PERSONAL PRONOUNS: A WHISPER NETWORK APRIL 2011
Personal Pronouns: A Whisper Network is a performance incorporating personal storytelling, broken telephone, word of mouth information sharing and intimacy boundaries with strangers. The work explores the possibility for freak editing of narratives as they traverse through embodied social network structures.
The viewers are invited to be seated and together with the performer they become active nodes within the Whisper Network. Towards the front of the room an overhead projector illuminates a copy of an email written to me several years ago by a former lover. The contents of the correspondence have been almost completely blocked out with fuschia rectangles over each word excluding all the personal pronouns. Nothing is left but you, me, us and we. The only means of understanding the story is to listen closely.
The performer whispers a message to the person seated next to her, enticing them to pass along her story in a whisper. She recites the email in full, line for line.The story is passed throughout the nodes creating a chorus of whispers that hum and hiss in the darkness. The content of the email itself and the physicality and intimacy of how the story is shared within the Whisper Network put into question our own personal boundaries around physical space as well as our relationships with sharing personal information face to face as opposed to on the Internet, specifically on social networking sites. The network will cease to be active once the story is complete and becomes dormant until the nodes gather once more to exchange a story in whispers.