features

Upcoming Arts Transcending Borders Projects: Massively Distributed and TimeSlips

Devyn Forcina

News Editor ‘22

Arts Transcending Borders has been engaged in many exciting projects so far this semester. Kevork Mourad’s immersive  “Memory Gates” installation at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery was on view from March 4 until April 11. As the semester nears its end, ATB continues to pursue projects such as Massively Distributed and TimeSlips, which I had the opportunity to discuss with Lorna Doherty ‘22, the Media and Documentation Coordinator at ATB.

Massively Distributed, an instrument created by Boston-based MASARY Studios, enables “anyone to create artwork that allows for connection to others and place.” Students can submit audio and video clips of campus, and create their own compositions. The goal of this site-specific project, Doherty tells me, is “to embody what Holy Cross looks and sounds like right now, and to create a shared experience of campus and community.”

Screenshot from the Massively Distributed Teaser Video on ATB’s Youtube Page – Screenshot captured by Hui Li ’21

Submissions will be accepted until April 18. Once they are all received, submissions will be projected on the new Prior Center for Performing Arts building. There will be three sessions “for students to come and watch their creations or their friends creations” at a to-be-determined date. 

Arts Transcending Borders is also collaborating with TimeSlips  in a project that Professor Beard’s Montserrat class is working on. Past Montserrats have done this project, although this year’s is an “altered creation to adapt to a virtual platform.” Students are paired with residents, also known as the “storytellers” of this project, at St. Mary, St. Francis, and Medway Manor assisted-living facilities, many of whom suffer from Alzeheimer’s or memory loss.

This specific TimeSlips project is called Beautiful Questions. “The beautiful questions asked are open-ended, so the storyteller has freedom and creativity. They are meant to take control of the narrative.” Students ask their storytellers abstract questions, for example, about the scents that remind them of summertime. “They have explicit permission to be imaginative.” The storytelling sessions, held on either phone or video calls, occur over the course of ten weeks.

Up to seven of these narratives that students transcribe will be made into shadow-puppet shows of the narratives. Their final performances will be shared with their storytellers. “Other TimeSlips projects will potentially continue through ATB, CBL, Montserrat, and other departments.” 

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