Scars are a map of our collisions with the world
Some Collisions is a performance installation that synthesizes stories of science and scars with compelling media narratives, creating a map of our collisions with the world. It is an evolving work by Josephine Dorado and Phillip Gulley, first realized as part of a residency at MassArt in Boston, Massachusetts. Dorado and Gulley ran workshops and a symposium on “Connecting Communities through Transmedia Storytelling” and produced a site-specific version of Some Collisions.
As physical beings, we collide with other beings and objects, and some collisions leave scars. Every scar represents a negative space — an absence filled with a presence. They manifest physically and emotionally: on bodies, in minds, and on the landscapes that surround us.
The observation of collisions is an attempt to gain meaning: collisions unveil the fundamental questions of nature and being. Scars give us deeper meanings about ourselves. By mining and combining stories throughout different communities, such as the Fulbright community, refugee communities and other groups, a continuous narrative will be woven that explores personal as well as cultural scars and the moments in life that make our tissue more complex.
Imagine a 9/11 survivor explaining the terror of that day and the scar left on the city in the form of the memorial and memory, a mid-twenties Brooklynite recounting a story of cutting her finger while chopping fruit for a party, and a survivor of bombings in Angola reliving the tragedy of their body’s and their home’s loss. Imagine these stories blended, overlapping, media expressing each person’s tale. Through these stories, perspective is gained on the nature of scars: the nature of tragedy and hardship. Each person holds scars, each scar is a story. These experiences temper us and make us stronger, just as steel is strengthened. The physical world and the principles that guide it will be compared to the personal stories — contrasting the material of life with the process of living as elements that are complex and fragile.
Starting with scars as a catalyst to expression, we will blend the digital with physical to explore personal narrative, placing the stories into a unified narrative with supplemental media taking a number of forms. Our cross-platform approach will enable it to be explored as film, interactive performance, scientific inquiry and story booth-style exposition. The final products will span media forms and include live performance, architected media experiences, generative storytelling, fiction, non-fiction and documentary 一 mirroring our personal intake and experience of emotion through analog and digital interaction.
A scientific exploration of physical stress and scars will be supplemented through a collaboration with an aerospace stress analysis engineer. These studies will be explained in their scientific basis and cross-applied to human experiences highlighting that all people are united in their basic make-up, and that the response to experience, while unique to each individual, is based in the unifying properties that tie us all together. An audience member will leave the experience with a deeper understanding of the emotional resilience of humanity as well as the effects of stress and pressure on physical bodies.
We envision Some Collisions as a theatrical event and an installation. Perhaps you roam, if you wish. You interact with physical objects merged with media representing the narrative. You find a bank of experiences you can navigate through. You see tears, ruptures, and the effects of stress on objects that combine in your mind to deeper understand the resilience of humanity. Stories are told, heard and shared as the audience follows that narrative, in space and conceptually, in an adaptive performance populated by an assemblage of conversations, artifacts of memory, soundscapes, and reflections on physical material transformation.
We’re also exploring a version of Some Collisions which will employ body-based interaction to explore stories of trauma and healing from communities affected by war, mapping stories and media to the body as a tool for intergenerational dialogue as well as a mechanism for resilience and coping.
The intention is to capture and express the richness of human experiences, from scars to human hardship and fortitude manifested on the body, on the land, in our cultures, then archived and translated as an immersive, performative experience.