Infinite Worries Bash – Sharing and Releasing Anxieties from a Distance

How could we experience a collective release virtually?

Infinite Worries Bash is a participatory experience consisting of recorded worries collected from hundreds of people and presented as part of a continuous audio portrait emanating from a virtual piñata-inspired sculpture. Tapping the screen or clicking the mouse will make a virtual stick smack a 3D rendered sculpture on screen. A direct hit triggers the playback of worries that we have been collecting from the public since the 2016 election. Coming full circle, Infinite Worries Bash was a means of reflecting, listening, and releasing anxieties as we navigated the 2020 election cycle and beyond. Available in fullscreen at People are also invited to record their own worries by using the “record a worry” link at the bottom right or visiting on a personal device.

There are many social situations where it’s unacceptable to express one’s worries, even when they are the thoughts weighing most heavily on one’s mind. This project is an opportunity to collect various types of worries and consider the emotional cycles which they represent. The original Worries Bash culminated with a ceremonial destruction of fragile papier-mâché sculptures as a means to share and release worries. For Infinite Worries Bash, the artists wanted to extend the experience into a socially distanced, postpandemic reality. This pairing of worries with celebration aims to provide some insight into the complexities of the anxieties we live with.

Infinite Worries Bash was featured in the contactless exhibition Catastrophe Cake at Boston Cyberarts gallery, as well as in a participatory lecture-performance in the virtual platform Nowhere as part of EdgeCut: Sanity, in partnership with New York Live Arts.