Scars are a map of our collisions with the world
Some Collisions is an interactive performance installation and online experience that synthesizes stories of science and scars with compelling media narratives, creating a map of our collisions with the world. It is currently a work-in-progress by Josephine Dorado and Phillip Gulley, to be realized as part of a residency at 3LD in 2016-2017.
As of Spring 2016, Josephine is currently in Vienna, Austria on a Fulbright-Museumsquartier artist residency, working with the Macondo refugee community to develop 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.
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.
Since a critical element of the production is gathering a culturally and personally diverse range of stories, a collaboration with the Fulbright Association has been confirmed. The Fulbright community will be involved in the narrative creation, eliciting culturally diverse stories, while serving a mutually beneficial goal: the development of Some Collisions becomes a platform for preserving and amplifying stories from the Fulbright community across multiple forms of media, while contributing to the content of the art work.
We have also started conversations with an Exhibition Designer for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum to establish forms that explore and respect the sensitive nature of the content. Some Collisions is a performance project as well as a methodology for deeper engagement through embodied exploration.
Collaborations such as these will be key to realizing Some Collisions, as 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.
Some Collisions will be part of 3LD‘s 2016-2017 season in NYC.
February 2015 – Josephine Dorado and Phillip Gulley were in residence at MassArt in Boston, Massachusetts, running workshops and a symposium on “Connecting Communities through Transmedia Storytelling” and producing a small, site-specific version of Some Collisions.
March-May 2015: Prepare methodology. Establish Fulbright contacts internationally.
March-April 2016: Residency at Macondo refugee community in Vienna, Austria via Fulbright and Museumsquartier/Quartier21
July 2016: Performance-installation as part of Bogomir Dooringer‘s Gastarbeiter show
Sept-Dec 2016: Residency at 3LD: Refine methodology for digital/physical processes. Develop media architectures. Run first round of story booth-style interviews locally/remotely.
Jan-Feb 2017: Continue processing stories. Develop performance structures. Run second round of story booth-style interviews.
March-April 2017: Residency at 3LD: Build and test media architectures. Rehearse performance structures.
May 2017: Premiere at 3LD in NYC