In several previous works, Hanasaki has performed in front of video projections of her performances. In these works, including “Row Your Boat” (2012), “Across the Visible Babbling” (2019), and “In Other Words” (2020), different themes are explored through a multilayered approach. The layering of the body and its movements accentuates the discrepancy between what happens live, in real-time, and what happens virtually, and lagging. The performances themselves span multiple spaces: the filming locations, the actual performance spaces, and online.
“On Our (My) Way” (October 2020) took place at Shinokubo UGO, in Tokyo, as part of the group exhibition We (You) Are Beautiful. Given the pandemic-induced rise of various forms of distanced interaction, this work engages with the experience of distance in both on- and off-line encounters. Since the onset of the Covid-19 disaster, face-to-face communication has decreased as the internet-mediated exchange has increased in turn. This participatory performance was designed to be experienced across different layers of distance, extending from inside the gallery, out into the street, and onto the internet.
Wearing a face mask and a headset, body dripping with slime, Hanasaki crawls the alleyway in front of the gallery. The face mask makes it hard for people standing outside to hear her, but her voice is audible to people connected online through a virtual meeting app. Gallery-goers could choose to engage with the online component through a computer and microphone set up inside, or they could access the chat via their own phones while simultaneously being with the artist outside.
Despite the physical proximity, there was little direct communication happening between people on the street. There was a palpable feeling of distance for virtual participants, too, who could only see into certain aspects of the situation, with a relatively lower level of context. As the performance progressed, however, the interplay between Hanasaki and the online participants also yielded in-person interactions that may have occurred only because internet-mediated communication was involved.
With the video call open for anyone to access during the period of the performance, what took place online could be considered akin to a street-like public situation, albeit with a greater degree of control over one’s anonymity. A different communicative potential was activated on this virtual street, leading to a particularly warm moment when someone online responded to Hanasaki with a call for a drink, which someone inside the gallery quickly delivered to the artist.
“On Our (My) Way” marks the first in this mode of Hanasaki’s performance work in which internet-mediated oral communication played a central role. For viewers and participants who experienced the event and took part in realizing this multilayered process of interaction, the introduction of this technology provided an opportunity for reflection on the state of communication today.
花崎はこれまでにも《Row Your Boat (2012) 》、《Across the Visible Babbling (2019) 》、《In Other Words (2020) 》等の作品で、パフォーマンスを撮影した動画をパフォーマンス中に投影することで、そこに生じる多層的な身体・行為的要素、リアルタイム（現在）・タイムラグ（過去）といった時間的要素、パフォーマンス空間・撮影現場・インターネット上に生じる空間的要素を、各作品のテーマにそって扱うパフォーマンスをおこなってきた。
《On Our (My) Way》は、「パンデミック禍におけるオン/オフラインのコミュニケーションと距離感」をテーマに、2020年10月、新大久保UGOのグループ展「We (You) Are Beautiful!」で実施された。コロナ禍以降、対面の交流が減少し、オンラインを介した交流が増加するなかで、様々な距離感を伴ったコミュニケーションのあり方が生まれてきている。今作は、そういった変化の中で、路上・展示会場・インターネット上を横断しながら、多層的な距離感の中で実施された参加型のパフォーマンスである。