Naomi Elena Ramirez
Choreography for Smartphone Gestures (score for solo performer), detail
30 x 60"
Inkjet print with pencil on single matte mylar 3 mil, 2016
Choreography for Smartphone Gestures (video performance)
Video, 2016
Beaver (score for one dancer)
80 x 44"
Pencil, pen, charcoal, and inkjet print on paper, 2013
Infinite Game (score for three dancers), detail
72 x 44"
Inkjet print and pencil on paper, 2013
Infinite Game (score for three dancers)
72 x 44"
Inkjet print and pencil on paper, 2013
I am a multidisciplinary artist whose work embraces and fuses visual art, contemporary dance, performance art, video art, and the process by which the different mediums can inform each other. I have developed a practice of experimental graphic scoring for movement and dance: A choreographic method that filters the process of making live performance through the mediums of photography, drawing, collage, and notation.

In my scores, fragments of the moving gestural body are photographed and then placed upon the page in relation to and modified by lines, curves, shapes, and symbols. The score precedes the choreography rather than recording it visually mapping the dance and deconstructing the movements on the page. The score presents the performance in simultaneity. Functioning through a process of translation the score requires an embodied creative reading. The duration of video or live performance shifts perspective of the static gestural mark. The affective engagement of live performance, the relationship between performer and audience, compounds this shift with the presence of the living breathing body and haptic possibilities. Although, any drawing can be used as an impetus for a performance, a graphic score is created with the intention of being performed. Thus, the strokes and marks, images and symbols are created in parallel as both drawing and performance. The mediums inform and present the content differently, influencing each other through shifts in materiality and view reception.

Choreography for Smartphone Gestures (score for solo performer) and Choreography for Smartphone Gestures (video performance) present the gestural language of smartphone use in a flurry of repetition through swipes, taps, pinches, and flicks. An omnipresent common vernacular, as hand held touch screen devices become ubiquitous. These daily task based gestures most often remain unremarked, can leave lasting imprints, culturally inscribing the body. Yet, the gesture as an act, as a performance, is movement produced by a body that is exerting agency through movement of the self. This choreography dislocates the gestures from the device. Deconstructing the gestures into photographic fragments and rearranging them as a dance. The gestures are experienced and performed as movement, as embodied expressions.

As a visual artist, I use photography and drawing to record and choreograph movements and gestures of the body. As a dancer my body is my medium. Within the field of visual art the historical and cultural implications of the female form, its representation, sexualization and objectification complicate its depiction. Within the field of dance and performance the body is the primary element. This socio-historical conundrum stifled the full expressive use of my body as a visual artist, the body being an essential element of my work.

Embarking on an investigation of the objectification and sexualization of the female form as it is represented in the tradition of the fine art nude, pornography, and mass media as it relates to individual and collective sexual expression. Beaver, a graphic score and performance piece, investigates this language of the sexualized female form in an analytic manner within the conceptual fine art exhibition space by interrogating the following questions: How do cultural representations of female sexuality in advertising, mass media, and mainstream pornography affect how female sexuality is expressed both individually and collectively? How do phenomena like “slut-shaming” and the threat of sexual violence delineate, thwart, or promote female sexual self-expression?

I continue to explore the gestural lexicons, gender performance and relational conditions within heteronormative patriarchy, and sociology of the body. Considering the historical forces that act on the body through learned gestures, bodily comportments, and the affective content of kinesthetic sensations produced by the act of gesturing. These repeated gestures can leave lasting imprints upon the body, culturally inscribing the body. Yet, the gesture as an act, as a performance, is movement produced by a body that is exerting agency through movement of the self.