A workshop developed over a two-day shoot with a community of dancers, friends, and internet-culled participants. Each day, together, the group read a script focusing on accountability, trust, and support. Whether or not these foci were fully believed, they were to be borne in mind throughout the participation. Each member practiced trust-falls with these friends and strangers, and were encouraged to dare a drop taller than felt comfortable. Members were informed that each was responsible for every last other. If member A hurt member B, member C would be equally responsible for remedy and for care. Each action, good and bad, physical or psychical, however small, carries consequences for every other being, our own being included. There are no such thing as by-standers. To really support each other is, then, a form of radical, intentional, interdependent presence.
Our society’s dominant self-conception— “the social” coalescing from isolated, transacting individuals and skittish, discrete bodies— has it completely reversed. In this distorted picture of society, connection and support and radical presence are seen as a burden. When really, if we let go, we come to understand it as a deeper social reality— and a net gain. An unseen thicket of limbs, words, and gestures holds us all up, and in our networked being, the smallest efforts can sometimes mean salvation for another and the softest touches have the most forceful effects. Members were to realize these efforts and effects together. They were to test the enormous tangle of support that in our everyday goes untrusted, particularly among those of us— the exhausted, the skittish— that require it most. Drew McDowall’s sounds, as you can hear, are the signals between bodies, signals that travel invisibly along some taut netting or medium that previously we were unable to fully appreciate.