Day 2 in Stockholm, and the first day I am able to work with nomadthenewcompany. I am so excited to be a part of their process.
In her new work, flaskpost, Janessa Clark is examining ideas of anonymity, confession, secrecy, and transmission. She writes about the work here:
Flaskpost is a piece about history. It's about confession, folklore, appropriation, voyeurism, anonymity, and authorship. When we send a letter, are the contents important, or does the act of writing the letter itself carry the value? What if you never know whether your message has been received or by whom? Does the act of anonymous confession reveal a greater truth about our nature and our trajectory? We are only free to the extent we are enslaved.Flaskpost is about transmission. Transmission of fact, fiction, heritage, legacy, behavior, secrets. Apathy. Responsibility. Flaskpost is also about intimacy; beyond a beauty screen deep. Do we truly know each other because we share the same bed, home, street, town, country, friends, family, sex? This work starts from a point in time after 'the big event', which could be next week, next year, or yesterday. Part saga, part blues, part performance, part document. A group of women share a room and enact a game of chance with a twist of good old-fashioned role-play. Who's your daddy? Or in this case, who's your ________?
To prepare to rehearse with nomadthenewcompany, I worked with several of my students at Montclair State University to create anonymous confessions. The wrote short confessions that were sealed in envelopes and mixed in with a pile of confessions that Janessa has collected from around the world (including confessions by the dancers and herself.) The parameters to confess are as follows:
1. Take a blank piece of white paper and a plain white envelope
2. Write an anonymous confession about yourself, without using your name or the real names of others, to protect the privacy of all. Any measure of secret is good, or the bigger the stakes for you, the better.
3. Be truthful about what you choose to disclose in your letters. If you are very concerned with privacy you may choose to type your letters but please try not to lie. We want to protect the integrity of the experiment.
4. Write as many confessions as you want to or can about yourself. The goal is to make this a daily practice of confession and self-reflection. The company is in the studio daily and burns though letters (both digital and handwritten) quickly.
5. Do not speak of this action to anyone. The project is working on creating a large group secret at this stage of the process.
I was able to join in the rehearsal as a participant, going through each of the scores that Janessa has been using to develop the work. We worked with various modes of transmission, using sounds, language and movement to prepare oneself to access and listen.
Here are some clips from rehearsal:
More tomorrow on the process! I have quite a few reflections and connections to make about the work, but I wanted to give at least a general introduction about what we're doing.