Fancy Pants

So I’m wearing the joke pants I bought in my Slump and listening to the latest NIN album (I’m obsessed with the second track. It opened the gig I saw and lyrically it is super fitting regarding my research track) and that combo – plus the reading I’ve been doing – has got me pumped for the action part of my PhD.

I’m toying with the working title of “(in) Name Only” and the gist is to get a message out to as many people as possible, starting with hardcopies – envelopes with a note and some chalk – before going live and hopefully viral.

The premise is simple: call someone, write their name (non-ultra identifying, just Christian- or Nick-name, which are names in themselves!) on the nearest surface and send a photo or video to a virtual location for collection and (re)assembly.

I guess the idea is to not only make a tangible record of the call, but to share it with people not involved. I suppose it creates an ongoing performance piece, which concretises the usually fleeting and ephemeral moment of virtual connection. It sort of ends up as a mobile version of theatre, a place where this kind of interaction is super common but doesn’t escape the confines of the theatre space.

It approaches theatre in reverse while taking inspiration from theatre generally. It is also very much in line with my overall working method (doing things backwards; breaking stuff to make stuff; poking fun but promoting thought) and gives me an “object” with which to test out my understanding of what I’m reading (Kristeva and Barrett) which is kind of killing my brain. Every time I think I’m getting it, it slips away, like the Wheel of Fortune or learning a new juggling trick.

Regardless, this combination of musical innovation, heavy writing, personal experimentation and awkward legwear has got me thinking about the nature of fancy pants..

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