Fifty images on a screen

Last night, poet Ray Hsu and I performed at 330 W Pender, an early-1900’s bank currently being restored by Heritage Vancouver. We improvised stories, in conversation with each other, which corresponded to fifty random images projected in sequence onto a large screen behind us. At several points during the performance, Ray read from his book of poems Cold Sleep Permanent Afternoon, newly released by Nightwood. My favourite response from an audience member afterward: “I loved it. I had no idea what was going on.”

Throughout the night, I passed the vault door at the back of the room — twice my height, made of steel several feet thick, two wheels to open the dual-control combination lock system. A dual-control system requires that two people work simultaneously to open the vault — collaboration as security measure and the creation of a shared solution. The most frequent comment I overheard: “That door looks like a movie set.”

My thanks to writer/actor Testsuro Shigematsu for his generous input during our preparations.

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