Back in Town

Very little had changed in the woods during the two weeks I was away, despite the continuing hot and dry weather. On Wednesday I went out after noon, on Thursday around 5 pm and on Friday around 2 pm. It was so warm that I took off my pale pink woollen scarf between each session. There were very few people out running these days, as the whole campus seems empty. Like Finland, Sweden obviously closes down in July. In the centre and by the waterfront, where all the tourists gather, it is not so obvious, but elsewhere in the city many places are closed and the streets are quiet. DOCH is empty, too. Yesterday there were still some men cleaning the floors but today I had the building for myself, or so it seemed. I enjoyed editing some materials recorded last year without headphones, no need to avoid disturbing noise. The image above is from my last stop in the small pine tree, where I took a snapshot from where I sit, looking back at the camera on tripod behind me. And here are the ”ordinary” images from these three days:



And the sequences with the pine tree as well:


But what about my two weeks abroad? I began by participating in the PSi#24 in Daegu, South-Korea (see website), the annual conference for performance studies, which was rather small this year. We (the research group How to do things with performance?) had a panel called ”Networking: Malta, Finland, Korea”, where Pilvi Porkola and I were the only presenters on site. And then I was convening the meetings of the Artistic Research Working Group with Bruce Barton, where we had many last-minute cancellations, so most of our meetings took place with some people on Skype.

From Daegu I went directly to join the World Congress of the IFTR (International Federation for Theatre Research) in Belgrade, Serbia, (see the program and the book of abstracts) There we had a panel together, all four presenters from HTDTWP (How to do things with performance?) with the title ”Migrating Concepts in Performance”, a further development of the panel we prepared for Krakow. And there I participated in the sessions of the PAR (performance as research) working group, which I used to convene with Emma Meehan, and which Johnmichael Rossi and Manola Gayatri are now taking care of in a splendid manner.

After these two conferences of super-socialising it has been such a relief to return to the silence of the woods, to stand at my desk without anybody else around and to sit in the bars at night among people, for aure, but on my own. After a few days of relaxing I notice, however, that I am reading the news again and following social media more – my socializing spirit has obviously recovered from the overdose.

And yes, I did visit some trees on my trip, too. In Daegu I had a brief session in Dalseong Park on the day after the conference, the result of which is the video In Dalseong Park available here. In Belgrade I spent the last afternoon visiting one of the lantern trees next to the museum of contemporary art, creating a small video called In the Lantern Tree, available here. The only thing remarkable with these small performances was the fact that I chose to wear yellow, although I had the pale pink scarf with me, and (less surprisingly) that I had trouble identifying the trees. In Daegu I did not even try, in Belgrade I made an effort, and it seems that my partner there was some kind of lantern tree, but I did not find anyone who could tell me its name. The first couple I asked in the park were from Stockholm!

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Annette Arlander

artist

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