The consequences of endeavors to attain a certain goal that cannot be encompassed within that preset goal are known as "side-effects" or "by-products.” The inherent paradox of these unintended outcomes is that in spite of being produced only through the setting of a goal, they cannot become a goal in themselves. That is why the receiver of these peripheral products and effects that emerge on the side of the path towards a destination is (if not your future self) always others who arrive later.
The strangely titled performance Island Eye Island Ear, conceived some 50 years ago, set as its goal the turning of an entire island into a musical instrument and revealing its nature using technology. Audience members were to indirectly see and hear the wind and other natural phenomena that cannot be seen or heard as such via the changes in the sound beams, fog, and kites that were spread across the island. This project, which failed to materialize despite a decade-long effort, has, however, produced many interesting by-products over the years.
Recently, I became involved in the process of reconsidering this unrealized performance with some of its original project members. A revisit to Knavelskar island, the original location of the project in Sweden three years ago with Julie Martin led unexpectedly to an event in Japan; and as a surprising consequence of that event, we are starting a three-year project based in Sapporo, Japan. Perhaps it might not be too far-fetched to regard the chain of by-products emerging from pursuing the realization of a performance that was never actually staged, as forming the nature of an extremely durational performance of Island Eye Island Ear. If the "occult nature" that Tudor pursued with his collaborators half a century ago is an effect that is revealed only at the periphery of perception, then there may be no better form of its reexamination than as a “side project.”