Typist sits at desk with electric typewriter, stack of semi-translucent white paper and tape (or stapler).
There is one empty seat across from the Typist.
The Typist invites a person to participate in a short interaction with him or her.
-Shake the person’s hand in welcome.
The only stipulation is that any statements they make must be True.
-The Typist puts a new page in the typewriter.
-The Typist remains absolutely resolved on the task at hand.
“Who are you right now?”
-Encourage them to elaborate by verbal and non-verbal cues.
-Make 3 overt gestures for more elaboration, thought, or information before being satisfied with their answer.
-Attempt only to repeat the question with more or less emphasis for new meanings, or keep the quest for elaboration minimally verbally.
-Type everything they say, including filler words and stumbles.
-When they reach a pause, move to the next line on the page.
-Ask for them to speak more slowly.
-Ask them to repeat what they just said at least one time during your interaction. Type the first and second version of their statement.
-Make eye contact when you are not typing.
“How did you come to be here?”
-Again, use 3 gestures for more elaboration before finishing.
-Repeat steps above.
Finish either when 3 attempts at each question have been satisfied, or when the page is filled.
Notes on the piece:
In this piece, I am looking at the individual’s search for self only in the healthy terms of community. By premising the Truth stipulation, the Typist has no way of knowing if the participant is holding reasonably to that agreement other than trusting their desire to be honest. This always leaves room for choice between the two, to intentionally build trust or to deceive for various reasons. The ultimate consequence to this piece, like relationship, when trust is broken is laid upon the conscience of the aggressor.
While no significant answer to these two questions may be established, this piece reflects the eternal task of asking and seeking with others. The participant may not have asked these questions alone. They probably would not have moved past the first elaboration alone. They certainly would not have withstood the audible, visual, mental distractions alone. They definitely would not have remembered alone.
The interaction becomes less about what the person said in response to the questions, and more about how they responded.
The literal form of transcription through the hand of mishearing, interpreting person by the mechanics of a malfunctioning analog device points both to the perpetually flawed state we find our community in… and yet, when the flaws are bathed in truth and love, with respect for the answers and the questions, the whole process becomes a reflection of necessity.