Monday, February 11, 2008

Meeting notes 2-3-08

FOOL MACHINE COLLECTIVE MEETING NOTES
Meeting Time: 2/3 Super Bowl Sunday, at Konak’s
Attending: John Pierson, Luke, Kurt, Jessica Anne, Tanya, Peter

*The Giants won. We toasted, insincerely, with a “yay.”

-- FIRING SQUADS.
- The latest posting on the blog before this meeting was Kurt’s, about firing squads. Kurt found some information on firing squad statistics and techniques from all over the world, particularly in Thailand, where they set up a canvas screen that one officer shoots through, while the accused is tied with his hands above his head, on a cross.
- John brought up “GUILT” as a possible theme for shows. Specifically, looking at the audience as “judge.” This fits in with Ryan’s idea of giving the audience a task, or journey, that they go through during the performance (“Your task is to ‘survive’ the following experience.”)

*I have written “audience’s experience as separate.” Anyone know what that is in reference to?

-- PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH DEATH.
- John proposed an “action item:” to encourage the comment section on the blog as chances to relate personal, first-hand experiences with death, whereas the post areas are mainly dedicated to factual, read information. (I’d amend that in retrospect, considering Dina’s very excellent posts concerning her friend’s mother’s death, which is a very immediate and complicated story, which does need the space as a main post; more discussion about this later? - Kurt)

-- PHYSICAL STEPS OF DEATH
- Tanya made a connection between the steps of death (decomposition) and the steps towards acceptance when in mourning.
- possible exploration of these steps; “itemizing” the steps, looking at each one as individual inspiration for stage pictures, themes, etc. Also good material for physical workshops? “translating those steps into physical space”

*Note: Tanya has access to a cold, cold, cold roof.

-- PHOTOGRAPHY AND DEATH
- this seems to be a common reoccurrence in discussion. Worth looking into more deeply. John assigned Kurt the task of getting his words together regarding this theme.
- performance idea: create the setting of the death of an audience member
- maybe Peter’s delay camera can be used for this

-- “CLINICAL” ANALYSIS
- Discussion about the “Sterile Room,” a performance idea where individual audience members are analyzed, objectively, as bodies. The staging of this would be “hospital-like”, surgery room-ish, where the performers are in an enclosed (curtained?) space with the lone audience member. This form will continue to be discussed by the collective.

-- DEATH AND MORBIDITY
- Continue to stray away from death as a morbid idea, and look at it in a “positive” light, or at least that which gives meaning/joy/appreciation/whathaveyou to life. Peter comments on Greek mythology, where the gods are jealous of man, because they are able to die, so their life is that much more meaningful (and that’s why the gods fuck with people.)

*performance idea: Book of Death – recording dates of birth for the audience, lining them up and having them record their birth and death in a kind of logbook

-- PREPARATION OF DEATH
- exploring the clean up of death, what is done to “change the room” when there is a death. Luke brings up personal story of his friend (“Eugene sent me a text message that our friend had been eaten by an alligator”)
- Peter comments on a specific industry that cleans up after people who have died alone.

*I have written: “box of last thoughts that you would have before you died”. Anyone know what that is?

*performance idea: eulogies, and living wakes for audience members

*I have written “cheese death” Anyone? Anyone at all?

-- Jessica comments on the box of ashes, and there is some discussion as to what it is that goes into the box, by the time the family gets it (teeth?bone? hair?)

-- AUDIENCE AS DEAD
- Some discussion on the state of the audience as they go through the performance event. “They’re dead from the get-go,” or the idea that the audience members should be going through the experience as an objective body. We should continue to differentiate between “death” and “dying”; the difference between death through the perception of being dead, and death through the perception of being alive

-- NEXT MEETING we should have some carpenters there that can help with making the audience boxes

2 comments:

DinaBear said...

In regards to personal posts, I wrote about Nancy's funeral, on my own personal blog:

http://dinabear.blogspot.com/2008/02/
funeral.html

Yeah, I felt I ought to write about her death since it was about death, and yes my own experience of it, but also to record the process--finding out about the death, how the person died, the obituary, the wake, the funeral, the grief--all things relevant, only in my case it was through first hand experience.

Yeah, I wasn't sure if I was toeing a line there, and if so, what line it was...but ultimately, yes, I think maybe just the facts ma'am.

John R. Pierson said...

In general I do think we should keep the blogs near to the aesthetic, which is incorporating, literary, historical, or even geographical texts removed from our own lives, but it is important to state that I do expect each entry to have some acknowledgment of why this text affects you personally. And saying that I also feel that there are cases, like Berianne's or Dina's that are outside of the norm for posts, that are still fitting. It is more of a guideline that I think ultimately will be very important when we face the issues of historical interpretation.
And that is why focusing our personal energy on the comments will help us to understand the divide. A note to all of us is: if you have a personal event you want to share, more than likely there is some text out there that can be referenced.