Catharsis is local

Apart from the radio and the network, which will be discussed below, we also highlighted the connection between Paradiso and San Francisco by having a person physically travel to and from San Francisco during the 0+Ball. Jan Ruiter was the director of the Mozeshuis and he organized support groups for the friends and family of people with HIV or AIDS in the Mozes and Aaron Church. We had planned for Jan Ruiter to arrive during the final session of the 0+Ball when the quilts were present. His arrival would be part of the catharsis, which we intended to close the manifestation with. In my personal evaluation I think that this was not well orchestrated. We had underestimated the need for 'local' catharsis and had been too naive about this. The ending did not reflect or summarize what had happened in Paradiso. We thought Jan's contribution, literally flying in, would do it. Our local experience had been too intense for this to work. He had not been with us in our place and even though we were connected to San Francisco, our experience in Paradiso had been very different from that which people had experienced in San Francisco.

This lesson of realising that a dramatic line is bound to place and time saved many shows later. Particularly when working with technology, many artists, directors and producers have assumed that the audience will feel the other place's presence via technology. I would argue that this is only possible when the dramatic structures in the here and now are well orchestrated.note 193 The 'drama' is experienced in the here and now, in the time spent with other people who are concurrently present in that same here and now, the drama is experienced in natural witnessed presence. The kind of mediated presence that the radio programme offered, and even the embodiment of distance and connection offered by a person who flew between the two connected places, did not work. No duration was evident in the here and now. These kinds of mediations only work as an element and/or as a moment in a dramatic line that has been orchestrated locally. A mediated dramatic element only works, when it impacts on the environment where it is received, which is why the environment has to be receptive as well. So mediated presence in this sense is completely dependent on the natural presence in the place it is received. I will further elaborate on this insight in the reflection on vital information as well as in the reflection on a crucial social network.

The fact that we, 'our people from Amsterdam', were at the VI International Conference on Aids, and the fact that we were in the streets with ACT UP and that 'our people from Amsterdam' did report to Paradiso, and the fact that Jan Ruiter literally travelled to and from the States during this time zone of 69 hours, was largely meaningful in itself. The fact that we had established media-connections between Paradiso and San Francisco was the message in a McLuhanian sensenote 194 : the connection was living materialized proof that we were actually connected and together in this expanding crisis caused by the epidemic of AIDS. The 0+Network also supported this McLuhanian connection, but in the network valuable information was also exchanged and appreciated, as will be elaborated upon below.