“Auto Mobile Body Works takes you on an unexpected journey to places you would never think to experience. It exemplifies the notion of site-specific by combining the exploration of unusual space, the body, video/performance and community.” -Burns Maxey, Easthampton City Arts
A space-specific adventure in action based art that both imagines and reveals the integration of human and auto bodies.
AUTO MOBILE BODY WORKS utilizes video projection, movement, music, and vehicles in outdoor paved spaces, parking garages, lots, alleys, abandoned industrial atmospheres and car wash bays to bring persistent metaphors to life. Sculptural regalia and intentional visual limitations for all the bodies present transport the viewer into a mythical world of blurred lines between real and imagined. The audience is an active participant, traveling to 5 separate locations to view the work.
“…amazing…super creative…innovative…” -Ryan Myers-Johnson, Sidewalk Festival, Detroit, MI
“Stefanie Weber latest incarnation, Auto Mobile Body Works, is an evocative exploration where Mummenschanz meets Alvin Ailey, where the audience moves from one avant-garde experience to another. The result is an intriguing combination of dance and performance art.” -Heather Balchunas, Somerville Arts Council
“We were thrilled to be a part of the Creatures of Habitat performance, Auto Mobile Body Works, in the City of Pittsfield. It was unique and original and indescribable. The only way to truly know what it’s all about is to go see a performance for yourself!” -Jen Glockner, Director, Office of Cultural Development, Pittsfield, MA
Production History: Beginning in late Summer 2011, Stefanie began movement labs and site scouts in car wash bays and parking garages in Pittsfield, MA sometimes accompanied by one or more of a cast of interested explorers including Kalei Carlson, Colleen Surprise Jones, Abigail Elwood, Jack Magai, Melissa Larkin, Monika Pizzichemi, and Ione Beauchamp.
At the same time indoors she was capturing and gathering hours of movement/choreographic sketches on video of her experiments with limited body view shots of herself and fellow dancers Rachel Schwartz and Shira Wohlberg. The moving images were designed to be projected large scale from an automobile: on buildings, tractors, dumpsters; in rest areas, parking lots, garages, dark alley ways. The source music ideas varied but kept returning to the work of Thomas White/Electric Soft Parade who gave Stefanie permission to utilize his music for her explorations with the performance work.
Upon receiving a seed grant from The Pittsfield Cultural Council in January of 2012 while working in Nairobi, Kenya, Stefanie returned to the Berkshires and began preparing for a Fall equinox work-in-progress showing in her native town of Pittsfield, MA. She also resumed work with graphic collaborator Mark Tomasi in producing a promotional image to capture the process.
The September 2012 meeting location for the audience was Empty Set Project Space in Pittsfield, MA. The scenes Factory Secrets and Manual Transmssion got their first public viewing. The featured performers were Diane Firtell, Melissa Larkin, Shira Wohlberg and Stefanie Weber.
In September of 2013 the audience meeting location was in the Round House parking lot in Northampton, MA and in October in Greenfield, MA the audience met in Court Square and ventured by foot to 4 locations. The cast consisted of Ione Beauchamp, Diane Firtell, Dawn Meltzer, Shira Wohlberg and Stefanie Weber. The scenes Release Me, But Don’t Let Go and Telectromagnetica premiered and were added to the series.
2014 saw the commencing and culminating tour of all the works together. Beginning in Spring in Somerville, MA via the Somerville Arts Council where the audience took an ideal journey from outdoor lot, to car wash bay, to supermarket wall via underground walk way and finishing in an indoor ice(less) hockey rink. Onto Easthampton, MA for the City Arts arts walk event of July where the audience walked through old factories and parking lots and viewed Factory Secrets indoors via the Bodybox projection container. Detroit was August’s adventure performing both live scenes for the Sidewalk Festival of the Performing Arts and having ourselves featured on the local Fox news network. Back home in Pittsfield, MA we performed all 4 scenes in separate locations again, our favorite being the top floor of a strikingly lit parking garage with skateboarders shouting at us throughout. We topped off that evening with a work-in-progress of a new piece The Magic is in The Mechanism, stay tuned for more about that work. The whole tour completed with roving projections of Factory Secrets and Release Me, But Don’t Let Go on the surfaces of East 14th St in Manhattan and a showing of Telectromagnetica in the cul-de-sac of 13th St for the Art in Odd Places Festival.