PAW @ 2014 PEN World Voices Festival



For the finale of NYC's 2014 PEN WorldVoices Festival, PAW led nearly one hundred participants, makers, and remote contributors in a Procession of Confessions. Amidst ongoing revelations about clandestine government surveillance, the Procession of Confessions provided a way to reclaim control of our information – by freely offering it up to whoever may be watching. Participants welcomed the chance to publicly flaunt their meta-data, display banal personal details, and reveal the metrics of their misdemeanors in a collective act of exhibitionism. Integrating large-scale puppetry with crowd-sourced sound and live video, this modern-day parade of PENitents coincided with scattered solo performances worldwide joining in a simultaneous Flash-cloud of confessions.

During the Festival, PAW led a series of drop-in workshops to construct and animate visual elements for the Procession. Drawing from the infrastructure of surveillance and the dark theater of Communist-era show trials, volunteers helped embody the specter of government overreach as a nest of arachnid eavesdroppers and cyclopean watchers whose video eyes harvested and webcast the confessions of costumed penitents en route, leaving uneasy questions in their wake.

Click here to watch the New York Times video-doc on the Procession of Confessions.


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