Sierra Ortega (New York, USA): an alleged lunatic does their best

  • 18 Jun 2021 8pm UTC
  • dur 4 h

Historically, those classified as Mad have lacked a real sense of visibility; hidden away in jails, institutions, sanitariums, psych wards, or their own homes. When we are visible it is usually through fetishized (often hyperbolic and offensive) representations in mass media. Mad bodies must seek a reclamation of our right to appear as political subjects. And so, this performance takes on the provocation of Fred Moten that “sound gives us back the visuality that occularcentrism has repressed”. Sound draws attention towards itself. It makes apparent the space in which it resonates. It allows a body to transcend the demands of physical embodiment in its search for connection. Sound is a carrier of our history, cultural identity, memory, personality; it is an assertion of our agency. This performance is a durational and improvisational experiment in noise and embodiment. What new worlds might emerge from my mad subjectivity when given the space and time to just exist without the imposition of productivity and decency? My frequencies a mess, desperate for expression. To become timeless, timeless, and untimely. To become tactical, relational. To become promiscuously open, to take all comers. To become as a process, a fundamental state of being, a material resistance, a transgressive destabilizer, a failure, a “polymorphous subjectivity”, an operation rather than a sign, an expression of a system, a system of expression in opposition to binary distinctions. To become the sum total of all possible frequencies, a “raw, inhuman fact”, the most original of sounds, a feedback loop, the reverse of power. To become nothing, purposeless, a pure affective charge. I make noise. I am noise. I use technology to amplify myself.

BIO: Sierra Ortega is a lazy poet, weirdo queero, hot-mess bipolar, precariously employed adjunct professor, and interdisciplinary performance artist based in Queens, NY. Utilizing their background in performance, speculative philosophy, and radical queer politics, they have come to develop an artist/scholar practice that is deeply personal, constantly chaotic, and furiously DIY. Their exhaustive multi-disciplinary performances attempt to push the limits of human affective capacity as to generate worlds of constant transformative mutation that support the emergence of complex, plastic, and noisy subjectivities. Most recently, they have shared work around NYC as part of the Anarchist Book Fair, Performancy Forum, and Liminal Lab platforms and at the CUNY Grad Center Segal Theatre, The Center for Performance Research, Para//el Performance Space, Judson Church (with UNDOING & DOING), and Panoply Performance Laboratory. ARTIST’S WEBSITE