Dedicated to Emmett Williams
First performance at Tesla, Berlin on November 30, 2007. Color manipulations by Tony Conrad and MV Carbon. Second performance at the 2008 International Film Festival Rotterdam.
There are three 16mm projectors each loaded with a loop of clear film with either the letter “A”, “B” or “C” hand stamped on it. Two actresses face the audience standing on either side of the projected images behind their respective microphone stand. I am seated at a table with my back to the audience. I use a number of printed instructions – “faster”, “slower”, “louder”, etc.- to direct the flow, speed and transitions. I also periodically run back and forth between the table and the projectors to make changes or introduce manipulations. The piece begins with one woman reading the text in English while the other does an on-the-spot translation into German. Their roles periodically flip and at some points both are speaking entirely in English or in German. The women read a series of one-sentence instructions that tell the audience which of the screens they should be looking at. The first questions are very formal, like what one might have to fill out on a visa form, but as it progresses the inquiries become more intimate and suggestive.