Friday, January 18, 2013

PuSh 2013: Sometimes I Think I Can See You

Following a delightful lunch and conversation with A Crack in Everything creators Zoe Scofield and Juniper Shuey (who graciously agreed to talk to my Dance-Theatre class about their work), the three of us walked to the Vancouver Public Library to check out two of the pieces (or 1 1/2, really) that make up the 2103 PuSh Festival's "Fiction(s) Series."

Unfortunately, all of the "books" in the Human Library had been checked out for the day. And so we contented ourselves with lingering in the VPL's public concourse watching text unfurl on giant television screens as two local writers equipped with laptops spun spontaneous prose out of what they were witnessing. The brainchild of PuSh Festival favourite Mariano Pensotti (La Marea in 2011, El pasado es un animal grotesco in 2012), Sometimes I Think I Can See You gives new meaning to the digital book, transforming the act of writing into a visual performance, and asking what it means to read privately in public spaces, where any moment we might become a character in someone else's narrative.

I did not stay for very long, though long enough to say hello to Mariano (who was running between the VPL and the Vancouver Art Gallery, site of the work's other public outpost), and to witness one utterly beguiling moment. One of the authors (who, I confess, I did not recognize), in a J.M. Barrie moment of make-believe making belief, asked her readers to clap--at which point a group of Asian language students who had been following the text burst into spontaneous and enthusiastic applause.

A PuSh moment if ever there was one.


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