3 Stories Decay
The idea for performance piece came from the frustration of having to describe myself in four minutes for an “Introduction to the students” presentation at the School for Poetic Computation. I can’t describe myself in one lifetime, so four minutes seems comically absurd by comparison. I wanted the audience to share in that frustration, and also acknowledge that the questions they ask of people or the desires they express limit what they can learn about the world.
For the performance piece I prepared three different presentations that each contained a short story about myself. Each of the stories had a different theme: Corpus (body), Spiritus (spirit), Anima (soul). Each of these themes had a different color associated with it.
After introducing the concept, I asked the audience to use a small object I’d made them for them to vote with — a piece of paper folded into triangles that had one color on each side that I'd hidden underneath their seats.
I'd been thinking a lot about what it meant to be poetic and computational and I decided that I could use this as an opportunity to practice both. So what I did was add a little wrinkle. The audience was told that they would vote on a story to hear, but once they voted —
That was it! I would tell the story, but I would also delete the other presentations and they would never get the chance to hear them again.
After the piece was performed, I found a lot of satisfaction in the frustrations I heard from those who wanted to hear the other stories.