Hello, it’s Katrina!
Hi everyone! I’m really excited about the opportunity to collaborate with you. Helen, Leslie, and Ryan have put together a fantastic course, and this blog seems like a great way to extend and develop the communities and networks that the course has initiated! Thanks, Vanessa, for getting this started!
Here is my autoethnography / project description:
From September-December 2013 I am working on a site-specific, one-on-one performance at Indie Coffee in Madison, WI entitled Osmium, Tungsten, Dionaea, Lavandula. The performance is part of the performance company Spatula & Barcode’s project Café Allonge, which is part of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s Wisconsin Triennial. The primary form of my project is performance, and, more specifically, site-specific performance, intimate performance, interactive/participatory performance, scripted performance, and relational aesthetics. The project also incorporates audio, text, dance, food, sensory experience, singing, drawings (objects) and drawing (action). The subject of the performance is experiential/embodied knowledge, magic, energy, trust, and healing.
Each participant emails me a favorite song s/he knows by heart in advance of the performance. I write down two copies of the lyrics and place them in a little accordion book, which also contains diagrammed terms and terms-to-be-diagrammed, a Q&A script, and lavender flowers. The table in the café is covered with lavender-colored reindeer moss, a blue light bulb hangs above, and illustrated/diagrammed terms are taped onto the window. Throughout the course of the performance forest sounds play, the participant reads a script with me, I speak monologue text, I discern the participant’s life path number, the participant drinks hot apple cider and eats a piece of a cookie, the participant helps me with my research by illustrating and defining a term while the song “Believe Me” by Katie Stelmanis plays as I perform a gestural dance outside the window, I ask the participant a series of questions about her/his favorite scents, tastes, sounds and fears and desires, we sing the participant’s favorite song together, and the participant places her/his hands on the moss while I lead him/her through a guided visualization through a magical forest ending with making a wish that will come true.
Through my practice I am exploring to what extent a constructed/aestheticized social interaction (i.e. a one-on-one performance project) generates authentic experience and connection. Does it provide an opportunity to really relish the moment of encounter, similar to meditative mindfulness? Does it open space for empathy, togetherness, and even healing? I am interested in the range of reactions from my participants as I explore this question.
Finally, I wanted to post this film, Sea Swallow’d, by Curious (Helen Paris and Leslie Hill) with Andrew Kötting, because it’s really wonderful.