The Cruise

Feb 12, 2012: 12am- 11:59 pm
WGXC 90.7-FM: Radio for Open Ears

90.7-FM in NY's Upper Hudson Valley and everywhere

The Cruise is based on an eight-week long performance eteam did in 2010 at Smack Mellon Gallery, for which the gallery had been transformed into the tea room of a cruise liner. Parts of the room were equipped with tables and chairs, a buffet and an automated piano. On the wall was a projection of two large portholes showing the wake the moving vessel left behind as she crossed the oceans.

Writes eteam, "On a cruise ship those who are hired have to stay on the job at least until the next harbor is reached, yet some still leave their job earlier. A man named Jack is an example of that. During his first week onboard, he suddenly disappeared without leaving any traces. He was replaced by a woman who had been working in another area of the ship before. For the next seven weeks, while she was cleaning the tea room daily from noon – 2 p.m., serving tea and sandwiches as a waitress from 2-5 p.m., and cleaning the dishes from 5-6 p.m. for most parts of the day in solitude, she was gliding into a habit where every task she performed was based on numbers. Numbers of footsteps, numbers of words spoken, tea drinkers who appeared, non tea drinkers who weren’t present, cuts and chops that were necessary to prepare the sandwiches, waves that passed, temperatures that dropped, gravity that pulled etc. She called this system 'my stats'."

Eteam became fascinated. They returned to the tea room almost on a daily basis and started observing her. Based on these observations and the log the waitress kept, eteam wrote a script that covered 6 days onboard the ship. Each day follows the same routine. Every day is identical in the amounts of words thought, but different in the combination of letters these words use.

The 3.5 hour monologue presented here was recorded with Maja Sweeny at EMPAC in Troy.