collaborative presentation and audience participatory performance with composer Sam Scranton discussing and exercising escapism as an artistic practice as part of the WE Series curated by Deidre Huckabay and Lia Kohl at Elastic Arts, Chicago (2017)
How are you?
Maybe you’re on the bus and it’s very compressed and time has stopped. Maybe the windows are dewy with human breath, and maybe there’s a dried urine spot somewhere. Maybe you’re going to a place and you don’t want to go there. Out of a sense of preservation, your senses dim a bit, the edges crinkle together into a crumple, and your body recedes 6 inches within your body, so that your outer layer can become protective, rocklike.
Maybe you’re talking with someone you love, and you realize that they are very different from you and that you can’t help them to be more like you. Maybe you don’t want to help them. Maybe you don’t think you’re someone to be like. Maybe their voice and your voice become tinny and incomprehensible in your head and mouth. Out of a sense of misguided generosity, you shove your heart down deep into your belly to deal with on a different, better day.
We invite you to participate in a set of exercises that will help your senses decompress and your heart find buoyancy. You can re-acclimate to the world, not to ignore its ugliest aspects, but to increase vigilance. Throughout the evening we will consider escapism as an artistic tool to sharpen attention and bring feeling to the extremities.