In Tangier, we invite conference attendees to step out of the conference bubble and into the city of Tangier. Each small group will travel with a guide to a different part of the city–we don’t yet know what serendipitous experiences will find you. Each small group will land in a different Internet cafe where you will have an opportunity to share ideas virtually with small groups of colleagues in other parts of the world. We will then return to a common site to share tea and dessert and compare notes about their experiences of the various parts of the city and the contents of their conversations.
We hope this project will address conference themes as manifest in this ostensibly synchronous media that nonetheless draws attention to the differences in temporalities, spatial contexts and cultural contexts. While in our last performance, Wish You Were Here, we explored the often uncomfortable frustrations of intermediality, in Tangier, we prefer to emphasize the pleasures of mediated companionship. Together we will use a technological network to connect two existing social networks, charging each with a performativity that is intensely localized yet global. While much attention is given to the revolutionary or mind-numbing potential of social media, we wish to celebrate the small-scale aesthetic and intellectual encounters they make possible. We hope to elicit a moment of relaxed cultural contemplation, a consideration of place from an attitude similar to that which Brecht imagined for his “smoker’s theatre.”
As important as the mediated connections in this project are, the ‘unmediated’ experience of the city (in traveling to and from a location remote from the conference) is vital; a significant part of this project is the the construction of a hand-made, idiosyncratic map, a map that reflects not official tourist destinations but rather the city as seen through the eyes of locals and visitors. Such map-making is part of our engagement as artists with unfamiliar places.