PERFORMING VOWELS IN THE NOTE OF BLUE
“Performing vowels in the note of blue” is a score for non discursive communication with(in) a grove of red pines in the Catskills. Planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps during FDR’s New Deal, this century-old stand possesses the uncanny quality of a single species plantation gone wild. Five women (a,e,i,o,u) perform the vowels through the use of semaphore flags—a signaling system that augments the body to communicate over distances of land and sea. Less concerned with the symbolic meaning of the letters they perform, this work presents the patterning of movement, color, form and sound to create indexical, rather than symbolic, signs. It considers how meaning is constructed in human and nonhuman worlds, and imagines a space for communication between. The movements—like language, like the forest—slip between structure and improvisation.