Erica Mott's Cowboys and Vikings project creates unique space where sound, objects and movement create interactive performance environments. Ambulatory and site-specific, Cowboys and Vikings casts audience members as active participants and witness in environments of the performance. The mundane is transformed into the magical in visually and aurally arresting ways -- a harmonica bridled to the mouth of the dancer captures the wind across the vast high desert (while charting the breath/energy of the dancer during exertion). Eight-foot diameter weather allude to vast skies of the frontier and, with helium, provide the tug and unpredictability of cattle being roped.
Mott’s Five Gaits, Four Walls, Fourteen Knots, a work-in-progress version of Mott's larger Cowboys and Vikings project, recently premiered as part of a larger evening at Chicago's Dance Center at Columbia College in March 2012. Described as a sweeping landscape of maverick abandon, aggressive territoriality, and lonely constriction, "Five Gaits" features four male dancers and music by composer Ryan Ingebritsen. The performers include Christopher Knowlton, Blake Russell, Bryan Saner, and Brian Shaw.
While in residency at NES Artist Center in Skagastrond, Iceland, home to Iceland’s self proclaimed 'country western king', Erica began creating a series of landscape performances called the Cowboys and Vikings Project. Inspired by historical research on westward expansion in American and Viking conquest in Iceland as well as interviews with contemporary re-enactors of these histories, The Cowboys and Vikings project will result in a dual channel video installation with a live performance. This project is anticipated to be completed in 2013.
Four screen video installation (15-minute duration. Intended to loop)
A four channel video installation intersecting country western and Viking re-re-enactment movement vocabularies in the Icelandic Landscape.
Five Gaits, Four Walls, Fourteen Knots
Live Interdisciplinary Performance (Duration: 45 minutes)
A live quartet performance involving video, sound and movement. This performance examines cultural archetypes of outlaw heroes and their impact on cultural and economic development. The acquisition of land, the fierce territoriality and masculinity of the frontiersman/savage, and the relationship between human, animal and nature, provide the points of exploration and deconstruction for this performance project. This performance combines dance, puppetry/object manipulation, and a movement responsive musical score.