Next up, our amazing S PA C E Resident Samuel Briseno Jimenez shares a bit about their process and experience as a movement artist. Sam’s work, Trans-Materialized, is a solo project they have been incubating with Art Produce as their home studio for this residency process. Read on to learn more about Sam and their work, then get your tickets for S P A C E Showcase this Friday and Saturday to see them in action!
What does your typical creation process look like?
My artistic practice begins in my headspace. I visualize the energy moving within my body, and think of ways that these movements can manifest in my body. To expand on my ideas I go for a walk and try to slip into the millions of rhythms existing all at once and disrupting one another. I acknowledge my role in the disruption and continue to alter the rhythms in the space by incorporating movement into my walks. Once I’ve laid a foundation of presence, intentionality, and comfort in my own curiosity I draw from visions of movement that I have already been transforming in my head. I allow the movements to flow continuously, incorporating repetition, sequencing, variations in timing and facing, and improvisational scores.
A foundation I use for building movement is accumulation; saying yes to the authentic movements that sprout from my active body and adding more of what my body already naturally wants to do. I recognize how intelligent our bodies are, and in dancing I find the freedom of movement expression allows for a transcen(dance) of being where our minds aren’t responsible for making all the decisions. In this space (a combination of time + place, and our acknowledgement of this space establishes presence) the dance is raw and organic. In this liminal space, transness exists as flexibility to move between binaries in a ‘trance’ like state. Slipping into the trance (or trans for I love the play on words) is an active rejection of predispositions of how we “should” move through space towards a liberation of how we naturally move through space. Allowing our bodies to do what feels good is a political way to challenge institutional powers, who pry on trans-resilient folks and our abilities to move safely and freely through spaces.
Part of this practice is also acknowledging that I am sharing this space with a copious amount of energies that are actively disrupting my way of moving. The goal here is to allow for this disruption and continue the work of moving authentically in the dynamic space.
These methods were the basis for building my movement scores for ‘Trans-Materialized (embodied movement scores)’. To continue building this work I am actively engaging in conversations with my communities, researching and analyzing how (trans/queer) bodies move through space, and continuing to workshop new ideas on my body and willing bodies.
Other than dance, what mediums are important to the overall theme of your piece? This could be music, projection, spoken word, etc. What role will these aspects play?
I am a multimedia performance artist, incorporating elements of dance, choreography, cinematography, projections/visuals, music and sound, costume, lighting, props, and graphic art. For Trans-Materialized (embodied movement scores) I begin the piece carrying my belongings onto the space, where elements of my other scores already reside on stage/space. I am carrying “immigrant,” bags, used to transport their belongings from place to place, containing clothes that I have bought second hand or took from my mother’s closet. Trying to embody the plight of endless moving I have personally experienced, and the migration of my ancestors from country lines.
I use tape to demarcate space, and fabrics to blend and create costumes to alter and confuse my appearance on stage. I use video and music to portray a deeper narrative and add depth to my work. I use a rolling mirror to allow the audience time to see themselves in my work and performance, as well as to take time for me, redirecting the energy and scope of my movements back to myself.
Materials are central to my work and as I have accepted this more and more I have become a walking object to be displayed for entertainment, critique, and for celebration. At one point in the work I put on as many pieces of clothing as I can, and paint my face with colors, exploring a wide range of emotions. My identity becomes a culmination of intersectionalities tethered together like seams on clothes, some of which I stitched myself for this work. I use graphics and visuals to inform the audience of the many themes all interacting with each other. The work explores the many ways trans bodies are objectified, sexualized, and being constantly “othered,” thus the deep desire to connect to and separate from materiality.
What would you like the audience to know about your work in this show?
Trans-Materialized (embodied movement scores) is a growing collection of trans lived experiences, exploring themes related to:
- Stages of going out
- Slipping into trance
- Among other themes
‘Trans-Materialized (embodied movement scores).’ I have been building this work mainly through my own lived experiences and as a way to transform the space into an experience. When building this work, I made sure to choreograph in a way that allowed me the freedom to move between boundaries. Creating movement scores that allowed me to grow my relationship to the themes I am exploring, has propelled me to see this work as more than just a performance. I can envision Trans-Materialized being an installation, or an experience where the audience is not only invited to spectate but also investigate the work in real time with me as the facilitator. ‘Trans-Materialized’ to describe the hyper-visibility, negotiation, and materialization of trans bodies as they move through space. With Trans-Materialized, my goal is to continue exploring these themes, informed by my own lived experiences and those of my trans siblings and community. My work explores queer latinidad in relation to the liminal space that is the border. I was born and partially raised in the Imperial Valley, spending most of my childhood moving between Mexicali-Calexico, the twin-border cities, and moving all over north and south San Diego. My flexibility across borders has informed and shaped my work.
Living so much of our lives within borders that dictate how we are “supposed,” to move through space, I choreograph the limitless possibilities that exist within the in-between. Queer existing as an unidentifiable categorization, exacerbates the doctrine that bodies can exist in categorization, and in resisting a predisposed way of classifying oneself, the umbrella term “queer,” encompasses a multi-faceted means of self-identification. Queerness invites folks to accept that they are more than just the binaries that define them; they are a collection of lived experiences that blurs their relationship to the binaries. Borders keep us in, but what we do inside of them is an exploration of our flexibility (both to move between borders/binaries, and flexibility to move our bodies), and agency.
Trans-Materialized (embodied movement scores) is an ontology of movement-based practices that are informed by the environments they are performed in, the lived experiences of the performer, the themes at large, and the trans-performer physicalizing them in their body. Trans-Materialized starts with me but doesn’t end with me; the goal is to continue to grow the work through new perspectives, through community members practicing the scores or their own interpretations, and through a commitment to openness and discovery.
Discover more here: https://transmaterialized.my.canva.site/
What are your hopes and dreams for the San Diego dance scene?
For more inclusivity, diversity, and community building in all San Diego dance spaces. Building community is central to my being. I enter any collaboration with a deep desire to learn and connect with my peers, honor their own unique ways of moving, and make space for all to express themselves. My training at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) has really helped me to understand the value of participating in group feedback, sharing artistic works and processes, and digesting critique to make the work more of what it already is. After college I have continued to build community with movers in San Diego and Los Angeles. I take classes at various studios, and connect with members of ballroom (vogue) spaces. I have worked with the San Diego Latine Coalition to host a free workshop, and most recently, I hosted a free workshop to introduce my latest work, Trans-Materialized (embodied movement scores). My approach to building community stems from my own needs, such as accessibility, mutual aid and trust, mentorship, and dismantling systems that oppress us through liberation and joy. I view my work as being built in community for community. With this opportunity, I hope to offer a reflective space to build community within the San Diego dance scene. I hope to offer the audience more insight on queer ways of moving through space, choreography that sparks conversation and investigates deep desires within our bodies, and support to my cohort in all the ways I have capacity to offer.I hope to continue to connect folks through movement and dance making.
Don’t miss this opportunity to support Sam and their work – Friday and Saturday at 7pm!