by Jean Brennan
A score for nondiscursive communication with(in) a grove of red pines somewhere in the Catskills.
Old growth forests, clear cut in the 1800s via access provided by the Erie Canal, were ‘replanted’ by the Civilian Conservation Corps during FDR’s New Deal. Nearly 100 years later, these expansive single species tree plots possess the uncanny quality of a symmetrical plantation, gone wild.
Semaphore flags, developed in 1792, augment the body to communicate messages across distances of land and sea. This piece—less concerned with the symbolic meaning of the alphabet—uses the patterning of movement, color, form and sound to create indexical, rather than symbolic, signs. It considers how meaning is constructed in human and nonhuman worlds and imagines a space for communication between.
Performed by Felicia Ballos, Jean Brennan, Elizabeth Castagna, Alexa Beckham, and Amanda Punsoda. Cinematography by Rob Featherstone. Clothing by Colorant.