›Ditch Plains‹

© Loretta Fahrenholz

Loretta Fahrenholz’s ›Ditch Plains‹ (2013, 30 min) was shot in New York around the time of Hurricane Sandy. The film juxtaposes documentary footage of the natural disaster, filmed in the Far Rockaway neighborhood, with a series of scenes that the artist developed in Brooklyn with the New York street dance crew 'Ringmasters'. While the footage of the disaster area describes a real-life state of emergency, the dancers improvise sequences in nocturnal streets, hotel hallways, and a fancy apartment that evoke raid and search operations, as well as menacing man/machine interfaces. The dance scenes were created in direct dialog with the camera technology. Distortions or speed changes are not the result of post-production, but of the dance style ‘bone-breaking’ (a subset of ‘flexing’). The characteristic performances consist of movements that seem to spell out digital sequences. 'Ditch Plains' thus uses myriad citations, ranging from disaster movies and street dance battles to virtual computer games, which are linked to real experiences in a time of permanent crisis.