I don't have any bona fide insider readings for you.
But I can say that Aaron and Tertia have put serious
time into making a performance together that was something
altogether different from the - Aaron reading and Tertia
finding some way of projecting the texts (or vice versa
or altogether now) that had been their first thought.
There were several awkwardnesses at play. Tertia's at not
considering herself an experienced 'performer' was one. Aaron's
at having to restrian himself from 'utterance' (and to 'silence',
not exactly what he's renowned for) although he has been
increasingly composing with pause and silent gesture of late in
a fascinating process of mediating his deafness in relation
to orality and literacy in writing and performance.
The 'silence' is debatable of course. There were his huffs and puffs
and splutters and breaths and the sound of Tertia's pen moving.
The awkwardness of Tertia's writing upsides down, the problem
of beginning a word and following that beginning to see where
it might follow and complete, or not, as happened; the awkwardness
of being faced with utter miscompletion, foul closure.
Aaron's physical difficulty in simply staying on the stone,
although he exacerbated that difficulty was his energy spent in 'engagement'
with process i think. I wish he'd used the mirror dangling at his
wrist to make his face 'up' in some fashion. There were
interesting gender readings to be made about control and power
and production. Their productions were interlinked in complex
ways that swung between who might be 'leading' or 'writing' and who
might be following or becoming a 'copyist'.
One moment I particularly remember was when they both stopped,
looked at each other, towards the end. Tertia began to write again
and Aaron remounted his stone. She began 't o u ' at which point I
burst out laughing, thinking it was going to say 'tough'. In fact
it hesitated then led to 'touch'. I'm hoping to get a full display
of the performance scroll, as some very interesting writing is
on it, that only begins to set up other conversations with the
work in the book.
It has been important for them to not have readers think
that Tertia produced the 'images' and Aaron wrote the 'text'.
Both have been produced and made by both.
I'm very interested in collaborations as you know. I'm curious
about the implications for 'authorship' and 'ownership' among
other facets - what Burroughs termed the 'third mind' partly.
Of course collaborations aren't often simply two-way. So the
'third-mind' is inadequate and too hippy in its formation.
I agree that this performance seemed to have awkwardness as a
text of collaboration. The struggle to converse.
Here's a snip from the book:
'Curving motions urge real drama. Screening the
gross tiers of alphabets and eight liners,
splashing the sun sometimes. My fingers echo
the steps of martyrs lurching through empty
gestures. Historically rough base mixtures
thundered onto box tins for bones and hearts and
next of kin. Pith clenches the ragged hearts
in senses of torment, rays fetching against the
open door. Escape with the coil, carried through
to a shout, strained out of the flow.'
thanks for your report on 'The Unspeakable Rooms' btw, I'm
looking forward to catching it at Dartington next week.
love and love