Dear Artists,
This is a best of article.
I don't know how to write this yet.
I will make a list.

NOTE # 1:
I want to high-five the forward-pushers.
The makers that observe the world they are living in, and respond to that.

NOTE # 2:
Performing Arts = Theatre = Dance = A Poem = The Sun = A Banana = Facebook = Performing Arts.

NOTE # 3:
Statement: There is no longer a thing called Local.
Define: We are hitting everything all the time, and it is hitting us.
Explain: Local = Everywhere. Maybe.
But: But, I will try and focus. on. local. for. this.

NOTE # 4:
I am not seeing enough art. You are not seeing enough art. Do better.

NOTE # 4.5:
I am not mad or yelling. I am just really excited and have little tact!

NOTE # 5:
I kind of forget what happened in the last year.
So maybe this is a list of the things I've seen that stuck in mind.
Or maybe even the ones I didn't see, but only heard about.

NOTE # 6:
“It does not matter if you liked it. What did it make you think?
What are the conditions that made it possible?" - Michal Kobialka

NOTE # 7:
There is a value in a list. A plain old list.
Lists with little explanation.
Like a Christmas-time-wanting list.
Here is a list of the gifts I received.

Best Curated Celebration [conceived and executed]
July 15th, 1983 by Tara King at the Bryant-Lake Bowl.
This is the way a genius celebrates their [30th] birthday. 30 dances for 30 years. Tara took the #1 pop song, on the day of her birth, for each year she has been alive and assigned the 30 songs to a collection of this city's most progressive talent. A blur of the age-old concepts of high art and low art and all the things in between. I felt like I had the best sex of my life. Extra Kitties go to: Melissa Birch, Charles Campbell, Angharad Davies, Megan Mayer, Chris Schlichting, Anna Marie Shogren, SuperGroup, Monica Thomas, Galen Treuer.

Best Lure
Service Animal by Karen Sherman at Queertopia [Intermedia Arts].
Karen, you get to the heart of things I didn't even know had hearts. You push around all my insides and move them in ways I didn't know they could move and then pull me closer. You have a confidence on stage that stuns us. Karen constructed a piece that looped back onto itself seamlessly. A screw-gun fence assembly, training and then lassoing an audience member, and a marvelous communication on communication. Thank you for being a cowboy/cowgirl/pioneer.

Best Way to Live a Life, Ever
Untitled: a performance art masterpiece in the snow by Boy on 26th at 2646 11st Ave.
If ever we could live like you, we would all be fine. A 40-second performance I saw while waiting at a stoplight this winter. A young boy playing in the snow; defining youth. He was, with great vigor, crawling stage/yard left to stage/yard right, pausing every once in a while to eat snow, beat snow, or look out to the horizon. His swan song was army crawling a self-made hill and then acing a face-plant. A solid respect for rhythm, radical gesture, and use of space. Ivey Award 2013.

Best Number One Artists of All Time
nausea alert nausea alert by Emily Gastineau and Billy Mullaney at Monday Live Arts & Bryant-Lake Bowl.
If you want to know where the future of [performance] art is going, hang out with Emily and Billy. They are committed to investigation, and they won't stop. Thank you for testing the water, and rocking the boat, and never looking for a life-vest. P.S. Watch out for capitalism.

Best Silent Force
POST-POST by Melissa Birch at Bedlam Theatre's 10-Fest [Mixed Blood].
Thank you for letting me feel empty. Thank you for having a space for that. Thank you for the water and for the light and for looking at me for so long. A high skill for creating a world and allowing many paths in.

Best Fringe Show Ever Presented
Untitled [Baby] by Lacey and John Zeiler at Fairview Riverside.
This is a show where you have a baby. Or rather, where Lacey has a baby. To no one’s surprise, they sold out the show with only Facebook advertising and one trailer, a [Vine?] video where John interacts with a cupboard. Thank you for living with such dedication to your craft.

Best Way To Hold Your Mouth Open For 3-Hours
Life and Times: Episode 1 by Nature Theatre of Oklahoma at The Public Theater, NY.
Thank you for shifting the ways we can think of performance. You make us find a new way of watching. I thought of your life, and of my life, and all the lives of all the people I've ever known, and then all the lives of all the people that have ever lived. And then I wondered: how do you begin to understand a life? [Note: This show is playing at the Walker September 26th-28th. Go.]

Best Stocking Stuffers
[These things happened, they are also an art that is performed.]

  • Best Marathon: Mark Mallman in MARATHON IV. 180+ hrs. One non-stop song.
  • Best Use Of A Prop: Jason Ballweber's excessive use of a hair comb in The Visit.
  • Best Series: Monday Live Arts curated by Laurie Van Wieren at The Ritz.
  • Best Future Venue: Bedlam Lowertown in Lowertown St. Paul, MN.
  • Best 24-Hour Awesome Time: Northern Spark produced by NorthernLights. 40,000 people. 200 artists.
  • Best Mixed Tape: Skyler Nowinski's Barf Bag & Lucas Koski's car.musik.
  • Best Performance Created for Dramatic Effect: The City of Minneapolis tows car.sick.
  • Best Costume: Peter Rusk wears jeans. Finally. And for the last time.
  • Best Use Of Concrete: Open Streets Mpls, an initiative of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition.
  • Best Performance: The employee relations at Chex Mix Christmas Stand at the MOA.
  • Best Worst Best Person Who Writes How Computers Make Us Think: Tao Lin.
  • Best Bodies On Stage: Kristin Van Loon, Arwen Wilder, Tom Lloyd, and Craig VanTrees in Mr. Hijack.
  • Best Bad Ass: Michael Sommers' A Hole.
  • Best Facebook Status Updates: Nick Ochs.
  • Best 'Visual Arts' Show: Andy Ducett's key cutting station in curious happenings for More Real at MIA.
  • Best Way To Fuck With Yourself And Those Around You: Read. Mårten Spångberg. Twice.
  • Best Way for Some Artists To Shift To New Places: Red Eye's Works-In-Progress. Apply.
  • Best Reality Performance: New Orleans' Mardi Gras. Real life, performed.
  • Best Melt Your Heart Performance: Garrett Vollmer's personal interviews. Recorded and given to you.
  • Best Way To Spend Too Much Time Online For [No] Good Reason: Miranda July's We Think Alone.
  • Best Musical Troupe: Nona Marie and The Anonymous Choir.
  • Best Photographer Of Things That Really Happen: Steven Lang.

    Thank you.
    I would like to high-five you all for the act of making and thinking and doing.
    I would like to spray champagne all over your brains and bodies.
    Love, Sam