We meet again and there is one more of us present Tara Fatehi and Jemima Yong on trains from London find they are interrupted at Gillingham (on replacement buses until Sittingbourne). Jem and Tara arriving a bit late — only an hour (prediction), texting along the way. Karen sitting in a small chair catching up after cleaning and making soup for lunch & bread. “Start work with describing Jem and Karen material from last time.”

We eat, we discuss notebooks dedicated to a specific project, we make a plan involving taking turns leading a section each would like to design.

These are some of my notes

Tara says a wave and do it and dissect it, exaggerate it, and interrupt it and repeat it and vibrate. And now get another lens on it and now stay together, move within the designated area but who is the leader? Pause. Pause. Pause.

The time float, the gravity switch, the not falling, the turning over without meaning to, the surrender to the flow, the fluidity, the cradle, and the cruel indifference of the water. Slow lurking, a rush of resistance, pull together to move faster —thicker air, holds up, holds back, small sway, what is the word for — not eddy, not swirl, not flutter — it’s slower more subtle but more work, not easy. Do we keep our place ever? in the water are we placeless because the constant is motion so we move without leaving where we are? I am an impediment.

Here is my song using notes from Tara’s lead and Jemima’s formula:

She says wave and we do it
she says dissect, there’s nothing to it
we all hang . . . in the distance
We all push . . . against resistance

She says flow, flow, flow with the way of the water
she says “come back here man, give me my daughter”
we all float . . . on the waves without falling
we all sing . . . like the birds who are calling

We take turns watching, two at a time. It’s amazing how we remain people while imitating fish and seaweed. Much more interesting to see the human attempt fail to become other. The falling short is the best part but also includes both the observation of the fish and the distance between us and them.

Notes from a development residency for the project Skywater, Facewater, Underwater Waltz.
Photo: Jemima Yong