Play, Practice, Prototype, Critique
This publication, was conceived to be released at the end of each financial quarter, weaving together a daily timeline of actions by the Trump administration with acts absurdist theatre. The medium used is a large format broadsheet in newsprint; resembling a newspaper, it’s timeline mirroring an endless ticker of events and updates. Wikipedia, a platform of information that is sustained with collective effort of accumulation and editing, was used as the source of the administrations timeline since inauguration.
Wikipedia frequently appears in my work as I favor the open source work of multiple authors, this pairing to influence the audience understanding of my feelings about publishing and authorship.
Absurdist Revisions also uses text unarchived from a period of play writing developed after the horrors of the first world war. Critic Martin Essin coined the movement in his 1962 essay Theatre of the Absurd. He writes, The Theatre of the Absurd attacks the comfortable certainties of religious or political orthodoxy. It aims to shock its audience out of complacency, to bring it face to face with the harsh facts of the human situation as these writers see it.
The text in the first issue includes Act I of Genet’s The Balcony and a collectively compiled wikipedia list of the White House events from inauguration day until the end of the first financial quarter. Footnotes are pulled and cross referenced in both texts to create a dialogue between the content. Taken out of original historic context, my hope is that the audience allows both the play and our current political moment to take on new meaning and perspective.
The typographic play mirrors the tone and chaotic nature of the narrative. Besides my own editors forward, no additional texts are added. I was unable to ever make another copy because of the emotional toll and endurance it took to produce the first time around — meticulously reading the timeline of Trump presidency was exhausting. Multiple times I have attempted to find a way to automate this process but I think that would feel like the piece was emptied out of the impact it had on me and render it meaningless.
This is the website of Annaka Olsen. firstname.lastname@example.org