On November 24, 2012, an event titled “A Butoh Reading” was held at Visual Space, an art gallery (then) located at 2075 Alberta Street in Vancouver, Canada. The purpose of the event was to create pleasure, discomfort, questions, and sales of a chapbook called To the Stoning. The event comprised a reading by the book’s author, Patrik Sampler, integrated with a butoh dance performance by Carolyn Chan. Drinks were available to audience members, and time was allotted for conversation. The event was promoted by word of mouth, online media, and the distribution of flyers to local venues. It was recorded with still and video cameras. Approximately 0.000041425% of Vancouver’s total population attended.
For the performance, nine chairs were arranged in the gallery’s main room. The nine chairs were divided into three sets of two and one set of three. Each chair faced away from the other chair(s) in its set. Three chairs were reserved for the performers – Sampler and Chan – and audience members were invited to sit in the rest. During the performance Sampler read from a script of ten chapters. Between chapters he moved clockwise to a different chair, as did Chan. As the performance was underway, a pre-recorded soundtrack (of distorted electronic and vocal sounds) was played. Chan was first to enter the performance area, and last to leave.