Speculators In Shush

Closing presentation and performance by Blitz Resident Claire Tolan
5 March 2016

Part of the Blitz Residency Programme – learn more about the programme and its residents here.

Claire Tolan presents and performs works created during her month-long stay in Malta. At the centre of the evening will be a public performance of a new table-top role-playing game (RPG), SPECULATORS IN SHUSH. SPECULATORS IN SHUSH extends the creation myth of Tolan’s company of soothing, SHUSH SYSTEMS, deploying it in a Dungeons and Dragons-esque game-as-interactive-performance.

SPECULATORS IN SHUSH will also comprise an exhibition of the materials that Tolan created in preparation for the game, as well an audio tour that guides attendees through the installation and into the space of the game itself. Finally, there will be a small sound installation of Tolan’s existing work.

Since 2014, Tolan has worked extensively with ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response [1], on the radio and in recording, installation, writing, and performance.

Tolan’s recent work moves away from ASMR-as-tingling-phenomenon, focusing instead on rituals of soothing via interactive performances and recordings. How is the individual soothed in the face of the anxiety triggered by complex systems like states, finance, and climate change? And, if we break this soothing into a taxonomy of coping mechanisms, spin the mechanisms around, and perform them collectively as rituals, can we change our understanding of these systems? Could we even develop more strategic, empowered ways of encountering them?

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