A creative artist-in-residence development project by Elise May & Connor Dowling, 101 Ways to Strip! is an experimental project incorporating digital image, video, sound and live performance.

In 2011 we developed a digital arts/ live performance project which called upon interested artists to submit ideas that would become key elements of our creative process. Through our blog people submitted individual interpretations of how to uniquely remove an article of clothing or accessory. Once we gathered the submissions the material provided stimulus for the concept and direction our Fresh Ground artist-in-residence creative development period at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Art. Participants were invited to interact with the artists throughout the entirety of the creative process.

STEP 1: Choose your item: a dress, a shirt, a sock, or your jocks!…

STEP 2: GET CREATIVE! We want your interpretation – your most interesting way of undressing. Your item of clothing can be taken off in the most exciting and unusual of ways… in fact, the more unusual the better.. You can involve movement, mime, circus, theatre, text, sound or the voice… The sky is your limit!

STEP 3: Video yourself!

STEP 4: Get uploading!
Choose a video upload site:

STEP 5: Submit!
Visit: www.101waystostrip.blogspot.com to post your url link on our blog

We were interested in the various digitial “guerilla” arts concepts that they had come across on the internet and by word of mouth things like: “Flash mobs”, “Subtle mobs”, “Planking”, “Leaping”, Parkour and spontaneous site specific performance.

We became interested in the potential of this kind of performance making. Could we push it further? We also became interested in the power of social media, to draw artists together and connect people. We decided we would like to explore art making in a “DIY” digitally driven online environment – How could this inform live performance? What effect does digital culture have on performance making? How are we engaging differently with non-traditional modes of performance and digital media?

The potential for interactivity through internet-based forums such as blogs, online and networked performances, and established social networking sites is increasingly more available to artists, and we wanted to capitalise, strengthen and build on these networks, not only for this project, but to create future pathways for this kind of interactivity in artistic contexts. New Millennium Dictionary of English defines flash mob as “a group of people who organise on the Internet and then quickly assemble in a public place, do something bizarre, and disperse”. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organised via telecommunications, social media or viral emails (Wikipedia). Could we design an arts project along these lines? Could we create a viral interest in our live performance project? how would that change and shape the outcomes of a creative project?

101 Ways to Strip! is assisted by the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts’ Fresh Ground artist-in-residence initiative, made possible through Arts Queensland.

To view the 101 Ways to Strip blog visit: www.101waystostrip.blogspot.com.au

View further examples of choreographic projects by Elise May here