In a blanket-castle, like you might have played in as a child, you are invited for a 20-minute silent encounter with artist-scholar Doran George. Someone will have been in just before you, and someone will enter as you leave. As one of 12 other attendees for each of the three times the work will be staged, you are participating in the durational performance Unspoken; an exploration into how we negotiate engagement, perhaps even intimacy, non-verbally.
Contained within the nest-like environment, with focused-silent-expectation, you notice small looks more acutely than usual, as well as gestures, facial expression, comportment, and the sense of space between you and Doran. Unspoken asks for our attention to the everyday dances of engaging with another human being. As a performance exploration, it treats human encounter as an improvisation that we can learn to execute with greater consciousness by drawing on ideas from sex-positive culture: Unspoken asks us to listen to our desire, and be attentive to what we can consent to with certainty, while listening to the desires and boundaries of another.
Everyday encounter often entails the tacit assumption that all parties consent to the engagement. But how often do we do what we think another wants from us, or what is socially acceptable? Do we grasp too quickly for what we think an interaction should entail, sacrificing potential connection with our intimate others? Doran has designed this performance for us to learn to make more intimate contact, be that close or distant, by reaching for what we want and offering what we are comfortable with. Unspoken removes assumptions, inviting new possibility, and offering hope for the rejuvenating power of satisfying and authentic human encounter.
Without words, we remove the scripts that make up everyday encounters to take a look at what resources we have through listening to our physical/emotional selves, while feeling into the communication happening between each other. Do we make eye contact? Touch or not? Unspoken treats mindfulness as a shared rather than individual practice, offering a space in which to meditate on interpersonal exchange beyond familiar protocols, perhaps with unfamiliar results. Come and spend 20 minutes in a soft den with Doran, taking a close look at the nature of encounter.
Participation in this performance is by non-monetary donation. You are encouraged to gift the artist with something that is meaningful for you in the realm of human encounter. You can choose to give this during your 20 minute encounter, or leave it with the person who will sign you in before you enter the blanket caste.
In order to attend, please email Doran (firstname.lastname@example.org) to book a session. Put Unspoken participation in the in the subject line, and give three times you would are able to attend in order of preference.