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interview with garry 5
The following was a special interview we conducted in preparation for the Hamilton Fundraiser Event, to test out our interview questions on a friend of HUMANZOO. The interview took place at Jakob and Edward’s apartment in Toronto over a few glasses of wine, and though it was not their intention, Jakob and Edward couldn’t help but get involved with this particular interview, which lasted nearly an hour. Thus it has been separated into four parts. This is part 3.

/ indicates an overlapping of text

… indicates a pause or hesitation.

GARRY:
Have you ever suspected someone that you know of having committed a very serious crime?

HUMAN:
The first thing that comes to mind is just a DUI.

GARRY:
But we’re talking serious crime, first-degree murder or aggravated assault, rape.

HUMAN:
No..no. Ohhhh you guys don’t know this, but uh, this is weird that it’s on the record. Shit. I don’t know if I should tell you.

JAKOB:
It’s all anonymous.

GARRY:
It’s anonymous. No one will–

HUMAN:
It’s me, it’s me… but it’s okay it’s all already been said and it’s been in the papers and that shit. Uhh. My stepdad, who was my moms I guess like husband, he wasn’t really married really. He was caught with child pornography on his computers and they busted in the house, fuckin took his computers and took him. Boom, my moms like fuck you, were done. That… that just happened. So. I was so shocked I was like what the fuck?

GARRY:
Did you believe it at first?

HUMAN:
Uhh at first I was like oh my god like, I’m gonna be fucked, like everyone is gonna know about this, but then no, cause he doesn’t have the same last name as me and shit so. I was thinking about my own, I was thinking about myself at first. He’s going to jail. At first I thought…if we, if any of us went off and had sex with someone who was 17… that’s illegal. But sometimes, okay this is so weird, but sometimes these 17 year olds like look like they’re 20, 21, so how do you know sometimes? But in his case, it was like, I don’t know exactly what he was looking at, but I can imagine and it wasn’t exactly….
JAKOB:
Did you ever suspect him of anything before you found out?

HUMAN:
No, no I thought he was just a quiet guy that was really nice, yeah I actually liked him a lot. And like that law? When did that law come in, where you weren’t allowed to look at child pornography?

GARRY:
Hmm, that’s actually a really good question.

JAKOB:
I think it’s been frowned upon since the beginning.

GARRY:
The beginning.  Do you think if someone that you loved, was convicted of a serious crime, like we’ve just discussed, could you still love them?

HUMAN:
Like my dad or something…murder…rape murder…depends, depends on the case, it depends. The law is so…but if it was like, just say my dad was like full out cold-blooded murdered someone, I’d be like what the fuck is wrong with you, like you’re an asshole.

GARRY:
Would you still love him?

HUMAN:
No.

GARRY:
Do you trust the legal system? Our legal system?

HUMAN:
No. No.

GARRY:
What does the word evil mean to you?

HUMAN:
Uhh…  eevil, uhh you’re so intense, these are such intense questions. Evil is…fuck I don’t know, doing horrid wrong things to people that you know, not even that you know, that are just, it’s like the bible, if…would you want that done to you? Evil is such a contrived…it’s subjective.

JAKOB:
But was does it mean to you? Subjectively. That’s what the question is.

HUMAN:
I think evil is…oh my god it’s so hard…there are so many things that are subjective, I mean like that are…I’m just on the line with a lot of things. Cause some evils might be blessings…like if you murder Hitler, is that evil? Cause it’s a murder.

JAKOB:
So then that goes back to that question, do you think you can justify murder.

HUMAN:
Eye for an eyyee.

GARRY:
If you can justify anything, does evil really exist?

HUMAN:
I think that..ohh man, it depends, see when someone gets, when people get emotionally involved. You just, things get lost so, as a reason and… ahhh I don’t know man, just say someone came in and murdered my whole family, I’d like, I’m gonna fuckin string their throat cords up

JAKOB:
Is that what you’d want to do? Or would you want justice? You’d rather kill them and deal with the consequences?

HUMAN:
Killing.. at the same time, I think killing is just too easy. I want to torture them, I wanna make them suffer, I wanna watch their eyeballs dissolve in their heads if that ever happened, you know? But that’s uhh…that’s wrong as well…why? Why is that wrong? If that, you’re entire family was murdered by this person and their reason was just… because. It’s like what? That’s a sickness, that’s a sickness, this person is sick.

JAKOB:
So then they’re not evil, they’re sick.

HUMAN:
Yeah…yeah I’ll say that, yeah they’re sick.

EDWARD:
So a person can only be evil, if they’re not sick?

JAKOB:
Do you think evil then, is a sickness? To be evil, something has to be wrong with you. That is not something that is natural.

HUMAN:
No, I think to be anything, anything on this planet is natural. We spring from nature so, if there was a person, that was all of a sudden was like I wanna fuckin go murder… [HUMAN’S] entire family..well that’s a natural thing that happened, he did that. But it’s not, no person, a lot of other people would not do that like…most people. Hard to say, I’d say. Point point point point zero zero zero one percent that did that, one person. That’s just something that’s a little off…I don’t think there is evil though. I think there is just, shit happens, there is chaos. This persons mind was wired different because all of sudden.. something happened in their process of being made like their lineage. Maybe it took a long time, you know like, if someone’s born, they’ve survived since the beginning of whenever our ancestors began, but then something went wrong in the process and he starts turning on…

GARRY:
So you believe that that kind of mm, for lack of a better word, glitch or malfunction genetically is a result of genetics or… again Nature vs Nurture. Nurture.

HUMAN:
I don’t think people are evil. I don’t like, I don’t like the word evil.

GARRY:
Would you have a different word?

HUMAN:
I would say there is an error or something but…that’s very heady. Now we’re getting all into my head.

GARRY:
Do you believe in Karma?

HUMAN:
Karma? Nahhhh. Just Chaos.

GARRY:
Close your eyes, after you take that drink. I’m gonna say a word and I just want you to tell me whatever the first image is that comes to mind. Normal.

HUMAN:
White. OHH MY GOD..that’s so…I’m sorry. That’s boring.

GARRY:
You can open your eyes now.

HUMAN:
That’s it?! Shit. Well…I guess I am a white man.

GARRY:
What are you afraid of?

HUMAN:
It’s not over yet?

GARRY:
No.

HUMAN:
Shit. I’m afraid of myself.

GARRY:
How would you explain your basic life philosophy or, to word that differently, do you have words that you live by? Do you have a mantra?

HUMAN:
Uhh yeah I always come up with, do your work and go home.

GARRY:
Cool. Do you have any secrets you’d like to maybe get off your chest?

HUMAN:
Secrets? Uhh well that child porn one came out pretty quick…secrets?

GARRY:
Do you have any addictions?

HUMAN:
Porn maybe? I don’t know… I don’t need it. Air. Water.

(Clapping in the background)

GARRY:
What would you say you think about more than anything else?

HUMAN:
Myself. Uhh fuck. Yeah…horrible. I wish I didn’t, shit. That’s why I think I should start believing in God, fuckin forget about myself, you know what I mean?

GARRY:
What do you think so far of the questions I’ve been asking you?

HUMAN:
Longgg. I’ve been speaking too much.

interview with garry 4 

On June 15th 2013, we at HUMANZOO hosted a fundraiser for our Production of Normal by Anthony Neilson. During the party, in a small room upstairs Garry conducted a series of interviews which were audio recorded. The recordings were then transcribed word for word.

This was one of the interviews.

/ indicates an overlapping of text

… indicates a pause or hesitation.

[NAME] indicates a name mentioned that has been censored for anonymity


GARRY:

To start out I would love it if you could describe whatever your current emotional state is.

HUMAN:
Uh, probably a little anxious,uhh, a little disappointed and a little… um…. nostalgic.

GARRY:
Nostalgic. Great, that’s a good one. Uhm, and are you male or female?

HUMAN:
Female!

GARRY:
Do you have any siblings?

HUMAN:
I do.

GARRY:
How many?

Human:
One.

GARRY:
One sibling. Male or female?

HUMAN:
Female.

GARRY:
Are your parents still alive?

HUMAN:
Yes.

GARRY:
Are they still together?

HUMAN:
Yes.

GARRY:
Do you um, do you identify with the idea or the phrase an “eye for an eye”?

HUMAN:
No.

GARRY:
No. not at all under any /circumstances?

HUMAN:
/No. no.

GARRY:
What is your blood type?

HUMAN:
My blood type is.. B positive.

GARRY:
B positive? Do you ever give blood?

HUMAN:
I’m not allowed. /I’m anaemic.

GARRY:
/ You’re not allowed. Ahh. Um, what does the word normal mean to you?

HUMAN:
(slowly, deliberate) Absolutely nothing.

GARRY:
Nothing at all.

HUMAN:
Nothing!

GARRY:
So you would never describe yourself as normal?

HUMAN:
Dear god no.

(We both laugh loudly)

GARRY:
Um, do you think that it’s possible to justify Murder?

HUMAN:
Yes.

GARRY:
Yes. Under only extreme circumstances or…?

HUMAN:
Uhm… No I don’t think the circumstance need to be extreme, but I think its possible to justify it.

GARRY:
What scares you most about life?

HUMAN:
Oh god… uhm. What scares me most about life…?

GARRY:
Or maybe not most, but what scares you a lot about life?

HUMAN:
It ending.

GARRY:
It ending.

HUMAN:
Yeah.

GARRY:
Do you believe in an afterlife?

HUMAN:
Sort of. I think that, you know, we’re all made up of.. the same thing the universe is made up of so I think that there’s some level of living again, but not necessarily as a person you know, maybe, maybe as a person, maybe as stardust, maybe as… dirt. I don’t know.

GARRY:
Um, If you were going to write a book, what would it be about?

HUMAN:
(chuckles) Well. I guess my initial response is Koala bears.

GARRY:
Koala bears?

HUMAN:
Yeah.

GARRY:
Would it be a coffee table book?

HUMAN:
No!

GARRY:
No.

HUMAN:
No! I think it would be like about the life of a koala bear like staring at the world, you know. Cause that’s what they do, they just sit, and they eat..eucalyptus, and they stare…at the jungle. I can only imagine what they see, high up in the trees.

GARRY:
Do you have a favourite or lucky number?

HUMAN:
Three.

GARRY:
How long have you had that lucky number for?

HUMAN:
As long as I can remember.

GARRY:
Do you think you have control over your own destiny?

HUMAN:
No.

GARRY:
Do you think that destiny exists?

HUMAN:
I do.

GARRY:
Mm. What about a higher being, or god. Does god exist?

HUMAN:
Not as one full form… no. I think god is… more like the cosmos the idea of the universe having.. pretty much the ultimate control, being that it is bigger than we can possibly fathom…over our lives and where we’re going and what we’re here for.

GARRY:
Again, non-judgemental anonymous, have you ever paid for sex?

HUMAN:
No.

GARRY:
Would you ever?

HUMAN:
Probably not cause its not that hard. (she laughs) I guess if there was something that I really wanted to experience but wanted it to be an anonymous thing like someone I didn’t know, I would consider it. I certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.

GARRY:
Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable at all?

HUMAN:
No.

GARRY:
Why do you think that is?

HUMAN:
I grew up in a household where we talked about everything and my parents were always really open about their sex lives, what sex is, sexuality, all that kind of stuff, they were never closed off, they never said no to answering a question or.. used weird names for body parts or anything like that. They were very honest.

GARRY:
They were able to say the word penis?

HUMAN:
(chuckle) Yes.

GARRY:
Do you think that ignorance is bliss?

HUMAN:
Uh… In some ways, yeah? I think if you know nothing, you don’t know the bad, but in some ways no because if  you if you don’t really know the bad then I don’t think you can know the good on the same level, you know? The worse it is, the more you appreciate when it’s beautiful.

GARRY:
Have you-do you have dreams that have recurred throughout your life?

HUMAN:
Yeah.

GARRY:
What are they?

HUMAN:
It’s just really one dream, I have this dream of this secret library inside this house and… there’s like a really convoluted way of getting to it and I only know the way.. and it’s happened since, I think the earliest that I can remember it is about eight. But it’s always the same and the passage is always the same.

GARRY:
Do you always find the library?

HUMAN:
 I always find the library, but I’ve never been able to take someone else there.

GARRY:
Interesting. So this dream varies whether or not you’re trying to take someone there.

HUMAN:
Yeah, sometimes its just me, sometimes I’m trying to take someone.

GARRY:
What do you do if you can’t sleep?

HUMAN:
I read, I read… yeah, that’s about it. I don’t have a lot of trouble sleeping.

GARRY:
What do you read?

HUMAN:
Everything. I love reading. Right now I’m reading Game of Thrones.

GARRY:
How far are you?

HUMAN:
I’m in the first book.

GARRY:
Okay..I heard it took a wile to get into.

HUMAN:
It did not for me. No, right away I loved it. But I read non-fiction as well. I read Carl Zimmers’ book about parasites and loved that. Uhm, yeah. I read.

GARRY:
Tell me your thoughts about aliens. Do they exist, do they not exist?

HUMAN:
Well I believe they exist, I don’t believe in little green men! I think that’s probably a little ways off. I imagine that if there’s a planet similar to earth in every galaxy that… there would be beings similar to humans..obviously they may be more advanced, less advanced, whatever, or slightly different depending on the bacteria that formed on that particular planet. I certainly think there are other beings out there.

GARRY:
Great. What does the word evil mean to you?

HUMAN:
Um… I don’t know, probably not much because I think its pretty hard to define and everyone’s evil is different depending on what your good is. I think it’s a word to me that’s up for interpretation.

GARRY:
Does that mean that you haven’t put a specific definition on it for yourself?

HUMAN:
No, because it changes for me. There are times that I’ll look at something and think that’s so evil, but then to me it also depends on what… the circumstance surrounding it was, right? I think someone who can abuse a child is evil, but what if that child was physically abused and that’s how they know love, and so therefore they show love and that you know… it gets to be so gray, so I don’t really believe in evil versus good…

GARRY:
Do you, do you think that whatever evil might be, that its something we can be born with?

HUMAN:
No, I think that people born without… empathy, which can give the impression of cruelty or evilness but I don’t really believe that babies are born evil and cruel.

GARRY:
Do you think you’ve ever met someone who was truly evil, whether or not you knew it?

HUMAN:
No. No.

GARRY:
Do you believe in Karma?

HUMAN:
I do. Not in the way of like, oh, you hit someone so like someone’s gonna hit you… I think Karma depends on the lessons you’ve learned or still need to learn in your life.

GARRY:
Do you have any secrets you’d like to get off your chest in this kind of anonymous environment?

HUMAN:
Yes, I cheated on my boyfriend and.. I don’t want to tell him because he’s much younger than I am and.. I don’t really think its something he would understand and or be able to be ok with… and that’s sort of frustrating um…

GARRY:
Do you think you’re going to tell him at any point?

HUMAN:
No, because I think it would just be selfish of me. He doesn’t know, he has no way of knowing, he’ll never  find out.. it would just be to get it off my chest, it would do him no good.

GARRY:
Have you forgiven yourself?

HUMAN:
..Yeah…yeah…… yeah. People are human … people make mistakes and I know he’s made mistakes… not really gonna beat myself up about it. It would be nice to be able to have a conversation about it and not feel like.. there was.. going to be a great rift.

GARRY:
Or that you’d be pushing him away?

HUMAN:
Yeah.

GARRY:
Do you have any addictions?

HUMAN:
Mmm. I did. Uh I was a very heavy smoker for a great many years. I was also a cutter for a great many years. Uhm… But currently? Other than Game of Thrones, no, I do not have any addictions.

GARRY:
What do you think about more than anything else?

HUMAN:
Probably.. [ FIRST NAME].

GARRY:
That’s your boyfriend?

HUMAN:
..No.

GARRY:
[FIRST NAME]…?

HUMAN:
[LAST NAME]

GARRY:
Ah. Why do you think I’m asking you these questions… which is not a rhetorical question. I would legitimately like to know what your impression is.

HUMAN:
Well…I think obviously, I believe it has something to do with theatre and art and the exploration of the human mind and… I guess maybe our morality, because in the world as it stands there’s very littllllllle moralllity and humanity. Um, and so I think its maybe its an attempt to understand or explore the truth that people have when there’s no one listening? You know?

GARRY:
Mm, yeah, that… yeah. Um, I have an ultimatum for you. Would you rather lose all your previous memories or never be able to form new ones?

HUMAN:
Oo, that’s a rough one. I hate ultimatums, generally speaking, I usually refuse to answer but in this case I will answer, I suppose… Um..well… I think I would rather… dang that’s hard… Well I feel like if you lost all your memories, you would cease to be who you are. And I am rather fond of who I am so.. I think um, I would probably not be able to make new memories but… yeah, because I think that there are sort of… ways around that, you still have people in your life who love you, they’re able to inform you each day of the things you may not remember.. “50 First Dates” style.

GARRY:
Yes. Exactly, if you could have any superpower what would it be? Anything at all.

HUMAN:
Ooo! Anything at all!?

GARRY:
Anything you want.

HUMAN:
Well….probably to control the weather.

GARRY:
To control the weather, Oo like storm.

HUMAN:
To control the weather. I just feel like that’s such a badass superpower, and there’s so much you could do with it.

GARRY:
Its rather dramatic.

HUMAN:
I’m a dramatic human so.

GARRY:

Yeah, and it also contains a certain dramatic, not for the sake of dramatic, but for beauty’s sake.

HUMAN:
Yeah. Exactly.

GARRY:
Um, do you remember your first kiss?

HUMAN:
I do.

GARRY:
What was it like?

HUMAN:
Um, it was lovely

GARRY:
It was lovely.

HUMAN:
Yup. I was 15… it was very sweet, I was very in love.

GARRY:
Great, just a few more… what do you think Victoria’s Secret is?

HUMAN:
(pause, then chuckle)
What? Like the actual secret, cause like its lingerie.

GARRY:
Like what’s her secret?

HUMAN:
Her secret is… starving her models? And giving them lots of plastic surgery so that they don’t look like humans anymore.

GARRY:
Do you have a song that you listen to that makes you happy right now…what’s your current feel good tune.

HUMAN:
The Drums-Down By the Water.

GARRY:
The drums down by the water. By who?

HUMAN:
It’s..wel- it’s.. The Drums.

GARRY:
The Drums.

HUMAN:
Yup… The song is Down By the Water.

GARRY:
Ohhh, okay. Do you think you’ll actually go and see the HUMANZOO performance of normal?

HUMAN:
Yes.

GARRY:
Yeah, and this is again like pure research, not because I’m trying to convince you to go.

HUMAN:
Yeah, I will probably go probably more than once.

GARRY:
Great. Do you think that funding the arts is important?

HUMAN:
Yes I do.

GARRY:
And what would you gauge to be the budget of this show?

HUMAN:
Well it’s a fringe show.

GARRY:
Yeah.

HUMAN:
So what would I like assume the budget might be?

GARRY:
Yeah.

HUMAN:
Uuuhh maybe a couple thousand… if you guys are really lucky?

GARRY:
Describe your current emotional state.

HUMAN:
I’m a little happier, a little more at ease, uhh yeah, still nostalgic, and intrigued.

GARRY:
Great. May I hug you?

HUMAN:
Yeah!! Yeah, I love a good hug.

GARRY:
Thank you very very much.

HUMAN:
Hey no problem.

On June 15th 2013, we at HUMANZOO hosted a fundraiser for our Production of Normal by Anthony Neilson. During the party, in a small room upstairs Garry conducted a series of interviews which were audio recorded. The recordings were then transcribed word for word.
This was one of the interviews.

 / indicates an overlapping of text

… indicates a pause or hesitation.

[NAME] indicates a name mentioned that has been censored for anonymity

GARRY:
Ok, I just want to get you to start off by describing your current emotional, what your current emotional state is.

Human:
Today?

GARRY:
Right now in this moment.

Human:
Um… Uh, my outlook is very positive. Uh I’m in a pretty good mood today because uh the reason I’m here is because [NAME] is showing art in a space I own and live in so we organized this art show with her and [NAME] and um three other artists. And it went really well last night and uh that was pretty exciting /so…

GARRY:
/Great. Congratulations. And she invited you here today.

Human:
Yes.

GARRY:
Great. Um, are you male or female?

Human: Male.

GARRY:
 Do you have any siblings?

Human:
Mhm.

GARRY:
 How many?

Human:
One.

GARRY:
One sibling, and are your parents still alive?

Human:
My mother is still alive.

GARRY:
Before your father passed away were they together? /Were they still married?

Human:
/Mhm, yeah.

GARRY:
Do you identify with the saying or the idea an ‘eye for an eye’?

Human:
No.

GARRY:
 Not under any circumstances?

Human:
Um, uh, maybe under some circumstances but as a general rule…

GARRY:
 Ok. Do you know your blood type?

Human:
Mmm no, I don’t think so.

GARRY:
Do you think it’s…

Human:
I think it’s type O, but I’m not sure.

GARRY:
Um, I’m wondering if you can describe what the word ‘normal’ means to you.

Human:
Uh… I guess normal means what you would expect in a given situation from a person or a thing uh and if something doesn’t correspond to your expectations then it wouldn’t be normal. In terms of, in social terms I find it a bit of a repressive term.

GARRY:
Mhm.

Human:
And I don’t gravitate to the concept of normal personally. /(Chuckles)

GARRY:
/Does that mean that you, does that mean that you wouldn’t ever describe yourself as ‘normal’?

Human:
I would (chuckles) I would never describe myself as normal.

(We share a laugh)

GARRY:
Um, what’s the earliest childhood memory or image that comes to mind?

Human:
Watching one of the moon landings on black and white on TV.

GARRY:
Do you remember how old you were?

Human:
No, and I’m not even 100% sure it’s my earliest memory, but it’s, because I thought, would I remember something from 1969? I was born in 1967, and I don’t think so. There was also one in 1971 I think and it was probably that one so I was three I guess.

GARRY:
And um, when you were a child what was your desired profession, or what did you want to be when you grew up?

Human:
I wanted to be a writer and I think everyone thought I was going to be a writer. Uh, and I still am to some extent but it’s not my dream anymore exactly.

GARRY:
What changed?

Human:
Um I don’t know, I mean I, I’m not, I don’t gravitate necessarily to doing things that people expect or want me do. That’s part of it to be honest /um and uh…

GARRY:
/mhm, mhm.

Human:
I don’t know I just discovered a lot of other things that I was interested in or had a /a talent for…

GARRY:
Right…

Human:
There are things that I didn’t think that I would be able to do professionally or in a serious, or publicly (inaudible) that I did turn out to be able to do.

GARRY:
 Would you describe yourself as defiant?

Human:
In some situations, yeah. Although not as a general rule.

GARRY:
Um, do you think it’s possible to justify murder?

Human:
Uh, well my immediate response is no. (chuckles)

GARRY:
Instinctually.

Human:
Yeah, um…

GARRY:
But rationally?

Human:
Well people justify war for example which I think could properly be seen as murder and say you know during World War II if Britain, if the allies decided not to respond to the Nazi threat then that obviously would’ve been worse (small chuckle) for the world.

GARRY:
Responding for the greater good.

Human:
Yeah. I mean certainly there are situations where people are gonna get killed that are justified but on a certain individual level I don’t.

GARRY:
What um, what scares you most about life?

Human:
Uh, mmm I don’t think I am a particularly fearful person.

GARRY:
If there’s nothing that comes to mind immediately that’s fine as well.

Human:
Um, uh well probably, huh I don’t know, yeah, (chuckles, then, to himself) what scares me most about life?

GARRY:
 If you think of it later you can come back to it if something else comes up. Um, if you were going to write a book, perhaps you already have, what would it be about?

Human:
Um, I, because I’m a writer I think about what I might write a book about. The idea I have that I might pursue uh in the foreseeable future would be to write about the indie rock scene in the middle of the last decade in Toronto, /various people I know, I wouldn’t be writing…

GARRY:
/Oh.

Human:
…a non-fiction book, it would be a /fictionalized account…

GARRY:
/Right.

Human:
…people touring in vans, being addicted to various substances.

GARRY:
Do you have any addictions?

Human:
Mmm no. Uh, well not to substances (chuckles) I’m trying to think if I’m addicted to anything else, I really like to do yoga every morning.

GARRY:
That’s a really great addiction. (We share a laugh)

Human:
I think so.

GARRY:
Um, have you ever suspected someone you know of having committing a very serious crime… such as murder, or rape, that kind of thing?

Human:
No.

GARRY:
No.

Human:
(Small chuckle)

GARRY:
Um, do you have any fetishes that you’d be willing to share or talk about?

Human:
Well, I’m not a particularly fetishy kind of guy. As these things go my ex works as the manager of the [local leather bar] in [the city], one of the managers , so it’s funny to go in there because they have puppy night and rubber night and (laughs) piss play and it’s fetish central so I’m pretty familiar with that world but…

GARRY:
But does it interest you at all?

Human:
There are certain things that interest me, bondage and stuff like that that to me is an extension of what I like, sexually speaking, I assume you’re talking about sexual fetishes.

GARRY:
I am. Or if there’s anything else that comes to mind I’m open to hearing about it.

Human:
Well nothing else comes to mind. I’m not, I’m not, I don’t tend to fetishize a lot of the conventional things, like leather doesn’t do anything for me, and other things are just things you do to have a good time, sexually, that society may see as fetishes but they don’t necessarily, though I can’t think of what I’m talking about right now. (Laughs)

GARRY:
Um, do you trust our legal system?

Human:
Not really.

GARRY:
If someone you knew and loved were committed of a very serious crime, such as murder or rape, armed robbery or assault, do you think that you could still love them.

Human:
Yeah… Mhm, yeah.

GARRY:
What does the word evil mean to you?

Human:
Sorry, let me go back and /qualify the last answer…

GARRY:
Sure, certainly, certainly.

Human:
…if it were something, to me murder, for example, to me murder and rape are not really in the same category.

GARRY:
 Sure.

Human:
If I knew somebody had committed a rape I would not want anything more to do with that, I think there are certain murders, I mean, things, killings that are qualified as murders that happen more or less accidentally, people get into a fight or whatever and somebody ends up, I can easily see that a lot of murders are not intended to happen as murders, and that would be in a different category for me.

GARRY:
Mhm.

Human:
I’ve never known of that to happen. (small chuckle)

GARRY:
/So…

Human: /(Two loud sneezes)

GARRY:
 …Bless you.

Human:
Thanks.

GARRY:
Do you think that um, let’s go back to the definition of evil, for you, does that mean anything?

Human:
Um, I’ve thought about it. And I’m not a person who tends to really, I haven’t sort of experienced evil and I don’t tend to, I’m not religious and I don’t believe in sort of black and white religious dichotomies (inaudible) the Christian, sort of, concept of good and evil. Um, I think a lot of what is called ‘evil’ is often committed in the name of good, for example with religions again and their various purges, evil, what is ‘evil’ for one group of people is just what another group of people wants.

GARRY:
Um, do you, do you think that, I guess in a more specific context, do you think that some one person can be born ‘evil,’ or be influenced by a social context within a society that deems one thing ‘evil’ and another thing ‘good’?

Human:
I tend to think not but I don’t know for a fact, it’s possible, um I think people are born with (sigh) well they may, you see they may not even be born that way I think your very early experiences with you parents or whatever can mold you like before you’re even one year old for example, I think early childhood is very important so people uh may be influenced to um or they may not get the love or whatever that they need to be sort of emotionally uh, I want to say conventional but sort of /emotionally healthy…

GARRY:
/Balanced?

Human:
Balanced yeah. Um and so I think what happens in early life is very important but also later life in terms of what people end up doing with what they’re given.

GARRY:
Right. Do you believe in karma?

Human:
(Chuckles) Uh, karma. I’ve done a lot of reading of eastern religions especially when I was younger, that’s where the yoga comes in. I think karma is a pretty good thing to keep in mind whether, the literal sort of spiritual sort of, whether it’s actually universal law or not is not something I can comment on because there’s no way to verify that but there’s plenty of evidence that karma is a good rule to live by day to day, if you do good things good things often come back to you.

GARRY:
So as a personal philosophy.

Human:
Yeah, or just as a rule of contact.

GARRY:
Yeah. That a good way of putting it. Gonna check the time… (pause) ok. I have an ultimatum for you. Would you rather lose all of your previous memories, or never be able form new memories?

Human:
I’d rather lose all my memories.

GARRY:
And still be able to form new ones. Um what about a superpower? If you could have any super power what would it be?

Human:
(Small chuckle) The first one that comes to mind is the ability to fly because that’s always so enjoyable in dreams but I don’t think it would be terribly useful. Um, I’m not sure I would really want a superpower. (More chuckling)

GARRY:
Not at all? Are you afraid of power?

Human:
Maybe I am to some extent, but I also just think that when things, when your life experience is disrupted by even, it could be something bad, it could be something good, it just could be quite difficult to deal with, like people winning the lottery…

GARRY:
Which is a blessing that people wish for for a long time.

Human:
Yeah, quite often a mixed blessing when it actually happens so I can’t yeah I can’t think besides flying, I can’t…

GARRY:
That’s fair, that’s a superpower. If you could ask ME any question right now, what would you ask me?

Human:
Um, well, what do you, what do you, what form is this project gonna take, that you’re working on gonna take?

GARRY:
Hm, and what makes you smile?

Human:
What right now?

GARRY:
Or one specific thing that makes you smile?

Human:
Things that I find absurd make me smile, like lately working on art when I do something, I created a sculpture that I decided not to put in the show because it was about the other artists and not about me and I didn’t have time to do a good job with it. I have this silver box which [NAME] has sat on.

GARRY:
Mhm.

Human:
Uh, (chuckles) which normally has a seat that moves back and forth when you flick on a switch it’s a very weird thing from like fifty years ago, and I attached a some silver ductwork to it, so it was kind of, so it makes this little rumbling sound, so I was, when I got that going for the first time for example it made me laugh because it was so absurd and ridiculous.

GARRY:
Great.

Human:
(Hearty laugh)

GARRY:
Um, do you think that you will actually go to see the HUMANZOO performance of ‘Normal’ in the Hamilton Fringe purely, not because I’m trying to convince you, but to find out what your feelings are at this point in time.

Human:
Sorry to find out, you want to know my feelings about…

GARRY:
 If you’re going to go see it.

Human:
I think I am I live [              ]. (Chuckling)

GARRY:
So it’s accessible.

Human:
It would be silly of me not to.

GARRY:
 Could you describe your current emotional state?

Human:
Yeah. I’m feeling good, I think I’m feeling better now than I was at the beginning of the interview because I like to talk about things that one doesn’t normally talk about.

GARRY:
Great.

Human:
We’re done.

GARRY:
We’re done. May I hug you?

Human:
Sure, I like hugging too.

GARRY:
Thank you very, very much.

GARRY:
Thank you, Garry.

Image
HUMANZOO started from an idea that spawned in conversation with Edward Charette, the conversation developed into a discussion about what would happen if we put a human being into a cage… or in this case an empty stage, with some sort of glass fourth wall, for a very long time, perhaps days. Someone would routinely and adequately feed them and they would have an outhouse or bathroom off stage. No props, nothing to do or interact with other than the idea that an audience is watching them.
Perhaps they would be given a character to start with, perhaps not, I imagine that character would likely crumble away in hours, but worth trying anyway. We would eventually be left with a pure human to watch. Ideally the stage would be separated with a glass, sound proof wall and the cage would be mic’d, so observers could hear the human, but would be unable to say anything to them. Eventually this would expand, and multiple exhibits could take place at simultaneously, much like a zoo. Further experiments could lead to having two humans in one cage (experimenting with different gender combinations),  or even a human and a monkey in one cage ( I’m sure we’d have some animal rights activists with a few things to say about that)  . The exhibit would have to be constant, no breaks, no limits, you could even come and watch the human sleep if you wanted to, without any judgement. 

We became intrigued by the idea so much, that it became the basis of what we believed theatre to be, or at least what we wanted to do as artists. ( I could be speaking for myself there) To reveal some magical expression of truth, some pure, universal expression of the human body and mind, stripped to its core, and to do that all for someone else to see.  
The story is the side effect of this phenomenon, the by-product of the brain. Despite this probably being the antithesis of everything I have ever learned about theatre, I don’t believe theatre to be about story telling. I’m not interested in telling stories or entertainment, I just want to try and understand why I’m (we’re) alive… what it is I’m (we’re) supposed to do. I want to investigate ideas and to experience as many points of view as possible, to ask an indefinitely open question, one without a right or wrong answer…instead, just another possibility.  
For now, it is enough just to keep looking for this meaning and that is what HUMANZOO is dedicated to, through whatever medium we believe will convey our idea at the time best, hopefully along the way creating new mediums.

So what’s next?
 

-Jakob Ehman

On June 15th 2013, we at HUMANZOO hosted a fundraiser for our Production of Normal by Anthony Neilson. During the party, in a small room upstairs Garry conducted a series of interviews which were audio recorded. The recordings were then transcribed word for word.
This was one of the interviews.

 / indicates an overlapping of text

… indicates a pause or hesitation.

Garry:
Beautiful. Ok. So I’d like to get you to start off by describing your current emotional state.

Human:
Antsy, little anxious. Not super great in being grilled, or in public situations.

Garry:
Both of which are happening right now. Absolutely, I understand. Is that constant or is that uh,  something that has only happened to you more recently in life?

Human:
No, comes and goes. /It’s irregular.

Garry:
/ Comes and goes. Right. Are you male or female?

Human:
Male.

Garry:
How many siblings do you have, if any at all?

Human:
3 half sisters

Garry:
And are your parents still alive?

Human:
Yes.

Garry:
Are they married?

Human:
No.

Garry:
Do you identify with the saying, “an eye for an eye?”

Human:
In certain situations.

Garry:
Do you know you’re blood type?

Human:
I don’t.

Garry:
What do you think it is, something rare or something common?

Human:
I think it’s rare but it’s more than likely it’s something common.

Garry:
[chuckle] And what does the word ‘normal’ mean to you?

Human:
It doesn’t… mean much actually… That’s super vague.

Garry:
Would you ever describe yourself as normal?

Human:
…Normalcy… is a subjective thing, yeah, I can’t really. I don’t know.

Garry:
For sure. Uhm. After I ask the question, this is one to just go with your instincts, or just go with whatever comes to mind. Earliest childhood memory.

Human:
I thought about this the other day… I’ll have to think about it for a second.

Garry:
Or an image / from your…

Human:
/Yeah…

Garry:
…childhood that you can remember very vividly.

Human:
This is pretty bad, but I think when I was three or four uh… there was some family conflict between my mom and dad. Ironically that was my first and only memory of my parents together. When I was three or four. That and or, when my mom left my dad … we were in a ferry in Istanbul crossing. That’s one thing I vaguely recall.

Garry:
Uhm, when you were a child, what was your dream profession? What did you want to be when you grew up?

Human:
I didn’t have a dream.

Garry:
Do you remember the first time you decided to go in a specific direction with your life?

Human:
I always wanted to do something good as in, didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes, I wanted to do something innocuous. I wanted to do something… uhm, sortof,  least offensive [laughs] Sort of the least / damaging to others.

Garry:
/Yes, inoccuous is the perfect word. And what is your current profession?

Human:
I’m a letter carrier.

Garry:
A letter carrier, yes.

Human:
And I was a music presenter which I will probably do again. / A concert presenter.

Garry:
/ You think youre going to go back to it, you’ll change your career in the future?

Human:
No no I won’t change, I’ll probably go back to doing it on the side. That what I was doing. As a side thing.

Garry:
When you were a child, would you say that you were popular, would you describe yourself that way, or say you had a lot of friends?

Human:
No. Well, I had friends but I wasn’t a popular kind of kid. I was kind of … the underdog kid yeah yeah.

Garry:
Do you still have a lot of the friends you had when you were a child?

Human:
I reconnected with them recently, you know, elementary school friends stuff like that, but…

Garry:
…What was the impetus…

Human:
… I wouldn’t call them friends, you know facebook kind of…

Garry:
Yes. Yes.

Human:
And when I went back to turkey we had a dinner and so on, so yeah, I have reconnected with some old friends… from 30 years ago.

Garry:
What does the word evil mean to you?

Human:
The first thing that pops in my head I guess is… folks who hurt beings who can’t help themselves, I guess that’s the first thing that pops in my head, you know.

Garry:
What does the word innocence mean to you?

Human:
Innocence?

Garry:
Yes. [a sound, like a baby crying, is heard in the background]

Human:
Does it exist? Beyond the [incoherent]

Garry:
That’s an excellent question.

Human:
Yeah, I’m not sure. Uhm, purity I guess. Not having been tainted. Probably beyond the age of 5 it doesn’t exist I guess.

Garry:
Do you think that everyone is born innocent or can someone be born in the way that you / describe evil.

Human:
/ I think people are born innocent, that’s my guess, that we’re socialized into becoming what we become mostly. I mean, there’s debate you know, there’s always nature, nurture debate you know.

Garry:
Of course, and you can only speak for yourself.

Human:
Yeah, and my experience is mostly from socialization.

Garry:
Do you think that you’ve ever met someone who was by your definition evil? Or come in contact with someone you think could commit evil acts?

Human:
Apparently I have. Yeah. This person I met online, I got to meet face to face, found out he was uh, peddler of child pornography.

Garry:
Wow.

Human:
It was [incoherent]

Garry:
A peddler not just a collector.

Human:
Not even just a collector which is bad enough but on top he was actually involved. It was a thing in the U.S. It was a big thing. And we found out /

Garry:
/ mhm.

Human:
…all of us on this Jazz board online, found out that this guy was… evil. Not to let him off the hook, or anything like that, he seemed like a nice guy, but I mean anyone who doesn’t you know take their own life, or go get some help in that situation… but then I suppose you can get into some you know, people are so deep in their addiction that you know they can’t bring themselves to that situation, I’m sorry, that’s where my limits of… [half-laughs]

Garry:
Absolutely. Did you ever see it… Did you ever get a clue that…

Human:
Zero.

Garry:
Zero clue.

Human:
That’s why it’s a shock…

Garry:
Do you believe in Karma?

Human:
Uhm, a version of it. Yeah.

Garry:
What goes around comes around…

Human:
To some degree…

Garry:
The energy you / put out…

Human:
/ yeah I mean I’m definitely not a religious person but I mean the way I live my life, for the most part I’d say I covered most of those [incoherent, laughs] …unintentionally.

Garry:
Yes. And uhm, what are you afraid of?

Human:
What am I afraid of? [The sounds of the garden party can be heard more distinct than ever before in the interview] Uhm. I guess losing control. You know, like  uh…

Garry:
In…

Human:
Losing total control…

Garry:
of your life?…

Human:
Aging, you know.

Garry:
Ah.

Human:
And I don’t think I have a fear of death so much as having to rely on others just, I kinda fear that.

Garry:
You consider yourself a very independent person.

Human:
Yeah, I mean I like to take care of myself as much as I…

Garry:
I have an ultimatum for you.

Human:
Uh huh.

Garry:
uh, would you rather lose all pervious memories, or, or, sorry, never be able to form new ones.

Human:
I think I’d rather lose my memories… / [incoherent]

Garry:
/ and continue…

Human:
Yeah, yeah, I think so.

Garry:
If you could have any super power what would it be?

Human:
Uhm. Learn to play instruments in five minutes.

Garry:
The super musician.

Human:
The super musician. Yeah.

Garry:
Would perfect pitch go along with that?

Human:
Eh, you would have to be I guess [laughs]

Garry:
You would have to be. Do you remember your first kiss? And what…

Human:
/I do

Garry:
… it was like. What was it like?

Human:
Uhm, bland, but I mean it was exciting at the same time.

Garry:
Do you believe in soulmates? Or destiny?

Human:
No.

Garry:
Neither?

Human:
We’re making it up as we go along.

Garry:
Hm. Uhm, If you could ask ME any question right now, what would it be?

Human:
Uhm…

Garry:
Any question at all.

Human:
Do you want a drink? [laughs]… … … You’re good.

Garry:
What makes you smile?

Human:
Many things. I think the easiest one is acts of kindness that are random acts of kindness, I guess that [incoherent]

Garry:
Tell me something you love about Hamilton.

Human:
It’s not the neck tattoos. I like that its real I guess. It’s not pretentious, its… but yeah.

Garry:
It’s not pretentious…

Human:
It’s not pretentious.

Garry:
That’s good. That’s not to be underestimated.

Human:
No. no. It’s close to Toronto [laughs] I used to live in Toronto /years ago.

Garry:
/ Yeah, it does have / it’s…

Human:
/ Yeah.

Garry:
…pretentious portions… I hear what you’re saying. Uhm. Do you think you will actually go and see HUMANZOO’s production of Normal at the /Hamilton Fringe.

Human:
/Absolutely. Yeah.

Garry:
You, If you, if you don’t think…

Human:
No no no. I will. We will.

Garry:
This is of course not me trying to like, / make sure that you do…

Human:
/No no no. but you…

Garry:
…we are trying to find out legitimately.

Human:
You might as well, you’re doing this, [laughing, incoherent]

Garry:
And I’m wondering if now, you could describe your current emotional state.

Human:
Uh, I’m a little more relaxed. You know I enjoyed the interview and you / know…

Garry:
/ok.

Human:
…a very pleasant experience that’s why I feel a little more relaxed.

Garry:
Which I of course wouldn’t be offended if it wasn’t.

Human:
[laughs] I’m not holding anything back! / Trust me I have no reason…

Garry:
[laughs] ok! I do. I do trust you. I very much trust you.

Human:
Ok.

Garry:
Great. So then, that’s it. So on behalf of HUMANZOO I thank you very very much. / May I hug you?

Human:
/ Great! Pleasure meeting you. Absolutely.

[Embracing is heard with chuckles and back pats]