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Hyper-meta-Zoom-surfing with Grey Box Collective

August 1, 2020

On Saturday May 30th I joined Greybox collective for an evening of virtual performance via the meeting software Zoom: ON REPEAT / asses in seats. For the duration of the show I improvised my hand across notebook pages continuously improvising in words for the duration of the performance. 

Note: italicized text is quoted (as accurately as possible) from text, music, and dialogue in the show.

Waiting for the Host to let you in … joining meeting. 
meaning assembly of people
meaning come together to discuss topics
meaning gather — together in civility.
I think I am / we are still breathing.
Choose my own adventure — video on or,
OFF, definitely off. 
At least 4 days un-showered, wearing barely more than raw grief and underwear. 
Peruse the multi-verse, who’s behind all these black squares, head in box talks the metatextual surface radiates, chat function to integrate audience conversation into the performance. Participation.
I am participating in this meeting.
I am aware that I am breathing. 
Camera on. I’m waffling in dimmed light with vulnerable highlights—
and this is just the intro. 
Black text scrolling fast on the white backing
catch it in bits and pieces, there’s music radiating
How many lies must I become?
Permission given. 
Offered. Off, again. 
It’s too much to be on, now, too. 
You know what to do. (x2)
A game of Bingo
your life
emphasis on freedom
change your mind as you go
free to change
as you go.

It started with a question:
Anyone want to do something?

First dust storm of the season 


Grief and Uncertainty loom
artists turn to movement—
Psychic Dreamwalking

with the family,
establish faces in spaces.
Ensemble of three, intimate
domestic activities.
A moment of pause, then
thunder to the north
a cough/ sneeze unseen
Nelly Furtado and Timbaland break in
on a triple distilled speaker
promiscuous girl
Notice how we’re all
sitting on the floor. 


Get up and dance.


To the bathroom, together apart
wash my hands (repeat x3)
21 seconds

A bra — I don’t wear those
JR Watkins always reminds me of my Mom.
And I miss her, now. 
Wonder what she’s up to—
Back to the bathroom
Hand Washing (repeat x3)
Don’t forget to wash your elbow pit!


 Photo courtesy of Grey Box Collective


Chelsea will lead us in doing our make-up.
A tutorial. 
I lose video
between thunder and foundation, I hear
pasta sauce to paint — do what feels right for you.
A few minutes pass
Video back:
Foundation of glitter.
Blend it.
Eye-liner or permanent marker — another choose you own adventure.
It’s OK, no one can see us!
I send some emojis on the chat and end with the Honey Pot because this is a sweet dish. The squiggle brows are truly something special. 


Can you really do anything in isolation?
Virus can’t discriminate, people can. 
Social Distance. 
Fucked up system, well-oiled, working blisters.


Cleanse that sole! 
Put your foot in the sink, lather it up
mine is really dirty
I love a good foot wash.

Towel it dry and transition
to the closet—
I go to the closet to crack my back
for the acoustics.


in a studio apartment with Mom,
another handwashing (repeat x3)
Has anyone ever invaded the dream space?
Like in the history of ever? Or, like
of you three?
A new song for clean hands,
Melody on a ukulele.
I feel dry watching all this washing.
Dry and Dirty.
I’m tired of running let’s walk for a minute
Another face, friendship
fitting in the empty
kitchen cupboard
goth clown 
goings on


Clean your computer of viruses, too.
I can’t stop thinking
about this storm
fires and curfew
the same song on repeat.
it’s ok, it’s alright
I got something that you might like
the second you clean
your hands you get
more bacteria on them

Hands are streets
forearm highway over blood
heart beats.
I am breathing
I need to be—
camera reveals empty 
open room
The most important part of the day.
Meaning make with pen on paper.


 Photo courtesy of Grey Box Collective


I sing the songs that remind me of the good times
I sing the songs that remind me of the best times

Twenty-one seconds or eight minutes
Wash, repeat (x3)
nose is the window to the brain

glitter on a pimple
Wash, repeat (x3)
Thumb doing whatever it wants
My mother has a sailor mouth
<3 <3 <3


I think of charger girls, Plug. 
Camera Angles. Angels.
Some chest, an arm.
Foot and lower leg.
Life as we know it be shifting.
Wash, repeat (x3)

Take Five.


Cause it’s light work


With Beyoncé and Kendrick:
Tryna rain, tryna rain on the thunder
Tell the storm I'm new
I'm a wall, come and march on the regular
Painting white flags blue
Lord forgive me, I've been running
Running blind in truth

Freedom! Freedom! I can't move
Freedom, cut me loose!
Singin', freedom! Freedom! Where are you?
Cause I need freedom too!



asses in seats


I gotta go
I love you
Hope to see you zoon(m)


Hyperreal adjusting 


when’s the last time we all hugged?
texting “DO NOT TEXT”
I don’t think you’re made for the life I lead


the existential question
horny for the game
in my room


NOW on Instagram live, too!
so meta
did I


 Photo courtesy of Grey Box Collective


The Addams Family is a fantastic piece of goth cinema.
Healthy family relationships
on screen.


New intimacy
in the closet
what the webcam doesn’t see:
queer construct
depending on where you are, people perceive you differently 
and getting alcohol on delivery—
we’re living in a future that feels
we’re living in a culture that feels like
something different
like culture on repeat


The jarring transition between warm tone
perception, culture, religion
and cool blue white
delivery green weed
I think it’s hard 


What is happening? 
Twist of a nose ring


I’m queer because I’m mistaken for things.
I’m uncomfortable with androgyny and racial ambiguity. 

I want to know more.
The threads of speech were disparate
now converging
on complicit privilege
it’s not tough for me, that’s the point.
If it isn’t about your voice, then what are you saying?


Back to dating. Initiate FaceTime  
with “DO NOT TEXT”.
Loneliness, and no one
Profile: no cops. no soldiers.
Lot’s of pics. 
Gone Fishing. 


Photo courtesy of Grey Box Collective 


screen on 
screen on screen
I’m queasy
feedback interrupting
like analog glitch
ag- agile, adapt- apting.


on the bathroom floor
camera off I
sit and listen.


My mother says I’m an entity
with sentience

with sentences
I want to go outside
mother gender
in between


click, pause, quiet

pretend we don’t know what’s next
Three strands make a narrative braid:
can anyone find me
the bolt cutters
to love.


A name floating in dark grey
the beat drops
I want the world to know
there’s a new me
coming out
and I just want to live


Get up and dance.


I am aware that I am breathing.



Ada McCartney is an educator, literary artist, and contemplative movement practitioner. Born in Colon, Michigan, she now resides in Tempe, Arizona. The aim of her work is to find metaphor, extrapolate meaning, to liberate herself from oppressive socialization, and to explore the internal~external landscape with unencumbered attention to detail. 

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