AURORA TABAR & MICHELLE TUPKO
ON PRACTICE
          performed by Aurora Tabar at Talking Text/Texting Talk
          image by Peter Reese
 
 
practice
1. Repetition of an activity to improve skill.
2. The ongoing pursuit of a craft or profession.
3. A customary action, habit, or behavior; a manner or routine.
4. Actual operation in contrast to theory.
 
 
          WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATE OF YOUR PRACTICE?
 
 
When I used to be in art school, I had what was called an art "practice." That meant something like: whatever I did and how I did it, that was my practice. I wasn't really practicing anything in particular, but just "practicing." The practice didn't necessarily lead to anything in particular – not to a goal. It just led here and there, this way and that. In fact, it seemed sort of important to the concept of a practice, or the practice of a practice, that it not have a goal. It might have outcomes, and feedback, but not a destination.
 
enter crawling on knees, head bowed, offering bowl overhead
 
pause before altar
 
offer
 
one candle
 
three sticks of incense
 
three lotus flowers

 
Now, I also spend a lot of time doing something called practice, and that practice is part of something called a path. It isn't directed at a goal exactly, but it isn't NOT directed at a goal, either. The practice is the practice of the path, and the path has a particular shape. That shape can change slightly for an individual practitioner, but it doesn't change all that much, because it's part of a tradition. Like learning to play Chopin on the piano. If you want to learn to play Chopin for some reason, you have to practice Chopin. Chopin isn't just anything or everything.
 
one mindful prostration:
 
lowering lowering lowering
 
opening opening opening, lifting lifting lifting, touching touching touching
 
opening opening opening, lifting lifting lifting, touching touching touching
 
rising rising rising, touching touching touching
 
lowering lowering lowering, touching touching touching
 
lowering lowering lowering, touching touching touching, closing closing closing
 
lowering lowering lowering, touching touching touching, closing closing closing
 
lowering lowering lowering, touching touching touching
 
rising up rising up rising up
 
opening opening opening, lifting lifting lifting, touching touching touching
 
opening opening opening, lifting lifting lifting, touching touching touching
 
lowering lowering lowering, touching touching touching, closing closing closing
 
lowering lowering lowering, touching touching touching, closing closing closing
 
rising up rising up rising up

 
 
          WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATE OF YOUR PRACTICE?
 
 
silence slowing down feeling more thinking less
 
bones
 
as in
 
gestures, silence, history, accumulation, archetypes, chaos, declarations, folk songs,
 
undergarments, a wink, a memory, repetition, interruptions, frowns, exaggerations, and bowing
 
a movement
 
the position of a body asleep. BreathDigestion
 
mostly a solo body needs other bodies,
 
all those others, known and unknown, met through their own appearing and disappearing
 
it is real time slowed down to microseconds
 
putting things together
 
and not trying so hard
 
We practice to understand the nature of mind, and the nature of reality. Some people just call it Yoga. Union. Yoking oneself to that Union instead of to all one's other usual concerns.
 
But what's interesting is that while practice is necessary for this realization of things, it's not ultimately necessary, because the nature of things is just the nature of things. There's nothing anyone needs to do about it, and you're already it anyway. So really, once one's practice is "successful," one might realize there was really no need to have practiced at all in the first place.
 
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Aurora Tabar is an artist, teacher, and healer. For the past six years she has worked collaboratively to create public actions, site-specific performances and installations around Chicago and beyond. Most recently she worked with WATCHTOWER co-conspirators Jose Hernandez, Ginger Krebs, Bryan Saner, and Sara Zalek on a movement-based video for New Capital's 24 Hrs/25 Days exhibition. In spring 2012 she was a LinkUp artist in residence with Sara Zalek, which culminated in Mystical Bootcamp, a live performance investigating healing and the possibility for transformation. Currently Aurora teaches visual art, performance, and yoga and practices Traditional Thai Massage. In the fall she will enter a graduate program in Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
 
Peter Reese – The process of making traditionally follows this formula: the maker performs the making, which creates the made. Through both writing and a diverse studio practice Peter Reese challenges this formula. He crafts conceptual frameworks in which the roles of the maker, the making and the made are analyzed, challenged, and alternatives proposed. These investigations manifest as images, objects, actions, detritus, or are designed to produce nothing tangible at all. Though disparate in their materials and the methods used to create them, his work functions as a single body, each providing a new lens through which making can be viewed, interpreted, and ultimately understood. Examples of his labors can be seen at www.makermakingmade.com. He currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.