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Your experiments are part of your body of work

These 17 performance art based videos, each less than 2 minutes long, are discrete works, including several that were created as part of series. I use shorts to explore character, practice my storytelling chops, and perfect visual experiments; and also to save ideas for a later date. It is good exercise for me as a motion picture artist to make a whole story happen in less than 2 minutes.

There was a time when video was a daunting, if exciting, new art form for me. Video has quite a learning curve – i.e., cameras and camera operation, light (which is not the same thing as lighting), lighting, framing, editing, etc. However, since I already had a professional’s understanding of presentation, I already knew that I would die the first time someone called my motion picture art “home movies.” And I did, die, that is.

But luckily for me, part of already being a professional artist was knowing that just in case one of my home movies turned out well, I should exercise the highest skill and attention to presentation that I was capable of. My nanomovies began holding up well to curation. And though it probably was inevitable that having trained as a playwright that I would gravitate to making longer, more narrative work, I try to keep my mind open to moments of experience that are serendipitous opportunities for shorter works.

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Caden Manson is Editor In Chief and Curator of Contemporary Performance Network and co-founder and artistic director of Big Art Group, a New York City performance company founded in 1999.
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