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Reflecting the Environment


Performer: Zihan Xiao

Location: Ada Hayden Heritage Park, Ames, IA, USA

Course: DSN S 546 Performing Architecture

Professor: Mitchell Squire

February 2020

This performance manifests the suspense inside the mind through visual storytelling. This film complements the manifesto for structuring the composite of the inside world of a human being. “Suspense” is a journey of exploring a desolated hill in Ada Hayden Heritage Park in winter. The howling wind, icy lake, frozen soil, and bare trees in this hill drive the performer to wear a hat, mask, and gloves to protect herself from the potential danger. While she was climbing the hill, the quiet environment aroused her fear for the unsettling environment and even evoke delusion of the non-existing danger. All of this fear made her escape from the suspense. The background sound effect reinforces the apparent fear inside her mind. “Suspense” reveals the fragile minds of people when they face their deepest fear. This performance shows how it forces people to cope with the unknown with their natural instinct.

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