WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
“What Are We Talking About?” is an absurdist talk show based on the decoupe literary technique (where text is cut up and randomly rearranged to create new text.) The idea of randomly pairing questions and answers appealed to me, as did the idea of interviewing the general public. I wanted to see if complete strangers would be willing to participate in this potentially uncomfortable but harmless experiment. As the host, I ask guests normal interview questions. The guests answer with randomly chosen prompts that may or may not have anything to do with the questions. Prompts range from: answer the question honestly, but through interpretive dance, or, describe the plot of a book, movie, or TV show as if it happened to you.
The first iteration of this talk show happened at “#spikow2,” a night of performance art that was part of Lindsey Whittle’s “Archives as Action” show. Throughout the night, I interviewed fifteen Contemporary Arts Center patrons. Some of the interviews were amusing, some confusing, some strange, all were enjoyable. As an artist who likes to gently nudge participants and observers out of their comfort zones, my favorite interviews tended to be the ones with reluctant guests. It’s fun for me to watch their apprehension leave as they become more comfortable with the process. All of my interviews are published on YouTube and my blog.
The photo shows one of my guests completing this prompt: Answer the question honestly while sitting awkwardly in the chair. Change positions awkwardly at least three times.