xPLURAL 

(1995)

A participatory performance presentation.

Presented at Radio Unbound, Timms Arts Center, Edmonton, Canada and for Transit, Innsbruck, Austria.

Other versions were done as in-class exercises while a student (MFA class at NSCAD in 1995 and in May Joseph’s class at New York University, Department of Performance Studies, Fall 1998). Then in classes I have taught (Performing the Body, NYU Undergrad Drama Spring 2002, and Interdisciplinary Studio IDYS 300 at Concordia University, Montréal Winter 2003).

This was the first iteration of what was subsequently titled Pass.

Other versions: Pass (Toronto)Pass (Dundee), Pass (Rotterdam)Pass (Kingston)Pass (Halifax), Pass (Reykjavik)The Prestidigitator.




A radio transmission without a transmitter. Radiophonic communications without transmitter are not an impossibility. Tactics of diffusion that bypass the hardware can enable one to transgress the authoritative imperatives one usually attributes to telecommunications.

A participatory exercise at communication which incites multiplication through breakdown.

Audience and performer sit in a circle, performer starts passing around standard size pages of paper (see script below). the pages never have more than one written line, sometimes they have just a letter, sometimes nothing. the rhythm of the passing varies, sometimes the pace fosters readability of the text, sometimes it hampers it. sometimes objects and images are added to the circulation.

Excerpt from script:
(portions of the script change depending on context)
(each horizontal line stands for a page)

________________________________________________________________________
just pass this sheet to the person to your right
________________________________________________________________________
that’s right
________________________________________________________________________
keep
________________________________________________________________________
on
________________________________________________________________________
doing that.
________________________________________________________________________
this
________________________________________________________________________
is a
________________________________________________________________________
a transmission,
________________________________________________________________________
a transmission exercise.
________________________________________________________________________
feel
________________________________________________________________________
free
________________________________________________________________________
to
________________________________________________________________________
[next sheet with pencil]
________________________________________________________________________
… … … … …

________________________________________________________________________
(don’t take your time)
________________________________________________________________________
now
________________________________________________________________________
look into your neighbor’s ears
________________________________________________________________________
this is part of the research.
________________________________________________________________________
(pass stethoscope pics)
________________________________________________________________________
now (again).
________________________________________________________________________
I know that, by now, things might have
________________________________________________________________________
gotten out of order
________________________________________________________________________
you might be out of order
________________________________________________________________________
and that
________________________________________________________________________
you
________________________________________________________________________
might have doubts about
________________________________________________________________________
the merits
________________________________________________________________________
of this exercise
________________________________________________________________________
or about
________________________________________________________________________
its relevance to
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

(blank page)
________________________________________________________________________
(blank page)
________________________________________________________________________
(blank page)
________________________________________________________________________
is this the “quiet
________________________________________________________________________
contemplation of a
________________________________________________________________________
destructive
________________________________________________________________________
act”?
________________________________________________________________________
or something to do with a
________________________________________________________________________
bullet lodged
________________________________________________________________________
in the
________________________________________________________________________
inner ear?
________________________________________________________________________
or a bullet somehow strapped on like
________________________________________________________________________
a muzzle, muting
________________________________________________________________________
our mouths?
________________________________________________________________________
here we are without answers and
________________________________________________________________________
in
________________________________________________________________________
relative
________________________________________________________________________
quiet.
________________________________________________________________________
just the sounds
________________________________________________________________________
of paper passing back
________________________________________________________________________
and forth.
________________________________________________________________________
(blank page)
________________________________________________________________________
that
________________________________________________________________________
sound of fleeting papers
________________________________________________________________________
passing you by
________________________________________________________________________
could get
________________________________________________________________________
louder if
________________________________________________________________________
we had to go faster
________________________________________________________________________
a
________________________________________________________________________
n
________________________________________________________________________
d
________________________________________________________________________
f
________________________________________________________________________
a
________________________________________________________________________
s
________________________________________________________________________
t
________________________________________________________________________
e
________________________________________________________________________
r
________________________________________________________________________
a
________________________________________________________________________
n
________________________________________________________________________
d
________________________________________________________________________
f
________________________________________________________________________
a
________________________________________________________________________
s
________________________________________________________________________
t
________________________________________________________________________
e
________________________________________________________________________
r.
________________________________________________________________________
back to
________________________________________________________________________
a slower pace, now out of breath.
________________________________________________________________________
you now may be asking yourself
________________________________________________________________________
how long
________________________________________________________________________
is
________________________________________________________________________
this going to last
________________________________________________________________________
?
________________________________________________________________________
I don’t know
________________________________________________________________________
and the paper trail continues.
________________________________________________________________________
it might never end
________________________________________________________________________
(pause)
________________________________________________________________________
I am your guest speaker from the Center of Communication ________________________________________________________________________
Disorders, (a reclusive branch of the CRTC).
________________________________________________________________________
this is going nowhere and getting dizzy.
________________________________________________________________________
the starting premise was:
________________________________________________________________________
take
________________________________________________________________________
daily conversations and
________________________________________________________________________
see how they change when you change,
________________________________________________________________________
see them change when you change…
________________________________________________________________________
change the parameters of
________________________________________________________________________
conversation
________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________
and then somehow that got distilled
________________________________________________________________________
and became a simple action
________________________________________________________________________
“just pass this sheet to the person to your right”
________________________________________________________________________
increasingly, I get more
________________________________________________________________________
pleasure from talking
________________________________________________________________________
about a piece than out of the piece itself.
________________________________________________________________________
this piece collapses the two: it
________________________________________________________________________
talks about itself.
________________________________________________________________________
feel free to talk about it too, on this next page
________________________________________________________________________
on this next page,
________________________________________________________________________
a prior group were told they could write
________________________________________________________________________
that page that just went by.
________________________________________________________________________
I know that,
________________________________________________________________________
by now,
________________________________________________________________________
things might have gotten out of order well, remember that
________________________________________________________________________
LEARNING TO SPEAK WELL IS AN IMPORTANT AND FRUITFUL TASK
________________________________________________________________________
repeat after me
________________________________________________________________________
(the page speaks)
________________________________________________________________________
turning the transmitter off
________________________________________________________________________
will not end this broadcast.

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