My history as an artist exists among the intersections of object, movement, text, sound and song. I maintain a collaborative interdisciplinary practice that currently focuses on questions of presence, identity and the unconscious stories that drive us, exploring the nature of perception and relation, and the contradictions of our invented narratives of self and other.
My practice takes form through various mediums of visual and performative work, exploring a range of temporal forms from short works to durational tasks and installations. I create environments and structures that drive the experience of both performer and witness, blurring and shifting these relations to trigger re-imagination. Embedded in these works is the transgressive as a tool for destabilization, a means to reorient our own narratives and beliefs.
With each work, I reconsider the relational container of participants and performers and how this relationship can trigger shifts in sensorial perception and imagination. Ranging from the confessional booth intimacy of The Venus Knot, which setup individual dialogues surrounding the source of identity, to The Voyeurs, where the audience eavesdropped on an anonymous, private and transgressive conversation taking place in a park.
I recognize that being in this world is a complicated performance of reality constructs, values, and vulnerabilities. I strive to share these challenges within the environments of the work. I don’t seek to answer questions but to question underlying assumptions.
David Thomson, is a Brooklyn based interdisciplinary collaborative and performing artist whose work has encompassed the fields of music, dance, theater and performance with such artists as Mel Wong, Jane Comfort, Bebe Miller (’83-’86; ’03-’06), Remy Charlip, Marta Renzi, The Lavender Light Gospel Choir, Trisha Brown (‘87-‘93), David Roussève, Wendy Perron, Susan Rethorst, Michel Laub/Remote Control (NL), Ralph Lemon (’99-’10), Bo Madvig (DK), Sally Silvers, Tracie Morris, Sekou Sundiata, Reggie Wilson, Dean Moss/Layla Ali, Mike Taylor, Meg Stuart, Marina Abramović, Muna Tseng, Daria Faïn & Robert Kocik, Clarinda Mac Low, Alain Buffard (FR), Deborah Hay, Yanira Castro, Tere O’Connor, Beth Gill, Patricia Hoffbauer, Yvonne Rainer, Fiona Templeton, Kaneza Schaal, Okwui Okpokwasili and Lee Mingwei/Bill T. Jones among many others. He has performed downtown, Off-Broadway and in London with the Drama Desk nominated a capella performance group, Hot Mouth, founded by Grisha Coleman, Jonathan Stone, Viola Sheely and Thomson.
His own work has been presented by The Kitchen, Danspace Project at St Mark’s Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Roulette, Movement Research and Performance Space NY. Thomson has been Artist-in-Residence at Dance Theater Workshop, Movement Research, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Gibney Dance Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) Process Space Program, The Invisible Dog, The Yard, Topaz Arts, Mount Tremper Arts Center and Marble House Project. His work has been supported by The Robison Foundation, The MAP Fund, Jerome Foundation and the Brooklyn Arts Council among other sources. Thomson was honored with a New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”) for Sustained Achievement (2001), as part of the creative team for Bebe Miller’s Landing/Place (2006) and for Outstanding Production for his first evening-length work he his own mythical beast (2018).
Thomson has been awarded fellowships from United States Artists|Ford, NYFA in Choreography, MacDowell, Yaddo and The Rauschenberg Foundation. He is currently an LMCC Extended Life | Lifeline Artist (2018-21), Mabou Mines Associate Artist and a Danspace Project Research Fellow (2021-23). Thomson has served on the faculties of Movement Research, NYU/Experimental Theater Wing, Sarah Lawrence, The New School, Barnard, Bennington and Pratt as well as teaching internationally.
He has worked as an Arts Administrator and/or Database Consultant for several organizations including New York Foundation for the Arts, Merce Cunningham Foundation, Dieu Donné Papermill, National Performance Network, Movement Research and developed the Archive database for the Trisha Brown Company. An ongoing advocate for dance and the empowerment of artists, he was one of the founding members of Dancer’s Forum and has served on the boards of Bebe Miller/Gotham Dance, Dance Theater Workshop and New York Live Arts. In 2017, he initiated The Sustainability Project with Kate Watson-Wallace, which serves as a platform and practice to expand the discourse surrounding ideas of financial, artistic, and personal empowerment within the arts community. Thomson began dancing at Haverford/Bryn Mawr Colleges and later received his BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from SUNY Purchase.