Micro Meditations

Video still, YouTube video of Ginuine's "Pony" (w/ lyrics)


I’m just a bachelor, I’m looking for a partner. Someone who knows how to ride, without even falling off. Gotta be compatible; takes me to my limits. Girl when I break you off, I promise that you won’t want to get off. If you’re horny, lets do it, ride it, my pony. My saddle’s waiting. Come and jump on it. If you’re horny lets do it. Ride it: my pony. My saddle’s waiting; come and jump on it. Sitting here flosing, peeping your steelo. Just once if I have the chance, the things I would do to you. You and your body, every single portion, send chills up and down your spine, juices flowing down your thigh. If we’re gonna get nasty, baby, first we’ll show and tell, ’till I reach your pony tail. Oh, Lurk all over and through you baby, until we reach the stream. You’ll be on my jockey team.


Video still, Chris Collins, “Pony”, 2011


Whenever Ginuwine’s song “Pony” makes it into an artwork, an angel gets its wings. Okay, well, maybe not, but at least it gets my attention. For this year’s Suitable Video MDW Fair screening room, curated by Scott Wolniak, there were many thoughtful, intriguing, and often humorous videos presented. Coming to the forefront was Chris Collins’ “Pony”, and subsequently, “Response to Pony” by Anjali Alm-Basu. In Collins’ screen-capture-recorded video, shot within the spaceless context of a computer choreography software, a lone computer-generated human stands ebbing to the intro of Ginuwine’s burpy bass sounds. Soon, the figure is enacting an impossible choreography. The body becomes mangled and at times indistinguishable due to its contortions into and around itself, before syncing back to its starting pose. The choreography addresses the limits and possibilities of taking a computer software and playing with it to the point of an unrealistic real-world application. It is an intriguing display of a body in glitch-form. By hovering in the virtual, the work feels pleasurably latent. And all throughout, the Ginuwine soundtrack fits perfectly. The song doesn’t quite match up with the dance solo (thankfully), instead it cuts the heady, even absurd, performance of the digital body with a dish of explicit lyrics and booty jam.

Video still, Anjali Alm-Basu, “Response To Chris Collins’ ‘Pony'”, 2011

Equally compelling was Anjali Alm-Basu’s “Response to Pony”, which pays real-life tribute to Collins’ choreography. In “Response to Pony” you are presented with a similar fixed point-of-view, yet this time instead of the endless vista of a digital world we have a view of a rather cluttered bedroom, a woman starting a video recording on her computer’s camera, who then assumes the same introductory pose as Collins’ figure. With Ginuwine’s song as soundtrack as well, you soon realize that this real-life figure is attempting to perform the same timeline of movement. As a companion piece, you see the translation from computer figure to real-life figure. With the template before her, the woman stares, determined, to the screen, us. Her movements, equally folded and awkward, appear to be untrained and yet her earnest reconstruction of Collins’ solo commands attention. Each of these videos can certainly stand on their own, but when paired they have a sweet kind of flirtation. Alm-Basu’s video speaks to our (semi-newly discovered?) human desire to liberate, expand, and realize the digital world in real space. Even if the gesture is an artist’s game of mimicry, or simply a YouTube “response” to the posted “call”, the resulting video has value both aesthetically and culturally. With digital contexts and platforms pervasive throughout our daily lives it’s only natural that we attempt to understand their contours and movements by replicating them in our bedrooms, and everyday life.