Premiered October 22nd-25th, 2010 at La Esquina. Sponsored by The Charlotte Street Foundation
An installation-based performance (or a performance-based installation) created by Mark Southerland, and Jane Gotch. Created and performed in collaboration with Shay Estes, Tuesday Faust, Shawn Hansen, Peregrine Honig, Mike Stover, Matt Tady, Bill Wenzel, and Neal Wilson.
Through movement, sound, and installation, SEE SAW will examine the moments when the body meets the mind—self realization, personal epiphanies, and modern coming-of-age stories. Told using an array of tools —often elaborate and abstract; other-times pointedly simple and straight forward—this tale involves a large seesaw and a “trophy playground,” from which music and movement will evolve. Situated in-the-round, the audience itself will become part of the installation and actively engaged in the event.
Mirror neurons give us the ability to learn from others as well as well as empathize with them. Scientists are discovering that Homo sapiens as well as many other mammals are hard wired to work this way. A not so simple evolutionary tale that sets us apart from other species started with our thumbs, which allowed us to make tools, which gave us greater access to more protein, which gave us more energy and more time for more tools and ideas, etc….This grew logarithmically with each generation, leading eventually to the complex social structures of today. It is perhaps this unique journey as well as our ability to mirror and empathize that gives us our humanity.
In this age of information and commoditization, our mirroring and tooling has become so complex and specialized it is often outmoded before it can be refined or employed. Modern morphology cannot keep up with the rate of change in technology. More and more, our tools are information and innovation, yet still we must train our bodies for specific tools. Our minds are still bound by the speed of our hands. That is why we learn trades, value craftsmanship, and reward early physical achievement.
Where the mirroring of empathy has largely been marginalized in our culture, it is still alive and well in the arts. We are all taught self reflection in hopes that an audience will see themselves in our work. Like a play within a play, we will use our tools to tell the stories of our tooling. We will have the audience more than just lay witness, but mirror and empathize with us. SEE SAW will interpret the complex systems of tooling and detooling that imprint our modern lives.”