- an excerpt of the performative text "/FLICKER", to be performed at the upcoming exhibition opening at the Scottish Poetry Library. For more info about its performative aspect, please refer to the project statement below.


( blink once every /, cough once every \ )

keep swimming/ upstream baby

your \father is waiting at the end of all this

or maybe he’s just some \guy who says he is your \father

the river doesn’t ask for your /attention

but it gets your /attention anyway

every time you wake up you watch it /flow with a morning /glow

keep /swimming

even if your \father is just some random \guy

you like random \guys anyway

for a random guy your \father is very familiar

keep //swimming

you work hard day and night

and at the end of the rainbow

there is just another bucket of potatoes

ready to be peeled

keep ///swimming

you /have to /go to /sleep

before you can

/wake /up

your \father your \father

keep //sleeping

keep /


This is an excerpt of a longer experimental text where I’ve explored different ways of communicating multiple and sometimes contrasting ideas and images in a text. Parts of the texts, like this excerpt, introduce instruction to make the reading process a more physical or performative experience.

In this particular excerpt, the reader is instructed to blink every time a ‘/’ symbol appears in the text, and to cough every time the ‘\‘ appears. At some points in the text there are even more symbols/instructions (one symbol might represent a sequence of actions, or an action performed multiple times) or even instructions with multiple choices. The letter would allow the reader or performer to choose between different actions depending on interpretation, mood and setting.

In this excerpt, the reader is instructed to cough every time the word ‘father’ and ‘guy’ appears. The text/story itself was intended to be fairly straightforward, in order to introduce the concept, and to more clearly demonstrate the performative quality of the text.

The text can be read in silence like a regular text. It can also be performed in front of an audience. One way of performing the text is having the performer(s) read the text aloud and performing the actions in between. Another way is having the performer(s) read the text itself silently, with only the actions themselves being performed in between the silence. This would strip the text of specific meaning, leaving only the actions to preserve its pace and rhythm. A third way would be a combination of the two, first establishing the relationship between words and actions (‘cough once’ before saying father), and then moving on to reading silently and only performing the actions. This way every time you hear a cough, the audience would likely associate the sound with the word ‘father’, as this connection has been established previously. It would be interesting to explore how this aspect of the performance could bleed into the real world. For instance, what if someone in the audience starts coughing, and then another one?

The project will be explored and performed at various events and in various setting in 2018 and 2019, starting with a performance during the opening of my solo exhibition at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh.