About

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Deciphering the Roots

Dialogues and exchanges that can be multi-spectrum and inter-sectional are very attractive to me. I think art is a way to have this full spectrum dialog. My art practice provides me with a place where I could explore something that I have since come to see as ancient, a practice developed long ago. Recently, I’ve been working more and more in body-based practices, more specifically dance.  My practice finds a wide scope, including sculpture, music, sound, woodworking, working with dogs, shoe making, drawing, video, martial arts, and writing. To be a interdisciplinary artist is a necessity.

Raze the Whitebox is an umbrella term that includes my art practice and philosophies. It explores art space beyond the white walls of the gallery and museum. It sees art as a continuum that existed before modern ideas of art. As much as it wants to dismantle limiting ideas of what art is, it also wants to widen the spectrum of what is considered high art and meaningful art.

When my practice is presented in a solo form, I use the title DivineBrick. This project is a mixture of music, sound, and movement. Usually, I include a sound object that I have made. You can see me at various venues throughout LA. I post dates for performances and other events/ collaborations in the events page.

Corporeal Reformation

Remembering is a form of regaining. As it pertains to this experience that includes the body I use the term corporeal reformation. It is a way of saying at this moment my body needs a reevaluation, a reorganizing, a re-shifting that is deep and spiritual. A remembering of something that came before that is so embedded in ourselves that it is a part of well being. I have opened my dance studio time to share and explore the Ankoku-Butoh methods, other methods I use in my practice, as well as techniques other artists would share. These methods include working with dichotomies, open eye imagining/ meditation, theories of flow, metamorphosis, athletic conditioning (endurance for ecstatic dance), sensation work (meditations to awaken body and mind sensitivity), play (playing with forms {playing within parameters})...and what ever you wish to share. I go further into what these all entail at Corporeal Reformation sessions.

Sessions are open to people wanting to start a voyage through their body to transform it to a greater potential than once was realized. It leans heavily on the avant-garde but strives to make the avant-garde approachable and obtainable. Not specifically for dancers or non dancers it welcomes and challenges people willing to uses the art forum as a way to grow spiritually, philosophically and physically.

Butoh

To me, Butoh is a dance that encompasses all of human existence and the phenomena surrounding us. These phenomena span the spectrum of human emotions: stillness, chaos, tenderness, darkness. Our internal universe is just as colorful and varied as the features of our external world. The butoh method can be a mode of learning from the world, seeing with the body. Studying butoh has allowed me to further explore my inner self, but also, in doing so, it opened me up to the external world and the way I perceived it.

There is a certain contradiction in butoh that appeals to me. It seems to me that in the “in between” there's a lot to learn. Butoh traditionally invites the participation of non-dancers and dancers alike, which I find interesting.  Butoh found light in dark issues; it has its birth in the underbelly of daily life. This movement practice holds up the misfits, the outcasts, the others and gives them a voice in their body. Hiroko Tamano once told me that the dancer’s body is dangerous. The body is dangerous, it is alive, active, awake and aware. To me, butoh has an inherent subversion, a need to purge the colonized self, much like my own practice. Watch the birds. Their ancient bodies meditate on the heaviness of a beast like a tiger. Then watch it move like light. Feel a grasshopper leap from your hands, a small explosion in its legs. Watch any wild being comfortable in its own space and skin, gracefully moving, governing itself. I find something powerful there.

Meditative Plays

CR sessions at times will be geared to collectively develop art happenings that I call “Meditative Plays”. If you come to CR sessions you are not necessarily required to be part of the meditative plays.

Meditative Plays are collective experiences to facilitate growth and exploration of themes and concepts directly related to individuals involved. The goal is not only to create a work that affects viewers but also shifts the present and personal experience and growth of participants. Concepts span the personal to the political. These happenings would be presented in theaters, galleries, and public spaces to name a few possibilities. You may call it a ritual, a resistant action, a cleansing, a purging, a ceremony, a trial by fire, and ancestral need to play with something to further understand it...it's a deeper approach that values experience over aesthetics and spirituality over quantification.

-josie j