Impossible Performances

Speculative events that dissolve the boundary between watching and acting

December 22, 2020

You are looking at your notes from a meeting. So many explanations, goals, barriers, hopes, hungers, ulcers, anxieties, celebrations, struggles, wandering through the hours of waiting and self-awareness, learning your weaknesses, your blindness, your ignorance and faults, repairing gaps in your ragged sense of worth, building piece by piece, grabbing the thing at hand, the loose end, the frayed sweater, the knotted thread, the dangling tangle of wires, dust in your nostrils, sneezes that scatter your multiple piles of wrinkled scraps of paper, what a dump, what a dump, what a trash heap, a garbage pile, what a disaster. If you could stand up, the air would resist your movement. You have no power here, no pull, no clout, no juice. You’re alone and buried under so many piles, so much weight, so here. Don’t look into the mirror, don’t peer into that box, O Pandora. Muddle your struggle, keep inside, forge ahead—where ahead is only not falling behind, at least no more so than yesterday, the shredded newspaper of the day, of the weeks, months, ago ago. The dry leavings, the ancient heaped shavings and sawdust. This is a nest, your nest of time and matter, the soup in which you were born and play in, forming little shapes, toy animals and cubby holes, horses and closets, made of newspapers and dust bunnies, old hair and dried crumbs, a raisin. You lift your head from your notes to look out the window at the clock at the corner. It is almost time to leave.

Black and white photo of black bottle caps on a wooden floor

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Charles Campbell

Charles Campbell is an interdisciplinary artist and co-founder of Skewed Visions and Fresh Oysters Performance Research. He has made many live and virtual performance works since the 1990s, most of which were made in places not made for performance. Skewed Visions is an intentionally small, local, and experimental idea that fosters rigorous, innovative, thoughtful artistic practice to question the way things are. Fresh Oysters is a shared alternative arts research, development, and presentation …   read more