INTERVIEW WITH A TICK
The variations were followed by an “interview” session in which the participants returned in their imaginations to what they had just done and spoke about their re-imagined and relived experiences. The aim was to give them the opportunity to re-imagine those experiences and, in this way, to carry on to completion. The facilitator led the rememorizing session, in line with the questions he posed.
Once again, the session was based on a technique developed and practised with the Other Spaces group. It was originally used as a part of an exercise in which participants visit the body of a plant, after which an assistant interviews them about their experience. The private rememorising session was followed by a 30-minute open session in which all the participants and their assistants shared their feedback with the facilitator.
The course and structure of the interview
The session took place in the shadowy courtyard of the building, next to the back yard where the three variations were realised. The interviewees sat on the stony ground, eyes closed, in a comfortable position. The oral accounts were recorded on cell phones. The assistant sat next to the participant and held the phone close to her face. Each one spoke the language she preferred, almost silently but loud enough for the interviewer to hear the responses. Below are the instructions and the questions posed by facilitator during the first part of the session.
Now, let´s rememorize in our imaginations what just happened. First, move in your imagination from one variation to another. Back and forth. In any order you like. Try to combine the experiences and forget the human behaviour in-between them. Do not worry if you lose concentration. Just return to the task. Try to speak from the point of view of the thing you are. Do not worry if it feels paradoxical. Speak loud enough for the facilitator to hear.
Are you ready to listen to me? Please say: “Yeah”.
Describe the sensory and corporeal feelings you have as this “thing”.
Is there something, one or several things, that draws your attention?
What is happening there right now?
What do you desire as this thing you are?
How does that thing feel right now?
Now, let´s get back to your normal human state of mind. I will count down from 5 to 1. When I say “one”, the tick experience is over.
After the interviews the participants discussed as a group, answering one by one the questions posed by the facilitator. The assistants were present during the discussion, and gave their feedback at the end. The session was recorded by the facilitator. The facilitator asked the following questions in the open session:
Let´s first concentrate on the analysis of the experience itself. At the end, you are free to discuss and criticise the research and the arrangements.
1) Could you manage to combine the experiences related to the variations?
2) Did the exercise change your way of experiencing? If it did, could you describe how the whole experiment changed your way of experiencing? If it did not, did it at least lead to you making observations related to the subject matter?
3) What did you experience outside the given tasks?
4) Did you make any significant discoveries concerning the extent to which human experience and tick experience are similar, related or different?
5) How would you improve the research setting?
After the discussion the three assistants gave their feedback. Finally, the group agreed on the communication aspects and the use of the documentation. All three participants were ready to share their sound files with the facilitator. The following analysis is based on the contents of those files, as well as on the recording of the discussion.
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