Just a Phase: Social Chemistry

Meandering thoughts on a creative process partly informed on chemistry

I won’t pretend that as an artist I completely understand the chemical principles behind Phase Diagrams, I have spent the better part of my life enthusiastically exploring unusual concepts through movement as a form of communication. Why not try to metaphorically embody Phase Diagrams?

From what I was told recently about Phase Diagrams I understand that there are two states of a substance that would generally not exist at the same place and time, but an additional factor thrown into the mix can cause some of the different molecules in states, which would generally not be observed together, to coexist. Or at least, this is what the diagrams try to represent.

Sounds like social chemistry. What makes groups of like-minded people join together? What enables different groups to set up borders that isolate themselves from one another? Why are some groups of people more inviting? How does a lone molecule roaming the scene affect the landscape?

The dance presented is based on hierarchical stereotypes from the 1920s. We can see “old money,” or those that have held positions of privilege based on birth rights. “New money,” or those who have found financial success in the new world. The “bourgeoisie” enjoying their new found leisure time to relax, play, and enjoy some of the finer things in life. The “loner” and/or “mooch” and finally those who “watch life unfold,” or metaphorically, our chemists.

These groups of people may have inhabited some of the same social environments, say, the new and trendy jazz club, but they would not most likely mix at the same time. However, certain circumstances might bring unlikely pairs together.


These thoughts and ideas informed Just a Phase: Social Chemistry