ALL OF THE ABOVE
The Vis-à-Vis Society, led by its founding poet-scientists Dr. Ink (Sierra Nelson) and Dr. Owning (Rachel Kessler), created an interactive poetry-science installation and data-collection machine of the same name, aka “All of the Above,” throughout the gallery space of the Richard Hugo House for the month of April and into May. Using self-graphing exercises, multiple-choice poems and an on-site telephone booth/ confessional, participants were asked to contemplate Shame, Pantyhose, The Scientific Method, Bad Habits, Camouflage, Snack Dust, The Polka, Secrets and Individual Perception of Time-Speed in Relation to Distance from Optimal Position.
In conjunction with this installation, on the evening of April 12, Drs. Ink and Owning facilitated a series of live experiments to interact with and build on the installation investigations. Live experiments included Before and After Polk Joy levels, Clogging Down the Shame Quotient in relation to the Bad Habits previously gathered on-site, as well as further live presentations and investigations. Our driving question was: what does it mean to truly take poetry into the field? Through poetic graphs, audience-interactive dancing (polka and clogging), and outdoor readings of poetry camouflaged in ghillie suits, we tackled this query with gusto.