Victoria Eleanor Bradford’s Neighborhood Dances, an ongoing series of daily “micro dances” based in city and suburban neighborhoods, treats dance like public sculpture or temporary graffiti. While rooted in the public realm of homes and sidewalks, Neighborhood Dances more importantly impacts the digital realm via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. These social archives are interventions possessing the latency of the chase, a collaborative museum of the future composed of physical and digital engagement.
The next phase of Neighborhood Dances incorporates online audience tracking and a system of documenting or corresponding with property owners and passers by. The project will also add a team of “neighborhood dancers” to be deployed for a week-long intensive residency at Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery in October. The team will be equipped with DIY tripods, mp3 players, smartphone cameras, dance protocol, and each will be assigned to precise locations everyday for optimal public and online viewing. The final result will include a live performance with video projections.
At High Concept Labs, Bradford will host rehearsals and structure a performance based on the growing archive of movement vocabulary, location data, and other cataloged information from each of her own 300-plus dances. The archive will serve as a repository for raw material from which to tease out new directions for the project, focusing on movement, geography, and formal elements like color and texture. The HCL studio will also be utilized to present a work-in-progress showing, and to engage in critical discourse with other artists.
Artist and choreographer Victoria Bradford was born in Louisiana, lives in Chicago, and develops work under her company, A House Unbuilt. She is invested in image-making, public performance, and text-based systems for movement. Her vocabulary deals with joints and a cross section of rapid action and sculptural movements. Through time-intensive projects, her work investigates personal narrative and the psychological gestures embedded in the body. She creates improvisation projects that subtly intersect with social practice, and she collaborates with artists of all disciplines while bringing work to public sites, private homes, galleries, stages, and the internet.
In 2014, Bradford took her work to the front lawns of the neighborhood in which she grew up. Without permission, trespassing as she captured her dance on video, she began a daily ritual that has continued to today and into Chicago. She is now expanding Neighborhood Dances through a residency at Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, as a Sponsored Artist at High Concept Labs, and as a Featured Artist selection for Chicago Artists Month in November 2015. She will also speak on Neighborhood Dances for a panel discussion at the Chicago Architecture Biennial in late 2015.
Other key projects include Dinner Dance, produced as part of her HATCH Residency at Chicago Artists Coalition, and Skirts, an ongoing collaborative project which Bradford received a DCASE Individual Artist Award to develop. Skirts is currently in a new phase of work and will premier a dance film at Chicago Artists Month in November 2015.
Victoria’s work has been produced in conjunction with the MCA Chicago, Chicago Artists Month, Open House Chicago, Chicago Artists Coalition, Design Cloud Gallery, Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, and Sullivan Galleries, Lumen Video and Performance Art Festival, among others. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art / Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Fine Arts in Studio / Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.