noontime chat – on the road: outdoor and mobile works
which featured a panel of “on the road” artists – greg and gary of lonetwin, laura curry of pinkk, and m,o,s, and t representing the mostlandian embassy.
posted by laura becker
M.O.S.T. – photo credit: serenadavidson.com
before i start writing about the chat, i have to share my first-of-this-festival total TBA moment/laura becker story – okay. so i sit down in a chair at PNCA for today’s chat and i’m two seats away from bill aitchison (how heavy are my thoughts) and i see he’s reading page 1 of something
i don’t say anything to him, and just think of his pbs-y british accent and how british he looks today too. and then greg from lone twin passes by and greets him, saying “i SSseeee you-ew wenttt to ppowell’s” (yet ANOTHER different sounding british isles accent, which is also different than gary of lone twin who pronounces water “wohtahr” and walk “wohk”) and it seems that, yes, bill has indeed been to powell’s. and he’s bought several books by p.g. wodehouse, who, if you don’t know, is a british author from like the 1930′s who’s most famous novels and short stories are about a british twit named bertie wooster and the valet (butler) who gets him out of every mess, named jeeves. i mean, these books are SO BRITISH. they are so dry and witty. and people in them have names like gussie finknottle and sir watelyn watkins, and the titles are all “what ho, jeeves” or “stiff upper lip, jeeves” and no one i ever met ever heard of them or likes them except myself and my grandfather. and bill says to greg “yes, pg wodehouse. i wouldn’t be caught dead reading him in britain, but i actually kind of enjoy them”. and i uncontrollably blurt out “i LOVE pg wodehouse!!!!” and greg and bill look at me with this “uh huh…” look and then the moment is over.
so the chat was SO FREAKING GREAT. it was actually, to be honest, the first thing of this festival that i just wished would never ever end. all the extras about TBA really are essential to the experience, as others of us have said about the works (which sadly i’ve been missing and therefore do feel a little incomplete). the chats are so valuable for so many reasons. first of all, you understand what everyone is saying, which might not be true for certain experimental things you may have seen the night before. second, you see the artists as themselves, as nice people, who are also sitting listening to the person next to them just like you, and you’re all sort of peers. third, you get to ask questions and make connections and see how other people are thinking and just getting such supple supplement material.
i have a lot of stuff going on in my mind from today’s chat, but i’ll only make one point now, as i have to leave soon to see tonight’s lone twin performance (i can’t wait, yippee yay!) last year’s chat with the “on the road” artists, including lone twin, included a lot of discussion about each mobile/public artist’s tension with the unsuspecting public turned audience. the topics discussed then included: how people who have no idea what they are doing react to them, the challenge of remaining in the ‘art’ moment when the details of the physical world can easily pierce it, and the skinny skinny line between coming across as an artist, and coming across as just a crazy person on the street. in a lot of ways, today’s chat seemed like a seamless continuation of that conversation – it was in the same place, with the same moderator and two of the same panelists, and it SO does not feel like a whole year has gone by. more than that, though, it seemed like the panelists, and their works, and the audience, were able to table some of that discussion, to leave it in the past and assume that we’re all more advanced at this subject than we were then. one audience member made a comment about the ‘virtual space’ that’s been building in our current technological age, and how that informs each performer’s piece and what i realized was that it’s that virtual component that has moved us along in the conversation and has more fully engaged the audience as the meat of each piece – mostlandia is a nation where everyone can be a “temporary tourist” at any time. laura curry’s “portland stories” eliminates the issue by having a virtual collector of the data being recorded – an interactive flash based kiosk. and lone twin has made their piece more virtual too – now it’s about their memories of their travels rather than a travel itself.
yeah, that’s it for now. i’m off to hear some sledgehammer songs and enjoy the bother.