenmaker

Additional Guidance:
Norah Zuniga-Shaw
Susan Kozel
Ginah Osterloh
Dani ReStack
Dave Covey

Artistic Support:
Bita Bell
Emily Craver
Josh Anderson
Sean Corey
Jeremy Stone

MFA Project Committee
Professor Daniel Roberts
Dr. Harmony Bench
Dr. Roger Beebe

Additional Collaborators:
Dreama Cleaver
Chris Cogell
Jazelynn Goudy 
Kaiya Gordon
Lynn Kim
Laura Rodriguez
Kat Sauma