During the pandemic, I was invited to carry out an artistic work as part of the Shop Windows of Art curator project organised by the Magdalena Abakanowicz University of the Arts in Poznań (UAP) in an empty space of a former commercial and service premises in the city centre of Poznań. The place seemed to be a great meeting place. Next to it, there was a tram stop, a kebab bar, Indian and Korean grocery stores, a Żabka convenience store, a pharmacy and a hairdresser. This fairly large variety of establishments encouraged me to participate in the project. I wondered what I should present in order to keep social distancing, draw the audience’s attention to the problem of social atomisation and, at the same time, show the interrelationships and give all of it a coherent structure. I decided to create a living, processual activity that would allow for direct participation in the event. I came up with the idea of a performative audio-visual art performance modelled on instrumental theatre. ‘Its action, free from the plot axis and cause-effect sequences, subjected to the laws of chance, took place spontaneously.’ (Z. Skowron, Nowa muzyka amerykańska, Kraków: Musica Jagellonica, 1995, p. 305.)
The performance combined an improvised piece of music with the actors’ movements and gestures, phonically treated words, light and stage setting – all these elements were completely subordinated to each other, creating a ‘network of connections’ (Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory, New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.)
The presence of actors playing their roles with the use of props creating sensory space (similar to the foley technique) influenced the shape and structure of the sound piece. There were sounds of fat sucked with a humming vacuum cleaner, rustling steps taken by an actor walking on litter in a cat litter box, rhythmic boxing, penetrating radio waves, mantric bells attached to a dancing hand, impulsive drawing, and minimal squeaking of an egg shell supported by the head. The sounds were picked up inside the room by microphones focused on the actors’ gestures, mixed in real time and conveyed outside the window of the site where the performance took place.