Play a game of "Movement Telephone" | Ryan McNamara | The Art Assignment | Summary and Q&A

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January 8, 2015
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The Art Assignment
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Play a game of "Movement Telephone" | Ryan McNamara | The Art Assignment

TL;DR

Performance artist Ryan McNamara discusses his work, which explores movement and the evolution of memes, and offers an assignment for viewers to replicate and transform a movement from a video clip.

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Key Insights

  • 💦 Ryan McNamara's work challenges traditional distinctions between audience and performers and explores the influence of media on our lives.
  • 💦 The "Make Ryan a Dancer" project taught McNamara the value of embracing his unique movements and personality in his work.
  • 🫵 McNamara encourages viewers to find their own movements and make them their own, rather than striving for perfection.
  • 👻 The assignment given by McNamara allows viewers to explore the transformation and interpretation of movement, similar to the evolution of memes.
  • 🍉 The term "meme" originated from Richard Dawkins' book, "The Selfish Gene," and refers to units of cultural transmission or imitation.
  • ❓ The assignment reflects the concept of memes by showcasing how movements can be replicated and transformed through different interpretations.
  • 😑 The assignment encourages viewers to explore and experiment with movement, fostering creativity and personal expression.

Transcript

Today, we're in Queens, New York outside of Topaz Arts, a creative development center that hosts a dance studio, where we'll be meeting with Ryan McNamara. Ryan is a performance artist whose work explores what it's like to be a person today in our largely media driven and saturated world. Past performances have seen him learning to dance of the cou... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What was the "Make Ryan a Dancer" project, and how did it impact Ryan McNamara?

The "Make Ryan a Dancer" project involved McNamara learning different dance styles every day and performing them in front of the public. While embarrassing at first, he found it liberating and realized the value of embracing his unique movements.

Q: What does McNamara look for in performers and dancers?

McNamara values performers and dancers who let their personalities shine through their movements instead of striving for technical perfection. He believes that individuality adds depth to performances.

Q: What is the assignment McNamara gives to viewers?

Viewers are asked to find a short movement video online, replicate the movement, then replicate their own replication. The goal is to explore the transformation and interpretation of movement.

Q: How does McNamara relate this assignment to the concept of memes?

McNamara sees the assignment as an exploration of how things transform through interpretation, similar to how memes evolve and change over time. It reflects the essence of cultural transmission and imitation.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Ryan McNamara shares his experience with the "Make Ryan a Dancer" project, where different people taught him various dance styles in front of the public.

  • He believes in embracing individuality and personality in movement rather than striving for perfection.

  • McNamara gives viewers an assignment to find a short movement video online, replicate it, and then replicate their own replication, creating a game of movement telephone.

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