Four of the six original Blueberries hung out today in Google + for our first 2014 meet-up. I — Christa — facilitated a discussion around my project, “What’s on [My] Mind?”, its current status, concerns, progress. Michael, Molly, and Vanessa listened sensitively, gave useful feedback, posed great questions, and agreed to participate in an upcoming Twitter chat where we explore/document our intergenerational identities as they manifest and meet up in that virtual space. This Twitter performance will take place on February 28, 2014. I have posted the invitation/directions for this performance event in .Re/cipes. Anyone interested is welcome to join us!
Molly Ross asked where I am in the design process of “What’s on [My] Mind?”. She noted that making these kinds of decisions will help me fill in the content of the project, and she is totally right. I know this from previous performance work. I can think about it, talk about it, research the topic and draft draft draft, but until I make concrete decisions about what I’m actually gonna DO and what it will LOOK like and SOUND like, it’s all just theoretical, ephemeral, amorphous — so much potential but literally no thing.
So here’s the current update: There will be several different public performances of this piece, all of them playing with the act of passing through boundaries (time, space, race, identity, geography, etc.) to communicate with an audience. The previously mentioned Twitter chat will be one variation of the performance. Another variation is a live-streamed webcast to different audiences of any size. For example, Michael Masucci has volunteered to host an audience at his location in Santa Monica for one of the performances. (Michael, please let’s set a DEADLINE for this performance; i.e., a date 🙂 — as Vanessa said, “Xta goes crazy with a deadline!!” In truth, it’s more like I go crazy without one!)
The monologues from the voices of Ysidora Pico (one of my great grandmothers from the 18oos) and Christa Forster will be laced together with music, a la a fandango. The fandango, along with the Roman Catholic mass, provided one of the few performative spaces for Californio* culture.
Because I am creating an intergenerational persona/identity for this project, I want to perform it across time and space, and transmitting the performance via live webcast enlarges my ability to do so. Plus, the resulting documentation — as it will exist in the public domain — of not only the performance, but also the communal exchange interests me as a foil/antidote for the lack of documentation of the experiences of women in Californio culture. As is typical, the story told about these women is the patriarchal story, the colonizers’ story; i.e., an age-old scenario). I’m interested in creating (with these performances and documentation) a scenario for this new age, to make that which is virtually non-existent — stories/experiences stemming from my interaction with Ysidora Pico (including benefits and lessons learned via our relationship) — virtually existent.
My hope is that creating, performing and documenting this project enlarges my understanding of my own agency (and the agency of my great-grandmother), of the agency of others, and of the problems and opportunities we face as vulnerable creatures living together in this space, this time, on this planet.
*The term Californio refers to the people who populated the Mexican region of Alta California before the area was annexed to the United States in 1848.