The Conference is a devised one-act puppetry and video theatre piece that explores the idea of striving after knowledge, and turning away from it. The Conference enacts the late ancient concept that all things are ensouled parts of the universe, seeking wisdom. It brings together the modern psychological ideas of object permanence and working memory, the Platonic notions of unchanging Forms and recollections of the soul, the phenomenon of boring travel, and the contemporary culture of academic mastery, all to create a world whose inhabitants have fallen away from their original knowledge, and who seek to regain it by traveling across larger and smaller scales of being.
Using puppetry and live feed projection, The Conference depicts the inner and outer worlds of humans and the objects around them, examining not only what it is like for a human person to experience the persistence of objects and acquire knowledge of them, but also what it is like for objects to develop their own ensouled practice of permanence and remembering. What does the remembered object learn to remember? This human-object dialogue on permanence, memory, learning, and the desire to return to an origin is complicated by the anxiety, boredom, and vulnerability that grows out of unfulfilled desire on the long road toward knowledge. The Conference tackles the desire for wisdom, the performance of knowledge, the fear of looking stupid, and the vulnerabilities of all souls moving through the world in search of certainty.
Created by CB Goodman, Catherine Chin, and Lucas Wilson-Spiro.
Currently in development.
About the Artists
CB Goodman, Director
An artist specializing in devising physical theatre that incorporates disparate source materials and puppetry, blurring the lines between truth, lies, and theatricality.
Catherine Chin, Dramaturg and Playwright
Catherine Chin is a writer and historian interested in ancient conceptions of science, knowledge, and religious transformation.
Lucas Wilson-Spiro, Designer
A graduate of Bates College, Lucas is a projection designer, software artist, and video engineer and is currently based in Cambridge, MA.