Remotely Yours, short film by Degenerate Arts Ensemble

Remotely Yours, short film by Degenerate Arts Ensemble
Haruko Crow Nishimura in 'Remotely Yours.' Photo Credit: Bruce Clayton Tom

Check out Seattle-based dance and performance duo Degenerate Art Ensemble's Remotely Yours, an eerie and atmospheric performance art video created iduring lockdown.

While you're at it, read our interview with them about drawing inspiration from and collaborating in the time of COVID, the future of performance, and how to make a career out of being creative.

Joshua Kohl : The impetus for making the film was actually the cancellation of the Performance Mix Festival from New Dance Alliance in New York that we were scheduled to appear in June. The festival organizers undertook a great effort to move the festival online and feature each of the 28 companies involved, one day each in the month of May. We were faced with the choice of whether to stream something live or create something pre-edited to stream on May 18th. We ultimately chose to stream something pre-made.

In our case we agreed to uphold the social distancing measures, but within those restrictions, we were going to really strive to make something beautiful. This inspired the use of multiple cars as part of the piece, and we were super happy with the beautiful lighting that the car headlights provided. We were able to gather six of our team members without breaking distancing.

The opening and closing segments of the piece were shot in our living room where we set up a screen and lights and the sunrise and morning shots were taken early in the morning in a parking lot.

So, in many ways the film used all of the unique aspects of this COVID-19 time as inspiration and as a set of unusual opportunities and limitations. The whole thing went from concept to filming to editing to music composing within a period of 36 hours. The film was shot on a combination of a Erm Lumix gh4 camera, an IPhone and an Android phone.  

Haruko Crow Nishimura : The piece played a lot with illusion and light. I wanted to take advantage of the gossamer, cocoon-like transparent costume from the piece, so I had the idea to play with using car headlights and light from the early sunrise through the material—playing with changing light with the dancing body.

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