Col­lab­o­ra­tion with Riley Hook­er

2024 New York City
Cre­ative Time Head­quar­ters
Dura­tion: approx­i­mate­ly 20 min­utes
A live work in 3 parts
8 par­tic­i­pants per­form a col­lec­tive poet­ic exer­cise with ver­bal mate­r­i­al sourced from their dreams 

So Close to Human is a col­lec­tive vocal poem formed in the moment from images extract­ed from the par­tic­i­pants’ dreams. Eight vol­un­teer par­tic­i­pants sub­mit­ted mate­r­i­al from their dreams, specif­i­cal­ly one image that relates to a set­ting, one that refers to a fig­ure, and one that describes an action. The mate­r­i­al arrives as sep­a­rate writ­ten frag­ments, which are then com­piled and incor­po­rat­ed into one amor­phous whole. Riley and I couldn’t help equat­ing the dream sub­mis­sions with blood dona­tions: a pre­cious essence orig­i­nat­ing in one indi­vid­ual that when fused with the same essence of oth­ers becomes one. Just as every­one has blood, every­one has dreams. Except, dreams tran­scend our phys­i­cal bod­ies. They are uni­ver­sal­ly com­mu­nica­tive, and as such, they are com­pat­i­ble with each oth­er. They share a moth­er tongue. We took the ran­dom sam­ples of this dream-derived lan­guage and sub­ject­ed them to objec­tive meth­ods of orga­ni­za­tion. We dis­tilled the indi­vid­ual parts of speech, orga­nized them into cat­e­gories; we excerpt­ed short phras­es and exper­i­ment­ed with minor vari­a­tions. We are now offer­ing the pul­ver­ized and par­tial­ly recon­sti­tut­ed mate­r­i­al back to the par­tic­i­pants for their obser­va­tion, manip­u­la­tion, and com­mu­nal recreation.