call me from
the second floor
selected project in Asian Performing Artists Lab 2021
The work-in-progress presentation is presented in the online program AmnAsia.2 by Berliner Ringtheater on 09.05.2021 and further invited to Performing Arts Festival (PAF) on 27.05.2021 in Berlin, Germany.
Mariah Carey released her album Butterfly in 1997. Whenever You Call is the love song she duets with Brian McKnight on the album. I can never forget the first time hearing this song from the radio. Mariah’s signature melismatic R&B singing style is always incredible. What stuns me the most is how Mariah and Brian’s voices start from two very separate ends, travelling through all the loneliness and isolated nights and finally merging into a complete one at the climax of the song.
Legendary cellphone Nokia 3310 was released in the market three years later, in 2000. Turning on the phone, the first image you see on the screen features two hands gently reaching toward each other, a contemporary take of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam, before the unforgettable slogan appears: Nokia - Connecting People.
Nowadays, there is no need to be in the same room with someone for a duet. You can easily find your own Brian McKnight anywhere online in a karaoke app. The development of mobile phones has changed the definition of what it means to be “connected.” Likewise, when a sudden disease spreads all over the world, the distance we maintain to feel connected requires a remeasurement. Now it’s 1.5 meters.
Call Me From the Second Floor aims to recall the intimacy we lost since lockdown has become the new normal. Audiences will be placed from a far and safe distance watching the show with binoculars and headphones. The enlarged image through the lenses and the amplified ASMR sound will give the audience the immersive experience of observing how a body rebuilds its own motion in the time that we are only allowed to watch each other from a distance, in the time that our connection is all depending on the strength of a wifi signal, in the time that Mariah’s “Whenever You Call” implies a scheduled FaceTime call.
I won't ever be too far away to feel you / And I won't hesitate at all / Whenever you call.