The Room began in Spring of 2020. At this time Anna lived in Baltimore. Chloë lived in Upstate New York. We wanted to create a dance that we could do over the phone. And so, we began to practice a way of being we now call, Collaborative Imagining.
Collaborative Imagining is a practice in which two or more people collectively devise an imaginary shared experience. Interacting with and within an imaginative landscape creates opportunities for understanding ourselves and others outside of conventional logic. When relating through collaborative imagining time is malleable, sensation is magnified, and cause & effect hold poetic meaning. A sigh can cause a hurricane. A tear can become a flood and suddenly you are an island.
The Room was performed live via telephone as I Want to Be and was iterated into a board game as The Space is a Body and You Are In It.
We have developed a workshop form of The Room which we have taught through Deep Play Institute and independently.
Online, we practice with cameras turned off and an internal focus. Using structured improvisational play, we guide the group through a series of verbal scores. Once these scores become familiar, they are combined to generate an improvisational field of creation and existence.
Through imaginary play, we can both experience and witness ourselves navigating the relationship between autonomy and consensus. Together, in virtual space, we will explore questions of shared reality: How do I imagine you? How do you imagine me? Can we ever really imagine the same thing?
In January 2023 we did a four-session longform campaign with participants online.
Here’s what one of them said:
“Someone should join a campaign in order to remember how to imagine and experiment with a lot of support. Sometimes delving into fantasy and strange exercises can be kind of disorienting, even really fuck with your sense of self. But this is a space that is held with care, where you can experience heavy feelings like sadness and fear and elation in this kind of psychically safe way.“
“It is healthy, fun, silly, profound, and real.“
Our next campaign will be hosted through School of Making and Thinking in October 2023.