Dinner Table is an audiovisual meditation on the interior world and the way this realm of thought (organised; disorganised) interacts with the external social world. In the room is a simple scene of a dinner amongst three friends. We see a dinner table and three empty seats. Behind the table, film footage of the conversation is projected onto the three back walls—each wall playing one of the guest’s first-person perspective from their respective chairs. We hear and see everything: Words are spoken, others withheld. Glances are exchanged, some missed. The conversation reaches peaks, at times dips into silence. On the table in front of each seat lies pair of headphones. A portal—when worn, the viewer hears the internal thoughts of that guest, playing out in real-time with the outside conversation. A stream of desires, anxieties, honest thoughts, straying ideas—offering us insights, revelations and complications to the table conversation. The viewer a unique chance to explore beneath the externality of the scene and to experience another person’s inner world, and the interaction between these two.
In terms of the effect we want to have on the audience, the feel of the piece is designed to be contemplative, cerebral, and existential. Being in the space, you’re invited to sit with your thoughts—though in this instance, the thoughts are someone else’s. We want the audience to contemplate the perspectives and subjectivities of the people around them. It is open to interpretation, but might invoke some of the following questions: What might hearing someone’s internal thoughts reveal about that person? Does listening to someone’s thoughts help you know them better, or create more confusion? Is there a disconnect between our internal thoughts and the words we say? How small or large is that gap, and can it be bridged? How might a single conversation be interpreted differently by each person? Are we really that different from each other?