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Incredible Witness

Saturday, April 2nd 2016 to Sunday, April 3rd 2016
Event Description: 

April 2-3: Incredible Witness: a project of Lauren Bierly, Clarinda Mac Low, and Allison Parrish, with contributions from Chris Cochrane
Saturday, April 2nd, 1-6pm
Sunday, April 3rd, 1-6pm

The Grapheme Color Machine: Letters become colors (based on synesthesia)
The Direction Game: Tours led by the direction-blind. (Starts every hour on the hour from 2-5 PM. Sign up HERE)
The Association Map: Scrambling everyday sensory associations
The Color Blind: An installation based on red-green color “blindness.”
Ludwig’s Feast: A sorgasboard of snacks based on Wittgenstein’s “Remarks on Colour.”
Onsite game-making: Make your own sensory games (Starts every hour on the half hour from 1:30-4:30 PM. Sign up HERE)
Personal Interviews (Are YOU an Incredible Witness?)

Incredible Witness is a funhouse exercise in phenomenology and the physics of compassion, an interactive and participatory laboratory positing sensory perception as the basis for empathetic connection. The piece asks: how can people ever be “credible witnesses” when even the most basic perceptions, such as color vision or spatial awareness, differ drastically from person to person? We live in a historical period where the traditional binaries are breaking down, and some of the most basic assumptions about social life and hierarchies are falling apart–the formerly mainstream pieties around gender, race, and sexuality are being called into question, and as these structures fall, Incredible Witness asks–what next? How do we encourage this disintegration, and how do we now accept each other fully, beyond the categories?

In the Incredible Witness laboratory, we invite you into unusual perceptual worlds with the aim of bringing home viscerally how different each person’s experience of the world can be. We also want to know about your own perceptual quirks and realities. Our experimental arsenal includes games, game-based interactive environments, augmented reality, performances, and online and in‐person interviews. We want to encourage people to think carefully about each person’s experience, and question (perceptual) authority. Through this process, we are aiming to side‐step political rhetoric and go straight to the body to nurture empathetic and compassionate consciousness.