“Lyrical, dark and frighteningly intimate, mechanical response represents the next of evolution of dance for the camera.”
-Review of “mechanical response” by Ryan Myers-Johnson (Founder and Curator, Detroit Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts)

A work of art in the medium of dance-on-film (duration: 10 minutes) mechanical response was created by Erin Wilson, Lisa LaMarre, Joshua Tyron, Seth Thompson, Rachael Ahn Harbert, Raleigh Chadderdon, Miranda Smith, and Marianne Brass. Music scored by Peace to Mateo (vocals by Erin Lenau, percussion by Alex Hamel.) The libretto is based on a poem titled “I Am The Bullet,” by Erin Wilson.


mechanical response will be exhibited by Detroit’s renowned N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in November, 2015. The work will be featured in the main gallery, throughout the month.

Photos by Raleigh Chadderdon from the standing-room-only screening of “mechanical response” in the newly created (and amazing) theatre space at N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art.


Filmed at Light Box Performance Venue (formerly Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church) by Joshua Tyron, Seth Thompson and Raleigh Chadderdon; directed and edited by Erin Wilson.

Featuring choreography by Lisa LaMarre with dancers Rachael Ahn Harbert, Miranda Smith and Marianne Brass.

Libretto/concept by Erin Wilson, in collaboration with Lisa LaMarre.

Trailer scored by Jaws That Bite; feature dance-film scored by Matt Black with vocals by Erin Lenau, percussion by Alex Hamel.

Part of a cross-state collaboration involving a number of artists from Dance in the Annex (DITA) – a contemporary dance collective based in Grand Rapids, MI.


The piece explores the process of removing one’s humanity as part of committing violence against the innocent. Empathic layers are peeled away in order to follow through with aggression, ferocity and rage – and to live with it, afterward. The crudeness and velocity of aggression are represented in the poem “I Am The Bullet,” written by Wilson, by a bullet spiraling through the chamber of a gun. The film brings the imagery to a visual, visceral crescendo, and exemplifies the presence of a certain external power and a certain internal tunnel that one places themselve inside to execute an act of violence.


mechanical response is a haunting study in physical and emotional violence as expressed by a diverse cast of talented and emotive dancers. The film seamlessly juxtaposes the natural and built environment through a collision of shots in cold desolate churches and the snow-covered streets of Detroit. It is more than a dance film: it’s a dark exploration of the camera’s ability to manipulate our perceptions of physicality, touch, intimacy and personal freedom. Lyrical, dark and frighteningly intimate, mechanical response represents the next of evolution of dance for the camera.” -Ryan Myers-Johnson (Founder and Curator, Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts)


Click here to view the acceptance letter from N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, to ArtPeers founder Erin Wilson.