A Percipient Rumination

Our good friend, Annie Morse, graciously pored over data contributed for Deeds of Confinement and wrote this fine essay to help frame our assorted findings.

A viewer studies the results of Deeds of Confinement during the short-lived run of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and Tomorrow at the Design Museum of Chicago.

King Lear: No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even
The natural fool of fortune. Use me well;
You shall have ransom. Let me have surgeons;
I am cut to the brains.               Act IV, Scene IV

A research study was devised and its methodology determined. Data was collected, responses tallied, and a spreadsheet produced. In the process, human events were reduced to data points for comparison and evaluation. Perhaps predictably, they resisted, bursting out of digital cells in which they declined to repose, refusing to answer questions, snarking freely, cluttering the calculations with misdirection and non sequitur.

While these testimonies speak to a shared calamity, individual experiences were as torturous ­– or liberating – as our unique circumstances determined. By imposing structure on the otherwise inchoate drama of our merged anxiety, Documents Bureau comprehends what was incomprehensible.

If there are conclusions to be drawn from these stories, let us be careful to characterize them as anecdotal, as in funny, not as in unreliable. Science was supposed to save us. Reason and logic were to rescue us from madmen and their malevolence. Although our recent imprisonment may seem trivial in the shadow of enormities at home and abroad, in the end it is emotion and affection that deliver us from evil.

Annie Morse
Chicago, IL, April 2022

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