An Interview with Pola Rubis, Member of Neosutras and Cohost of NeoForms
Upon entry into the gallery, I was greeted with a complimentary can of Apewater, and I immersed myself in the creative energy ruminating throughout the space. Dozens of different LCD screens displayed revolving NFTs running in loops, against the white gallery walls. There were free tarot readings and a communal canvas for painters to collaborate on. A random dance circle broke out and b-boys contorted themselves to the pulsating rhythm reverberating from the DJ above the gallery floor.
I was at NeoForms, a showcase event for performance-based NFTs held at Superchief Gallery in L.A. Arts District. I was there to see NeoSutras, which is Pola Rubis and her partner Lamonte Goode, who were co hosting the in-person event alongside Sketch Poetic and Whim Digital Canvas.
The audience eventually gathered around and sat on mats, surrounding a mainstage that was set on the floor. The live performances started with a communal sound bath, a singer, beatboxers, and several spoken word artists.
When NeoSutras performed they grabbed the entire gallery’s attention. Goode performed first alone and then with Rubis.
During their routine, Rubis and Goode linked their extremities together in unison with grace, discipline and a natural elegance. Silhouetted, sharp and direct movements looked like a blossoming flower in front of a back light. Intertwining limbs revealed revolving patterns that burst out like a kaleidoscope of shifting shapes formed by body parts.
When her left arm reached to the left, his right arm reached to the right, and when she reached dowards, he reached upwards, all equal, in tandem, and corresponding within the energy of the music. In what is a fusion of acro-yoga and synchronized reflective movement, Neosutras weave their bodies together in a form of kinetic poetry. After their performance, Rubis addressed the audience about what the NFT dance community has meant to them.
NeoForms showcase, photo by Tony Fatano.
We created this movement based on multiple art forms such as yoga meditation, acrobatics, dance, break-dance and infused it into a movement that is healing people and that’s why we are all here. We are setting in a new way on how we can introduce art and concise entertainment that is charging you and raising your vibrations even from watching and being in the presence of it.
— Pola Rubis
“We created this movement based on multiple art forms such as yoga meditation, acrobatics, dance, break-dance and infused it into a movement that is healing people and that’s why we are all here. We are setting in a new way on how we can introduce art and concise entertainment that is charging you and raising your vibrations even from watching and being in the presence of it.” says Rubis.
Self-expression through movement has the ability to transform the soul. From classic ballet to contact improvisation, performance art has a deep history of being expressive as well as cathartic. For most contemporary dancers, a fleeting moment of TV time or uploading a routine onTikTok is equivalent to dancing on a corner in Time Square.
Today, performance artists who package their live performances as NFTs utilize online storefronts where they can sell what is basically a digitized performance, just like a painter would sell a digitized painting.
Each NFT is essentially a digital blank canvas, where any artistic medium is feasible as long as the file type is supported. Dance NFT creators like Neosutras take the all-encompassing concept of synchronized kinetic expression, film it, digitize it, and then sell it to collectors all over the world.
After the live event I later arranged an online interview and spoke with Rubis of Neosutras, the Los Angeles based producer who is originally from Moscow, Russia.
Tony Fantano: What is your inspiration behind the NFTs and how do you conceptualize that into what Neosutras creates?
Pola Rubis: Our biggest inspiration is the sacred geometry; it’s everything that we can find in nature. It’s the geometry of nature, its patterns, and also the architecture that human beings create. So by dance we’re creating energetic body codes that get activated during the movement. We are energy. We all are moving energy and dance metaphorically speaking is the energy code we are creating in a space.
TF: How do you convey that energy into your choreography?
PR: If we are going to take shapes of different plants, or even like palms and the texture of our skin, we are going to find the similarities in the trees. The cover of the tree and our skin are very similar in patterns, same as the texture of plants etc. We can study it so that our forms are a visualization of those patterns through our bodies. We receive these these ideas intuitively through the observation of the beautiful nature that is surrounding us.
TF: What is unique about NeoSutras NFTs compared to other performance artists?
PR: We are literally pioneers and the first people in the world who are combining not just dance but wellness yoga art and the latest technology. We are creating this symbiosis where all of this generates art and dance together.
TF: How would you describe the community surrounding performance NFTs ?
PR: We are part of a very small community of performance artists. We understand that to elevate this form of art we got to have more people express themselves in web 3, convert their practice into the art, and make it relatable to collectors so they understand this has value.
TF: What was the general idea behind the Neoforms event?
PR: One of the stepping stones is the creation of the IRL events where we combine wellness-art and performance art together with the latest in the world of technology. We created Neoforms in partnership with Sketch Poetic to create a space for those communities in Web3 and Web2 to have a merger. We have a live interaction, a space for real skills to be shown, and at the same time for the work of these artists to be represented on digital screens in the digital format.
TF: What is the significance behind meeting, forming partnerships, and exchanging ideas about Web3 together?
PR: It’s important for us to cultivate the connection between human beings. We need the real skill being expressed and shown in these events so we are not losing the real form of art which is very important for humanity and human development as it is.
TF: What are Neosutras trying to convey to your audience and collectors?
PR: The intention is to raise the vibration of the viewer. With this dance we are using high-frequency music to increase the impression point of the dance, so it combines together and immerses the viewer into the scene.
TF: What forms of expression are you utilizing when producing NFTs for Neosutras?
PR: Yoga and each asana is a body code that we create with our body to activate certain centers. As far as the music, we collaborate with artists who create high frequency music, or we just record the sounds or we mix different royalty-free pieces and create our own.
Neosutras LIVE Performance Art Experience at SuperchiefNFT Gallery
TF: Is there a common theme throughout Neosutras collection of NFTs?
PR: We keep on experimenting and touching different mediums but we are keeping the main thing in the first place which is our movement and our body language. Our real human skill is always number one and everything else is just accelerating the meaning and message that we would love to say with our pieces.
TF: What is the production process like for the NFTs you create?
PR: The production part for the performance art is close to the short film or movie. It starts with the creative direction, then creating a choreography piece, the characters and the message these characters are delivering. We are executing mostly everything ourselves and sometimes we are collaborating with 3D artists or AI artists to add their touch to the piece.
TF: What are some projects Neosutras are working on?
PR: The last piece we launched on SuperRare is a 3D scan created using 250 cameras that shoot instantaneously in one of the premium mockup studios in Los Angeles.The sculpture of our pose was captured, and we have been working with a collaborator and executing our ideas in 3D with music. We are also planning on launching Neosutras sculptures which are further tangible things the collector will have together with our NFTs.
TF: Does Neosutras have a mission statement?
PR: Our mission statement as artists is to elevate the vibration, to heal people, open their hearts with our art and to bring them closer to themselves as well as humanity. We can evolve using technology but not vice versa.
Neosutras’ future depends on where their creative vision takes them. There are few limitations when it comes to manifesting their ideas for digital performance art, as well as a community to support it. Their mission statement reflects their commitment to connecting to people through the moves they make.
SuperRare editor Oli Scialdone considers the social experience of provenance and its relationship with community in the Web3 space.