I Miss Doing Nothing

“Watching James and Natalie feel their way into how something felt, the slow and often surprising real-time discovery […] imbues time with a layered, ludic quality, in which the past and present can be made to touch.”

"Time is so weird now. It feels faster. Thicker. More gets done in less time and because of this, more is expected in less time. But also, there is less time spent doing nothing. This speeding up is something we noticed in the late 90’s when we bought computers and opened hotmail accounts and it’s something that has gained momentum when we moved those computers into our pockets. It’s also something that we have profoundly felt as our family grew from two, to three, and then four. Part of this acceleration is natural and has been felt by parents since the dawn of time, but the other part of it is very new. As dance artists our relationships to time, memory and activity is precisely trained and tuned and we wanted to use that sensitivity to shape a work that could explore different ways of feeling time move through us. Could we create an environment that invites and engages, but also creates space for focus to wander, to get lost and then to come back? Could we use plastic orchid factory’s body of work in conjunction with the imperfect nature of memory to shape a dance that is rhythmically sourced in our physiology? Could we devise a piece that asks us to rediscover how to do nothing?" — Natalie and James

plastic orchid factory, marked its 10th anniversary with a new work, i miss doing nothing, created and directed by Natalie LeFebvre Gnam and James Gnam, in collaboration with Nancy Tam, James Proudfoot and Vanessa Goodman. 

Performed at Left of Main over four summer afternoons, i miss doing nothing is a 3-hour living installation layering dance, memory, sound, light and architecture. The work asks if we can perceive the passage of time differently. 

We live in a moment where time seems to have accelerated, constant activity and availability is the rule and not the exception. i miss doing nothing is an immersive performance that responds to the values and the impact of living in continuous action by creating an environment that asks us to focus on the spaces in between activities. Space, sound and movement are organized around the rhythms of memory, breath and patience in order to focus the sensation of time passing within our bodies and imaginations.

Creation and performance — Natalie LeFebvre Gnam, James Gnam, James Proudfoot, Vanessa Goodman

Sound design — Nancy Tam

Set design — Paula Viitanen Aldazosa