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Cantos Comunes

Cantos Comunes

“Make a way for the wind.”  - Yoko Ono Wind Piece, 1962

This day-long suite of happenings curated by Díaz Lewis in collaboration with Benjamin del Castillo was comprised of new Fluxus-inspired artworks, interpretations of existing Fluxus scores and re-stagings of original historic Fluxus scores. Coinciding with the Havana Biennial, the event marked the launch of a burgeoning art venue - The Blockhouse - located in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana.

Though Fluxus - as an anti-establishment art movement - has inherently evaded definition since the 1950s, one thing that it has done consistently is to elevate or bring attention to the ordinary. The “ordinary” in Cuba is perpetually undefined. Quotidian objects and things are more open to transformation - to morph into new things. A tv table today is a cake stand tomorrow. If an object is not set and is therefore a trans-object, it can change its purpose and its form. So although, on one hand, Cuba is seen as a static place, economically and socially stuck in time, on the other hand, Cuban identity - like the character of Mackandal in Alejo Carpentier’s novel - is always transforming, in a constant state of flux. 

In a place like Cuba, the most ordinary things are precious. While we don’t want to scrutinize or exploit misery, we do want to show the beauty of the ordinary elevated as a form of art. To do that, our task is to learn from the creative strategies highlighted by Fluxus so that our exploration of reality is fun instead of a critique of the absurd. 

Balas & Wax
(Susy Bielak & Fred Schmalz)
Raise the House, 2019

1. First, disperse around the building until you encircle it, roughly equidistant from the person on your left and on your right. 

2. Place your body close enough to reach out and touch the exterior wall in front of you with your palms.

3. When you are in position, reach out and touch the wall with your fingertips, just below eye level, and hold them there.

4. In a moment we will begin counting down from ten. When we get to “zero,” press upward with your fingertips into the side of the house for 30 seconds (you may count this part silently).

 5. (ten… nine…)

 6. (30 seconds of silent lifting)

 7. Now remove your fingers, being careful to leave the house suspended slightly above its foundation (others will lower the house back onto its foundation in the evening).

Research for the Bermuda Triangle (Regina Mamou and Lara Salmon) 7 Actions for a Concrete-Colored Sky, 2019

1. Pick a cloud in the sky

2. Imagine you are on this cloud

3. What does the cloud feel like

4. What does the city look like below

5. Eat a piece of spun sugar

6. After every last sugar crystal has 
dissolved in your mouth 

7. Turn to the person next to you and tell them what it was like to consume a cloud

Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares
Job Creation in a Bad Economy, 2010

Build a wall of books

Walk 10 paces away from the wall of books

Count to three

Run at the wall of books as fast as you can

When you reach the wall, dive head first through the books

Laugh and walk away

Balas & Wax
(Susy Bielak & Fred Schmalz)
Noticeable Effects, 2019

Noticeable Effects is a game where you embody the wind. It can be played alone or with a partner.

If you are playing alone:

Roll the die. The number rolled corresponds to the wind speed on the game board. If you roll number 13, your wind speed is 0. If you roll 14, you may choose your speed.

Once you know your wind speed, you can choose to embody the effect of the wind on the body or on the home. 

Find the instruction card for the wind speed you have rolled and follow its instructions. Move liberally.

Repeat the steps as many times as you like. The game ends when you gain a new relationship to the wind. 

If you are playing with a partner:

To begin, find a partner and determine who will roll the die first.

Roll the die. The number rolled corresponds to the wind speed on the game board. If you roll number 13, your wind speed is 0. If you roll 14, you may choose your speed.

Find the instruction cards for the wind speed you have rolled and follow their instructions, with your partner embodying the effects on the Body and you embodying the effects on the Home. Move liberally.

Repeat the process, with your partner rolling the dice. This time, you will follow the instructions for the Body, while your partner will follow the instructions for the Home. 

Milan Knizak
Snowstorm No. 1, 1965

150 paper gliders are distributed to an idle and waiting audience.

Nam Jun Paik
One for Violin Solo, 1962

Interpreted by Benjamin del Castillo, Alejandro Figueredo Díaz-Perera, and Cara Megan Lewis and re-enacted by Yasmany Guerrero

Original score:
“Please ask Ben Patterson how to destroy it.”

Kate Ingold
Franz Kafka 15-Minute Workout, 1904/2019

BEGIN
1. Wake Up.
2. Dress, urinate/defecate as needed, brush teeth.
3. Drink at least one cup of water.
4. Find your Place.
5. Fold the red towel in half or partially. Place the towel within three feet of the Wall. 
6. Place the cushion on the towel.
7. Sit on the zafu facing the Wall with legs folded in front, one foot in front of the other. If this is uncomfortable, turn the cushion on its side and sit on it saddle-style, with your legs folded underneath you and your knees facing forward. If this is still too uncomfortable, move to a chair. Place the red towel on the seat before you sit down on the chair.
8. Straighten your Back so that you are settled and comfortable. 
9. Set timer for 20 minutes.
10. Place your palms together and raise them to your chest. Take a deep breath.
11. Relax hands. Place them on your knees or in the mudra position (left fingers on top of right, with thumbs touching, centered below your belly button).
12. Breathe In knowing you are breathing in. Breathe Out knowing you are breathing out. Breathe normally and relaxed. Do not breathe deeply or differently. When thoughts come, acknowledge them but do not follow them. Thoughts are like clouds in the sky. Say to yourself “I am breathing in” as you breathe in,” and “I am breathing out” as you breathe out.
13. Continue.
14. When buzzer goes off, close your hands and bring them to your chest. Take a deep breath.
15. Raise your hands above your head and reach toward the sky.
16. Let them fall.
17. Twist your torso to the left and then the right. 
18. Bend down toward your right knee and then your left.
19. Stand up and shake out your legs.
20. Pick up cushion and towel. Put cushion away.
21. Go into the kitchen. Cook the oatmeal to your taste and make a coffee.
22. Eat breakfast and drink coffee.
23. Wash Your Dishes.
25. Drink at least one cup of water. Have a glass of water with you. 
26. Consult the book, JP Muller’s My System, beginning page 82.
27. Follow the directions for the first 8 exercises. 
28. Complete the exercises. Perform any of the variations of each exercise you would like.
29. Use the red towel to pat yourself dry, if needed.
30. Drink at least one cup of water.
31. Ready your embroidery supplies.
32. Embroider “Movement Is Life” on one end of the red towel. 
33. Embroider “Save Your Progress!” on the other.
34. Take a bath (or shower) and use the red towel to dry yourself.
35. Consider Muller’s drying methods (beginning page 110) and rubbing exercises (beginning page 115), if you’d like.
36. Get dressed.
37. Place the embroidered towel on the Red Pile.
END.

Alison Knowles
Celebration Red:
Homage to Each Red Thing,
1962/1996/2019

1962
Celebrate every red thing.

1996

Divide the exhibition floor into squares of any size.

Put one red thing into each square.

For example:

a piece of fruit

a doll with a red hat

a shoe

Completely cover the floor this way.

2019

Each square can only contain a single object, there should not be multiple objects in a square. The publicity for Homage to Each Red Thing should invite the public to bring a red hand held object from their own environment to put in the grid. Clear signage is needed to instruct the visitors that once they exchange an object with one in the grid, they can either keep the exchanged object or put it with the red objects offered by the organizers. Visitors are welcome to swap objects multiple times. 

Alberto Aguilar
Sensitive Equipment, 2012/2019

4-6 people will enter a 4' x 6' zone of an area rug.

This will take place on the 46th minute of each hour throughout the fixed time of this event.

Using 1 of the 6 supplied hand bells each person in the zone must keep the golden balloon afloat.

The participants are not allowed to touch the golden balloon with their hands.

They must play this game/musical score within the restricted space of the rug.

If the balloon leaves their reach from the zone they must admit defeat.

The audience will not be allowed to intentionally interfere with the path of the balloon. 

Someone from outside the zone

will throw the balloon into

the carpeted area at the

start of each play 

session. Each 

session is 

complete 

once the 

balloon 

falls to 


the ground.

Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera
Olmo, 2019 

The box contains X number of pieces of bark from a Chinese Elm tree. To put the tree back together, use it’s image as a reference. 

Benjamin Del Castillo
Mataperro, 2019

Mataperro translates to: street urchin, mischievous and naughty kid

Mataperro is a compilation of one hundred instructions based on a series of performative actions and public interventions documented with Polaroids during my stay in Havana and Los Angeles.

The process behind these actions was centered in the use of instant and shallow creative reactions to different sets of scenes and situations on public and private spaces. These actions were meant to be made in situ using only objects and elements available at the time at each location.

Carmina Escobar
Mami, 2019