As a person working in the field of live performances, I’m always interested in the differences between what it feels like in the space and what it feels like to watch through a screen. The Superscript conference underway at the Walker Art Center is available via a live stream online and will also be archived, but here’s what it feels like for one body in the room.
There are 300 red seats in the theater. The light are at half-mast, high enough that I can see my notes, low enough that the projected images on the stage are visible. There are some shadows at the back you could hide in if you wanted to. Some people take notes in little notebooks, lots of people are on their laptops or phones. I’m sitting behind Hrag; I watch him take a picture of the panel and then I see it show up on a Twitter feed on a laptop two rows in front of me.
The people around me include: a sweet youngster who just graduated from college and his mom told him about the conference; a woman wearing a beautiful full-body pink ensemble, including hot pink high tops; a Minneapolis writer/curator whose work I’ve admired online. The mood feels warm, supportive. There are no Pollyannas here, but there’s a refreshing lack of doom-and-gloom.
I’m 35 and I don’t feel young or old at this gathering. There’s maybe 250 of us. Probably more women than men. I’m white and most of the other faces I see, in the audience and on the panels, are also white. It’s hard to see who has the microphone when people are asking questions, and so they are anonymous voices.
Sebastian Joe’s down the road has the most delectable oreo ice cream, but kinda terrible coffee (which I have nonetheless bought two days in a row. Have also spilled it on myself for two days in a row.) The burrito bar is not free.