Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Artist Statement: 

Recently I have started working toward a new form of performance  that speaks to the   
desire to capture, whether the capture be a moment, a memory, someone else's desire,  
or a ghost. Live performance is filled with ghosts, and depends upon the desire to 
capture those things that are lost, to remember the dead, so that the deadc an continue 
to speak to us and through us.

I combine video projections of moments of performance that are gone, and  over these I 
perform moments of the desire for capture and the failures of capture. I speak from 
texts written in the surround, poetic and mythical narratives that were formed around 
the moments of the projected performance's creation, and perform small ritual actions, 
attempts to resurrect the dead through language, so that what emerges between the 
words is  a sense of loss, of becoming, and of rebirth.

Art that wants to help take the cobwebs out of your eyes.
Art that likes you and wants to know what you dream about
Art that has been here before, just like you. 

Christopher Danowski is a theatre and performance artist. He has written over fifty plays, and directed and performed in living rooms  galleries, and unusual spaces (sometimes in theaters). He was artistic director of Theater in My Basement from 1999-2013, and is now a member of Howl Theatre Project.  He is based in Phoenix, and his work has been shown locally, in New York, Minneapolis, Seattle, Yucat√°n, Mexico City, Dublin, Laval, Vienna, and Berlin. He is currently working on a practice-based doctoral thesis on ritual possession and new media performance through Plymouth University (UK) and Transart Institute (Berlin/NYC).  

Friday, May 22, 2015


At the sea:
Don't ask for answers, answers won't come. Ask for the willingness to move. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


when i got quiet, the one i was last week melted off onto the floor, complaining, dying, and complaining some more. and later, a little later, i caught my breath, or it caught me, and took me with it, and the one i was last month showed up, melting into the last one, complaining, and that one told me that my best ideas never worked for anyone for more than a minute or two, and later still, my breath took me somewhere that i have not been, not for awhile, but i remembered it because i saw it when i was very young, and it made my throat hurt to see it again, and there was a strange taste in my throat, something about to begin, something that started already a long time ago, but about to begin nonetheless, and there were several more who kept melting to the floor, and so many complaints. some of these were about how my family story meant that i would never escape suicidal thoughts or clumsiness or bad grammar or following jesus and all of that. and some of them were about how my crooked back would never let me stand up straight, and some of them about how my dog and my daughter never recovered from my leaving, long before i have left, and i know there were more but they all started to sound like the same person talking and i decided that all these versions were driving the boat for a very long time and weren't driving it very well, and there were others, at least a dozen others, who i have been out to sea with from the start, and any of them would be good at steering at least for a little while or maybe not even that but even crashing into the rocks would be better than how it has been, and that was the day, or rather the moment, i mean actually the breath, that was the breath where i switched places 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

3 scenes from a new Hamlet play

These are the three fates that watch over this story and they are a bunch of fucking morons.

HEK (at the dinner table, pontificating, sober with water, but mad, out of his mind, mad mad mad): The neck, the back of the neck, it’s related to the tip of the tongue.

LEAK: In what way?

HEK: Pardon?

LEAK: In what way?

HEK: Please let me finish.  You are always doing that, interrupting like that, stop being so interrupting.

LEAK: You seemed done because you stopped talking.

HEK: My god, here we go again.

NEK: Let’s keep talking about the neck please because I have so many questions about the neck.  

LEAK: Because you are a neck.

(They all laugh until something comes out of someone’s nose.)

HEK: The body is marvelous.

NEK: A mystery.

LEAK: It sure is, it sure is.

(now HAMLET on a phone call, a video phone call).
HAMLET: Hello.  Oh, I want to try…I want to…that was bad.  Let me.  Hello.  No, that was still bad, I’m being all, bad boy flirty whatever, I uh.  Um.  Hello.  No, that was too self-conscious, too sensitive in a self-conscious, uh…listen.  This is video so also look.  Listen and look.  (Laughs).  This is going to take a really long time before I actually say something.  This.  I think I.  I see ghosts.  But I think we’re ghosts.  Do you see them?  Do you see them too?  Do you think we might be ghosts too?

Scene: psychiatrist couch.

H: I worry that I might be mad and you might have to spend the rest of your life taking care of me.

O: That’s my fear, too, that’s what I was going to say, too, that’s what it’s like for me, too.  Switch!

(A fire drill song, they get up and dance and switch places, there should be some singing in the middle of this.  Something really mundane, like;)

Now I’m gonna let you know,
I’m never gonna let you go,
so now I can let you know,
that I don’t want to let you go,
and so I wanna let you know,
I’m never gonna let you go.

H: Tell me about your mother.

O: Why? She’s just like me.

H: That’s exactly like my father.

O: Your father is like me?

H: No, dead, my father is dead.

O: I don’t follow.

H: A ghost, just like me.

O: This therapy is not going to work for me at all unless you start thinking of me at least a little bit.

H: That’s a little narcissistic, don’t you think?

O: I don’t, because it’s not, fucking idiot.

H: I’m going to eat popcorn now so you can talk and I won’t interrupt.

O: Well, that’s something.  At least that’s something.  That is something, at least.  You, sir, are a bone.  A bone covered with flesh.  Not a particularly straight bone, and not a particularly attractive bone.  I’m not really attractive to bones.  I mean attracted! I mean attracted not attractive! Is that a thing?  When words go sideways like that, is that a thing?

H (mouth full of popcorn): I have no idea, dear.  

O: People are bones.  The living, I mean.  I mean the living people are bones.  This has been going on for, for some time now, it’s been.
(She cries but it is not real.)
I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry.  That’s not real.  Those are not real tears.  I’m sorry, I just really want to have a breakthrough so much, so very much.  I thought that was close that I was almost there.

H: Oh, I think you’re close though, I think you’re so so close.

Monday, March 9, 2015

we wanted to freeze that moment.  there they were, 50 years older, on that bridge, that same bridge.  we wanted things to freeze in that moment, even if it was only for a moment.

but the angel of history was already flying past, tumbling, her wings stained with the blood of another black boy. 

i tried to stop it, she said, i tried to save that boy, i couldn't stop it, she said. this is going to be a long winter, she said.

but it's spring, we said, it's almost spring, we were so sure that it was almost spring.  

Friday, February 13, 2015


back and forth across the tracks a hundred times since that last time,
it has been too long since that last time,
and i had nothing to say for so very long,
and now, too much to say and not enough hours in the day to say any of it,
except that i want to check in and say hello,
i hope to visit here more often,
there are threads here that have continued out of the margins, and i want to talk about those threads, because talking about them helps me to listen, and there are a lot of people talking here right now.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

jet lag

jetlag dream: it's the broken house of my dreams, with large sections i had forgotten about, and i'm living in one of those sections, it's night, and it's berlin, and i'm supposed to put everything in my bag and go, but. i'm in the middle of a conversation with a roommate i haven't met yet, about documentation of ritual knowledge, oral culture and digital epistemology. and in my bag are three books i didn't need at all here, and two books i'd forgotten about. and now i'm half awake and thinking this is a library, a version of borges' library, that intersection of people with their embodied knowledge, and the exchange of secrets: how do you access this knowledge this year, how do you represent this knowledge this year, how do we change to remember earlier ways of knowing? our bodies are texts, the alleys in the text where we make marks and are marked, spaces that refuse capture.

How do you cite yourself from Facebook and why oh why would you want to?
How do you cite the Dead, and why wouldn't you?
How do you remember yourself when you are not yourself, and how do you find ways to tell yourself, wait just a little while, just rest for a little while, just wait, do not speak, just rest and wait, do not speak and do not make any big decisions and do not think this exhaustion is permanent, just wait?

I remember Alexanderplatz, and I don't remember the station marked Alexandria, but I think I was there.  It is the busiest metro station in the world, there are hundreds of active lines that cross there, but there are also thousands of dead lines that still cross there, and the diviners and quantum physicists have access to the thousands from the future that cross.  

(to be continued)