My apprehension was thoroughly misplaced however, as Charles Ball and Scott Sneddon’s performance artwork The Farthest Possible Distance You Can Be Away Away Away From Me (or The Farthest Possible Distance) eloquently portrayed the wonders and limitations of contemporary relationships.
The Farthest Possible Distance was an interstate collaboration between Ball and Sneddon, with the latter communicating with us via Skype from his Melbourne home. Sneddon’s long distance relationship formed the basis of the performance, while Ball helped us navigate strings arranged around the room like an Indiana Jones booby trap.
While I was somewhat hesitant to engage in this new performer-audience dynamic, Sneddon was generous in disclosing his personal anguish. Listening to his past electronic messages to his partner, all the while resting my hand on the shoulder of a perfect stranger, poetically demonstrated our instinctive need for connection.
The Farthest Distance, while demonstrating the expressive possibilities of online collaboration, powerfully signalled the centrality of emotional and physical companionship to the human experience.
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