NO/I/SE(LF): An Inventory.

Written by Henrietta Bollinger
Edited by Jess Holly Bates

No/i/se(lf): an inventory is the third in our CrossPollination series of creative response writings to performances during Performance Art Week Aotearoa. Henrietta Bollinger is a Wellington playwright and poet. She writes a regular column for Salient on disability issues “Token Cripple.” Here she responds to No/I/Self by Thomas Press and Virginia Frankovich as a part of PAWA.

An inventory of things I collected at No/i/se(lf):

  1. earplugs –  the first gift.  they were needed to mute the willing roars of the earthling audience as they took up the the invitation of two aliens to let out all their deepest frustrations.
  2. silver pipe-cleaner –  quietly stowed away in my handbag, sure of what it was
    meant for, though I think it may have been intended as a pair of antennae.
  3. metallic green balloon – stowed away once more; blowing balloons being oddly,  at twenty-four, a skill i still lack. Several were blown up, burst or let loose to run of off air and drift pathetically to the ground.
  4. yellow balloon – (see above)
  5. A bell –  reserved for a particular moment of orchestral cacophony but
    clanged in my hands at a few unexpected moments, when something else made
    me jump or laugh. I eventually set it down with a dull clink on the floor content to
    watch my fellow audience members lose themselves to the permission the space


This eclectic list offers a window into No/i/se(lf)
a  weird and irreverent wander


the audience was very willing to take with their hosts, who

robed and speaking in an unintelligible tongue  between a child’s dress up box and Mars.


a series of tonal shifts

– rock concert/disco/voice/telecast/orchestra pit.

noise built-faded-BUILT

crescendoes into screams and bursting balloons mixed on stage responsive to some of the soundscape to the audience appeared to be their strangest to stay responsive to their strangest to the audience being mixed and built again this soundscape to stay responsive to the some. Ultimately.
No/i/se(lf) was also

an invitation. As one.  struck on this fractured title my brain

perpetually stuck in a puzzle

there is no ‘I’ in team. there is no ‘I’ in self. there is no ‘I’ in no. there is no ‘I’ in yes.


the noise will erase the individual. the noise is a concerted effort. the noise is not an intentional echo. the noise will focus on drawing. the noise will breath. move. speak/scream

a void. is one organism. which we (joyfully) did.


Written by Henrietta Bollinger

Edited by Jess Holly Bates

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