It’s A Secret is a chain of one-to-one verbal stories that only the participants can experience.
The stories exist in each of the participants and will become different in every instance, due to context, memory, language, imagination and time.
Our temptation is to want to know how the story has changed, what the “new” story is. But is this ever really possible? Will it change once it is in us anyway? Do we ever hear the same thing as others? Is a common understanding what holds our social fabric together?
It’s A Secret plays with fiction and truth, secrecy and sharing, gifting and holding back, memory and invention. It invites us to consider the responsibility we have to tell each other stories. It invites us to think of the archive as a trace, not a monument. In a world where fake news proliferates at a much higher rate than truth, what do we choose to tell others?
We will publish a digital trace of the geographic journey of each story. But not the story.
During Farout Festival, a single performer will tell each original story to multiple people per day. Each time the performer tells a story, they will also give a tablet of instructions to the person they are telling the story to. The instructions tell the audience member that they need to find someone to tell the story to and pass the instructions on to, and so on.
If they choose not to pass the story on then they have custody of the tablet, so there is a physical reminder that they are custodian of the story. They have to make a choice to pass the story and tablet on, or they might decide to destroy or dispose of the tablet, or it just hangs around in their possession, creating a weight of responsibility.