port of everywhere

port of everywhere is the spillage, the excess of the archive, the unruly host for research by Alexa Solveig Mardon. port of everywhere is the umbrella title for multiple tendrils of research conducted over the last 2 years at DAS choreography: a speculative fictional book, a dance and hosting practice, and questions about imperfect access-as-artistic-practice. The story port of everywhere is a steep and queer departure from the national Finnish epic the Kalevala, Alexa’s matrilineal histories, and messages from the dream realm. 


You walk into a room that is neither dark nor light. words appear from lightning fast hands, disappearing as soon as you hear them. There are others there and you lie down together, an acknowledgment of each others’ presence, a shared impending catastrophe, before falling asleep. In the sleep that is neither awake nor asleep, a giant moves small or enormous talismans around while the sea levels rise. There is the thought to wake up, but not the action. Candles turn into sources of prophecy, little wax intestines floating in water, but everyone has forgotten how to read them and the future is inoperable anyway. The story is set 100 years from now. The story is set ten minutes ago, before you arrived in the room. The story is about the impossibility of language within this shared catastrophe, and the possibility that language is the catastrophe. Air is displaced around your head, a foot darts by, a giant or a ghost. All the while,  language pours through the porous basin of your sleep. You hold onto a gnarled detail as it brushes your cheek in the dark. To move from water to dirt underground requires a particular kind of dance, something like flicking, darting, and floating all at the same time. If your mouth is open it is possible to jump onto the land of a past narrative. But the next marking follows you, trickling into your spine through your open mouth, causing a rippling like a dog vomiting beautifully. It is danced by you (because it was rarely summoned by you, just happening through). Names dangle in the space and attach and detach themselves to your brow, palm, ankle bone, the edge of your shirt. The names are searching for each other but have to rest on you first, leaving traces of themselves which add to the impossibility of the dance being readable. You are swimming or floating or jumping from one event to the next, but the time between events loses all orientation, folds back in on itself, maintains its position that it is, in fact, happening, now, now, now, now. 

"In port of everywhere, everything appears as multiple."

“tell me, what is the shape of you before you cross the threshold?”

 After spending some time in proximity to port of everywhere, this is what I will say:

{about shape}

port of everywhere is a giant that is large enough to hold it all, small enough to be a pocket book, a memory of someone else’s dream, and a clump of - molten, then solidified – candle wax that I rub and soften in my hand on my way out. On my way into the story.

{about the threshold}

A threshold is a gate, a door, a boundary, the place where [someone] [something] begins and [something] [someone] else ends. A port is a site of entry (water meeting land), an opening, and a connection between electronic devices. An isthmus is a passageway (land crossing water) and a home to some. While half-asleep, the reality on either side of waking up can feel more or less like a dream. What I am trying to say is: the moment in which [someone] [something] becomes [something] [someone] else, contains all of it. And this is why it shimmers.

{about the way the story is told}

In port of everywhere, everything appears as multiple. Or, more accurately: nothing appears in the confines of a singular narrative or frame.

I’m thinking of something close to phase transition: each phase (solid, liquid, gas, plasma) a different expression of the same element. Each resonating with the presence of every other phase: a story relayed in captions, a dance, a gesture of care for support workers, an invitation to rest.

{port of everywhere}

Is both the spillage of research and its container. Is thinking through excess and access in parallel. Is a singular creation myth undone through the multiple lineages of a side-character. Is the intellectual work of dreaming. Is a divination for unspoken questions in the room.

-Annick Kleizen 


I acknowledge that research for this work has taken place on the illegally occupied and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ peoples, and in Amsterdam, home of many unnamed ancestral ghosts and spirits. I am grateful to the waters and lands of these places, which have guided me most of all through this process. 

Choreography/direction/performance/text: Alexa Solveig Mardon 

Media and Projection Design: Erika Mitsuhashi

Scenography design: Alexa Mardon,  Erika Mitsuhashi 

Sound design: Fernanda Libman 

Scenography assistance: Alex Van Den Akker

Production assistance: Francesca Frewer, Rhyan McKorkindale

In conversation with: Staci BuShea, Annick Kleizen, Mala Kline, Jeroen Fabius, Konstantina Georgelou, Nienke Scholts

Text recording and text dramaturgy: Even Minn 

Book layout + Design: D. St Amour 

Mentorship/inside eye, dance: Lee-Su Feh, Zahra Shahab

Website design: Brynn Catherine McNab

Video recording, website: Alysha Seriani 

Mentorship/inside eye, text: S F Ho, Aisha Sasha John

Costume: Jae Woo Kang, Rhyan McCorkindale, Alex Van De Akker

Supported by: DAS Choreography, DAS Research, BC Arts Council, YAA Amsterdam 

Thank you: Udo + Harco!


Alexa Solveig Mardon is a queer dance artist of Finnish, Karelian and British Isles descent living and working as an uninvited guest on unceded + unsurrendered xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ land (so-called Vancouver).