Toussaint Jeanlouis

What I Create is: Where, When, and How I Live.

Actor, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Boxing Instructor.

Devising New Work: Have we Enslaved the Good & Incarcerated the Bad? Whom is We?

Beginning:
Monday night was the first night I spent time with fellow artists devising new work in the DevisingHub at Ping Chong + Company led by Performance Artist Ryan Conarro. I met interesting people and am excited to feel the results of the next five weeks! I've already learned so much. I'll be presenting an excerpt of new work by December 10. While the process of devising can be daunting, I'm thrilled to be vulnerable and begin a conversation about subjects that have been on my mind for a few years.

One question I aim to answer is "What am I in search of as an Artist?" I have to remember that we grow and it is always a good idea to ask yourself that question again because our artistic statement can change from day to day. In regards to this new work, I have many associations based on the material and research I have done for my current work, and knowing what I'm in search of as an Artist will lead me in a direction as to how I can develop the work to be most effective. Where do I begin?

Meditation 1:
I want to know how an individual [can] transcends the physical self and lives spiritually [blind faith]. I am interested in creating a new way [news waves] of sharing humanity for the purpose of growth - reaching Our (Humanity's) full potential. We are inescapably caught in this garment of destiny - tied together*. If We are touched - opened, what can we accomplish then and together? How do you destroy competition, specifically the practice of stagnant opposition?

I am not wholly interested in what "ties us together," rather "Why are we disconnected? Why do you / have you refuse(d) to open your parachute?" There must be bad in order to recognize good. What is Good? What is God? What is Bad? What is Hell? Who is Lucifer? I am fascinated that we are circling around the same questions and behaviors that were presented thousands of years ago. Is progression a theory? As long as we "know" what this "bad" is, we can manage It, but if It is new, that's frightening - uncontrollable; a Virus. Have we enslaved the good and incarcerated the bad? Whom is We?

Discovery:
I want to be in Awe. Mouth agape; feeling every emotion and sensation at once. It's not a question of what I'm watching. I am experiencing something intuitively personal [by associative qualities] - my insides are stirring, then to realize We are all experiencing it by a single thread pulled from Us; that which had no name.

Example: The Starlit Night Sky. A Shooting Star Falling. There are many ways to see this event. "I ask that you lie down on your back." How will I guide you towards the least affected perspective: Shavasana. What does that fleeting moment feel like? Nirvana. IMAX Cinema.

In Meditation 2:
Awareness is not sufficient. It is for few who would commit to action, others are happy / content / immobilized and remain disengaged; especially if they cannot see how it effects them - they must be affected. What story am I informing with? Even if the information is "fact," everyone moves forward at their own pace. What is Trust without the suspension of Belief? "Pull the string to open your parachute."

Knowledge versus Violence. Violent Knowledge: "I learned about gravity while pushed out of bed."

Discovery:
I intend to Explore by Creating Violent Knowledge. Wisdom is ... Settled  ... Digested ... Wisdom is the Embodiment of Knowledge. Habit and Ritual form because of Wisdom and Desire. I Am Because I Believe ... I Believe in What? Do I Fight ... Who do I Fight to Believe? Who Am I?

Meditation 3:
Water flowing. Winter is coming. Frozen. Nutrients will be preserved. Make them Thirsty. Make it Hot so they Beg for Water. Violent Nature. But with Oil Spills is my Value decreasing?

Discovery:
I Desire to be Comfortable. What is Comfortable? [ a long list ] What is Naked? What is the opposite of Comfortable? What Makes me Not Comfortable? Restrictions.

Am I creating this new work so that I may be more comfortable in my skin? In what?

What excites me is the possibility to Transvalue Cotton and Human Beings.

* "We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." - Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter From Birmingham Jail