PSi #21 Fluid States - Fluid States North in Denmark, Greenland and Faroe Island, 'What If?' by Denmark Correspondent Ismini Chliova-Bitzani


What If? – Fluid States North

by Ismini Chliova-Bitzani

22 June 2015

Psi #21 Fluid States –Fluid States North


PDF available here

What if this wasn’t linear at all? What if there was no beginning, middle or end? What if it was all ongoing? Coming at you from different angles or sites? Like the wind and the rain pouring down on Sneglen on the opening day of the conference?

In her one-woman show No Word, Soley Danielsen opens a carton box to reveal the next clue to Hanna’s story: the hijab, a photo album, a dress. Reminders of a life past and stored away but not forgotten. What would you keep in such a box? What would you put away?

Cameline Bolbroe’s ‘beams and balls’ performance, Transliminal Spaces, featuring adaptive kinetic prototypes sensitive to movement and light had a playfulness to it reminiscent of children’s games like hopscotch. If you could, when you could, when the opportunity arose what blocks would you move? What leaps would you take?

New words. Unknown words. Are they? Not any more.

Shikuteu (pronounced ha-ka-tu), i.e. the Innu word for cloudberry. Say it into a microphone and it prompts a recording to begin. It unlocks a story. Natalie Doonan’s Manifest Cloudberry Dreams project in the Lower North Shore of Quebec provides keywords and passwords to new and different worlds that have been there for ages.

Øllebrød, i.e. a porridge of mousse-like consistency made from bread and beer. Back to basics then? At first, I thought it tasted sweet like dessert. And then I tasted the rye and it knew this was not just dessert. At Carmen Wong’s performance, Sentient Feeding, sharing øllebrød brought back memories related to food and triggered stories from childhood and beyond. Whether you were Danish or not. I found myself telling stories to my fellow participants at the table about how I think there is something reassuring about the smell of dough or about how berry-flavoured yoghurt always takes me back to a holiday in Switzerland where I had first tasted it as a child. I keep thinking that somehow food, tastes and smells are not just memory triggers, they are memories.

But this is not about yoghurt! Right? Or trips to Switzerland. This is about bread! What if you were to break bread apart back to its ingredients? And add an element of sound to each of them? What then? Shannon Werle’s installation Bread Tone explores the sounds traditional ingredients of rye bread make when set in motion. It is a different way of looking at (or should I say ‘listening to’) bread. A different scale. A microcosm of seeds and grains spinning around within tubes. Listening closely enough and long enough I realized the sound emerging was not just any sound. It resembled the buzzing of bees or crickets. I could almost see them buzzing away, doing their own little dance in the countryside during a summer heatwave.

Let’s come back down to earth, though. Back to reality. I could have taken a picture. I didn’t. But picture this:

Members of the Greenland team playing soft, even romantic music on the clarinet and the guitar while members of the Faroe Islands team are dancing to it. People hanging out after lunch in the Multi Hall in Copenhagen casually watching on the telematic screens while setting up for the next presentation. At the same time, others sitting in the room but outside the telematic space are working away on their laptops and checking their cellphones, seemingly oblivious to the little impromptu concert and dance performance going on in the time and space in between.

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Copyright –  Chliova-Bitzani, Ismini (2015) “What If?”, PSi #21 Fluid States: Performances of UnKnowing LOG, ed. Marin Blazevic, Bree Hadley and Nina Gojic, Performance Studies international (PSi), 1 January 2015-31 December 2015, available

Tags: Community and Performance  Daily Life Daily Rituals and Performance   Media Technology and Performance  Performance Studies in Europe  Performance Studies in Languages Other Than English  

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