There is a table, a chair, and a computer, of course. I am partially obscured. I am partially obscure, but Brian and Sheila see where I’m coming from. I make a frame, a lens. I am an analogue camera. My hands shake. That’s a first. Brian, Sheila, and the others are in a row, watching.
I go for the pocket. For Sheila: a massage and Portishead. For Brian: bourbon and Stars of the Lid. Brian has a fever and can only manage a sip. That’s a first.
It’s because of you that I have this chair to stand on. Everything I plant here grows.
We head next door and start up the grill. Sheila serves potato salad and puns. Brian’s fever is an asset to his deadpan delivery. JR snaps up the butter.
We all drink too much, as usual. We’ll pay for it, as usual. Even as late night becomes early morning, we pretend there’s no tomorrow. People keep asking about documentation. We are the documentation. We are here, together, witnessing.
That’s exactly what I’m saying.
Live performance is a personal and visceral experience of a shared event, but when you are the source of content, the walls close in. I don’t mean this as a negative, just that the boundaries of the experience are dissolved. There was no denying the references – sound, movement, energy… “yes, I really do that…” During Sarah’s performance, I did, at times, feel exposed and embarrassed, the way one might when one’s mother tells “that story” again… no, not “THAT” story, just “that” one. The story that shows she notices, cares and misses your quirks. I feel very, very fortunate to be part of the source material for Sarah’s work and for this series. It is so interesting to me that Sarah & Brian’s current work is, in some ways, exploring the same audience experience from opposite sides. Sarah’s series is very much about the material having a very direct connection to the observers, and Brian’s current piece strives to remove all possible narrative or direct references. As I am typing these thoughts I am becoming aware of how much Sarah and Brian are thinking about how their audience receives their work – this is real audience development… the quality kind… Thank you for being fabulous, Sarah.