Lecture? Book It Here

 

WhatIsWhat 1.0 2003

Embrace Ones Disability, Running from it is for the Movies

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ABOVE: An excerpt from the film Forest Gump. The main character, Forest, is chased by bullies and runs away while shedding his braces. The scene is a touchstone for the entire film in which Forest, a mildly developmentally disabled adult, lives a life full of romance, adventure and prosperity while blissfully unaware of his dumb luck. I am thankful not to have seen the film Forest Gump as a young child with braces on my legs who also ran from bullies.

 

New Work on Exhibit @ Dance New Amsterdam NYC

Bill Shannon performance art cirque du soleil varekai rjd2 work it out visa flow

Above: Used Dance Shirt. Part of showing of work at Dance New Amsterdam. Just occured to me I need a "performance artifiact" tag

New Sculpture

BILL SHANNON, whatiswhat.com, disability, dance, performance art, installation Above: Inspired by the Cubist painting movement This piece remixes the mundane architectural details of the space that surrounds it. I built this piece over the past six months at home, Tech Shop Pittsburgh and Dance New Amsterdam. Still creating new content for it. 10'x10'x8'

Spring 2013

My plate is full this year with multiple ongoing projects. The Rex "project" mentioned below several months ago has stabilized after 6 months of staggeringly little sleep ( or awake-ness ) and I am happy to share with you that the Rexy continues to payoff in a myriad of very small beautiful ways and I am BACK!

BILL SHANNON, whatiswhat.com, disability, dance, performance art

ABOVE: Limited Edition Lithographic Print by Bill Shannon, "I Will Dance With Strangers" 2012 I have ten of these for sale.

My latest time consuming project. I call it REX.

Its overall kinda work. Thanks for checking in. Writing is happening. <3

BILL SHANNON

Heavy Rotation NOV 2012

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GIL SCOTT HERON Storm Music  thank you Mr. Heron. Unprecedented storms on multiple fronts figuratively and literally.

RIP B-ILL

My dance family in NYC has been on the forefront of merging house dance and bboying flavors in dynamic and ever shifting ways since the 90's. It saddens me to share with you, my fans and followers that recently we lost one of our members B-Ill. Ths is a dancer who I had featured in a stage production called "Sketchy". The Fénz family gathered for Sketchy were veteran Step-Fénz and the next generation of the crew The X-Fénz. B-Ill represented the cutting edge of a new breakin style called "circus style" for Sketchy. B-Ill was also a featured dancer during a Maker Faire presentation in NYC I gave last year. In both events he delivered crowd pleasing and astounding moves. This video shows B-Ill presenting his "Circus Style" of dance in a rare backstage look at cast of Sketchy. I remember these days of building with the crew fondly and I always will. RIP B-Ill it was an honor to work with you.

ABOVE: Video footage of B-Ill participating in my stage production Sketchy featuring multiple generations of the Fénz Family

Barnum Parade 2012 / For The Love of Circus

I have always loved photgraphing people since my very first Black Plastic Kodak Instamatic Rectangular box. Accidently encountering the P.T. Barnum Parade was a treat. There were no animals in the Parade.

bill shannon photography 2012

ABOVE: P.T. Barnum Parade 2012 / Drumcore

Skateboard Graphic Strategy To Validate Medical Usage

Bill Shannon RJD2 WORK IT OUT VISA FLOW Crutchmaster whatiswhat.com

ABOVE: Painted Skateboard Griptape Graphics To Communicate medical usage of Crutches with a Skateboard To Complete Strangers. The graphics emulate existing color and symbols in public space for safety boundaries and disabled people. I also added the Red Cross with MED written inside it to further reinforce the message. Normally graphics are painted on the bottom of the board and the tops are black griptape. Communicating through symbols from the top of the board is a very useful way to answer questions without them being asked.

GO SKATE DAY Interview On VeganSkateBlog.com

CLICK ON IMAGE ABOVE TO READ MY INTERVIEW ON VEGANSKATEBLOG.COM

National Go Skateboarding Day is June 21st

ABOVE: Arrested For Protesting Skateboarding Ban In Pittsburgh 1988

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

ABOVE: A Rainbow Arcs Across the Sky At WildReds Gardens. A peaceful moment. A gift from nature. Awe inspiring and humbling. There are very few moments in my life where I am setback from all the current contexts political personal etc. and can just breath and watch. This was one of them. It was hard to take a picture because I just wanted to look. A double rainbow floating in the mist on the first day of June of 2012.

DANCE PARADE 2012 Stills by Thos

Bill Shannon crutchmaster Skateboard Skater dancer dance parade 2012 disability

ABOVE: Custom Skateboard Paintjob @ Parade Starting Point /Photo by THOS

NYC DANCE PARADE 2012 was a fun and exhausting affair. I danced every block two or three times using my skateboard to exhibit my Step-N-Roll Flavor. I cannot really decide on how to title the form. Is it Stepping-Roll, Steppin-Roll or Step-N-Roll .. These are the kind of decisions I am not very good at making. Tons more images after the jump

KEEP KEEP KEEP DANCING DANCING DANCING

Greetings dear Readers. It has been far too long since I have last posted here. If you have been with me since the beginning then you are well aware that I do have these long breaks between posts. This site is not really a bloggers site, in the blogger sense of blogging daily, but rather an artist's site that starts and stops and starts again with a regular irregularity.

bill shannon whatiswhat intaglio disability performance art crutchmaster

ABOVE: "Keep Dancing" Intaglio Ink Print on Archival Paper 8x10 2012

THISISWHATISWHATIS EVERYDAY EVERYDAY EVERYDAY

bill shannon crutch crutchmaster whatiswhat.com whatiswhat dance skater

ABOVE: Stepping Roll Toe Up Footwork on a cruiser board

I often times i send you here because i have just met you and you have asked me a question. Often times I dont know your name and you dont know mine. If you came here I first off want to Sincerely Thank You for not reacting negatively to my answer of " if you really want to know the answer to your question go to my website whatiswhat.com I cannot expain now". Thank you for not letting your ego misinterpret negatively me just trying to get on with my life without expaining something to you as I have been asked so many times before. Its not personal at all. I dont always say -go to my website- to every person that does ask me questions. There are many factors. If I sent you here and you came for an explanation of the specifics of why I came to skate with crutches that story is here. " What happened to you?" What do you call that" What kind of crutches are those" What happened to your leg? " etc.etc.etc. These are the questions that I am asked and whatiswhat.com remains a tool for me to deflect some of the inquisitive if disbelieving attempts to figure me out.

Crutches vs. Powdered Floor

bill shannon crutch crutchmaster whatiswhat.com whatiswhat dance disability

ABOVE: The crowded floor of Sullivan Room opens up just enough for me to squeeze in a few choice steps but the powder on the floor makes the crutch tips slide around so much that I would lose control. For those of you following my blog you may remember a previous post about Juste Debout France plastic floor with seams.

There will always be those select house dancers that love to throw down their powder and get their groove on, slipping and sliding around with an extra touch of smoothness coming from the baby powder dusted floor surface. While recently out on the town in NYC I went to hear the amazingly talented Ian Friday spin at Sullivan Room as part of the long running Thursday Night Global Soul Dance Party, Libations. While hanging out warming up and just enjoying the music I felt the amount of powder on the floor was making it a bit dangerous for me to do anything beyond the most conservative two step. In the pictoral sequence after the jump you will see my solution to this powder floor problem as taken from ramp skaters who mopped their entire ramps with a coke/water mix to get the masonite dust out of their kinetic equation. While I too have applied the same idea to entire stages when too dusty for a show a club is a bit different in that you might get kicked out if you are caught dousing the floor in Jack and Cokes. Thus for clubs I switch out mopping the entire dance floor with a coke/water mix to making a small area of the floor my tip and shoe sticky zone by pouring the liquid onto a napkin in an out of the way location that doesnt get cleaned up too quickly.

The Dance is in Your Body Not in your Crutches

bill shannon whatiswhat.com artist

ABOVE: "In-Saddle Float" performed Traveling ( as oppposed to single position circular ) from The Shannon Technique

I am posting up this image of me performing an In-Saddle-Float on single point crutches to make the point that my dancing came from within my heart and spiritual connection to music and the "urbanity" of my form prior to attaining and evolving the rocker bottom crutch design.So many kind people have written to me about how they want to dance on crutches but need to find a rockerbottom set to get started. My response is just start moving.

EYE of THE BEHOLDER

ABOVE: Here is a quick video of a wearable mobile video prop I made from screen scraps, baling wire, electrical tape, a micro projector and a microcamera. I made this prop to test the viability of a more fleshed out method of fabricating a lighter weight version of my "Invisible Series" that is meant to function in a more mobile-esque manner. Thanks to James Clotfelter on the fabrication assist and Ravish Momin drum sounds.

BELOW: detail of headmount and microcamera

bill shannon whatiswhat.com artist

bill shannon whatiswhat.com artist

ABOVE: more fabrication details, lots of black gaff to hide any reflections

bill shannon whatiswhat.com artist

ABOVE: Video Still

SOMEWHERE IN THE UK

bill shannon whatiswhat.com artist

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