I never go anywhere I can’t drive myself
Place and placelessness on two lane byways and info superhighways.
I never go anywhere I can’t drive myself was a Live Art road trip across Route 66 from Chicago to LA uploading local performances and interactions daily. This was the first Curious project and everything was new, the company, our working relationship, the ‘info superhighway’ of the internet where we were documenting our daily encounters on the road and our skills at HTML code.
Still in our twenties, we were also newish. The thing that was old was Route 66 and the people and places we encountered along it, like Dixie Lee Evans and her ranch for retired strippers. Nothing ages as fast as technology and if you care to look at the old site (unchanged) you’ll see that this piece is as redolent with nostalgia as the scent from a 1950s Avon aftershave bottle.
And yet there are many aspects of this work questions about place, about evidence, about presence and most of all about contact and communication within shifting proximities that linger. It laid down a map in our creative practice that we still follow. The greeting / parting questions that are asked most often to travellers on Route 66 are: ‘Where do you come from?’ and ‘Where are you going? We return to these two simple but profound questions again and again in our practice and teaching.
Our first project was largely self-funded. Thanks to our parents for their help! The project was supported by a Travel and Research grant from Arts Council England and produced in association with the Gender in Writing and Performance Research Group of the Open University with site support by the Educational unit of the European Broadcasting Union – thanks to Lizbeth Goodman, Huw Williams and Zara Waldeback.
Publication: “I never go anywhere I can’t drive myself” in Performance Research: On Place, Vol 3 No 2, 1998, pp 102-108.
“While Doris Humphrey’s dance Shakers from (1930), or Enter Achilles (1995), Lloyd Newson’s collaborative work, each in its own way challenged prevailing ideologies, neither matches Paris’s and Hill’s radical view of ‘theatre’ as ‘performance’, as travel through time and space, virtual and real, with audiences seen and unseen.”Janet Adshead-Lansdale, The Routledge Reader in Gender and Performance (1998)