Audio Intro via YouTube
Artist Statement: The internet is about connection. Data connection, human connection, intellectual and dating connection and a myriad of more. The anonymity of it allows us to be ourselves in ways we might not feel comfortable in person, and this can be manifested in both positive and negative ways.
Back in 2000, when dial-up connected us to the World Wide Web, along with aol, chat rooms, and that annoying dancing hamster, LiveJournal emerged as an early social networking site, before that was even a term. LiveJournal is an anonymous and public journal platform, where strangers can comment and discuss your posts.
I will be reading aloud 5 unedited sequential posts from my LiveJournal in the winter of 2001-2002. The journal as an archive is a way to explore, express, and in this case seek support. The issues and struggles of being a daughter and sibling of people with mental illness are performed verbatim. In between each reading of an entry, I will interact with the participant/audience members who have taken the name badges and roles; Social Worker, Family Doctor, Psychiatrist, & Guidance Counsellor, by asking the question, “What should I do?”
Each discipline within the mental health system had different advice. And the truth is, 14 years later I am still asking the same question, along with thousands of other people struggling to support their loved ones with Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.
By reliving these questions I asked as a teen, I take comfort in the fact that this feeling of not knowing what to do is cyclical, just like mental illness. That time moves at different paces. I see that at present with our societal view of mental illness, there are simultaneously no answers to my questions, and too many that do nothing.
This performance was a final work for a Cultural Production Class, ENVS 6348 at York University, December 2015.