On Sunday afternoon, I participated in Project X, a sort of time capsule event created by a theater group called Hand2Mouth. I found out about it when I went to see a play last weekend, and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since.
The event was divided up into multiple stations. There was a main station called ‘ground control’, which was where the lion’s share of the event took place. For brevity’s sake, I will describe it as a place where you listen to other peoples’ stories in headphones, create your own stories, create a timeline of your own life and of events in the broader scope of human history, and choose how you would like to be remembered by future generations. There were ample opportunities to speak, write, draw, or add whatever you felt like adding to the project. There were also opportunities to converse with other random people, and to record those conversations via satellite for posterity.
It was an amazing experience, but it’s also a fairly daunting one. The event asks a lot of its participants, and you have to be prepared to interact in a pretty demanding way. I wasn’t prepared for that, quite frankly. I made it through three of the five stations, in an hour and a half. The two remaining stations were ones that took a bit of time, so I waited numerous times to get in, but each time I found myself turned away because the stations were occupied. At a certain point, I decided to give up. I had been told by my friend to allow about three hours to participate, but since I’d been so busy in the previous few days, I was starting to shut down and become anxious, so I decided to give the last two stations a miss, unfortunately. This exhibit/performance/time capsule/event will also be conducted in Seattle next weekend, at the Bumbershoot festival, and I think that will be a tremendous experience. I have a feeling that if I had done it up there, I’d have been much more likely to participate in all of the events, but since it was here in town, I felt my real life responsibilities creeping back in. What’s more, I felt myself falling instantly in love with one of the women in the group, so I suddenly lost the ability to speak or think in my usual eloquent way.
If you live in the Northwest and are considering seeing the show, I definitely recommend it. Be prepared to be there for quite a while, and know in advance that some of the stations are better equipped than others to handle more than one or two people at a time. Perhaps this will change by the time it has its run in Seattle.
I’m very glad to have been a part of this time capsule, and my metaphorical hat goes off to Hand2Mouth for creating such an amazing event. I hope I’m around in the future to see what becomes of it.