Cory Tamler Water dramaturgies as methods of connecting across distance

Since 2015, I’ve been experimenting with water dramaturgies, developing performance-making and writing methodologies that take water as formal inspiration and writing critically about site-specificity and the hyper-local, asking: What happens to borders, boundaries, and temporality when water and land are not considered separate and contrasting states, but part of the same system? For most of that time, I’ve been in conversation with a specific watershed, pαnawάhpskewtəkʷ, the Penobscot River in Wabanaki/Maine. With In Kinship, a multidisciplinary collective of artists and scholars that sedimented out of relations with the river, I have paddled pαnawάhpskewtəkʷ, immersed in it, returned to it in every season, researched its embodied and physical archives, learned from Wabanaki guides to whom it has been home and kin for many generations. Since moving back to Berlin in October 2021, I’ve been unsure of how to continue the collaboration with the river and maintain a role with In Kinship. One of the lessons, though, of water dramaturgies is that physical distance is a false separation. Waterways, watersheds, cycles of evaporation and precipitation, melting and flooding, weave a dripping web across space. At LAKE, I plan to research and develop ways of collaboration with pαnawάhpskewtəkʷ from my local watersheds (in Berlin, and in Markendorf along the Oder where I have a garden). How does water link Berlin to Maine? How can I follow its example to uncover fresh relations with a familiar watershed, rather than look at it as a broken tie?