Meghan Moe Beitiks

RBG/GDR/RGB (2020)

Recording of livestream performance, originally hosted by Online Performance Art

/Ruth Bader Ginsberg/Great Diurnal Range/Red Green Blue/

December 12th, 2020 was the 20th anniversary of Bush vs. Gore, when the Supreme Court was made to make a definitive decision on the outcome of the 2000 election. December 12th was also when Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG) made her famous “dissent”statement, writing from the minority position “I dissent” rather than the traditional “I respectfully dissent,” in protest of the outcome. RGB/GDR/RBG is a durational performance, a brutal engagement with time, and an opportunity to meditate on everything that has changed and been lost in 2020. On December 12th, artists Meghan Moe Beitiks and Ray Oppenheimer sat on opposite coastal states with significant electoral votes: Florida and California. Using the projection design program Isadora, the artists projected an image of Ginsberg’s “Dissent” collar on their own collarbones. The images of the collar changed in color (RGB) based on the date from their collaborator’s tides. In California, Ray’s collar changed according to Florida tides. In Florida, Moe’s collar changed according to California tides. The performance lasted 34 minutes, one minute for every additional electoral vote Biden received over Bush’s 271 electoral votes. The tidal data was drawn from predictions for levels between December 12th, 2020 and January 1st, 2021. The work also included audio and video from cultural ecologies at each site, images of election data and moments, and significant patterns from Ginsberg’s legacy. Beitiks and Oppenheimer enacted meditative spaces and gestures as a reflection on changing tides.

Great Diurnal Range is the difference, in tides, between the height of mean higher higher high water and mean lower low water. RGB is the standard color space for digital screens: Red, Green, Blue. They are also the primary colors of visible light, corresponding to Red, Green and Blue cones in the human eye. Ocean levels are rising. Political changes have profound ecological impacts. A lot has changed in 20 years, but the same fights keep resurfacing. RBG/GDR/RGB seeks to open up a space for reflection on interconnection, change, and political consequences. It seeks to honor the impactful legacy of a significant supreme court justice as a means both of reflecting on the ecological reality of cultural shifts, and meditating on hope for the future.

Ray Oppenheimer is a San Francisco Bay Area based lighting designer, educator, and creator who has been bringing his boundless curiosity, chimerical aesthetic, and sisyphean perseverance to live design and education since 2005. Ray graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in lighting design from San Francisco State University in the Fall of 2017. He also is an active company member with Mugwumpin and Shotgun Players.

Sound structure by Stephen Germana, an artist that primarily performs experimental music in an improvisational performance practice that balances between noise, drone, and free jazz. His artistic practice includes algorithmic sound/video, radio transmission, and lens based media. With degrees from School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA), University of Miami (MM), and University of Minnesota (BM), he teaches Fine Arts and Art History in South Florida, living in West Palm Beach with his partner Sarah Knudtson and their cats, Roland and Boonmee (Meep).

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