TO DESERT PLANTS
by CAROLYN CHEN
for enough space
One by one, form a line. The person at the end of the line makes a sound the length of one breath. The sound is breath-like in feeling – made with a breath, objects from the space, or a combination. The neighbor in line picks up before the breath ends, aiming for seamlessness. Breath moves to one end of the line and back. People might join on either end, or in between, should the impulse to sort the line arise. The distance between neighbors can expand to the edge of where each neighbor is still audible.
Find grasses, leaves or other safe-to-handle brush materials with height. Brush or comb up with fingers or leaves, like running hands through hair. In a group, pass along swells of activity.
Trace the path of someone or something’s shadow with an available material.
After Vince Raikhel
Hold up a bottle or open container to the wind (-V.R.) If no wind, blow across the container yourself. If no container, across an ear. If no available ear, exhale.
With a body or a shadow of a body. If many, form a larger shape, each in touch with at least two others. Shift the shape with changing light or interest.
In a circle, hum any pitch. Circling, drift toward someone else’s pitch from across the loop. Hold pitch when still. Tune a chord by walking.
Airplanes, the loudest stars
Circle around a center humming any pitch at the edge of your vocal range. Accelerate, sliding your pitch toward center. Inside, repeat, circling a listener.
Collect some creosote leaves to rub. Disperse scent. In a group, through a crowd, crescendo scent. With other materials, move a sequence of fragrances along a given path.
Across a distance
Walking in parallel, across a distance, sing to another, one voice at a time, alternating notes across the way. Come together in sound and space to conclude.
The possibility of rain
In a large enough group, quiet taps on different surfaces of a structure illuminate the shape of the structure. Ears connected to different surfaces form a listening shape.
Describe to someone the position of your preferred star without pointing.
The confusion of stars
People orbit one another in a model world, carrying lights that blink in silence at different rates. Each one revolves internally while circling a slower blinker. Moons circle planets, planets circle stars. Stars might wander. Circling without tools, words, or outside light, but making a way slowly through the dark, which is broken, periodically, by moving points. With metronomes or other objects that emit regular pulses of light.