"When we asked Moira Williams to explain her “hat” in the show she told us that it was a hat made from bleached newspapers. Newspapers from Bogota Columbia, newspapers that Williams had, while working on her bee-keeping apprenticeship in Columbia, either slept on by night or worn stuffed into her shoes by day. Williams’ specific hope in this was that the words of the newspapers would enter her dreams and she would thus learn Spanish. So, we could try and understand this schematically as, the bees absorb the pollen and make honey while Williams’ body absorbs, in some imprecise way –though perhaps it is a little like the way bees gather pollen– words. Pollen thus becomes honey, while words become knowledge. Words burrow their way –from your dreams, from your feet– into your brain and this is how you come to know something. So in this theory knowledge can be dreamed into a being through bodily contact?
It should be noted that this is better deal than Freud. For Freud, as we all know, the dream was merely a wish fulfillment. The dream satisfied some social, sexual or bodily wish, but only mentally; in the dream. All you woke up with was the wish plus the dream. In Freud the dream is a consolation prize."
I made a hat made from bleached newspapers while I learned how to bee keep in Spanish during a teaching residency in Bogota, Colombia. But I did not know Spanish and my mentor Osorio Perez did not know English. So I slept on the newspapers each night hoping to learn Spanish. In the mornings I would cut out a piece of the newspaper and wear it in my shoes hoping that a Spanish word would travel into my head. Never learning how to speak Spanish, I learned bee keeping through communicated gestures that Osorio and I created together. I practiced the bee keeping gestures each day in the Plaza de Bolívar in Bogota, Colombia. The recordings played through the megaphone in the center of the hat are from each of my bee keeping lessons. I perform the gestures that I learned while bee keeping which are triggered by my mentor's words.
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