OSMIUM, TUNGSTEN, DIONAEA, LAVANDULA
STARK—QUICKLY NOW. SO VERY
LITTLE TIME. A STAR IN THE
SKY, AN ANT ON A FIG, WHAT
IS LOVE. NOW IT IS LOUDER
BRIGHTER GLEAMING SHIMMERING
BENEATH YOUR EYELIDS IN THE DARK
From September through December 2013 I performed a site-specific, multi-sensory, one-on-one work at Indie Coffee in Madison, WI entitled “Osmium, Tungsten, Dionaea, Lavandula.” The performance is part of the performance company Spatula & Barcode’s project “Café Allongé,” which is part of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s Wisconsin Triennial. My project is formally situated at the intersection of site-specific performance, intimate performance, interactive/participatory performance, theatrically scripted performance, and relational aesthetics. The project also incorporates audio, text, dance, food, singing and drawings. The subject of the performance is experiential/embodied knowledge, magic, energy, trust and healing.
Each participant emails me a favorite song s/he knows by heart in advance of the performance. I write down two copies of the lyrics and place them in a little accordion book, which also contains diagrammed terms and terms-to-be-diagrammed, a Q&A script and lavender flowers. The table in the café is covered with lavender-colored reindeer moss, a blue light bulb hangs above and illustrated/diagrammed terms are taped onto the window. Throughout the course of the performance, an audio device plays forest sounds. The participant reads a script with me as I speak monologue text. Then, I discern the participant’s life path number. The participant drinks hot apple cider and eats a piece of a cookie, then helps me with my research by illustrating and defining a term while the song “Believe Me” by Katie Stelmanis plays and I perform a gestural dance outside the window. Then, I ask the participant a series of questions about their favorite scents, tastes, sounds and fears and desires. We sing the participant’s favorite song together and the participant places their hands on the moss while I lead them through a guided visualization in a magical forest. We end with making a wish that will come true.
“Osmium, Tungsten, Dionaea, Lavandula” is about repetition and resonance, wish fulfillment and spells, empathy and incantation.